|The Urban Heart.
||[Dec. 21st, 2009|12:36 pm]
The Strong Eye
Happy Solstice, I am under the weather today and not feeling too hot. I am chugging down echenaica tea and gonna head up to Serpent Mound in Ohio for a solstice celebration. I hope the good spirits of the earth will heal my body so I can celebrate Christmas with my mother and family.|
Anyway. I have been meaning to write this essay since June but being a procrastinator, I have been dick-dodging this all summer and all fall. Now that it's Solstice and the start of a new decade. I decided it's time for this essay.
I am a practicing shaman, following the traditions of Druidry and Asatru. I don't want to usurp the paths of Natives so I stick to European traditions in an attempt not to appropriate cultures that are not mine to steal. Not to say I am not appropriating traditions of the Vikings and Celts but at least with that I am not pulling white privilege all over the god-damn place.
But this isn't about cultural appropriate which is another rant for another day. This is about living in the city and understanding magic and power of the city.
I've had the joy of growing up with a father that taught me a lot about the wonders of nature and how the Earth Mother provides and protects us (note my father never talks about Gaia he was very bigoted Christian conservative) how the stream speaks to us, the dancing of the trees in the wind. I fished and hiked with my father. I even caught a fish and had the honor of eating my kill. It was my father that in some way., lead me to be a pagan. Because I had the early education and the understanding how nature hold things together.
I understood the power of the lake, the forest and the hills. I hike in worship, pick up garbage from the trails in honor. I love my mother and I do all I can to honor her. However late after a meet-up group. I was given a ride back with from a friend, he was a good guy and I enjoyed talking to him. He was going on how I should do my totems (cockroach and rat) in a comic in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I laughed and chuckled and I told him about my childhood growing up in the woods. I even mentioned I spent a few weeks or a month in a tent in my back yard. Then he mentioned how fortunate I was to have those experiences and that the kids today growing up in the city surrounded by concrete and asphalt never knew the pleasures and lessons I had.
Now wait just a moment. Why do people assume that the city is dead? That Gaia just says "Whoops I can't be here bye-bye" and turns her green butt around soon she nears the city limits? I also had another experience growing up too. I learned that the city was alive. Just as the hills, lakes, rivers, woods, and swamps where. That Gaia shows up in the city in strange ways and she speaks to those who listen and appreciate both the power of city and how life morphs and changes. Does not dandelions grow up from the cracks in asphalt? Does not the trees beside the road shade us? Can't you see the runs and watersheds that pour in water into the rivers that they feed? I saw that. I saw that city was live with people, and pets and trains that never stop moving and highways constantly bringing people home. I never saw the city was dead and empty. I saw it as different and alive and for some a home. We shouldn't shrug our shoulders as parks and watersheds are polluted. We should pick up garbage and do what we can to honor Gaia with the city as well. Listen to the tiny voices of, centipede, squirrel, mouse, wren, and lizard.
The city is alive, we should take time to see and recognize that.