27 February 2009

Unintentional Criticism

Our world is so rushed. It seems that rush means success. As determined and sinister minds focused on financial success, our natural world suffered an unraveling. As the natural world gave way from the beauty of nature and crumbled under industrialism, acting with heart and soul gave away to actions of the mind. People look(ed) toward material items to fill the gape caused by their soul's severance from the natural world.

God speaks to us through intuition. Division from our intuition separates us from God. I think of the movie (I haven't read the book.) The Golden Compass, and the scene where the child is separated from his daemon. The severance immediately cuts the child off from his intuition or wisdom (Sophia) which is the source/path to God. I think the destruction of the world's natural places is exactly like this. It is like someone taking a laser and shearing humans from their consciousness, wisdom and intuition. Many humans are severed from their core, from God.

We have been cut off not only physically by the cementing and paving of the planet, but also spiritually as many religions focus on written word and human actions. No amount of visits to church can fix this, either. People say to know God, but do they really? Are they just going through the motions of the mind and body? Or are they just mimicking what they see others doing and thinking, "Oh this is it!" The mind is a powerful place and has the capabilities of performing all kinds of tricks on us. I'm guessing that anyone who truly knows Jesus, it is because they truly know them self. And this ain't something they learned in a church. It's something that happens because their intuition is still intact. Have you noticed that when one speaks of God being inside in regards to the soul that they point to the heart, right between the breasts at the heart Chakra, not at the head. Try it. Try to say that God is in you and point to the head. It doesn’t feel right. Yet, many of us live in our minds, not hearts, and claim to "know" God.

As a society, we are misguided by our religious leaders, by what we read and see on TV, by what we are taught in school…it's all shallow. Even the Gnostic Society, which has some great stuff, has it wrong. Their prayers and rituals are nothing more than mirrors of the prayers and rituals of the Catholic Church.

The Gnostic Societies webpage has daily mediations. It quotes the Gospel of Thomas quoting Jesus: "When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female not be female…"

Instead of focusing prayer and within ourselves on a gender neutral Divine Power, which Jesus flat out tells us to do, the Gnostic Society separates the male from the female in prayers. They revere Sophia and the Divine Feminine, yet prayers and language are laden with dominant usage of God as a male. The Gnostic Society has A LOT of meaningful teachings and great information. Along with the Bahá'í, they come the closest to actually hitting on something of merit, yet they still seem to miss the mark. Neither faith seems to have any female leaders, either. Both sit unbalanced.

I didn't mean to have a diatribe on religion, how inadequate it is or to criticize people's faiths. What I am actually doing is research on is the new moon. I am thinking about January 1st again, and how it marks the "New Year". I'm still thinking how ridiculous it is to try and begin the New Year and resolutions in the dead of winter. I am still thinking of the true meaning of Epiphany and about New Moon celebrations in Sami, Kefalonia, Greece. I am finding out how in ancient Babylon, their New Year began with the first New Moon/first visible Crescent Moon after the Vernal Equinox. And trying to tie it all together with how human beings are severed from their natural beings, Mother Nature and ancient traditions.

But somehow, all the above emerged instead. Sometimes, it's a straight shot, but other times intuition saunters us on our path.

As always, thanks for reading.

25 February 2009

Thurman sez...

Check out the nice comment Thurman gave me yesterday at Random Abstractions "Is Anyone Else Having Trouble Posting Comments?"

Mardi Gras Should be the New, New Year's Eve

Oh come on, let's face it, very few people keep their New Year's resolutions. By the time January 20th rolls around, many people have abandoned the ridiculous attempts to keep in line with those resolutions. Making New Year right in the dead center of the Dark Days needs rethinking.

Traditionally, the winter was a time for rest. When we lived in a more tribal time in tune with Earth, the dark cold winter days and nights sent us indoors. The ground and animals rested. We rested until the light of day grew longer then we emerged like sleepy hungry bears ready to begin the cycle again.

The Dark Days begin after Halloween when, suddenly, the days are markedly shorter. That's when the debauchery begins with the feasting of candy on Halloween. Next we move into the gluttony of Thanksgiving which marks the beginning of the holiday season, and for another month, we spend our time gorging.

By New Years, we may be ready for a change. So we try to set resolutions in motion, but our cell memory of a different time is still too strong. Many of us fail.

Mardi Gras happens anywhere from the middle of February to the middle of March depending on where Easter falls in any given year, and the parties begin about three weeks before the actual day of Fat Tuesday. Around Groundhog Day, February 2, the days are markedly longer.

When the days grow longer and Spring emerges, a new sense of renewal arises. We could mark New Year at Groundhog Day, but even sometimes the groundhog is too sleepy to admit that Spring is encroaching. Besides, at that point, Mardi Gras celebrations are beginning. Many of us just aren't ready to let go of the Dark Days.

Mardi Gras is a time of full on debauchery. Having lived in New Orleans for two years, I can attest to this from first hand experience. It is a time to truly get it all out of your system. It is one last gluttonous blow-out before the season of Lent begins. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Lent marks the 40 days before Easter, not counting Sundays for reasons listed on Wikipedia, of which I don't recall learning. I can't speak for other faiths, but Catholics, who started it all, have to give something up, abstain, for those 40 days before Easter. I was always taught that it was to show God how much we revered Him. It's also supposedly to represent the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fighting of the temptations of the devil.

But I'm not here to try and find or give an opinion on the true history of Lent. I could care less.

What I am saying is that the start of lent, after a season of rest and or debauchery ending in the big bang of Mardi Gras marks a much more sensible time to begin resolutions. Seasonal depressions lift as the days grow longer. Longer days mean that it will soon be warming up which makes it a hell of a lot nicer to go outside and get out of the cave. In the natural world, everything is changing. It's a good time for us to make changes, too.

That's my intuitive opinion.

As always, thanks for reading.

24 February 2009

Garden Jitters

It's that time of year when gardeners begin to feel edgy. The long winter nights have finally turned as the days are noticeably longer. We begin to feel that the time is near to begin in the garden. Knowing that timing for planting is an essential key, the anxiety starts to build. For beginning gardeners, timing can seem like a daunting task. For experienced gardeners, timing can seem like a daunting task.

Hopefully the seeds have been ordered, and if they haven't already arrived, are soon to be in the mailbox. If seeds haven't been purchased, there is still a little time before the early spring crops go in the ground. When I first started gardening, I sat down after receiving my first seed order and worked out a chart as to when to plant. Then when I worked at Beardsley Farm under Sabrina DeVault, I benefited greatly from her years of farming experience.

I have compiled a chart of planting and starting dates for this area, Knoxville, Tennessee which is technically agricultural zone 6B, but in recent years, it has been more like 7A. If you are someplace else reading this and you don't know your zone, the Arbor Day Foundation can help. You will then need to adjust the dates for your zone. These dates are approximated. I encourage each gardener to keep a journal and find what works best for your area or yard.

Everything revolves around the last frost date which is around April 20 for THIS zone. This date is not written in stone. Plants that go in the ground before last frost shouldn't be effected, but it is especially important for transplants that may suffer severely if the temps drop too low while they are in the ground. Plants that are started indoors should be planted after last frost. You just have to keep a careful eye on the weather.

I have split the chart into two sections; direct and indirect sowing by date of activity. Direct sowing is when you put the seed directly in the ground. Indirect sowing is when you start the seed indoors (or in a greenhouse) before the last frost. If I haven't included something, that is because I don't grow it or haven't had much luck with it. The Chart is a Microsoft Word Excel Chart.

SEED STARTING CHART

Hope this helps with the gardening jitters.

Thanks for reading.

23 February 2009

Seed Swap Meeting

Today, (February 22, 2009), at the Birdhouse in Knoxville a big group of folks came together to talk about what gardeners love to talk about this time of year...Seeds! The meeting started with a healthy 14 or so around the table, but soon grew to a group of about 25.

Topics of discussion included, but not limited to, seed saving, heirloom seeds, hugelkultur and probably lots of other stuff. Of course, I didn't take notes, but anyone is encouraged add what they learned and what I forgot in the comment section.

Then the funnest part of all, we swapped and shared seeds.

I have started a group Seed Sharing and Swapping for anyone who would like to continue today's dialog. You can also use the group if you have seeds to share/swap or if you are looking for seeds.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and especially to Shelagh for putting the event together and Katie for opening the Birdhouse for us to use. Katie, I hope you post the photos you took!

Inserting the Feminine

"I believe today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul." Henry Rollins

That's how I read most books searching for that little bit of information that will take me to the next step. Books hold different meanings for different people. I can read a book and think certain passages are quite profound; whereas the next person will find completely different passages enlightening.

Fellow blogger, Thurman, suggested a book for me to read. Our crappy library in town didn't have the book that he recommended, but had other books by the same person. The book I am currently reading, Paramahansa Yogananda In the Sanctuary of the Soul A Guide to Effective Prayer is a book like that will mean many things to many different people.

When I first opened the library book, someone had underlined what was apparently important and meaningful passages...to them. The person marred the book in, thank goodness, pencil. My first order of business was to undo with my pink pearl the vandalism done onto this library book.

Yes, books and words can have a profound effect on us. As a writer, that's the effect that I hope to have on others, but it's really uncool to write in a library book. Buy the book and mark it up if you must. Better yet, take notes in a journal. Make comments and reflections. I guarantee that it will mean more in the future if you ever revisit it.

Okay, with that said and off my chest I would like to share with you how some of the personal ore in this book has got me reflecting.

Paramahansa Yogananda states, "The world's various religions are based more or less on the beliefs of man."

Wow. I love validation. In an earlier post, I commented how all writings (referring specifically to the bible) can be manipulated and that I refuse to accept a religion that is based on a book written by man. For the very reason that Paramahansa Yogananda states. Books are written by people and people slant their writings to what they personally believe. Even me.

I'm not saying that the bible is a wash. It's the perfect book with mystery, advice, myth, historical fiction, drama, history, etc, but to take the translation literally and tell folks that they are going to hell if they don't believe the bible is the salvation etc, etc, etc seems a little over the top for me.

Paramahansa Yogananda has some great thoughts. As I read though, I am having to look past his use of primarily God as a male figure using words like "He ,Him, and Father." I consider the Divine to be gender neutral neither male nor female as we know male and female.

Even Paramahansa Yogananda says that we are created in God's image and that we are children of God. He teaches, "You are an immortal being. You are neither a man nor a woman, as you may think, but a soul, joyous, eternal." If we are created in God's image and we are neither a man nor a woman, than God is neither a man nor a woman.

Many people are writing about the Goddess and reconnecting with the Divine Feminine within themselves. It wasn't too long ago that the feminine along with the masculine thrived in all of us and was the norm. As folks awaken to the Feminine Spirit, many good changes will happen on this Earth. As we heal, the Earth heals.

I am not criticizing Paramahansa Yogananda. He tells the truth. I am saying that when reading him, try to see past the weighted usage of masculine terminology and allow the feminine aspect of the Divine to speak through his teachings, too. He writes, "We have seemingly become separated from our Father...(the reason for yoga is) to regain the lost paradise of soul consciousness by which man knows that he is, and ever has been, one with Spirit."

It is more than that we, as humans, feel that we have become separated from our Father. The bigger problem is that we have allowed ourselves to feel cut-off from Mother. It is through the reconnection with the Divine Spirit, masculine and feminine aspects that we reach soul consciousness, which has never left us. The Divine Feminine is like the tiniest of seeds and once the seed is planted, begins to grow whether one is aware of it or not. Once the light enters the dark chasm, there is no more darkness.

As always, I feel immense gratitude to fellow scribes and philosophers for without their courage to share their wisdom and thoughts, the ore may remain buried.

As always, thanks for reading.

19 February 2009

Ophiuchus Awakening?

Yesterday was my birthday, and a part of my personal celebration was to see where the moon was on Her cycle to see how She may have influenced me. The chart stated that She was in Ophiuchus (Oh-Fee-You-Kuss). Of course, I had no idea what that meant, so today, I looked it up.

Whoa. I am no astronomer nor astrologer, but it seems that there are thirteen zodiacs instead of the normal twelve. Ophiuchus is, the tenth real sun sign according to Dr Shepherd Simpson, Astrological Historian. (Note: You will have to cut and paste. For some reason, the website refuses to link. http://www.reocities.com/astrologyconstellations/ophiuchus.htm )

The addition of Ophiuchus shuffles the zodiac. According to Dr. Simpson, Pisces is the first of the zodiacs and Aquarius is the last of the zodiacs. The dates change, too. His work is copyrighted so I'm not going to cut a paste the chart at the end of his article which has the thirteen sun signs with their respective dates. I am still an Aquarius, but instead of being at the tail end of the zodiac date for Aquarius, I am now at the beginning. My son, is not a Scorpio, but a Libra.

So who is Ophiuchus? I'm going to do my best to keep it simple. It is a typical Greek drama. After reading several sources, this is how I have pieced it together:

Ophiuchus, in Greek mythology, was Asklepios who is the Greek God of physicians and healing.

Asklepios is the son of Apollo and Coronis, who was a mortal. Apollo had his sister, Artemis, kill Coronis because she fell in love with Ischys and wanted to hang with him instead of Apollo. Apollo saves the baby, Asklepios, and gives him to Chiron, the centaur, to raise. Chiron taught him the art of medicines/potions and surgery.

Asklepios lived as a mortal, but is regarded as a deity who gave birth to several children including the Goddess Hygieia (Hygiene anyone?). Zeus killed Asklepios, but why is a bundle of mixed up stories.

The bottom line is that Asklepios brought someone back from the dead (some claim it was Orion) with a Divine elixir (the Elixir of Life?), and Zeus hit him with a thunderbolt as punishment for violating the natural order of the world. Now why did Zeus put Ophiuchus in the sky as a constellation if he disrupted the natural order?

In my favorite interpretation, this is the true reason why Zeus killed Asklepios:

Hades of the Underworld, didn't like Asklepios and his elixir because this elixir would keep folks from dying and put Hades out of business. Hades appeals to his brother Zeus to put an end to Asklepios. Zeus, part of the good-old-boy network, obliges and kills Asklepios, but gives him a constellation between the Scorpio and Orion to honor him. The end.

So much drama, so little time. The bottom line is that Asklepios, as Ophiuchus, sits in the sky between Scorpio and Sagittarius.

Some people also link Ophiuchus with the ancient Egyptian, Imhotep, architect, healer and major magician lineage holder.

So what does all this mean? If you follow Astrology, it could change everything. Chances are that astrologers won't change the 12 signs that rule over the 12 houses of the zodiac to add a 13th. Betty Matteson Rhodes lists Ophiuchus' attributes but her calendar still has the first sign of the zodiac as Aries and the last sign as Pisces, which clashes with Dr. Shepherd Simpson, Astrological Historian's calendar, which begins with Pisces and ends with Aquarius. You can decide for yourself which calendar you would like to follow.

Some people are linking his discovery to the fateful 2012 stating that the constellation, Ophiuchus, will sit above the Sun at the winter solstice of 2012 making it an important constellation with respect to the Galactic Alignment of 2012. Dr. Simpson states, though, that the Great Galactic Alignment happened on 12-21-1997.

I have no way of tying all this together for you, at least not right now nor in this blog post. If you find this information interesting, I encourage you to do some research. Let me know what you find. If you already know something, please educate me more. Otherwise, I'll continue at my pace of continuing research and blogging about it if I find something interesting.

As always, thanks for reading.

Update: 13 January 2011

The news of Ophiuchus really hit the networks and internet today. Here is another good article I found written in 2007: The 13th Sign: Ophiuchus

Hair and the Moon Cycles

There are times when we get the itch to go crazy on our hair. I can't recall how long ago I heard that if one wants long hair, cut on the full moon. For a very long time, I scheduled my hair appointments on the full moon with varying results. This hypothesis of cutting only on the full moon has some validation. If the itch to lob off those locks becomes irresistible, waiting for the full moon creates patience, and maybe the urge has time to pass leaving your lengthening hair in tact.

Being the curious creature that I am, I went on a hunt for further validation to this myth. I found several websites, but this one, Long Hair Lovers Moon Maintenance, is my favorite.

Towards the bottom, is a list of moon cycles in each zodiac. The moon spends about 2 1/2 days each month in each zodiac. This list describes what happens if you cut, perm, color or whatever in each cycle. It even has nutrition education to assist in growing healthy hair.

The Farmer's Almanac keeps up with the moon cycle. It updates itself so you (and I) can keep a watchful eye on the skies.

It may seem a bit daunting, but soon, I believe that you won't need to go back and reference everything at Long Hair Lovers. You will somewhat memorize their list and only have to reference the chart. First, read the list on Long Hair Lovers. Second, decide what you want for yourself. For example, I want to grow waist long hair. My hair is naturally thick. From reading, I know that I should cut my hair when the moon is moving from the new moon into the full moon and at the same time moving through Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces. So now, I just watch the Farmer's Almanac.

By looking at today's calendar, the moon is currently in Sagittarius and waning. The new moon begins on February 24, 2009 and waxes until March 10th. My rough calculations tell me that the moon will be moving through Pisces around the 25th and 26th which seems to be a good time to cut. I'll be sure to watch the moon phase though. If I miss and go to early, Aquarius would be a very poor time for me to cut, but a great time for anyone who wants a new trendy individualistic style or color. If I am late, Aries is not a good time to cut for those trying to grow long hair, but again, a great time for those who want short sporty styles or a bob.

Through Long Hair Lovers and the Farmer's Almanac, you can devise a hair care plan to grow or create the type of hair that you would like. If you are having trouble figuring it all out, contact me and I'll do my best to help you, but I'm no pro. I'm just figuring this out for myself, too. The biggest challenge is getting the moon phase right on those 2 and a half days. But if you (or I) screw up, the good news is that it won't be long before the moon moves through the right phases again to fix it up.

Yes, this is quite different from my usual serious writings, but I like to have fun, too. And really, with some math involved, it helps keep the plaque of the brain!

Have fun and, as always, thanks for reading.

16 February 2009

This Ain't Paul's Androgynous...

Androgynous. Since the early 1990's, I have felt a kin to androgyny. Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, wrote the song Androgynous which may have been the first time that I heard of the concept of Androgyny and began my research.

I have been aware of my own androgyny from a young age. I knew that I was female by my genitalia, but I exhibited traits of both gender stereotypes. I was often referred to as a tomboy. I had a deep voice, for which I was criticized so I learned to speak in a more "girlie" voice. Clothes weren't important. I preferred styles and colors that could be worn by either gender and that were loose and comfortable. My sexuality wasn't a problem, to me. I experimented with both girls and boys at an early age, but was "caught". I was spanked for playing "married" with a little girl, but only scolded and warned when I was caught playing an imaginative "doctors and patient on a deserted island" with two little boys. I was the willing patient. Current day, I consider myself heterosexual. Some people may say this is because the bi-sexuality that I exhibited at a young age was punished and curbed, and this may be the case, or not. I'm not worried about it or looking to re-define my sexual desires, nor am I looking for someone else to do it for me.

I have felt when people are naturally uncomfortable around me. Male and Female. I thought maybe that it was because of my strong will or sometimes my attractiveness, but as I research, I believe that some folks my sense my androgyny. I carry the femininity of a woman, but the iron will and emotional strength of a man. I have been seen as a warrior, a fighter. Even some of my features are slightly masculine like my over-large hands, but I am undeniably female on appearance.

A common misconception is that androgynous people are bi-sexual. Some may be bi-sexual, but not all of them are. Some may be homosexual or heterosexual. It's a matter of choice or personal preference.

Wikipedia states that when the word was created, that it was probably used "as an alternative to the Greek Pagan-related usage of hermaphrodite." The term "hermaphrodite" refers to the marriage of the archetypal male and female (Hermes + Aphrodite who are Zeus' children). Today the term hermaphrodite is used to describe people who are born with both male and female reproductive organs and occurs in all species, not only humans. A hermaphrodite might exhibit androgynous traits, but not all people who relate to androgynism are hermaphrodites. Unfortunately, most of the online sources for etymology and definitions associate the two with each other exclusively without explaining the true essence of the Greek-Pagan usage.

Androgyny has to do with the nature of a person. Androgynous is an adjective meaning having the nature of both male and female, and seems to be a trait of human beings, solely. Online sources give a much different meaning to the term, 'nature' including, but definitely not limited to my following interpretations and possible slight plagiarism:

Essence; disposition; temperament; a creative and controlling force in the universe; the existing way of things; the world of matter; the world of matter and mind; the creation; the universe; the essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing.*

The Online Etymology Dictionary(for Androgynous)states:

"1628, from L. androgynus, from Gk. androgynos, 'male and female in one,' from andros gen. of aner 'male'+ gyne 'woman'. Androgyne is attested from 1552."

The term "Androgyne", googled, conveys more information.

Angelfire.com expresses the following:

"The Nature of the androgyne entails a(n) union of opposites within …To live the androgyne Nature is to experience the breadth of human being-ness. It is through the process of becoming self aware that the individual is enabled to embrace and integrate the (apparently) opposite poles of the psyche, thus awakening the Nature of the androgyne within her/his consciousness. In this manner... become One within the person and renewed in the Spirit of the mind (hence, the soul/psyche and, in varying degrees, the body -- please, understand that…this internal transformation does not imply overt changes in one's physical [e.g. sexual] characteristics)."

The Native Americans recognized the existence of Two-Spirited people. According to McGill University, prior to colonization and the imposition of foreign churches views and values, native persons believed not only in a distinctly male and a distinctly female gender but also a male-female gender or what is known as Two-Spirited. 'Two-Spirited', when Googled, results in websites featuring information for Native Americans who are gay. Native Americans and the article from McGill mention that the concept relates to today's "gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons of Native origins".

The goes on to explain:

"Traditionally, the Two-spirited person was one who had received a gift from the Creator, that gift being the privilege to house both male and female spirits in their bodies."

Two-Spirited describes what we know to be androgyny. There is also the term berdache which is used interchangeably with Two-Spirit. Some Native Americans find the term, berdache, term to be offensive and derogatory. The etymology of the word is complex coming from French from Spanish from Italians via Arabic from Persian. Its basic meaning could be interpreted as "kept boy; prostitute; prisoner; passive homosexual partner; pretty or feminine boy". When Spanish, French and European explorers came to shores of the new world and began to explore, they found a most interesting phenomenon. They found boys dressed as and working as women. They soon attached the term we know today as Berdache. Yet, the Native American Berdache is very different from the European thought of "berdaj".

Corey Mondello describes:

"Two-Spirit People, or one called a 'Berdache', or even one of the 'third gender', are individuals not categorized as either gay or lesbian, transvestite or bisexual. Those who, in many Native American Cultures, who are respected and looked upon as people who are both male and female, making them more complete, more balanced than simply a man or a woman. Before those from Europe came from across the waters, and took over their land, these people were part of the 'norm', connected with the very heartbeat of the life force we are all part of."

Nu-Woman.com explains:

"Unlike European Americans, gender or sexual divergence did not threaten the Indians…The term berdache is, of course, a generic one, as they were called by different -terms depending on the tribe. They were "winktes" in the Lakota Sioux, "Nadle" in Navaho tribes, "Shamans" in the Mojave and "Mahu" in the Polynesian culture of Tahiti…Since the berdache could mix characteristics of both genders, they were viewed as having a special status as if blessed by the gods. They were thought to be the "middle gender," and seen as prophets and visionaries having an almost mystic and psychic vision into the future. They were often consulted by tribal elders and chieftains because they were thought to have a kind of "universal knowledge" and special connection to the 'great spirit'."

A website named Reconnections states:

"The term Berdache is a French European application of an ancient tradition which spans many reality contexts. It is a GIFT, an ability that has become an entire state of consciousness. In a nutshell, these dear people have the capacity---usually from birth--- to feel into both sides of the human polarity spectrum…They are those individuals who, because of their essential energetic androgyny, have the power to enter the Otherworld. This is NOT a sexual orientation. It is spiritual. Some Berdache are gay, but that is more a choice of action, a preference, than it is a mandate for the usage of this gift…The Berdache are the highest shamans, healers, teachers, diviners, dreamers, prophets, and guardians of the Gateway. To them, sexuality is nothing more than an extension of their spiritual being. If their energy was not used for this purpose, they would develop a blockage or build-up… The priestesses in the Temples of the Goddess were often Berdache. Though they often lived "normal" lives---having husbands and families---they would choose, at key times to go and live at the Temple, devoting many hours, days, weeks to worship of the Goddess."

There may always be a contingency that feels completely uncomfortable with Androgyny. Somehow, they may feel, though history shows otherwise, that an androgynous person is a slight against God. We can't be slighted against God, because all humans are divine.


* AR Dictionary; Merriam-Webster Online; The Free Dictionary

13 February 2009

On Valentines's Day, Friends Let Friends Blog Naked...

My very good friend and naked blogger, BB Mumblings, wrote Affluenza and the Economy Bubble on her blog, Dither yesterday.

It is a good lesson to read on the eve of the biggest made up holiday for spending the money we ain't got...

St. Valentine. Who is St. Valentine? I grew up Catholic with lessons in saints everyday, and even I don't recall a discussion on St. Valentine. I asked a friend of mine who is educated in realms of philosophy, imagination and mysticism, and at the top of his head couldn't think of whom St.Valentine might be either.

History.com whose motto reads, "History Made Every Day", but should read, "History Made-up Every Day", based their lesson on Christian literalistic myth, so they don't even get linked. The Christian literalists stole everything they know from the Gnostics and Pagans. I would like to know which Pagan holiday St. Valentine's Day actually revolves around.

So, let's try again. Who is St. Valentine in regards to the Pagans? Of all places! I found an interesting beginning to my research at a website entitled, Biblestudy.org who attributes the celebration to the Pagan Romans. The festival which took part on the evening of the 14th and on the 15th of February honored Lupercus, who was known as "The Hunter of Wolves", and was known as Lupercalia. BibleStudy.org describes the festival as "idolatrous and sensuous" and as an ancient pagan practice of boys and girls hooking up and which "usually led to fornication". Wow. But we know that the Romans stole everything they know from the Greeks. So let's try again.

Who is Lupercus? The Encyclopedia of Gods confirms that He is indeed the God of wolves, Roman and celebrated in the festival of Lupercalia on the 15th of February.

According to several sources including, but not limited to, Herman L. Hoeh in his essay entitled, WHERE DID St. Valentine's Day come from? states that "The Greeks called Lupercus by the name of Pan."

So, let's go deeper? Who is Pan? So, again, The Encyclopedia of Gods states that Pan is the "God of shepherds and personification of undisciplined procreation in nature." Whoa. So when is procreation in nature ever disciplined?

Since Christian literalism took hold. (That's a personal opinion, by the way.)

Besides the written work of a few sources who may be borrowing from each other without actually citing each other (I found some plagiarism.), I really didn't find a connection between Lupercus and Pan except from a brief excerpt from this site. It states that Luperca'lia and "all the ceremonies with which it was held, and all we know of its history, shows that it was originally a shepherd-festival..." This may link Pan to the Roman holiday, since Pan is the Greek God of shepherds.

Hoen goes on to say: "The Semites called Pan, Baal." I'm really finding no evidence that Pan was known as Baal.

Interesting enough, a search for "st. valentine's day + pagans" brought me to the dreaded Wikipedia where I did find some interesting information which is enough to convince me to abandon my efforts to try and link St. Valentine's Day to any Pagan ceremonies.

Wikipedia brings evidence from Professor Jack Oruch of the University of Kansas. Professor Oruch observes: "While it is a common opinion that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to Christianize celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia, no connection has been demonstrated."

And since this has been an exhausting search, I am willing to agree with Oruch.

Yes, it seems that St. Valentines day is a made-up day for romance and has been twisted by corporations to get you to buy shit. But you don't have to take my word for it. Go ahead and read about St. Valentine's day. I do suggest Wikipedia's explanation.

I think over-all that you will come to the same conclusion as me, and if not, let me know, please.

So, re-read BB Mumblings essay as linked at the beginning of this article to inspire you to think differently this Valentine's Day.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

09 February 2009

Pulling Gnosis from a Shell

In Sophia and the Classroom Called Earth, I wrote about how our path to Conscious, Gnosis or Knowledge is obscured by life events. The song "Pulling Mussels (from a Shell)" by Squeeze keeps running through my mind, but instead of singing, "pulling mussels from a shell", I am singing, "pulling Gnosis from a shell" because that is what it feels like at times.

It's like there is a mussel shell, closed tightly, with all the information bundled up in it. How do I pull the information from the shell?

Over the past year, I have talked to an intuitive counselor, not exactly on this subject, but about my own path. She revealed to me some truths that, at times, I still have a challenge assimilating.

She introduced me to my guides. I have two. One guide I met in a dream before I ever searched for counsel. He is a tall brown skinned warrior with black hair and a straight nose. His body is strong. He stands a head taller than me. He is my stabilizing force. In the dream, he challenged the question, "When are you going to embrace your heritage?" It took about two years before I discovered that African ancestry courses my blood.

My other guide is my great grandmother who I felt a strong bond, though I have not met on this Earth. It is from her lineage that my African ancestry comes. I have one photo of her taken with my grandfather when he was about four. He stands next to the seated woman with her arm around him. Her large hand with wedding band keeps him close. Neither of them smiles. Her mouth is turned slightly downward, but when I look at the photo, I am sure that I see her smiling. It is hard to tell what race she is.

She lived in North Carolina in a little town named Chadbourn. They were farm workers, though eventually, probably after my great grandmother's death, my great grandfather ran a roadside store and restaurant.

This is what my counselor had to say about her: "And she carries the wisdom of the sacred pipe. Okay. It's the sacred pipe, uh, the peace pipe, uh, Buffalo Calf Woman? Um, she's connected to White Buffalo Calf Woman, her energy."

This is the part that I have challenges assimilating.

White Buffalo Calf Woman manifested herself to the Lakota Indians of what is now South Dakota about 2000 years ago. As not to rehash the story, a beautiful rendition can be found here: White Buffalo Calf Woman at Goddess Gift

I didn't know any of this when my counselor revealed it to me. I went home and, as always, did my research. I felt disbelief. I returned to my counselor and challenged her statement saying and asking, "I am having a tough time digesting this. Having my great grandmother, with this energy, as my spirit guide would be for the Native Americans equivalent to a Christian saying that their guides have Jesus' energy. If she is indeed connected to White Buffalo Calf Woman and was born to this Earth and manifested as a human, how could she not know during her lifetime that she was indeed connected to White Buffalo Calf Woman?"

As I write this, I still feel challenged in my belief and at the same time, I don't want to dishonor any Native American beliefs as well as dishonor my own great grandmother.

My counselor's response was, "But dear, who are you?"

This is when I came to know what a harsh classroom the Earth really is, and I often feel that I'm pulling Gnosis from a shell.

Sophia and the Classroom Called Earth

The Earth is a hard classroom. To know thyself is a difficult challenge because life gets in the way. Before we come into the human state of being, we have created for ourselves a path, and then, we are born to this Earthly plane. Birth, in itself is a traumatic event, but we are born with clarity and remembrance of our true essence. As we age, social conditioning clouds us and the distance from our true essence and soul path widens. The hell on Earth begins.

I write this, because I have found yet another source to confirm my belief. In the book Jesus and the Lost Goddess, the authors write on page 87:

"Self-knowledge is not a spectator sport. The only way to know Christ- our shared essential identity- is to become a worthy bride- a mature initiate."

The above thought originates from the myth of Sophia. My condensed interpretation of the Myth... Sophia leaves her Father, comes to Earth (is born into a body), and falls into a difficult life having to endure rape and abuse at the hands of men. Becoming overburden with shame, she finds it difficult to leave her abusers who have left her with nothing but sickly children. She asks forgiveness from her Father and pleads that he brings her back to herself again. Her Father promises to send her brother, his first born son, to be her bridegroom.

Sophia prepares herself by leaving her abusers and washing herself. She changes her lifestyle, but she has moved so far from 'good' that she no longer remembers her brother. She perseveres dreaming of her lover at night. Eventually the bridegroom arrives, they unite to share a single life, and give birth to many good children.


We all long to birth something good, but we can only do this by knowing ourselves. Our essence is good and pure, but we become distracted along the way. When one begins that path of Gnosis, of knowing, of realization, there are feelings of anticipation. Like Sophia, will we know our true path or recognize that true essence when it presents itself to us?

Sophia is the path to our consciousness, to Christ. Christ, as the Gnostics knew Christ, is consciousness. Christ is knowing, thyself. Christ means 'anointed one' and is a Greek word from the Hebrew word 'messiah' which is another way of saying 'leader'. If we look at the meaning in this aspect, we are anointed ones and leaders of ourselves because Sophia is the path to Christ, consciousness, which is at the center of our beings.

Reviewing the book, Jesus and the Lost Goddess (pgs. 14 &15), the authors bring up the story of Exodus. They interpret, from Gnosis (knowledge, knowing, knowers), that Exodus is an allegory for leaving the old behind and discovering the soul or conscious. The crossing of the Red Sea symbolized Baptism as an initiation on the path to spiritual awakening.

What has happened to Exodus, as to what has happened with Gnosis, is that literalists interpreted these stories as un-embellished and as factual. If you have ever read Hopi or Navajo stories, one realizes they are metaphors for how to live life and not literal translations of actual events. Maybe it is easier to see this because the Native Americans often use animals instead of humans as their main characters. But it is the same thing. In the story of Exodus, Egypt symbolizes the body and leaving the idea that humans are merely a body and moving into the knowledge that humans are more than their physical bodies on Earth.

Again, we know this at birth. We have Gnosis, but life gets in the way. Teaching, brainwashing, fear, trauma, etc are all little bricks in the wall that pull us farther from our true essence, from consciousness, from Christ. Sophia is the path. She is the example of this. She ran away and was born into body. She suffered and endured and through the balance of self, dedication and perseverance recognized again, her Christ...her own anointment...the messiah and leader within herself. After realizing her own worthiness, she then was able to go forth and enact much goodness in the world.

The challenge with the myth above is not to translate it literally. That is what we have been trained to do, and that is how patriarchal literalism rose to wipe out most of what we may recall of the path of Gnosis in 431 when the Christian Council convened at Ephesus, ironically, the former main place of worship of the Pagan Goddess. At this meeting, the council decided to take the view of the Jewish Old Testament and of patriarchal monotheism. This placed God on the outside, as a literal father to please or displease. This put the power in the hands of men as this decision of monotheistic patriarchy wiped out equality of the sexes as the Gnostics practiced. The literal translation of Genesis portrayed women as evil descendants of Eve and not spiritual partners of men. This became the official religion of the 4th century Roman Empire. Christian literalism had the support of the Roman leaders and their troops. A horrific battle ensued against Pagans and Christian Gnosticism including the destruction of temples, writings and libraries. It included the slaying of human beings as well.

By the Romans adopting a monotheistic patriarchal view, the power of knowing thyself also came to an end. It took the power from the people. Christian literalist leaders did not want people to know that they themselves are anointed ones and leaders of their own knowledge. Anyone who dissented was labeled a heretic and killed. The Dark Ages ensued.

The Earth is a hard classroom, and obscures the path. I believe that this is why people abuse themselves in harmful ways or with harmful substance. People feel hopeless, but somewhere deep inside the conscious, there is slight memory of essence. There is knowledge of our heavenly divinity. Experiences on this Earth create a chasm that appears deep, gaping and impossible to cross. We ache to return home. The pain is unbearable so we do what we can to numb the loneliness until death.

I am not against Christians. I am against literalism. I am not afraid of the persecution or anger that may lash out at me due to my words, thoughts and beliefs. I, in the ancient world, would be a heretic. But in the eyes of whom? The eyes of people, not God. Everything we read is of the hands of humans. Every translation has the ability to be manipulated.

I think, specifically, of the stereotypical evangelical church where people are singing and praising Jesus in worship. I think that these folks have the Gnosis. I think that through their celebration of the Lord, that they know Christ within themselves. At the point of rapture during celebration, they may feel that they are more than a body on this Earth. They may actually feel themselves uplifted. The spiritual happening is real. They have Gnosis. And who can blame them for wanting to share this knowledge. These feelings are for everyone, but there is no one set recipe. As each of us are unique and different, so are the paths of knowing.

I, personally, can not support a faith that states that the only way to God (Gnosis) is through the literal translation of a book that was written and manipulated by man. The bible says exactly what the monotheistic patriarch wants it to say. It is fear based and lacking in ethics of equality for the sexes, other faiths, social classes, animals and other points of view. I do not believe that I am going to hell because I do not believe in the literal translation of the bible. I do not see it as the work or word of God or Gnosis. I see it as the work of men, some of which give good advice, and some who have twisted, eliminated and changed words and passages to support their efforts of control.

For almost 2,000 years we are governed by this one path and by its set of social standards. The rules of the bible are the rules of society. The separation of church and state is a farce. We still live in the Dark Ages. Christian literalism is a way of keeping us spiritually enslaved. The workings and ethics of the world are based in it. Christian literalism pretends to be the foundation, but is more the roof that needs replacing. It is not the foundation nor even the walls, but the cap that keeps some of us repressed. There is a deeper truth, and older knowledge which Christian literalism is based. That is the Gnosis that I search.

The battle for Truth still ensues. The Light grows, even as I write. As one person knows and shares the knowledge, the Gnosis, and another learns and accepts it, it grows. I am grateful to all who have tried to keep the path intact in whatever means possible, especially those who are committed to print. To my fellow scribes, I am forever indebted.

06 February 2009

Cats Revered and Persecuted

My friend's loathing of cats has inspired a little research on my part.

Many know that cats were highly revered in ancient Egypt, which started as a symbiotic relationship between cats, humans and nature. Cats killed the rats that lived, ate and pooped in the grain stored by the Nile river. Eventually, the cat came to be worshiped and the Goddess Bastet arose. Cats were highly regarded and mummified upon death. It was against the law to export cats, but eventually, the Greeks and Romans took cats to most of Europe to kill rat populations. They were also prized rodent catchers in China, India and Japan.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. Somewhere along the way, in the Middle Ages in Europe, the perception of cats changed. Cats were viewed as evil and thought of to have powers of black magic. People who had cats were suspect to witchcraft and wickedness and often put to death with their cats. Cats were hunted, tortured and sacrificed. Cats were sealed into walls of buildings and houses believing that this would bring good luck.

(Cats were viewed as evil, yet sealing one in the wall would bring good luck? That's some pretty backward assed thinking. I'm sure it smelled real good, too when the carcass began to rot.)

Well, it goes without saying that the rodent population soon got out of hand and a lot of people died from disease…karma.

I was thinking that as Christianity spread in Europe, that any link to Goddess worship was seen as evil. The cat was linked to the Egyptians and to the very Goddess, Bastet. I thought that the destruction of cats was, yet, another way to destroy anything to do with the natural world and nature religions. Then I read that Cardinal Richelieu, (1585 - 1642) liked cats and by the 1800's cats were in vogue again. That blows my hypothesis since a member of the Catholic Church was a noted cat lover.

Cardinal Richelieu did take out the Protestant Huguenots. That was a big bloody battle, but, hey, he did do a lot for the reputation of the cat.

04 February 2009

On Righteousness

Here is the link to the work of my new best friend, Epiphanes as written by Clement of Alexandria.

These are not the direct words of Epiphanes, but fragments which have been further manipulated (I believe) by Clement of Alexandria. Though Clement was a Gnostic, he highly disapproved of the Gnostics openness with sexuality, I think in part because he may have held an unhealthy fear of the Christian Literalists of Rome and Alexandria who stressed a different type of morality, monogamy.

I think that Clement twisted the words of Epiphanes so the work and the Gnostics would be labeled as heretics since Clement's own "amailagam" (what ever this means, I haven't a clue...the closest interpretation I can gather is "poisoning") was later used to help "define the orthodox sexual morality of the church". (The Making of Fornication by Kathy L. Gaca pg. 273)

After reading that Clement "cites and denounces" ( by Gaca) On Justice in Stromaties, I am convinced that Clement, even though of Gnostic background, is on the side of the Literalists. He's a traitor.

According to Gaca, Clement and Epiphanes had conflicting views. Sex was a hot topic in the second century and was the main topic of conflict between the two men. Epiphanes leaned toward the views of Plato and the early Stoics which believed in communal sexual lifestyle (for if you recall, all are equal). Clement supported Cristian monogamy and expressed that monogamy was the very basis to which sexually active Christians must adhere. Both men truly believed that "their respective views of sexual morality and social order reflect the true spirit of Christianity".

Epiphanes died around the age of seventeen and was somewhat younger than Clement. Though very young, by modern standards, Epiphanes shows great wisdom. I can imagine that Clement wasn't too pleased by this young 'punk' who debated with his elders. I can imagine that Clement was not a fan of dissent, as well.

If none of Epiphanes' writings exist outside of Clement of Alexandria's own writings, and the two men had conflicting views, why on Earth would I trust Clement to give us an accurate portrayal of Epiphanes' writings?

I am sure, more now than ever, that Clement tried to destroy Epiphanes opinions over this conflict of sexual morality. Gaca discusses how the Christians that went on to be the "fathers" of the church sided with Clement. This is the side that men are heads of household and women are subordinate to their husbands and, subsequently, men. Epiphanes supported the egalitarian and communal sexual roles. The Church didn't like this and "tried to silence other Christian Platonists, like Epiphanes, who offered alternatives". The Christian Literalists could not have a split religious empire and, even today, doesn't allow for personal choice without the condemnation to hell.

Gaca writes about Epiphanes, "His egalitarian sexual principles thus have a genuine Christian motivation, even though they have been widely misrepresented since antiquity as the prurient fantasies of a libidinous heretic."

So, they did what they could to destroy him. How far did they go? He died so young, but it is not said how. Could foul play be involoved?

Critics of Epiphanes have gone so far as to label him a "nasty minded adolescent". (Footnote from The Making of Fornication pg. 276 footnote 6). This view has spread to The Columbia Encyclopedia which views Epiphanes and his father as "notoriously licentious".

It seems that the level of hatred started by Clement still courses literature. I find it humorous now that G.R.S. Mead (as mentioned in More on Epiphanes doubts the existence of Epiphanes.

Such hatred is not born of legend.

03 February 2009

More on Epiphanes

Epiphanes. Who is he? Since reading about him yesterday, I need to know more. His work strikes me deep.

My first instinct is to note the obvious. The name Epiphanes sounds a lot like the word Epiphany. According to the Oxford Dictionary, Epiphany is when Jesus manifested himself to the gentiles. Bartleby.com says the same thing but adds that it is a Christian feast taking place on January 6 which celebrates this manifestation as "represented by the Magi."

Pause. So many thoughts come to me with this. Let me dig through the dusty closed trunks of my memory. I believe that the Magi are the wise men from the East who came to visit Jesus. This celebration marks the day the Magi actually arrived at the Manger. (I may have another lesson on Magi tomorrow…too much to go into now.)

The twelve days of Christmas are bookmarked by Christmas and the Epiphany.

When I look at the actual etymology of Epiphany, it is middle English form French from late Latin from Greek from the word manifestation; epiphainesthai. Epi means (Greek) at, on, to, upon, over, besides. Phanesthai, means to reveal or unveil. According to Encyclopedia Britannica: phainesthai (Greek) is 'to show itself' or 'to be in the light'.

Why do I find this intriguing? Because it shows roots between the Catholic/Christian faith and the Greeks whose own 'myths' stem from Egyptian beliefs. This isn't new news. I am constantly reminded in my research how many links there are between the Christian Literalists, the writers of the bible and creator of Christian tradition, and the Pagan Gnostics own writings and celebrations. The Literalists, who, destroyed the Gnostics.

Back to Epiphanes, the man.

Some of what I find of him comes from the writing of Nathaniel Lardner in The Works of Nathaniel Lardner in Five Volumes. Before I can continue my research of Epiphanes, though, I must know who this Nathaniel Lardner is.

Wikipedia states that he lived from 1684 to 24 July, 1768 and was an English theologian. He worked for the Presbyterian church. Well, that explains why he located Epiphanes and his father, Carpocrates under the chapter "History of Heretics." Lardner's research comes from "Clement of Alexandria and other ancient Authors". Hmm. Fascinating.

What Lardner found out for me, is this:

Epiphanes was the son of Carpocrates of Alexandria and Alexandria of Cephalene (Cephallenia). He died at 17 but not before writing an essay entitled On Justice and On Righteousness. Upon his death, he was honored as a god at Samē on the island of Cephalene in a new moon celebration. Allegedly, a stone temple with and alter, groves and museum were erected.

Lardner goes on to try and discredit Clement calling him a heathen for participating in such idolatrous worship of Epiphanes. He is sure the temple was built by heathens as well. He states that the Epiphanes to whom the credit was given was really some other person and not Epiphanes son of Carpocrates, "the Christian heretic". He thinks this because there is not hardly any mention of Epiphanes in historic literature by other 'ancient' authors. He also states that it was not customary for Christians to build temples in the "former part of the second century, in which time Epiphanes is supposed to have died". (Yet, he thinks, surely the temple "must have been raised by heathens".)

Another writer, G.R.S. Mead even doubts the existence of Epiphanes stating it is an extraordinary legend created by Clement of Alexandria. He reveals that "the festival at Samē was in honour of the moon-god, and accompanied with licentious rites. It was called the Epiphany (τὰ Ἐπιφάνια) in honour of Epiphanes (ὁ Ἐπιφανής), the "newly-appearing one," the new moon". Mead goes on to say that Clement was badly confused by the similarity in name.

But who knows.

There is no trace of this work only fragmented lines preserved by, ironically, Clement of Alexandria (circa 160-215).


Taken from the Dictionary of African Christian Biography:

Epiphanes viewed the righteousness of God to be a sharing along with equality.

"But the implication of such "egalitarianism" could include sexual promiscuity, which Clement criticized, precisely for the libertarian notion of sharing wives. Epiphanes advocated a community of goods, going so far as to demand that women should like all other property be common to all."

In Jesus and the Lost Goddess, the authors talk about the Gnostics seeing "sexuality as a celebration of the union of God and Goddess". It is said that nudity may have been practiced as a sacrament and ritual intercourse may have existed. This is what may have led to Gnostics being portrayed as immoral.

According to the authors of Jesus and the Lost Goddess, Epiphanes wrote, "God created the delights of love equally for all humankind. But men have repudiated the very thing which is the source of their existence."

I don't know if I am any closer to knowing who Epiphanes may or may not have been. Only more research can tell.

That's my intuitive opinion inspired research for today.

I Suck Today.

Since the internet is down and I am unable to do any research, I would consider going to the library and doing things the old fashioned way, you know, through books. I would consider doing this, but I since it's a snow day, my child is home. I can barely sit here and try to pump out a few measly sentences before it's, "Mom? Mom! Mom? Mom!" Then whamo! Thought is gone.

How would we manage in a library? At least at home, we have toys and a TV, but in a library, nothing of the sort. The kids section is in the basement and all the research materials, that I would need, are on the first and second floors. The librarians in the kid's section don't take kindly to people dumping their kids off, either.

I feel shitty when I don't appreciate my kid. I have seen first hand what people go through when they lose a child. He wasn't even my little boy, and I'm still fucked up from it, too. He died two years ago at the age of five. I bet his mother would give her life to have one more day of being interrupted and nagged needlessly. I suck for being ungrateful.

This is a whiny complaining jerky blah of a blog entry.

I sometimes plug into music when writing. It helps with outside distractions. Unfortunately, the playlist I favor most is online, too, and remember, the DSL is shot.

I thought, maybe I'll research the dreams I had the other night…but alas, the dream dictionary I use is online, too.

Though I write intuitive opinion, I still need to research. Often when I have an idea, I go with the flow, but then I find myself wanting to know more. When I'm working on the novel, though fiction, it takes a certain amount of research. I keep about 3 or 4 tabs open on Mozilla with needed information on each one. Because when I do include facts, they will be accurate.

Even if I did write something of value, I have no way to publish with the DSL out of whack.

Ugh. Looks like a day off. I could go play in the snow, but I hate snow.

I just suck today.

02 February 2009

Epiphanes and the Divine Law of Life

Recently I wrote an essay entitled And the Layoffs Rise. I had no basis or argument to support my thoughts, but then nearly a week later, I read something that further explained and supported my views. I sometimes research topics, especially when I write about gardening. Some of my gardening articles are based on personal experience. Other times, especially when writing about the esoteric or spiritual realm, I express strict opinions. The definition states that opinion is a judgment or conclusion that's held without definitive or positive knowledge. My opinions stem from feelings or a contemplation as in the article mentioned. I may read something, but it triggers thought on something else. Whatever the case, my opinion usually stems arises with no prior knowledge or basis of thought on the subject, but then I find support for my thoughts. It is a complete surprise and relief because many of my opinions are not of the main stream. I usually write about the obscure and hidden. I am on the narrow and less traveled path, which is why I am so amazed when I find another researcher or intuitive opinionist that supports my opinion(s). This happens to me often, which further reiterates that even though I am unaware in my relatively conscious state, my channels are open.

When writing the aforementioned article, I mentioned communism which is a taboo subject in our society and main stream world. I had no prior knowledge of the word's etymology, but felt that by its composition, dealt with community and sharing. I researched the etymology of the word and the definitions but found instead that the path led first to the French word 'commun' which means common. Other definitions lead to what we know as communism being a restrictive government like Russia or China. I didn't quite know how to express what I knew to be true in my intuitive opinion. In my heart, I knew communism meant more about communing. Almost a week later, I read these words from the book Jesus and the Lost Goddess by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy who interpret the words of Epiphanes, who was an Egalitarian Christian Gnostic and son of Gnostic Master Carpocrates:

"He proposes a mystical anarchism which urges us to discover the natural goodness within ourselves and live according to our own essential nature. Being constrained by unnatural man-made laws stops us living in communion with the Divine Laws of Life."

Quoting Epiphanes in his essay entitled On Justice wrote, "When man forgot that community means equality and deformed it by laws, on that day, the thief was born."

How does this relate to And the Layoffs Rise and communism? The Egalitarian Christian Gnostics taught about liberty and equality. They lived in egalitarian communities. Property was held in common. Women and men were equals. As stated in Jesus and the Lost Goddess, "The Stoic school of Pagan Gnosticism developed the idea of the 'Politea of Zues' or 'Commonwealth of God', a community of equals living naturally in harmony with the divine order of things."

I mention these things to dispel the current flow of mainstream thought that Communism is evil. These societies lived in perfect harmony and came to their destruction by those who believed a literal translation of the gospels. They became known as heretics. The Christian Gnostics did not develop a religious hierarchy, but instead lived rejecting any external authority. They addressed each other as brother and sister and cast lots to select leadership roles and other roles in their community. Power was not restricted nor fused to one person or a group of people. Women carried equal positions as men, were clergy, and wrote gospels. This didn't go over well with the Christian Literalists nor, later the Roman Catholic Church.

And the Layoffs Rise makes mention of hierarchy. The world is in economic conundrum because of political hierarchy which has leans towards the religious right and is controlled by a few major corporations that truly run the world. It is this same hierarchy that has no regards for Earth and lessen environmental restrictions for 'the greater of humanity' to keep energy and production of useless items cheap. Yet, these same leniencies on environmental guidelines are causing the destruction of Earth and, thereafter, the human race.

The Gnostics lived in accordance with the divine order of things which I interpret to mean not only with each other but with Earth. Since the industrial revolution, humans have moved farther and farther from its oneness with Earth depending more and more on large scale commercial agriculture and the same big companies for food and goods. Before the industrial revolution, humans, to assure their own basic needs had to produce their own food (or buy/ trade from a local farmer). As folks left the farm to work in the city, and birthed each subsequent generation in these cities, humans moved further and further away from the land and their essential natures.

I believe we can solve all of today's problems by returning to the Earth for answers. I believe an egalitarian world as lived by the Gnostics will solve all of today's problems. The problem and why this won't happen is that humans have been taught that they can not survive without the hierarchy which is essentially greedy. This is the hierarchy that has destroyed others' religious freedoms for their own one god. It seems that all that is unjust stems from organizational hierarchy. I have noticed a direct correlation between lack of respect for Earth and the degradation of woman and other minorities. The great spiritual leader, Amma, has said, "There is also a deep connection between the way men destroy Mother Nature and their attitude towards women."

When a woman takes on the attributes of a man and tries to mimic the actions of men instead of acting of her true womanly essence and nature, she is not creating equality for herself and other women. She is as lost and as distant from her connection to Mother Nature as any man and appears a fool. She is living by the constraints of man-made law.

Anyone who lives in harmony with the natural cycles is living within the Divine Laws of Life as described by Epiphanes. It seems the hierarchy that fights so hard and expends so much energy against this is creating the most disharmonies of all, and frightfully for the world. The hierarchy will not embrace these natural concepts...the true origin of our humanity. Humankind will need to embrace and return to the Divine Law of Life or face their extinction.

And this is my intuitive opinion.