05 May 2009

Article: Catskill Daily Mail- Thurs. April 23, 2009

CATSKILL — Sheila Dent wore a green blazer Wednesday adorning a yellow, blue and green pin. The blue and green triangles, the Catskill resident said, represent the sky and Earth and the yellow background the sun.

The pin is a memento from the Protect Your Environment — or PYE — group at her Gilboa school that was organized by the State University of New York at Oneonta. The idea of environmental protection fit in with other politically charged issues in the 1960s, including the draft and a fear of nuclear warfare, she said. “It was another thing to care about,” she said. Dent, who calls herself a “true, reformed hippie,” points out that environmental responsibility is as easy as planting a tree or picking up garbage. She remembers one protest her Gilboa group held over the felling of an oak tree near the Gilboa Dam. “We didn’t win, but we were there,” she said.

Dent said her daughter, Rev. Ursula Carrie (Wilkerson), and grandson also recycle and conserve energy.

Carrie started her own church, the Church of the Sacred Earth, in Woodstock, and keeps a religious and environmental blog. She writes that humans need to be aware of what they are doing to the earth if they want their children and grandchildren to have a life of any minute quality. “The act of recycling and composting, and all those things can be utilized as a prayer to the earth,” she said. And, as an herbalist, she said, everything she does is related to the earth. She buys in bulk and recycles whatever she can to minimize her garbage, because there is no way humans can be separated from nature. She said that once people become aware of their impact on the environment, environmentally friendly actions become part of an everyday routine.

“It’s a way of life,” she said, “because there is no life without the earth.”

Winner! Lynn V. Andrews' Joshua Tree 2009 Essay Contest

Rev Ursula and Lynn at the Joshua Tree Gathering
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
Friday evening, May 29, 2009

(cut and pasted from Lynn V. Andrews' website)
We have a Winner!!!
2009 JT Essay Contest

"Calling in the Thunder Beings"
Author of the winning essay in the Joshua Tree Essay Contest is:
Ursula C. of Woodstock, NY.

The author of the winning essay in the Joshua Tree Essay Contest is Ursula C. of Woodstock, NY. She talked about herself and her journey on the phone this week. Here is her interview and winning essay for the Joshua Tree Essay Contest.

About Ursula
Ursula describes herself first as a Mother of a seven year old son. She herself feels she has been on a shamanic path since she was born. She said she made her first altar to nature spirits when she was seven years old. She also describes herself as empathic and has found teachers over the years to learn techniques around this innate ability. At 25 years old she realized her clairaudience ability.
Ursula has lived in the Catskills of New York for most of her life. At 23 years old she visited New Mexico for the first time and realized she was home, reconnected.
She feels the word ‘Curandera’ most accurately describes her in the world. And she feels she is here to fulfill her contract on this Earthwalk. That she has been given hints and guidance on the path as far as what she came here to do on earth and for women. She relates that she has been through many life experiences and come through them to reconnect with the power that flows through her.

Attending Joshua Tree
Ursula felt she needed to be at Joshua Tree and her Spirit Guides worked with her to realize this dream. "It’s time to answer the call. Time to gather confidence and courage and jump into the void. I feel frightened because I don’t know what’s waiting for me. There’s a lot of things I don’t know. Time to fulfill what I came here for. My Guides and Ancestors heard my prayers for help and accepted my offerings to make this [trip to Joshua Tree] possible."

Coming to Lynn Andrew’s work
"I had Medicine Woman on a bookshelf at home. One day it was just calling to me. After reading Medicine Woman, I picked up Jaguar Woman. Reading these books gave me the sense I had found the only place where I felt an understanding of where I am. A place where I feel seen and heard and an understanding of what is happening to me on my spiritual path. It made me feel good and it made me feel sad because I did not have a Circle of Women like that. [Then I thought] well maybe I should get out there with others who are going through this ascension and awakening together."

Greater Purpose
"There are a lot of us being called to do this work. Time to let go of the old stuff. As a human species, there is no model for where we are going, this ascension. I can tell you though that I have an excruciating ecstasy of love for this place, Earth."

The Winning Essay

I feel safe when it rains. I long for the darkened sky, the smell of the air as it changes. I say to my son, "It will rain soon." He says, "How do you know, Mom?" I say, "I Know." People curse the rain and I say, "Oh, I love the rain!" And strange expressions cross their faces and I wonder how they don’t understand.
I remember the Rains. I lay with my grandmother, then. I was so small, even still, next to her four foot eleven frame. Cuddled into the warmth of her soft body in the darkness of her room, the rain would make sleep time melodies on the slanted tin roof above her bedroom. I can close my eyes and feel us laying there, hear the sounds and feel the even rhythm of her breath. I can see the far corners of the room, where the foot pedaled sewing table stood- did she have a candle lit? Or was it the glow of Her love as I remember that helps me to see? It was many years after her passing before I understood this- That it is our love and our connection, her everlasting Presence that stays with me, that animates my love affair with the Rain. These memories of our love the ability to feel her soft warm skin pressed against me, come alive and dance again in my soul. As I became older there entered into my affair with the rain, the initiations of shock waves of the Thunderers, like sheets of earthquakes through my center column. And streaks of lightening drawing forth the low rumbling growl from my groin, through my heart to my throat and sometimes I am able to break free and release this sound, echoing back to them, growling, "Yes! Grrraagggh! Yes!" Thunder in my Being. And I laugh and laugh, for I know that they see me, that they hear and feel my love- as I feel theirs. The love we share breaks my heart open.
Rain tells me that I can slow down and Be. That when I feel that I will break from too much Sun beating on me, She will come and heal me. The Waters that heal the Earth. The Waters of our very Being. The trees soften, become innocent, and open. They suckle the rains like a newborn, hungry for the Life Giving Waters. Plants dance in the splashes and droplets on their faces. Some giggle, some weep. The waterfalls rush and overflow their banks, clearing away the human debris. My child and I tuck ourselves away into a corner, cozy, like cats, and sleep. And dream. We dream that the Earth is made new, and She is whole again.
I sorrow to see Rain go, on to the next town that needs cleansing. But I want Her to stay, just a while longer. To stay and Soothe my heart just a little more. Let me curl into my grandmother’s bed that is no longer there, and remember how much I was loved.

a story...

Once there was a Woman who lived at the Edge of the world that most humans knew, a world where time was not measured in minutes or revolutions in Space. Bats dotted the landscape bringing news of trance-formations of the many Creatures of the inner worlds of Dirt and Deep earth.
Each morning She raised her arms and with Her Inbreath rose the Sun to warm away the coolness of night, and Her Prayers brought forth the Song of chickadees, sparrows and woodpecker. Crows flew high overhead and rested in the crooked branches of the Red Maple and Cawing the news of the Day's events to unfold. Forming a circle around Her crown and planting their Claws at Her feet, they said in crow cluck, "Mistress, It is Time."
Raven comes to the edge of the Wood at the bidding of Wolf's mournful howl to lead them Deep into the Heart of the Standing people. Dappled in the changing light of the day, the fading sun catches the wings of Faerie Folk, who dart behind Aminitas to whisper loudly, "It is the One. She is Coming! Quick!"
Bear joins, then, walking behind Her, heavily, occasionally showing off Cloven Hooves. She Knows and has seen this Change, knowing that it is He, the Lord of the Wood guiding and Protecting Her way. She is One with His presence, Lover of the Wild, protector of Her Dreams.
Before them surrounded by the Standing Ones lay a pool of Water fed by the distant sounds of a cliffside stream. And They Stand as One Tribe in the Sacred Hoop-
and wordlessly they ask Her, "Lady, are You Ready?"
Her Voice, like a rumble of Thunder that levels the Illusion of Man made dimensions, gives Them reply,

01 May 2009

Beauty of Darkness

Oh Mary we crown thee
with Blossoms today
Queen of the Angels
Queen of the May
Oh Mary we crown thee
with Blossoms today
Queen of the Angels
Queen of the May

I loved this annual ceremony in my catholic school more than any other we ever enacted.
The crowning of the idol of Mary with all of the most Beautiful May flowers.
But, come on now- who were we really crowning... who were they kidding...?
What a Beautifully Dark Beltane I have been Gifted with!
In Tune with the Cycles and Seasons nearly all my life,
and celebrating the Wiccan Wheel of the Year for the past twenty years-
I have never been drawn to the energies of these Summer Holy Days
(Beltane/May Day, Summer Solstice, Llmas)-
I know now, as I approach my 4th decade of life on this Earth,
that I am a daughter of Hel's Womb- the Matrix of Darkness.
Yes, it is true that my entire waking life from April until October is spent
working with and for the Plants, making medicines, wines and other
potions of Healing and Light...
But it is that first blast of cold crisp air that arouses my Inner Fire... the lure of the Spiral path toward the inward journey... scythe in hand... ready to harvest... to stand as the bridge between Darkness and Light... in the devouring Maw of the Void... to be transfigured, transformed, reborn from the Starstuff of my own deep winter Dreams. Samhain.
That's what I celebrate on May Day.