Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The women gathered to dispense the blended medicine

Angie (above) read
"... Hares, even blended ones such as Hand and Shore have keenly sensitive noses. The snug burrow and the jolly-tunes of a blessed dream were no match for the smell of fall and the promise of a full belly. With a shake and a shiver to wake himself Hand pulled on his denim coveralls. The patches of many kinds stitched in place by his own hand, and that of his mother were his favorite human Pretty. He rubbed each patch to give off the smell of their memory. The pleasure. The sadness. The time of sheer gladness.
To leap full as a Hare, Hand wore no rubber boots. To feed the land the Wild nature must touch land's skin full-footed. The Blended Hare, Hand, heard his sister's chanting. He responded ... 
"The count is seven, we blend with heaven."The morning meal awaits, my dear..." - from the chapter, The Smell of Fall, Feed the Land
Sunday while The Safety Pin Cafe was fully occupied with two dogs, a towheaded boy with a snail, and human women and men of all ages, the season on Earth shifted. In the culture of Hawaii this shift begins when the season of Ku moves into the season of Lono. The sky cleared as if to get a better view and angle to hear the voices and the intention of the people. Clouds occasioned the space above us. Brother Wind had a hand in movement in the heavens.

 I was reminded by Kalei Nu'uhiwa via the 'Aimalama Facebook page that this is the time when "Politically, it is a time to maintain what you have, to prepare for the makahiki (Hawaiian New Year)  and to settle any political disturbances. Kū is going to be put away into storage until the next season."

Yesterday, in the spirit of the new season of Lono I made time to blend Hawaiian kilo (observation skills) with Western astrology.  Satori wrote about Monday as a time to "sit with things, contemplate, and to avoid drama or shooting oneself in the foot. You know how you don’t get something quite right and you’re inclined to follow it up with something more? Maybe think twice before you do that. Let it rest. Let everything catch up. The Moon moves into quincunx with Pluto and things can feel as though they’re of dire importance – but wait and see if that lasts before you saddle up and ride herd on it."

The photo above from Sunday's "Power of Story" event in The Safety Pin Cafe has a touching significance for me. I see a gathering of women of different ages, the youngest among them is the canine, who one could miss if you didn't know she is busy licking a bowl of smoked salmon scraps. What is significant for me is this line from Satori, "sit with things, contemplate, and avoid drama or shooting oneself in the foot." It was a big day, and the day after was a fine day to reflect on how the dispensing of medicine stories comes when all present are allowed to participate. The healing, not the rescuing, happens voice is given to the many rather than to one. 

My son, after seeing the pictures and captions from the event wrote, "Good you making them work." I laughed at his incite, and said I didn't look at it that way. But, yes, everyone who wishes to make an effort to dispense and receive the medicine worked it.

Pete and I were talking about the gathering and I said it made all the difference in the world to share the microphone with all who cared to hold it. Two hours of story told and read by the group was a healing event. What and how the medicine reached people is as the chant E Ho Mai asks, Give to me what I need to understand, the wisdom from above ... for me, you, different for each of us. It's in the asking that the giving is given. 

Blending practices -- such as pinning together Hawaiian kilo practice with Western astrology -- is not always such a bad thing.  I'm not talking homogeneity here or appropriating another culture and calling it your own. There are way too many examples of that kind of neocolonialism. What I am talking about is a conscious patchwork quilting; pinning first perhaps before sewing together skillfully; knowing and naming the various pieces, the memory of its value, the meaning and application to the present, and asking for permission before using the 'patch'; giving credit for the source. To make art from the diverse ways life pieces itself together individually and collectively it helps to recognize the patterns. 
Pallas Athene with all her attributes Via Wikimedia

One final astrological insight that helps with this patchwork post is how Pallas Athena (the asteroid's archetypal influence) influences a person's perception. At the end of my reflective time yesterday I learned something new about astrology and applied it to my experience. I learned that in the mythology of the Greeks, Pallas Athena originated from the head of Zeus (Jupiter) a fully formed female warrior. The Greek myth rang bells from the mythology or he mo'okuauhau (Hawaiian genealogical chants) of the Pele family. Those like myself who must 'study' the language of my Ancestors to know it, learn through books:

Kamohoali'i (M), born from the fontanel

Kanehekili (M), born from the mouth
Kauilananuimakehaikalani (M), born from the eyes
Kuha'imoana (M), born from the ears ... 

"The above genealogy describes the components of the earth, specifically the volcano or other forms of nature...Over eons," writes Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele, in Ka Honua Ola " each of the names in this genealogy has taken on varied forms to accommodate local metaphors..." 

So, yesterday I learned, it is inevitable that my journey as an elder in the process would blend, pin, or in diverse ways make art of the many practices that I value. Pallas Athena was in my Second Half (Personal Values) in the sign of Aquarius when I was born. Satori's article includes this about Pallas Athena, "She is associated with creative intelligence, particularly as it relates to war, healing and arts and crafts. The energy this asteroid expresses resonates with a blending of Aquarius, Leo and Libra. As simply as possible she represents the creative intelligence, perception of wholly realized concepts and balance."

What's your experience with blending practices from one culture with another and honoring the protocol of permission? Where is Pallas Athena in your astrological chart?

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