Part 3: A Slavic Offering: Gifts for Dragons & The Land(because dragons come in all shapes and sizes)
In the seasons that pysanki were forgotten, were half-heartedly made, or made to follow some newly imposed and overlaid Roman fad, the Dragons would weep shimmering silver and gold opalescence when they found humans suffering from loss of true memory. Depending on how deep and staggering the amnesia was, after each tear, Zmaj and his cohort would breath deep into their bellowed lungs, and let fire woefully rain, singeing barns, cottages, the occasional inebriated farmer, and tall pines and other evergreens. . .
The Dragons would also roar with lament upon each fiery release, and instead of seeing these moans as cries and calls to remember, the humans would assume the worst, believing that Dragons were solely trying to terrorize them...when what they aimed to do was fulfill their duty as Guardians, and attempt to remind the humans to pause, orient, and be sure they were headed in the right direction- literally and metaphorically, and to lovingly make and share their pysanki. . .
So, I bring our pysanki to the Sun&Earth...lovingly made…full of prayers for our individual selves, our collective self, including our dear planet, and especially for those that are bearing the brunt and burden of this hellish amnesia that has created the current circumstance. Seattle, LA, SanFran, Tribal Lands (we’re all on tribal land…),The Five Boroughs, Philly, P’burgh, and all of those clusters of neighbors and families that don’t have access to clean water, enough nourishing foods, Rx, Tx, testing, and medical care. I’m so sorry-- and these colors, these patterns, this basket of offering is for you. If it can and would help to know that you are not forgotten, please take this as that reminder. . . 🖤💜🖤From my lamenting heart to you and yours .
#ancestralfuturism #pysanki #dragons #slavic #lemko #lemkolongdrop #slavicamerican #spring #springtime #ritualart #ritual #art #eggart #earthart #makersmake #qwyrdo
Zmaj hoped, but knew how very forgetful they could be. Zmaj never enjoyed wreaking havoc amongst the humans, and only used his divebomb belly-breath fireballs as remembrals when necessary. The Dragons, on behalf of The Mystic and Elemental Nature of All Things, desired that humans be in right relationship with themselves, one another, the soil, the animals, the waters and all the Beings that co-habitated, together, Here In This Place. The Dragon's wanted us to be in remembrance of the sacred as mundane, and the mundane as sacred, and that both can be joyful, fulfilling, and pleasurable...but the humans...they can wind themselves down roads that only loop to misery, led by false promises, distracted by non-sensical things that are not really real, and forget how to generate true love, and magic, and nourishment for all. .
Distracted by things that aren't really real (like thin paper rectangles with numbers and pictures of assuredly grumpy people painted upon them, or boxes that glowed and howled all day and night, about every silly thing you could imagine. Zmaj and friends did not understand why humans were so infatuated with the paper and boxes when you have butterflies, fawns, great oaks with their acorns, squirrels, curling brooks, thunderstorms, twilight, and fairy gnome thresholds to be curious about. Alas, the Dragons knew that cats also liked paper and flashing boxes, and they should not judge too harshly...as long as the humans kept their word in their compelled and important duties: pysanki). .
So when the Great Wheel turned towards and slightly past the vernal equinox, Zmaj & Co would emerge, slowly rambling from the Inner Gates to peer around and over mountain edges, into little villages and homes, wondering: are they remembering how to be good companions to the water? To the animals? To the plants, the sky, the stars? To themselves and one another? Are they remembering their Springtime memos of affection, adoration, and awe? Where are their pysanki? Are they smiling and curious when they’re making them?
#ancestralfuturism #pysanki #dragons #slavic #lemko #slavicamerican
Part 1: A Slavic offering: Gifts for Dragons & The Land (because dragons come in all shapes and sizes) .
Ancients Slavs~ dwelling and migrating from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from the Danube east to the Carpathians, and into northern Asia, like most ancient peoples that dwelled in areas with four seasons, honored Spring's arrival, and its eruptive nature, its blossoms and buzzing potentiality, with art+ritual. . .
As the bears and bees awoke, as eagles and owls began their songs of joy, beingness, and invitation to one another, as seeds and buds pushed and broke themselves open to offer new life, our ancient kin knew that the Dragons of one of Earth's Inner Hearths were not far behind. . .
One of these dragons, Zmaj, and his mythical clan folk, who were the Guardians of the Gates to The Mystic & Elemental Nature of All Things, would stir after winter's dreaming to check on the sweet, endearing, and oft times confusing wee-little furless, scaleless, featherless ones- the two legged mountain valley, seaside, plain, and river dwellers. Were they remembering? Were the humans setting aside time, a final long meditation before the spring + summer busyness, to remember and honor who was truly in charge: The Mystic & Elemental Nature of All Things. . .
Would they remember...to make their springtime love signs to creation? Would they remember to share them with their friends, their beloveds, and the Earth Herself? Would they take primordial and elemental forms of Egg, turn them in their hands, apply wax, color, patterns, and place them in straw baskets to honor the beauty, abundance, and potency of The Mystical & Elemental Nature of All Things? .
#ancestralfuturism #pysanki #dragons #slavic #lemko #lemkolongdrop #slavicamerican #spring #springtime #ritualart #ritual #art #eggart #earthart #makersmake #qwyrdo
Written January 25, 2020
Although I'm still feeling it-- this Aquarius New Moon has been gentler than most for me-- I'm no expert nor even a lay novice in astrology-- but perhaps my rising sign in Aquarius and moon in Taurus give way to a "lightness" in this lunar cycle moment--
(although the deep questions and the awareness of sooooooo many dynamics that are usually on full blast during new moon are swirling just off the edge of my periphery....)
But the lightness is lending itself to a full bodied and continuum of gentleness, of rest, of resolution as well as curiosity....so my sense is that this cycle is showing me a sign post of how far I've come in the last solar year-- where the work I've put in for my own healing, healing as compared to growth (i'll speak to the difference for me below)-- is finally embodied enough that I don't feel like my psyche is turned on her head and melting face first into the OceanWell of MyBeing this new moon, with but a spiritual snorkel and some ancient flippers to help me swim.
For those of you not in southcentral PA-- it is 46degrees here and has been raining for hours.
--and my body and my heart are grieving that it is not cold enough for this rain to be a BIG snow-- and to pile gently on the land, on our minds and spirits to quiet everything and everyone down. The snow that isn't here-- really feels like it ought to be happening, so that the ground can sloooooowly absorb the white cold water form and fill the tables below the surface.... There is so much to life that is below the surface, and subterranean water ways is one, and I keep thinking of them...
I've spent a lot of January grieving the loss of winter- worried about the trees-- specifically the maples....wondering if they will have enough time in the cold to move through their natural dormancy and sap cycle....part of this is selfish-- as I really look forward to tapping a tree to bottle and partake in some sweet COLD sap- and nourish my body with this lifeblood....and part of this is grieving the possibility that the trees will be so stressed that they struggle to move through their seasonal cycles, and it may have a long term effect....and there's nothing I can do -except tell them I'm sorry for the state of the climate-- ask their forgiveness, and if there's anything I can do to support them.
The maples will learn to move northward...I know in the long run they will most likely be fine...their seeds and offspring will adapt and commute on the wind and animals many miles north...but central PA may lose this species at some point....and that just makes me sad for humans and the land and the little beings that love to eat those sweet maple seeds.
It is a strange sensation to feel the surge of & surrender into this eco-grief....but it's an important part of where we are--.
To comfort the grief, I am grateful of the healing I mentioned above--
-the healing as compared to growth, although honestly there is most likely some growth sprinkled in there as well...but it is not traditionally measurable (and I'm pretty done with absolutes/binaries these days-- so healing is priority, if growth happens, than I welcome it, but I do not strive for it.) If anything, I would imagine to some external measure, I'm not growing, but lessening---disengaging--
I'm working less, observing and Being more.
I'm pushing less, surrendering more.
I'm seeking less in most capacities...and instead I'm showing up more for myself, aiming for loving relation and time, SLOWING DOWN into the rhythm of the Body, Earth and Spirit instead of seeking quantity of accomplishment & connection.
(this is the point where former manifestations of myself would have been freaking out about money...but I'm not worried about money or "man"ifesting anymore, I've wasted too much precious time on the systems that be-- and enough is enough....I'm now much more focused on "femme" and "queer"vesting, and bringing that MAGIC up-down-and into my life. Fuck "TheMan" ---it's been shitting on us for way too long...and if we at some point gotta' just eat buttered noodles and cereal again-- than we will toast that gorgeous sustenance! There are dreams and souls at stake peeps....learning to live YOUR LIFE isn't about meeting external standards-- I believe it has much more to do with building bridges and sanctuaries from and to the past/present/future and the Mysteries of your individual medicine and work to the world and Earth herself.) #recoveringworkaholic
I'm stressing less and I'm dreaming more-- both waking and non-waking dreamscapes....and this dreaming has been magic-- and has connected me to what I've come to realize as one traditional Slavic way of healing for myself and others as a practitioner.
~Working with and through dream time has presented itself to me again and again in the recent weeks and month (and over the longer arc of my life), and I'm grateful to be connected and connecting to some dear folx that will likely be able to support me in deepening my understanding and working relationship with the SleeptimeDreamCamp.
As well, over the last six months, I've finally given myself the grace to fully embrace and practice Shabbat on a weekly basis, and it is one of the biggest spiritual homecomings of my life.
It's not big in appearance....it's not big in sound or announcement (although I love to sing and chant the prayers)...it's quite the opposite...it's the space to take space and time for myself-- to disengage with the external-- and to sway myself gently into a deep and pleasant listening of me without some austere dogma, and it is fabulous.
It's time to light candles and listen to the quiet. It's time to eat, and maybe have deep or raucous chavrusa & conversation if I'm with others.
It's time to not do the dishes or pay the bills WITHOUT GUILT, but nap on the couch with the doggos and binge watch Netflix if I want.
It's time to pray-- to reflect on the week-- to give thanks for that which fed and supported me-- to feel into the shifts and magic afoot-- it's time to pray and think of others and the world-- and it's all free-- no costs, no memberships, no transactional form of belonging....just being and shaping my life from the comfort of my home-- and that is just the best.
I feel that whether we're talking about Christianity or New Age Spiritual practices, the dominant norms for the US, -- the externalization and commodification of spiritual space is just a given...it's an unwavering "necessity" which is capitalism in action, and one of the beauties of holding Shabbat, is that it shows how untrue that necessity is.
Shabbat for me is whole and healing unto itself- it is ancient, it is simple and flexible within a lovely rhythm, and it is evolving for a feminist-pagan-reconciling-reclaiming ancestral Jew like myself. And I wouldn't have passed through this threshhold without the support and love of a few new friends, who I am deeply grateful to. XO
My desire and intention that I set early last year to create non-commercialized spiritual community has been met 1000 times over in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Whether with new precious friendships on Instagram or MarcoPolo, to having my hand held as I learned and found resources to hold Shabbat each Friday evening, to continuing the path and forging connections between different practices of dreamwork-- the constant restlessness and questioning that was gnawing at me for a long, long time has found a sweet pot of honey to which to sip and enjoy, and it is such a pleasant relief.
I share this because my wish for you dear one is for you find a sweet pot of spiritual honey-- or maybe it's a cup of cocoa or a sour lemony spiritual treat-- whatever would feel so so good to you-- for your body, mind, spirit, soul, home and day to day-- I pray that it finds you--and you find it, and you'll be woven together in a love and support that you have been seeking, or may not know you need.
I could go on and on about the art I'm making or want to make, the dynamics of sharing different forms of work online that friends and I are wrestling with. I could go on about resting and relaxing into the the feat of having 1700 baby plants in the ground at the farm, and so I'm not taking the winter to push into creating anymore projects there at the moment (although there's always repair work to be done, who's got a drill and wants to come to the mountains this spring? ), or how at 43, and in my fourth decade, I believe I've finally realized that I'm no longer going to back in and out of the queer closet here in Lancaster. If people are going to not like me, they can do so with full knowledge of who I truly am and the community that feels most like home to me-- QUEERDOS--- which is another threshold that I consciously and unconsciously danced around for years and years.....whew. Heteronormative religious patriarchy is a real pain in the ass.
SO-!!! HAPPY FULL MOON DEAR HEARTS-- I wish you sweet, loving, abundant blessings this weekend, and if you haven't seen or heard about Lyla June's #fastforthefuture or Saltwater Stars' EMOCEANAL SUPPORT gatherings-- take a look...there's some awesome women of color/FEMME and QUEER led movement shifting and shaping our world right now. Thank Goddess. And all of this is leading up to the CELEBRATION OF THE TREES on 2/9-- Tu Bishvat! and this is the Grandmother Beech Tree that we will be chilling with to celebrate-- such incredible Asherah Spirit! XO
Sometimes the beauty of life is not being able to detect when the Memory and Truth of the Land's & Ancestors' becomes your dream, future and vision.
Sometimes the dreams and remembrals are the same...and we just have to tune our ears and hearts and minds and spirits to their song.
A hum in the setting sun, a yip of the coyotes, an ancient drumming desire of the Earth at our feet or behind our heart -- to be restored, replanted, reseeded, or the call of the song bird, crow or other feathered being...they are there/here all the time.
In October the first installment of native food sources were planted at Phoenix Farm thanks to a grant from the DCNR. BabySaplings were tucked into the Earth over 16 acres. 1700+ plants that will someday be bearing fruits, nuts, seeds, barks, pulps, and material for sustaining Life, and there is more to be planted next season.
I am ever mindful that as work unfolds and moves, the aim is to restore this land that is unceded, but nonetheless is at our heart and feet to work with for the time being.
Through all the pain and hardships and atrocities that this land and all the peoples that have lived here (incuding myself and my family) have endured-- I do have a sense of joy and hope that these plants, this work will perpetuate healing that I may not see fully, but can absolutely feel the possibility of.
This planting has been in the making for years... literally, three to four years of conscious working, and decades, if not centuries of unconscious planning. The grounded, embodied, planted feeling that it brings to see these protective tubes across the fields, as they shelter the young bushes and trees is incredible.
Come for a visit and feel it in your bones and viscera.
Bull thistle next to mint, a treat for busy bumbles painted ladies, and snooping hummingbirds.
Vertical and bushy, crowding next to the barn, spikes entwined, pushing for an extention on their sun bathing.
More elderberries! A sambucus surprise.
I was certain the birds and deer would have picked and nibbled every.
one of them.
More syrup for winter. Yum.
Nestled and watching, someone spun her campsite and hunting grounds.
My four legged and two legged pups watch from a distance. The polar bear dog is too busy hunting grasshoppers to pay much attention anyway.
Majestic, eight legged power, golden garden spider (as far as my ID skills can decipher), she is long, lean, with a web of three feet, she stills herself in the middle.
(Does her web make her feel weightless?)
I imagine she is hungry.
I give her plenty of space too, although I wonder about her shell. Is she cragged, silky, hard shelled or spongy..? I have a nearly full basket, so I back away, making sure not to snag her web.
I never knew my Dedko, my dad's dad...and the stories of bravery, endurance, and tenacity that I've heard time and again, do not paint a warm and affectionate sketch that little girls or women retroactively wish for in a grandfather.
(He had to survive, affection was a luxury. I get that.)
But the Sunset greets me as He slips behind the hills, warming an embrace across the horizon and a smile to my face.
I relish these bronzed and golden minutes each evening, and I imagine that Celestial Fire saying,
"Dobrá večerná vnučka..Ľúbim ťa!"
"Have a good evening grandaughter, I love you!"
And in return, I smile, petting the Queen Anne's Lace, "I love you back Dedu!"
#bullthistle #elderberries #sambucus #spiders #sunshine #sunset #ancestral#ancestors #slavicamerican #lemko
#grandpa #foraging #wildflowers #wildcrafting #rewild #remember #rewilding#dogsofinstagram
Trella (she/they) is navigating her way to a greater sense of humanity as she reaches towards her ancestral knowledge- socially, culturally, and spiritually. This space is dedicated to anyone (no matter how you present) with European heritage that is committed to healing ourselves and our world, with an anti-racist, queer proud, decolonized, and inclusive perspective.