Red Tent Temple | What Was Given

Red Tent Temple Goddess Inspirations

The Red Tent Temple | What Was Given

Nov. 2015 by RM Allen, NHgoddess.com

Shortly after Halloween is national Red Tent Temple Day, so said a random post on Facebook. I had been away at the farm all summer and was missing my girlfriends badly. I needed to go to the well with my tribe. So I decided to host a Red Tent at my house in the village. What is Red Tent you ask? Red Tent Temples honor women’s blood cycles and women’s journeys and are held in a space that has been decorated to look like the inside of a red tent, as in ancient times. A room as safe and soft and red as the inside of a womb is created in which women can tell their stories, while other women bear witness. Once you leave the chaotic and creative hours in the Red Tent it is as if you are birthed once again.

I had been to two different Red Tent Temples before. My friend Melissa had invited me to my first Red Tent at the very beginning of my spiritual journey. She hosted them every once in a while, and since she is into the goddess, her home is awash in beautiful and sacred items which lent a sanctified air to the event. During the gathering time before the temple hour, the dining table was set with interesting introspective workstations featuring all kinds of nature and art to set the contemplative mood. In the living room area, she had creatively hung the red tent in a large and comfy room with prayer flags and comfy pillows, and a round altar with a candle in the center. Very comfy and serene and orgasmagical.

Much later, I visited another style of red Tent Temple at Rosemary Gladstar’s annual women’s herbal conference. Her conference is held at a lakeside summer camp and one of the cabins, always open to attendees, was set as a stunning Red Tent Temple. Between herbal workshops I slipped inside a few times that weekend to silently meditate. But now it was my turn to create a sacred space all my own. What fun! I crafted an invitation and emailed it out. Here it is…

*********

RED TENT TEMPLE

  • Doors open at 6:15 pm
  • Temple 7-8 pm
  • Workstations 8-9 pm

My dear sister goddesses – it has been a long time since we have been to the well together. Our separate journeys over the past three years have had dramatic effect. We are all more complete versions of our selves. It has been both exhilarating and exhausting! On national Red Tent Temple day I now call us back for a sacred meditative women’s circle. Red Tents honor women’s blood cycles and life stages. I will create a red tent in my home in a small room that seats eight in the style suggested by RedTentTempleMovement.com. The format for the night is as follows:

Arrive between 6:15 and 7pm, I will smudge you at the door. Please leave shoes and coats in the hallway (BYO slippers if you want to stay cozy.) Please enter silently. The temple is held in silence until 8 pm. The kitchen will be set with intuitive workstations featuring several decks of oracle cards and vision-board making items. Please feel free to have tea and work silently at a free station, or you may enter the temple with your tea and settle in and silently meditate.

At 7 pm we will enter the temple and open the circle with breath and prayer, and then we will pass the talking stone. Please begin by introducing yourself by honoring your own matriarchal lineage. Therefore, I will introduce myself as “Marie; my mother is Florence and my grandmother was Claudia.” You may only speak when you are holding the stone. You may speak on any subject. You may elect to not speak at all and just pass the stone on. I am suggesting a theme of “Incubation”, as I find many of us are contemplating the next big thing to manifest in our lives. ***Please respect that what is said the circle, stays in the circle***

At 8pm or thereabouts we will close the circle. You may then stay in the temple, or go to the kitchen for tea, soup, and more workstations. The silence is over, and this is now our time to chat!

Namaste`

RSVP Please

***

Red Tent Temple from that very night
Red Tent Temple from that very night

The invitations were all RSVP’d and the day dawned. I gathered all the bits of red, pink, and purple fabric from around the house in the form of blankets, sheets, tablecloths, and scarves and hung them against the walls in a small room. Many comfy chairs were gathered into a circle and draped with more blankets and throws to make it even more comfy, like a sleepover. A small glass table in the center of the circle was draped with a translucent white fabric with soft pink flocked butterflies and glowed from within by small white lights. When the lights were dimmed, this was the focal point of the room. Atop the altar were candles and various bits of nature. All of this sat warmly upon a beautiful red oriental rug.

The sun had just set and the women began arriving. As I brushed them at the front door with smoke from the sage-wand, I paid special attention to their feet. The feet that carry them through their workdays in sensible shoes, the feet they slip under the covers beside their lovers, the feet that are placed in the stirrups at the doctor’s office, the feet that brought them to my door that warm evening. The feet that carry them through their womanly journey on Walt Whitman’s long, brown path of life…leading wherever they choose.

Both their feet and mine join together tonight on the path that ancestral women-folk have walked before us for millennia. There is nothing new under the sun; birth and death, nurture and love, work and health -and all the ensuing dramas and joys and fears. The woman with the talking stick or stone is the only one allowed to speak, others simply witness in sacred silence until all have spoken their truth.

In the telling of our bad stories in such a safe space, feelings of inadequacy or failure (in its various guises) are assuaged by the circle-sisters. A silent power is given.

In the telling of our good stories in such a sacred space, buds begin to blossom and women are inspired by the circle-sisters. A silent gift is given.

What is said in the Red Tent, stays in the Red Tent, so I have no stories to relate to you from that particular delicious evening with my tribe at the well. But know this, they are your stories too, they are the stories of all women – past, present and future. The Red Tent Temple is transformational: the simple act of gathering in sacred space and speaking your truth out loud allows for transformation to begin.

Very orgasmagical indeed!

Goddess feet on her journey... leading wherever she chooses....she herself is good fortune!
Goddess feet on her journey… leading wherever she chooses…she herself is good fortune!

A Goddess in the Rainforest

A Green Goddess in the Rainforest

by RM Allen, author of the NH Goddess Chronicles series, 2015

Costa Rican waterfall jump
I jumped into this Costa Rican rainforest waterfall from the ledge…my braids are flying in mid-air!!

If you are a very green-minded person like me then perhaps you have spent some time thinking about the lungs of our planet, the rainforest. Recently I had an opportunity to visit Costa Rica and see the rainforest up close. It teems with life, which sometimes gets so close that you get the heebie-geebies! Is that giant grasshopper/frog/iguana real… or a statue? Yikes – it just moved.

Some family members were going to spend the summer there and invited us to visit. What luck! We had a fantastic time checking out the local flora and fauna and swimming in the 85 degree Pacific Ocean waters. 85!!!! I never considered that ocean water could be so warm. Those huge warm waves crashed over me again and again and thawed my chilly New Hampshire bones.

Costa Rica borders Panama and is only the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined, but amazingly accounts for 5% of the ecological diversity on the planet!  Interestingly, they have no military (abolished in 1949) but over 20% of their land is protected via national parks and protected areas. They have 26 national parks which are grouped by habitat; like cloud forest, dry forest, rainforest, and let’s not forget the volcanoes! We stayed on the fringe of the rainforest, on the outskirts of a tiny beach town located on the Nicoya Peninsula. Montezuma is a hippy and surfer paradise if there ever was one. It took us four hours to drive our rental SUV there from the airport, the last hour being on bumpy dirt roads. Thank goddess for the GPS.

Now you may be thinking – if she thinks she is so dang green then why is she burning so much fossil fuel on a vacation? Well yes, that is a quandary. But in the end this is why after all my conservation efforts at home, this fossil splurge works: I fly to places on vacations that increase my global understanding and compassion and then try to translate that vibe into some positive action upon my return. Also, tourist dollars spent on an eco-vacation support the conservation efforts of that country and rewards their citizens for doing the right thing. It is working for Costa Rica. It is not a poverty-stricken, unsafe country – their economy is based not only on eco-tourism but also on technology and agriculture (great coffee!). They enjoy one of the highest happiness indexes of any Latin country which seems to be reflected in their common greeting, response, and general attitude: “Pura Vida” -which translates loosely to Pure Life. Isn’t that great!? I salute Costa Ricans for role-modeling sustainable, simple, happy and healthy lifestyles. Namaste.

Two goddesses “striking a pose” in front of the yoga room at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort.

The best place to get your goddess groove on is at Ylang Ylang Beach & Yoga Resort, which is reasonably priced, safe, very clean and includes two meals per day. The yoga classes I took always included a little something special for the mind like Kundalini Breath of Fire, guided meditation Shavasana, or crystal bowl sound meditations. The yoga room is under a huge tiki roof and is practically on the beach; during class you focus on waves crashing on black lava rocks and white sands, while the warm breeze blows all around you and tickles the palm trees too. There is no road to get to the resort, you have to walk ten minutes up the beach from the center of town. This is the real “off the beaten path” place. The English- speaking concierge was very informative and helpful. The food was fantastic. The massage rooms are up in the jungle and mischievous white-faced capuchin monkeys were having a jolly old time throwing papaya pits at the roof during the end of my massage. Browse www.ylangylangbeachresort.com and you will be transported. I can’t think of the right word to describe this place….oh wait, yes I can….orgasmagical!

One bit of oddity – even though the beaches are remote and spectacular, surprisingly they are not pristine. The amount of plastic bits at the tidal line is dismaying. I am pretty sure it is not the fault of the Costa Ricans, who live a very simple lifestyle. I read there is an annual national beach cleanup day but it seems more could be done. It would be wonderful if more receptacles were onsite so tourists would help clean the beach while they are sitting there for hours under a palm tree. If I had known I would have put a box of Hefty trash bags in my suitcase.

Listen my friends, having been to Costa Rica once this is how I would do it again (in a more green and relaxed manner). Get Costa Rican money at my local bank, have international cell phone plan, skip very expensive rental SUV and take private transfer van directly to Ylang Ylang, stay in “glamping”-style accommodations, take yoga twice a day, meditate, read, swim, clean the beach, do some short eco-tours (which leave from center of town), and hardly ever wear shoes.

Sitting upon a lava rock at dusk with my feet in the warm Pacific waters of Costa Rica, 2015 Namaste!
Namaste! Sitting upon a lava rock with my feet in the warm Pacific waters of Costa Rica, 2015.

The Pope Loves Mother Earth!!

The Pope Loves Mother Earth!

by RM Allen from NHgoddess.com

Who would ever think that a pope would be the savior of Mother Earth?  After all the centuries of the church trying to squelch the earth-based religions which hold nature at their core, it is hard to fathom. Personally I am thrilled that spirituality, religion, and science seem to be tentatively rejoining on this summer solstice 2015.  Have you read Pope Francis’ newly released encyclical #PraisedBe ? It is the document of the decade and I suggest you do a search and download the 182 pages. (Don’t worry, the font and margins are huge.)

Pope Francis draws a line between world poverty and irresponsible progress, he says we need to “redefine our notion of progress”. He reasons that “business is a noble venture” but what is currently missing is giving both Mother Nature and the dignity of the local folks an automatic seat at the table when drawing up business plans. This he basically says to powerful one-percenters, bankers, multinational corporations and wealthy countries who degrade others for profit. This he says repeatedly, as he makes the case for environmental problems being the complex outcome of a humanity lacking in both ethics and spirituality, driven only by money. He claims there should be an “inseparable bond between concern for nature, justice for the poor, and commitment to society” and believes that these values will lead to restoring dignity to all, thus inner peace, thus world peace. Go Pope Francis!

Pope Francis views the globe as the home of one big family, just like his namesake St. Francis of Assisi.  He has decided to unequivocally call out the rich and greedy who are wrecking the health of our planet and earth-family. This family is me, you, Eskimos, Ethiopians, polar bears, honey bees, coral reefs, rain-forests and more.  He says we need to find the “the honesty needed to question certain models of development, production and consumption. It cannot be emphasized enough how everything is interconnected.”  For the past twenty years he has witnessed a “weak international response” and what he deems the “failure of global summits”.  The politicians have not managed to say no to the power brokers causing devastation and pollution (and denying it). So he has courageously decided to call it out. Loudly and honestly he is essentially saying: the emperor hasn’t any clothes on!

Exeter NH Transition Town 2015 like usAlong with calling out the environmental offenders in his big papal voice, he also thanks and encourages those who have been trying to say the same thing, but their voices have gone unheard or even mocked. The pope urges everyone to act now, saying “…while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference. They are able to instill a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. They are also concerned about what they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren. … Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls.”

If you are already doing your bit, I thank you deeply. Namaste. If you have been considering going a bit more green but don’t know where to start, I suggest you read his paper and get inspired to find where your talents lie in regard to any one of these topics he mentions: small farms, alternative energy, efficiency, pollution, recycling, clean water, genetics, rising sea-level, local banks and business. (Note: there are chapters and statements that are very Catholic and with which I disagree, but he is the pope after all.) So to all my goddess sisters, may you be inspired by the pope this summer solstice.

Earth Day 2015: Bag Free, That’s How a Goddess Rolls

RM Allen, Author of New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles series

 

What a winter, even by New England standards! Relief melts into me, like Chapstick on dry and burning lips, now that the spring equinox has finally arrived. Yay! And that means that now the fun of April’s Earth Day is just around the corner!

So this Earth Day let’s talk about the filmy plastic bag that is everywhere like so many toilet paper shreds on the floor in a public restroom stall. What is a goddess who loves Mother Earth to do about this? Imagine Mother Earth comes out of the ladies room with toilet paper stuck to her strappy sandals. Awkward. Do you say something? Of course you do! Just like you can say “no thanks” to the drug store cashier who drops your single tube of toothpaste purchase into the bottom of a too-big-bag. Instead, you put the lonely toothpaste in your purse or pocket after you pay for it. (Tip: Clean out some junk from your purse and use the extra space to tote small goods from the cash register to your home.)  REDUCE: Bag-free, that’s how a goddess rolls….

So say despite your best efforts you still have filmy bags lurking about your house, flitting and flying everywhere like the spooks in the Haunted Mansion. You forgot your cloth bags (dang!) and you lug home a week’s worth of groceries – which could fit in five bags but the baggers loosely packed them into about fifty. The static of fifty freshly unpacked bags on a kitchen floor creates a virtual haunting. Cats love it! Grab one of those ghouls and stuff the other forty-nine inside and bring the whole gaggle over to your neighborhood non-profit pantry or thrift shop to get a second and third chance at a useful life. (Tip: A plastic bag has a life span of hundreds of years, try to see that it is used many times before it goes to its final resting place in the landfill.) REUSE: Bags for non-profits, that’s how a goddess rolls….

Did you know….

search you tube for videos on how to make them!
Plastic bag flowers, a new and pretty use for bags.
  • You can drive your car one mile on the energy it costs to make fourteen plastic bags from petroleum? What a waste of a fossil fuel.
  • Recycling plants do not accept plastic bags: the $4K to recycle 1 ton of bags is not cost-effective (and they clog the machinery and have to be frequently cut off the jammed tires/gears). EPA states only 5% of bags get recycled. Recycling is basically a non-option.
  • Plastic bags do not decompose for hundreds of years. All oceans now have trash gyres. Sunlight causes plastic to break into ever-smaller bits and get in digestive tracts of land and sea animals, which humans may then eat. That is food for thought! Watch the movie “Bag It” for details.
  • Plastic bags were introduced in US by Mobil Oil in 1976. Banned in: Nantucket 1990, San Francisco 2007, California 2015. US ban totals: 132 cities and towns in 18 States. Pending legislation in many more. Banned in many places in EU/UK. The writing is on the wall.

So this Earth Day and beyond, I propose that all goddess-types shine a light on filmy one-time use plastic bags.

RETHINK: Tell the cashier/bagger… “Bag-free, that’s how I roll.”

I Want My Maple Syrup! A Story from the People’s Climate March, NYC 2014

I Want My Maple Syrup! A Story from the People’s Climate March, NYC 2014

By RM Allen, author of New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles series

on the busAlthough I am not a fan of the ridiculously early rise, I found myself safely on one of two 5:30 am buses out Portsmouth, NH, chartered by the Sierra Club of Maine. Anyone could go to join what I heard was to be about 50 thousand people who wanted to march in a peaceful protest in Manhattan with the aim of influencing an upcoming climate conference at the UN. The organizers, Bill McKibben’s 350.org, said it was to be a family-friendly day with at least ten marching bands and plenty of creativity.

Somewhere around Connecticut, a microphone was handed around the bus so all could introduce themselves and say why they were there. Riding the bus with me were the very fun Leftist Marching Band, a marine scientist, a guy building a passive solar house in Newbury and his high school daughters, a woman who rehabs turtles, a NH state rep, a 350NH coordinator and her family, and clusters of folks from the UU churches of Exeter and Portsmouth, the Sierra club and the Appalachian Mountain Club and random others. I had my “Exeter NH Transition Town” sign with me on the bus: ready to represent Exeter townsfolk who are trying big and small ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Why were so many diverse folks there? The common theme I heard was they were doing it for their children, grandchildren, and the earth and its animals and plants.

An hour later our bus was greeted by event volunteers and we quickly disembarked and the bus pulled away. Over 5RM Allen, center, at people's climate march 201400 buses were incoming and it was astonishingly well organized. We all headed to different part of the event staging area: people standing shoulder to shoulder on 8th Avenue along the west side of Central Park from 86th Street down to Columbus Circle. The procession was organized in a two mile line that told a climate story: at the front in section one stood famous people and those impacted most by climate change (environmental justice groups, indigenous, Sandy survivors, etc.,) Section two was “We Can Build the Future” (students, elder, families, labor). Three: “We Have the Solutions” (transition groups, renewables, food & water justice, environmental groups). Four: “We Know Who is Responsible” (anti-corporate campaigns, peace & justice, pipelines & fossils). Five: “The Debate is Over” (Scientists, Interfaith, and more). Six: “To Change Everything, We Need Everybody” (LBGTQ, community groups, cities, states, countries, and more). You can only imagine the slice of American pie that was there.

2014 climate march totalsOh and did I mention that instead of 50 thousand people, about 300 thousand came! Everyone from hippies blowing conk shells to suits with ponytails, from Hare Krishnas to Friar monks, from babies dressed like bees to oldsters in wheelchairs, from fusion scientists with graphs to Native American Elders in ceremonial dress. Most had very clever signs, props or costumes. No issue that climate has a finger into was left behind; even the Lorax and his Thneeds were represented. I very slowly wound my way through the shoulder to shoulder crowd, past the vegan contingent, the musicians singing and dancing, other groups chanting “this is what democracy looks like,” and many folks just standing and endlessly scrolling on their cell phones. Finally I stopped with my Exeter NH Transition Town sign at the front of section three “We Have the Solutions,” and waited to begin marching. And waited. Waited over an hour in fact because the line was so long that it took an hour for the motion to get up to where I was standing (at the halfway point) before my crowd even began to move. Oh it was hot and humid and close, down in that valley between the skyscraper on one side and the tall trees that line Central Park on the other, but it was very happy and hopeful and very, very well organized.

We had been pre-instructed to do two ritualistic things: one at the beginning and another at the end of the march. At a certain time at the beginning, all would receive a text to begin a moment of silence to remember all the victims of climate changes and to pray/hope for the future. This was a very digital event. Live stream on Twitter of #peoplesclimate was uploading like mad as well as other sites. People were glued to their phones, especially the younger set. What an advantage over the past. I think of protest via digital means a “civil roar” (play on “civil war”), as it seems to me that today’s social media is a very important factor in peaceful political change. I checked mine only sparingly, preferring to observe first-hand. (Leo DiCatribal elder and rapperprio and Mark Ruffalo were there?  Where??) As I am middle-aged, I typically use my cell phone mostly to snap pictures.

A commotion behind me turned out to be a tribal elder in ceremonial dress being ushered through the throng towards the front of the parade by a very fun and boisterous contingent of African American boys.  The boys had bull horns and were singing climate raps in a conga line of banners and affirming bodacious women that could have been in the choir at a Baptist church. Just then the moment-of-silence text came. An instant hush fell over the crowd and we all raised our arms to the sky and closed our eyes. At that spiritual moment, I felt all the hair on my arms raise as I listened only to the wind blow through the trees of Central Park with over a quarter of a million other people turned out to protect Mother Earth… you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

This silence was to be followed by a raucous cheer… and it was bedlam. What fun! Finally we were off and marched five miles; past Radio City Music Hall, through Time Square, and ending at 34th and 11th street, quite close to the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. The procession was quite slow and took about three hours, but was very, very well organized. There must have been about ten thousand volunteers to pull off this event, from volunteers on the ground to the people who got the permits and politicians and police. Yes, tons and tons of New York’s finest lined the barricades, keeping the march route and crosswalks clear and letting the tourists cross the road in Times Square every so often. TV crews and professional photographers were everywhere, interviewing everybody. At the very front of the parade had been the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore, Bill McKibben, mayors, senators, and many others. (Leo & Mark? Where??)

times square climate march I found this press coverage very heartening to see as I wearily marched along through Times Square, although notably absent were NBC, ABC, and CNN. It is quite extraordinary when 300 thousand people come to town and it doesn’t get shown on the nightly news. You have to ask yourself why.  I remember when Bill McKibben spoke in Exeter at a the We the People Lecture Series at the beginning of his fossil fuel divestment campaign and I was trying to arrange a small room for him to meet the press in before his speech  – and he told me not to worry about it because the press wouldn’t  cover him anyway. (He was right, no press requested to interview him that night even though 400 citizens packed the church to capacity to hear him.)  I remember later on there was still negligible press when he got thousands to form a human ring around the White House, any many high profile folks to be arrested at a sit-in there. I could only watch it live via Twitter.

fossil divestment at the trump plazaBut now I think the famous “tipping point” has been reached. Why do I say this? Because the very same day of the People’s Climate March the Rockefeller family has announced that it will divest all fossil fuel stocks from their Rockefeller Brothers Fund.  Don’cha know that fossils are the very same thing that made them rich back in the day? According to Reuters on Monday, September 22 between the Rockefellers and other high wealth folks and institutions, 50 billion dollars has been pledged to be divested from fossils over the next five years. Perhaps it is the dawn of a new day.

At the end of the march there was a big party with music, food, water and, thankfully, port-o-potties. I helped a unicorn holding a tambourine get a cup of water at the giant water-monster. I was an early user of the port-o-potties (still ok) and then got in line at a food truck. We in the long food line were heckled by some young vegans who asked us how we could call ourselves environmentalists and still eat meat as it is such a huge contributor to greenhouse gas.  Dang!  What a thing to say to us fellow marchers with our tired feet. In my opinion it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mind-set. It really doesn’t. Everyone has trade-offs: I still enjoy a burger but I have a very large veggie garden now; I drive a car but it is an economical model and I divested fossils from my portfolio two years ago.  My list goes on and I am sure yours does too. We all do the best we can, and then sometimes we try a little harder and make still more incremental gains. Like today’s march in NYC or like what ordinary folks in Exeter are doing every day.  I think it is great fun to write about what big and small steps people in Exeter are taking and post it to the Exeter NH Transition Town facebook page. (Please like me on Facebook, thanks)

maple syrup climate ribbonAt the end of parade party section near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel was the second ritual in which we were asked to participate.  Every marcher was asked to write on a ribbon their name, age, state, and finish this sentence “I don’t want to lose…” and tie it to an art installation that looked like a big banyan tree. The ribbons would form the leaves and roots. After you tied your ribbon you were to then pick off one someone else’s ribbon and take it home. In this way cross-country bonds are formed between marchers. To me it seemed like a virtual “hand binding” ceremony seen at weddings but on a much grander and ethereal scale. The large installation fluttered vibrantly in the fall air, with people milling all around and inside it. If you chose you could come to the microphone in the center and read aloud the ribbon you would take home, then all were to reply “we are with you.” One woman walked to the mike and read her ribbon, written by a woman from New England, which said   “I don’t want to lose… Maple syrup.” The crowd replied…  “we are with you.”

 

 

 

Happy Vernal Equinox 2014

What a winter!! Enough said.

I know all you goddesses are firmly rooted in your goddessness now and ready to “spring forward” to the next big thing. For me that is my new work with the #TransitionTown movement , which seeks to lower the carbon footprint of your town and build resilience to interruptions due to climate change. I invite you to check out the Facebook page I have created for my town….

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Exeter-NH-Transition-Town/1423428207887567

….. and I invite you to begin one in your town! The goddesses are needed for this important work to help Mother Nature regain her balance. I thank you!

RM Allen

Author, NH Goddess Chronicles series

Lily, rose, and daffodil float in the frozen Squamscott River on the vernal equinox 2014. Welcome Spring!!
Lily, rose, and daffodil float in the frozen Squamscott River on the vernal equinox 2014. Welcome Spring!!

Goddess in the Gap

Goddess in the Gap

January 2014

RM Allen, author of NH Goddess Chronicles series

Dear readers,

I have been absent from this blog for a while. Why?  You know when you wish for something really big and then you get it? Wow! Fantastic! Orgasmagical! But it also can throw you off a bit as you try to catch up to your new life.  In order to stay calm, I am deliberately waiting in the gap, resting peacefully and observing, until the various aspects of my new life begin to shift together naturally. These various new aspects include getting married, changing my job to online & part-time, and committing to live in two places in two different states. Three biggies all at once!! Oh, and did I mention riding the menopause merry-go-round?

So, I wait, checking in every once in a while, and watching the signs. Here is a recent dream: “I put my hand to my mouth and take it away, and in my palm is my tongue. I am alarmed. I look in the mirror and see that I have another very thin and shiny tongue growing already, (like when you lose a toenail), and I think that is great!” This dream certainly seems telling to me.

It is January again so I am working on my annual word-of-the-year, which is a repeat of my word from last year: Gracious. I have never done a repeat word, but I feel that there is more work for me to do on Gracious. Last year I approached it from a “non-violent communication” aspect. This year I am working a different angle as I wait in the gap between single and married mindset, full-time employment and free-lance lifestyle, mother and crone. I think I am studying Gracious this year as a function of time, a patience with imperfection.

I promise you I will be back on regular schedule soon, whatever that new schedule may manifest as. I have a whole bunch of ideas thrown into the crock-pot and they are stewing and will be ready in time. What fun!

So, my goddess sisters, what was the wish that I wished for and got? For an entire year a while back I asked my friends the grandmother-trees to send me a “healthy, green, and spiritual superstar” to be my partner in life.  I almost didn’t recognize him because he was packaged differently than I assumed, and I already had known him casually for years. But, how could I have missed him, when the license plate on his car reads “ Zeus”?

God/dess is really a state of mind!

Mrs. Zeus……… aka The Green Goddess of New Hampshire (and now Maine too)

Mr & Mrs Zeus, married in Kauai,  Jan 2014
Mr & Mrs Zeus, married in Kauai, Jan 2014

Should a Goddess Divest?

Should a Goddess Divest?

by RM Allen, 10/22/2013

The scene:

The prep school has a 1.1 billion dollar endowment fund. Tom Steyer, an alum from 1975 (who is worth 1.4 billion) visited one morning to speak to students and trustees to ask them to divest from fossil fuels. Tom said “climate change is the biggest issue of our times”, and “we are being kicked around by the fossil fuel companies.” That night the school hosted a panel discussion.

The players:

On the panel were: a trustee, the student council president, two activists from 350.org, and an environmental lawyer. The school president moderated. Many students and teachers attended. The panelists spoke for and against divestment for 45 minutes, then audience questions were taken. I brought my notebook.

The viewpoints:

Trustee: He has presided over many green projects at the school and in personal life. Feels same as Harvard “endowments should be used towards the mission of educating the students, not as social leverage”.  They have 28 funds with average yield of 8%. He does not believe they can find 28 fossil-free funds, and that the yield would drop if they did. A large part of endowment is specifically designated to fund financial aid, thus would impact students.

Student Council President: Feels it a moral imperative to do something. A financial aid recipient herself. Does not want financial aid impacted. Feels school should affect change through other pursuits such as funding clean energy projects.

350.org Reps: Ask trustees for freeze on further fossil fuel investments. Ask to divest over a period of five years. Divestment goal not for the financial impact to fossil fuel companies, but part of a broader strategy of creating a social movement to affect political change. Rogue industry has outrageous business model and must be stopped. Risks of inaction may be catastrophic, this is the moral thing to do.

Environmental Lawyer: Must begin transition to clean energy, we are all consumers. Industry is not paying for their externalities. Industry lobbyists undermine, erode, or squelch every law and bill via deep pockets. Divestment is a small but shrewd blow to the industry, eroding its credibility and removing its social license.

Students and Teachers: Why teach us to be moral citizens, funded by possibly immoral activities? Tom said this morning we could get similar yields from other funds. Can school prepare report on exactly how much invested in fossil fuels for later discussion?

Bottom-line: What Should a Goddess Do?

My Goddess sisters, there are many valid points in this debate. But Mother Nature says DIVEST, and she says it in the form of weather and crops. Begin now. Look into sustainable funds like PAX and transition your life to carbon-neutral in five years. Stand up for your inner Goddess. Your grandchildren will thank you.

Mother Nature says DIVEST from fossil fuels
Mother Nature says DIVEST from fossil fuels

A Goddess Goes to the “Common Ground” Fair

Orgasmagical Note: Sept COMMON GROUND Fair edition

 

SIMPLY: Green, Artsy, & Spiritual fun

 September 2013: COMMON GROUND Fair Edition

Happy Autumn Equinox my goddess sisters!

Green: Any Goddess within 200 miles of Unity, Maine must attend the annual MOGFA.org  “Common Ground” Fair in September at the equinox featuring: Herb Tent, Political Action Tent, Solar Zone, Livestock Zone, Farmer’s Market Zone, Fiber Zone, and way more! Here is the map/website http://www.mofga.org/TheFair/Areas/tabid/105/Default.aspx. So packed with crowds on Saturday, try going on a Friday instead in 2014.

Artsy: Most beautiful fruit at the fair was the Moon and Stars Watermelon. Van Gogh would be thrilled! Pictured here.http://parkseed.com/moon-stars-watermelon-seeds/p/05481-PK-P1/  I am going to try to grow some next summer.

Spiritual: September 22 begins our descent into the darker, more restful days when you can get a lot of spiritual reading done by the warming fires. After we finish up the harvest that is!! Yesterday I cleared off the tomato plants, and took many green ones too. I got a whole red wagon full!  Summer ends, the harvest begins to be pickled and canned, and extras  given away. Zeus and I went to a great Fermentation/ Kraut workshop at the fair by kraut guru Sandor Ellix Katz. Here is his wildly popular website and  book. http://www.wildfermentation.com/

wagon donation to food pantry 2013

CAPTION: Wagon load of extra veggies donated to food pantry!

Keep on growing, goddesses!! 

RM Allen, author of NH Goddess Chronicles series

 

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How to get the books! $14.95 at Amazon.com New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles: Light Your Torch (vol.1)or New Hampshire Goddess Chronicles: Scorpion in the Desert (vol. 2), Water Street Books in Exeter, Circles of Wisdom in Andover, (to write a check email info@nhgoddess.com)…..  or only $2.99 on Kindle (vol.1) or(vol. 2)

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Solstice Moves the Goddess Forward

Solstice Moves the Goddess Forward

 By RM Allen, author of the NH Goddess Chronicles series, 2013

aug 2017 solar eclipse in LeoHappy Solstice my goddess sisters!

My usual Orgasmaical newsletter is being pre-empted by a special blog posting for the summer solstice:

This weekend, at the summer solstice, is the perfect time to commit to make a life change that will move you forward. According to the Mayan calendar, the world ended on the winter solstice 2012. Six months later, we are still alive and well and approach the next cosmic marker: the summer solstice 2013. Where do you find yourself in this post-Mayan world?

In those past six months some of my goddess sisters have taken their first steps forward into a new world of their own making. One goddess has flown to a South American country to investigate retirement real-estate options, another has become (finally) pregnant at 39, another  took court action to evict a bum roommate, another enrolled in a six-month life-design program, one just quit a job she hated but paid extremely well, and still another is adopting a six-year old child single-handedly. You go my goddess sisters! It is time to live in the kind of world which you most desire.

As for myself, I am taking the plunge and officially moving into the next phase of a very committed relationship. This is big step for me as a divorced woman, who is once-bitten and now twice-shy. But I am feeling very orgasmagical these days! The bulleted list that follows and the paraphrased paragraph after it is from a book I am reading  The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Heifetz, Grashow, and Linsky, 2009. It takes Darwinism and lends that to organizational or life changes.  Life is always in flux. Think of one spot where you are stuck or stale and just want to let that go. Move forward by pondering the following formula in relation to your vision of the world you want to live in, while you enjoy the longest day of the year!

Good luck goddess,

RM Allen

  • ·        Adaptive Leadership is about change that enables the capacity to thrive.
  • ·        Successful adaptive changes build on the past rather than jettison it.
  • ·        Organizational adaptation occurs through experimentation.
  • ·        Adaptation relies on diversity.
  • ·        New adaptations significantly displace, reregulate, and rearrange old DNA.
  • ·        Adaption takes time.

(Paraphrased from book) Secretly, in some aspect, you like your company/family/self dysfunction, because it would be too bothersome to change it. Tough choices, losses, and uncertainty would have to be dealt with. Start with baby steps if you have to, or do something larger if you have already been baby-stepping for a while and are ready to really move forward. Imagine yourself in the balcony, overlooking you on the dance floor of life interacting with others. Make unbiased observations. Notice what is NOT being said, but runs as an undercurrent of values. Make several guesses as to why. Make some outlandish guesses as well, just to open your eyes wider. Intervention time! This intervention must be phrased as a “shared purpose” i.e. what both parties want, win-win, etc. (This holds true even if “both parties” are your conflicted self!)  You must first be very clear with yourself about what your underlying values are and what your compelling larger purpose/life vision is. Prepare several scenarios both inside and outside your comfort zone before you begin the dialogue. In the dialogue, experiment and take risks smartly. Say what is in your heart, and discern what is in their heart to find the common ground. Defining a common ground/shared purpose, or seeking your own true north, can be challenging and/or painful but is a valuable corrective.

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