Posts Tagged ‘Beehive Collective’

Tom Lescher ~ Astrology Forecast April 30-May 6, 2014

This Pele Report explains some of what I’ve been hearing from friends and clients about the recent energy of “hurry up and wait.” If you’re raring to go but inexplicably spinning your wheels, it really could be the larger energies — not simply your own internal resistance. I suggest using the time delay to increase inner clarity while balancing the highest good of all involved.

Kaypacha advises to “Speak your truth and assert yourself, but in a loving way. … Talk about your feelings” [as opposed to a rigid judgment structure].

This time period emphasizes “accepting other people’s values. This is the Eighth House. I can be different than you. You can need, or want or value different things than me, and it doesn’t need to be the end. … We can respect each other as different, diverse human beings. I don’t need you to become like me, and I’m not going to become like you.” We can still have a relationship, though.

Boy, am I finding this last one play out in my personal life as I try to accept that the enormous and vocal majority of locals I encounter — even when shown the corporate tentacles and manipulative, oppressive strings attached to various grants and initiatives — become even more determined to turn a blind eye (clamped shut and triple blindfolded if need be) and just take the money, regardless of eventual consequences. I have yet to find anyone who cares enough to scratch below the next meal, next grant or next year … and I find myself in an area with enormous potential to avoid so many of the pitfalls I’ve seen elsewhere — not just accidentally hitting a pothole, but actively inviting in and celebrating eventual sinkholes. I can help people strategize ways to avoid such things, but not when everyone asserts that they believe potholes and their eventual sinkholes are wonderful things.

So yes, Kaypacha, I’ve been feeling the “accepting others’ values” aspect in a very poignant way.

Last night, David and I attended a poetry reading by a childhood friend of his, Julia Kasdorf, and she read from her latest “documentary poetry” collection (not yet released), which focuses on complex issues of fracking in Pennsylvania. She has interviewed and eavesdropped on hundreds of people and interweaves the communities’ practical support for fracking with images of burning wells, unrelenting noise, landscape devastation, and economic exploitation. That same sense of extreme poverty celebrating whatever helps put food on the table now pervades her delicate and bittersweet observations about long term consequences and the history of Penn’s Woods. Having grown up in PA, the poems hit home even more personally than the Beehive Design Collective‘s visual work. Global corporatism and control are marching everywhere — in Mesoamerica, in Goshen, in Pennsylvania — and despite the few resisters, many, many, many people continue to dance and beat the drums of “progress.”

Thank you, Kaypacha, for putting things into their larger astrological context. For some of you, it may be time to surrender and release. For me, it’s time to garden and break out Joanna Macy’s “Active Hope” again, too. Sober Beltane Blessings, as we find ways to celebrate what we can, even as others celebrate the very things that break our hearts ….

From YouTube:

Published on Apr 30, 2014

After the cloudburst and torrential rain,
The clouds disperse and the Sun shines again,
The rivers rise up and flow to the sea,
The more I let go, the more I am free.
Open up and let the sun shine in after the big cloudburst of thes last few weeks….. We can figure that May will be somewhat less frustrating but now it can be like cleaning up after a wild party the night before….. Mercury opp Saturn this Friday is pretty sober so keep the chin up… it will be worth it! Artwork from the last Pele Report by Fulya Kurter and music this week by: https:soundcloud.com\lucere
For more information check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzpaD…

The Beehive Design Collective Came to Elkhart County

This past Saturday, the Beehive Design Collective honored the People’s History of Elkhart with a two-hour presentation of Mesoamerica Resiste, which I posted about last year. Their wildly (overwhelmingly) successful kickstarter campaign explains the premise of this artist-activist group, so I’ll repost the video here:

I shared the kickstarter video with our Transition Goshen guys, and one of them was so excited about the storytelling potential that he contacted them to come here. Goshen College had hosted them before, but intuitively, I felt the People’s History of Elkhart would be the better match this time. Even though I knew nothing about the People’s History of Elkhart, it turned out to be a great match, because of the wide diversity of people the group attracts. Not only did they host the Beehive Collective, but they also provided homemade food and local musicians at the Historic Roosevelt Center — an old school that locals had fought to keep standing.

The People’s History of Elkhart won that battle, and now the old Roosevelt School houses both apartments above and an active community center below. I spoke with several of the people involved in the battle to save the historic school, and they were so proud of this community center and how it enhances all their lives. The spirit of these locals having stood up for their own tradition in their own community mirrored so well the stories we heard of the resistance to the plan for corporate dominance in Mesoamerica.

Beehive After Event

Above, you can see the huge banners of the completed 9 year political art project. They also used a projector screen to highlight closeups while sharing the stories. They designed Mesoamerica Resiste as a triptych, which means that the artwork opens up like double doors to reveal what’s inside. The banner on the right shows the front “doors” as “Plan Mesoamerica” while the twice as large banner on the left shows the inner resistance to that corporate plan. I loved that the resistance is twice as large as the plan!

That said, it was a sobering presentation. The plan — run by globalist corporations — aims for nothing less than total control of the region between North and South America. As one of the three “Bees” mentioned, “This area has always been ‘in the way.’ Columbus wanted to get to India, and this region also poses major challenges for globalist corporations who want easy transportation between North and South America.”

Under the guise of “free trade” and sometimes even under the guise of “greenwashing,” these ruthless corporations have staged military coups in sovereign nations, robbed land and water from indigenous people, and have built 8-lane highways and bridges in areas where few to none of the locals drive. They’ve erected police state surveillance to monitor “free trade zones,” which sound positive on paper but really mean that no local laws apply there. No workers’ rights, no environmental protections outside of what the corporations dictate, no local say in construction, and no protection for local economies and culture. Hydro-electric dams and railroads disrupt entire ecosystems and countries, and Western media gets pumped through airwaves to further undermine local traditions and identity.

NAFTA and its next generation CAFTA have largely accomplished in Latin America what the TPP and TTIP hope to accomplish in North America, Asia and Europe: complete corporate control over all aspects of life. Listeners learned — perhaps for the first time — about the IMF (International Monetary Fund), World Bank, WTO (World Trade Organization), just how bogus the War on Drugs really is, along with the devastating effects of GMO monoculture farming on the local farmers. Very little of the information was new to me, but I appreciated the elaborate illustrations through fable characters representing major players.

I did have one major light bulb moment at the beginning when a representative from the People’s History of Elkhart shared his own family’s story of being corn farmers in Mexico who had lost their land due to the US GMO-corn dominance policies of NAFTA. He described how the consistent price manipulation of the US GMO crops undercut Mexican corn farmers and eventually made it impossible to compete. Mexico used to outlaw GMO corn, but once “free trade” occurred, this young man’s family needed to leave their generations’ old farm and move to America in search of other work. I had not made the connection between our immigration issues and corporate agricultural dominance in the Americas. I knew about the military coups, but I had not extended that awareness to include the stranglehold of corporations like Monsanto and Chiquita. Watching this presentation really brought home the importance of local food — everywhere. The US fetishes for bananas and coffee carry with them tremendous karmic consequences. David tells me similar political outrage happened in the once sovereign kingdom of Hawaii over Dole pineapples.

The first part of the presentation revealed such grim, depressing information that the Beehive Collective refused to take an intermission, lest people “leave before the good news.” Indeed, many in the audience seemed overwhelmed, and more than a few “listeners” opted to talk throughout the entire presentation! This beyond rude action makes sense when realizing that on some level, people just did not want to have their world view altered. They did not want to take on the responsibility for how their purchases and unconscious lifestyle and habits might directly cause destruction of others’ lives. Ignorance = ignore-ance, and imho, we engage in that behavior at our own peril.

With the TPP and TTIP posed for fast track approval, many “comfortable” “first world” nations may well find themselves the next Mesoamerica. Will we show the strength, creativity and spirit of Mesoamerica Resiste? I don’t know. I hope so, but I’ve found most people prefer ignorance to positive action. Even when I mentioned to several attendees, “THIS is why I have concerns about Agenda 21 being co-opted by corporations like Monsanto. THIS is why I send you links about the TPP and TTIP,” many people just stared at me in awkward silence.

The second part of the presentation shared stories of farmers, teachers and students joining together in organized, yet fluid movements to undermine the colonizer’s agenda. They proclaimed the slogan, “Un No, Muchos Sis,” “one no, many yes’s.” The Beehive Collective spent years interviewing individuals and groups working on the front lines of the resistance. Together, they came up with symbols to represent each group, and Mesoamerica Resiste depicts the tremendous diversity of this region. Dozens of species of ants, trees, bees, birds and other animals use their own characteristics to undermine the globalist machine.

I enjoyed hearing the creative methods of inconvenience, including one group piling up garbage from a corporation in order to block the roads for that corporation to pass through. I also loved how these groups work to unite young and old, preserving the old ways through teaching the local and tribal heritage that corporations attempt to destroy. The three sisters (squash, beans and corn) represent the three main forces fighting together. In the same way that this traditional planting honors the unique qualities of each plant and finds ways to become stronger together, these teachers, students and farmers use their own gifts towards common goals.

The story of the ants blew me away: “A giant swarm of ants comes down the trunk of the Ceiba tree. The ants, like so many other little critters, play an essential role in the ecosystem. Scurrying beneath the dirt, they aerate the soil, making it possible for plants to grow, essentially laying the foundations for life on earth. While these ants seem small compared to the entire forest, they outweigh all other animals and plants combined. The ants remind us that great changes are in the hands of the small and many. Working tirelessly, these miniscule creatures embody the phrase, la revolucion es el trabajo de las homingas (the revolution is ant’s work). Little by little, their collective work has the strength to achieve great transformations, which reminds us that together, we can create tremendous changes in the world around us.

“Some of the ants proudly carry messages from Indigenous communities in southern Mexico who have been slowly and steadily building autonomy for several decades. These sayings are Zapatista principles and also come from their experience of building ‘good government’ councils, which encourage frequent rotation of leadership: ‘lead by obeying’ the people in your community, they advise; ‘work from below, without seeking to rise to power,’ ‘walk by asking questions’ … Each ant is a different species, reminding us that the beauty of the world lies in its diversity of cultures, of languages, of ways of being: ‘we are the same because we are different;’ ‘a world where many worlds fit.’ In the face of so many threats to the diversity of life on this planet, the ants converge at the base of the Ceiba to declare, ‘Ya basta! Enough!'”

Another shocking thing I learned involved bees. We hear about the decline of the honey bee, but few know that honey bees come from Europe and mimic the colonizing of Central America. “As European colonists invaded Central America, they brought with them the invasive European honey bee, which aggressively began to push the native Mesoamerican Stingless bees out of their ecological niche. Today, deforestation, pollution, and industrial farming are destroying habitat and causing the collapse of pollinator species all over Central America. Bees are an indicator species, and the drastic decline of their populations may forecast a larger ecosystem collapse. Restoring native bee populations is vitally important to the health of ecosystems and agriculture globally, and is directly linked to the survival of Indigenous peoples and beekeeping knowledge. Traditional beekeeping is an intimate relationship between bees, people, culture and the land.

Vanilla and stingless bees: Pollinators and the plants they pollinate need each other. Native Melipona bees and the vanilla plant share one of these specific symbiotic relationships. Melipona bees are the only natural pollinators of the delicate vanilla orchid. Without this specialized interaction, vanilla orchids would only survive by hand pollination, making vanilla one of the most labor intensive crops in the world.”

The presentation went on to depict and describe ancestors and spiritual support from unseen forces. Because I already knew the most shocking information described, I found the entire presentation profoundly encouraging. I love that this group of artists dedicated themselves to telling stories that would otherwise remain unspoken in the “comfortable” US. I also love (and practice) the idea of empowered political action through art and story.

If you’ve tried with little success to awaken your local community to both the threats and the potential of our times, you might want to host the Beehive Collective in your city or school. Having hippie-dressed, tattooed, young artists describe the ravages of free trade and greenwashing cuts through the stereotype of “paranoid, right-wing radicals” warning about things like Agenda 21, globalism, water wars, corporate fascism, and the importance of maintaining national, state and local sovereignty. I don’t know that the audience fully grasped the excellent discussion of “fascism in the US government,” but I hope the presentation at least began to scatter seeds.

For those concerned with more local issues such as the impending water wars and land grabs (of which you can find an excellent discussion in the videos below), you can rest assured that the Beehive Collective “gets” it. They displayed other artwork regarding the corporate takeover of water in Maine:

Nestle Maine Water

… with another image acknowledging the World Bank’s quote: “The next world war will be about water.” Unfortunately, that image photographed upside down and will not turn right-side up. I would love to consider that a sign that through conscious local actions, the war agenda will not succeed as planned. 🙂

Walk for Water

Those of you still on the fence about all this “paranoia about globalization” might want to watch the following videos, which describe ways that “green” initiatives and global treaties facilitate illegal land grabs and undermine national, state, and local sovereignty. Awareness does matter. As the Beehive Collective shared, for every one successful pushback of a hydro-electric dam, railroad or highway, perhaps 100 other resistance movements fail, but nonetheless, the resistance has had an effect. As with the delayed TPP agreement, globalization has fallen behind its intended schedule. More time passing allows more people to wake up, and as people wake up, we have the chance to reclaim our power and sovereignty before corporate fascism and globalization homogenize and destroy the beautiful diversity and balance of our planet.

Blessed Be(e)

Note that the BLM euthanized half the remaining “endangered” tortoises they’re claiming to protect. This is not about tortoises, and Cliven Bundy shared some stories about the apparently symbiotic relationship between the tortoise and formerly grazing sheep and cattle. Tortoise population declined sharply when the other ranchers lost their land.

The larger issue concerns an ongoing attack on organic farmers, ranchers and off-grid people living off the land — all in the name of “sustainability,” while undermining actual sustainability. When the BLM or other federal agency claims land and refuses anyone the right to access that land, we lose more and more of our ability to feed ourselves outside of BigAg government control. In California, “easements” and regulations have made it difficult to impossible for some organic farmers to maintain their land. The recent Farm Bill absurdly prohibits organic farmers from using manure or compost to enhance fertility of their land, while giving a free pass to CAFO’s (confined animal feeding operations) that poison our land and water while fostering horrific animal cruelty. Once the land grab occurs, any hope of oversight disappears, which opens the way for corporations to come in and frack, mine or monocrop without protesters.

These land grabs often occur over bogus environmental concerns that touch the hearts of well meaning people. End results, however, steal vast tracks of land where only authorized offices can tread. With Citizens United and the recent Supreme Court decision to protect/endorse big money in politics, we can well imagine what happens once the land gets into corporate hands. I’m all for real environmental protection, as in, get the corporations out of our water supplies! Get GMO’s out of our food chain with their genetic drift and horrendous pesticides and herbicides. Protect, rather than euthanize, endangered species, and keep them situated in the complex biodiversity in which they used to thrive. These land and water grabs are a bunch of BS, and if Americans and other “first world” nations don’t want to become the next Beehive Collective triptych, we would all be wise to take responsibility for ourselves and resist in whatever creative and empowered ways we can.

Book Review: Starhawk’s “The Fifth Sacred Thing”

A local friend suggested I read “The Fifth Sacred Thing,” so that some of us could form a book discussion group about the ideas and vision of this novel. Although it took me awhile to get into the characters, I quickly saw why my friend has read this book three times and counting. It’s filled with permaculture principles, magick, natural healing, and the tension between totalitarian dystopia and a power-from-within ecotopia based upon respect, not control.

I found Starhawk’s text incredibly prophetic, even when I thought it was written in 2005. My admiration tripled when I noticed a publication date of 1993! In 2013, as we face nuclear and toxic poisoning of the Pacific Ocean, a no longer hidden Police State, genetic manipulation, a transhumanist agenda, biological warfare, and increasingly intense weather events –both natural and human-aggravated — the setting of this novel in 2048 feels rather optimistic.

Once I managed to get a handle on the characters, I found the book difficult to put down. As the narrative continued, I realized that the initial ambiguities and confusion about gender, age and physical markers, actually contribute to and underscore the tale. As readers, we quickly find ourselves overwhelmed in and by a post-collapse world, unsure exactly which collapse triggered which events, but gradually recognizing the effects of long-term trauma and difficult life. Things the 20th and early 21st centuries took for granted have not been available for at least a generation, and the ripple effects of such deprivations reach much further than minor or anticipated inconvenience.

At the same time, we find that some things in this future society function much more harmoniously than in our current one. In the absence of cars, trucks and planes, this culture has compensated for its isolation by cultivating the individual gifts of each member of the community — art, music, healing, science, cooking, dreaming and psychic defense. Everyone gardens and participates in seasonal rituals, and the society bases itself around the premise that the Four Sacred Things (fire, water, air, earth) are so sacred that they cannot be privately owned. “May you never hunger; may you never thirst” is a phrase used in real-life pagan gatherings, but in “The Fifth Sacred Thing,” this concept forms the basis of an entire political system! No one goes hungry, and no one goes without water.

As the plot rolls on, we see just how innovative and special this city’s solutions are. Contrast via epic journeys to the Southlands shows us that — despite the obvious challenges up North in 2048 — things could be (and are) much worse elsewhere. The characters face horrific trials that force them to question not only their own morals and philosophies, but also the very essence of what it means to be human. Readers with rigid ideas about sexuality, self-defense, magick, religion, medicine, technology, and the occult will likely find themselves extremely challenged as they journey with the characters. Author Starhawk practices the Reclaiming Tradition, which combines one’s spirituality with non-violent political activism. Throughout her novel, we witness the effectiveness of non-violent resistance, as well as its limitations. The characters’ reactions and struggles force us to evaluate our own fixed ideals, hypocrisy, privilege and irresponsibility. We see on every level how each small action affects the whole of Creation, often in dramatic and unforeseen ways.

I particularly enjoyed all the manifested visualizations, herbal and energetic healing, as well as the key roles played by bees and crystals. Since I have personally made a decision to use magickal self-defense rather than violence should the SHTF, I enjoyed reading about various techniques — many of which I recognized as real, not fiction. In the acknowledgments, Starhawk confirms how thoroughly she researched this book, including Native teachings, along with actual songs, chants, techniques and rituals.

If you’ve ever wondered, “What would I do if society collapsed on multiple levels at once? Does it need to be ‘every man for himself,’ or can (must) we find ways to work together in community? Would we really be stronger together than apart? What does magick have to do with a fully functioning human, and how do I access multi-generational healing?” then “The Fifth Sacred Thing” deserves a place on your bookshelf. You will want to read it again and again, tracking your own growth as you face its challenges. If, on the other hand, you prefer to rest in the hazy halls of denial and wish to cling to the patriarchal status quo, then drop this book like a hot potato! You cannot engage “The Fifth Sacred Thing” and remain unchanged.

The Transformative Power of Art and Story

I first noticed this video posted somewhere a few weeks ago right before I began an afternoon of back-to-back sessions. Although I planned to watch it afterwards, life intervened with other things to do, and I eventually forgot about. Many thanks to Mitch for bringing this beautiful project back on my radar when I do have time to post it myself.

I love so many things about the Beehive Design Collective that I don’t even know where to begin. As Mitch says, “It’s faery approved,” and so it is — from the bees to the art to the stories to loving protection of the Earth from BigAg. It also demonstrates how we can work together without some top down corporate globalist enterprise forcing us to do so. When we as individuals choose to respect other individuals, to listen to them, to find common local ground, we can work so well together that no one needs to be the star. Each person’s talents reveal themselves, and each heart fuels whatever projects drive it. From local we can join together with other localities, creating organic, global action.

When such organic local action grows into global action through creative acts, a special power ignites, which completely engulfs and burns through the fascist, mechanistic, uniformity of forced globalization. When we carefully, lovingly infuse specific intentions into creative projects — whether art, song, story or food — that creative process amplifies those intentions into something more. The whole becomes far more than the sum of its parts. Magick builds and explodes from the pure intentions that demand such focused concentration in order to express themselves. This is sacred creation of the highest sort, and we can each find ways to offer our own creative skills and power to honor this Earth back into her natural state, and to respect each person, animal and element as an integral part of a larger Creation.

Showers of Blessings on their Kickstarter Campaign, which you can find and fund here.