Saturday, March 28, 2015

The 100

For the past several days, I've bean watching episodes of the dystopian TV show The 100. The online description:
When nuclear Armageddon destroys civilization on Earth, the only survivors are those on the 12 international space stations in orbit at the time. Three generations later, the 4000 survivors living on a space ark of linked stations see their resources dwindle and face draconian measures established to ensure humanity's future. Desperately looking for a solution, the arks leaders send 100 juvenile prisoners back to the planet to test is habitability. Having always lived in space, the exiles find the planet fascinating and terrifying, but with the date of the human race in their hands, they must forge a part into the unknown.
Fascinating prospects. I'm amazed at the continued creativity. Dystopian stories are a significant genre in recent years: the Hunger Games and Divergent series, to name two of the most popular. One thing this show has that the others miss is some level of specificity as to what created the altered future. This one clearly states that it was a nuclear war. Like others of this genre, there is an element of outside control ostensibly for the good of all. Yet in this one, that force has no inherent evil or hunger for power. It's more of an established mythos of who and what they are.

Another difference is the element of colonization and encountering unknown others who are similar yet different, infused with their own sense of how things should be. It takes the confrontation to a level that is not only internal, but inter-relational. The leaders, as with Hunger Games and Divergent, are young, flawed and adaptable.

I've written previously about dystopian literature. I like the genre. The stories have been around for a long time, showing up lately with more frequency. It seems to be a creative response ~ as the preceding books were ~ to the strong sense of destruction that permeates so much of our society today, including global warming, economic disparity, state-sponsored torture and military excesses.

Have you read or watched dystopian stories? Which ones? How does the genre affect you? What else do you see happening in response to the difficulties and destructive forces in our society?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Throw the Match

When I was in high school, my mother used to tell me to be careful regarding the bridges I might burn. She warned that I might want to cross back to the other side and need the bridge to do so.

I listened to her warning. Through most of my life, I laid careful plans to include others, to keep my opinions to myself and to be fair and kind.

Recently, I've discovered another version of my truth: the place where I am in total alignment with this quote. Burning a bridge isn't necessarily a bad thing. In general, it's not my first choice. Leave the doors and windows open, allow for fresh air and sunshine, support free movement in and out. Rarely, in all honesty, do I venture to throw that match and burn the bridge so I can never cross it again.

One occasion where I felt the need to do this concerned a man who repeatedly chose to ignore everything I said. When a man repeated my words or paraphrased what I said, this man would respond to the other man's words. I finally got fed up and left the work group, letting go of supporting concepts that were important to me and taking my considerable knowledge on the topic with me. It was not only the man who ignored me that was intolerable, but the others who, by their very silence, condoned his actions. Bridge burnt.

When would you consider burning a bridge? What would bring you to that action? Have you ever done it? What happened? How did you feel afterward? If you've been in a difficult or intolerable situation, what stopped you from burning that bridge?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


From 365 Goddess by Patricia Telesco:
Marzenna's themes are spring, weather, protection, winter, death, rebirth, cycles, change and growth. Her symbols are dolls (poppets) and water (including ice and snow). The Polish Goddess for whom this holiday is named represents an odd combination of winter, death and fruit field's growth and fertility. As such, She oversees the transitions we wish to make in our lives.
I walked into a used bookstore and saw Telesco's book. When I picked it up to check the Goddess of the date, I saw a paper marking today's date. It was the page for Marzenna. Since my heritage is Polish, I decided to check Her out.

This is a time of transitions, of changes in our world. That's especially true for each person individually as well as the community in total. Spring is about rebirth, changing the death time of Winter into the new greening of Spring that blossoms into the fullness of Summer. It's a time of transformation.

My life right now is about celebrating the changes, the transformations, that are happening within its boundaries. Around me are a variety of changes: deaths, graduations, surgeries, retirements, marriages. Some of them are directly related to me ~ some are even mine ~ but many belong to the people around me. These affect me deeply in a manner different from those that are directly tugging on my heartstrings.

Marzenna is the Goddess ~ and the celebration of that Goddess, or more precisely, the passing of that Goddess of Death, Rebirth and Change. In the celebrations a straw poppet of Marzenna is burned so that Newness can come into being. It's a passage and Marzenna is the Guardian of Change at the gate.

What Spring holiday or holy day resonates most for you? How do you celebrate the passages of time? What is transforming in your life in this moment? How will you support it?

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Beginnings: Vernal Equinox

This is one of the most compelling statements I could be making this year. It's my plan. This wild new beginning with the Vernal Equinox (accompanied by the Solar Eclipse, Super New Moon and a variety of joinings, pairings and partings of planets) is the perfect timing for it. It's been called forth in my life for awhile. I've patiently ~ or impatiently, as the case may be ~ waited for the 'right time' to come. It clearly has arrived!

I've learned not only to believe in the power of coincidences ~ or synchronicity ~ but also to look for it. It's been an incredibly strong guide in my life, perfectly complementing my own intuition.

This past week has been predominantly a 'comedy of errors' ~ with the persistent turns and twists of events being more humorous than truly erroneous. Anyone watching the auspicious astrological predictors could tell us ~ and repeatedly did ~ that it was a dynamic time of change. The old skin is sloughing off and the new is raw and barely visible. Time to move forward.

Personally, the most relevant terms in this statement are "unstoppable" and "fierce" ~ it's easier for me to be strong, brave and kind. Those are 'simpler' traits. More common references to 'do this.....' than being unstoppable or fierce. I love those two ~ and plan to continue my forward movement to being like that.

What traits call most to you as the Vernal Equinox begins the new season? How do you plan to express these traits? What change do you want to make, live and be in the coming year?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall.
~ Salman Rushdie

When I read this sentence, my first thought was: "What's Rushdie doing inside my head?"

I remember trips up to the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago to look out over the city. Wow! I loved it up there. I flattened myself against the window to look as straight down as I could. The height was impressive and the view incredible. More than that, I felt an incredible draw to going down ~~ not suicidal, by any stretch of the imagination, simply wanting to feel the rush of air slipping past me.

That was one of the things I enjoyed reading Divergent by Suzanne Collins: the zip line from the top of the John Hancock Building down. The description of the feeling of flying. Amazing.

I doubt that I am in any way fearless. I trust the glass that stands between me and falling. That's the reason I understand Rushdie's statement about vertigo. It's a totally different feeling when there's glass holding me in and when there's nothing but air. I've felt that on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, in the American Eagle at Six Flags Great America, atop the oddly rippling Great Wall of China or at the window of a Maine lighthouse. The height isn't important. It's the irrational desire to fly.

How do you feel from a height looking down? What feels different if you're safely inside a windowed room looking down? What feels the same? What high place would you like to visit? Why?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mama Killa

If you'd like a Goddess with strength to help you stay the course, try Mama Killa (yes, that's really her name). She's the third deity in the Inca pantheon after Inti (Sun god and husband) and Illapu (Thunder god), though in some coastal communities, She was considered stronger and more vital than the others. As Mother Moon, She regulated women's menstrual cycles and childbirth. She provided shelter, understanding and support to women; in return, they venerated Her.

One myth of Mama Killa was about the Moon's 'dark spots' or lunar craters. Once a fox fell in love with the amazing beauty of Mama Killa and rose into the sky to be with Her. When he came close, she squeezed him against her, creating the dark patches visible on the bright moon's surface.

Lunar eclipses were believed to be a mountain lion or a serpent attacking and attempting to devour Mama Killa and leave the night world in darkness. The Incas would throw weapons and make great noises to scare the creature away.

Goddesses operate from a very different strength than Gods do. Many Goddesses rely less on their physical prowess and show care for the people. Mama Killa took especial care of women in the Inca community. Showing that kind of care over time means that She is capable of guiding and staying the course under any kind of conditions ~ especially when changes occur.

How do you plan to 'stay the course' through any coming changes? How can myths guide you through them? Why would a Goddess be an ally for you? Who else could be one?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dawn Reaches Ceres

From the NASA site:
"NASA's Dawn spacecraft slipped into orbit around Ceres on Friday morning. Dawn's job is to tell all about the mini-planet, discovered more than 200 years ago. The biggest question is, of course, could Ceres harbor life?"

In my research, I discovered that Ceres has been considered an asteroid as well as a dwarf planet (or mini-planet, depending on the source). It was 'discovered' on January 1, 1801 by the Italian monk Giuseppe Piazzi, who also named it. He observed it for 41 days, fell ill, then lost it in the halo of the Sun.

The dwarf planet was named after the Roman goddess Ceres. Ceres is a goddess of agriculture, fertility, grain, midwifery. Ceres also supports death ~ the growth and intensity that occurs as death comes ever nearer. The soul grows and blossoms as that unknown, unknowable time approaches. She is the midwife at the gate between the worlds.  Yet in that research, there is no reason given why an astronomer and monk would name an object in the night sky after a Roman goddess.

Another fascinating tidbit, from a 2008 report in New Scientist magazine, alleges that Ceres and Pluto were originally from the same place because they are comprised of the same compounds, which doesn't happen anywhere else in the Solar System, even though they are four billion kilometers apart (approximately). What makes this fascinating is that this corresponds to the mythology: Pluto and Ceres are siblings and part of the Olympian pantheon. Pluto takes Ceres daughter Proserpine away from the world of light and into the Underworld ~ difficult to reach and a significant distance away.

All of this information wrapped up together makes the news of the NASA spacecraft Dawn orbiting Ceres a more complex story than at first blush. I love how the science, astrological information and mythology come together. I believe in the veracity of the Chinese proverb: May you live in interesting times. I certainly do!

What do you think of the news about the NASA spacecraft Dawn? Are there other points you've learned about Ceres? What more would you want to learn? What do you think of the interweaving of science and myth?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Virgo Full Moon, March 2015

©2015 ~ Mary-Lynne Monroe
Another Full Moon ~~ In case anyone hasn't caught on, I love the moon! Today's moon is a perigee moon ~ the farthest away from the Earth. So the moon appears to be smaller.

This moon overflows with emotional energy, possibly even intense or volatile moods. It's important to bridge the emotions rather than playing into the extremes. The shadow side may come to the fore ~ be aware and prepared.

Since this time frame, and consequently the Full Moon, are all about change, the swinging emotions are part of the package. It's important to remember that change is always uncomfortable. If things are comfortable, they're likely stagnating ~ or change is being ignored.

Patience is another watchword for this moon. Accept the fact that everyone is human and makes mistakes. There is opportunity for flexibility and awareness of synchronicity. Everything is possible if patience and persistence prevail.

What emotional energy is flowing into your life? Have you seen the shadow side of your emotions? What change is happening in your life? How are you handling that change?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Almost Full Reflection

After taking my regular monthly photos of the nearly Full Moon, I turned to see the Moon reflected in a window.... twice. I thought how fitting that image is for this particular moon.

First, this is the Full Worm Moon ~ which is not the most appealing of names. However, it was so named by the Algonquin tribes whose territory once stretched from New England to Lake Superior. This is the time when the ground begins to soften and earthworm cases appear once again, inviting the return of the robins. So, okay, the name makes sense, right?

We are in the midst and at the peak of a series of Full Moons currently taking us through shifts and changes. This season is touchy. We sit at an unlikely fulcrum teetering among action, taking a stand and assertion. It's a time to reflect, think twice and focus.

What is currently shifting in your life? How are you handling it? What more do you need to reflect on before moving forward?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

In Like a Lion

Thinking of the "in like a lion, out like a lamb" phrase that often accompanies the coming of March, I find myself face-to-face with Sekhmet, the Lion Goddess of ancient Egypt. She holds that power of the gut, the instinctual, the intuitive. She is also unburdened by fear when it comes to protective and courageous action.

The phrase itself has an unknown origin, although there are three distinct and different sourcings. The first is clearly weather-related:  an observation of the seasonal pattern that March weather is often unpredictable.

The second is biblical: Jesus is both the sacrificial lamb and the Lion of Judah. Perhaps a bit of a stretch relating it only to the month of March. Particularly since March was not a month in biblical times.

The final is astronomical: At the start of March, the constellation Leo is on the horizon at sunset. By the end of March, the constellation Aries takes its turn on the horizon. This alignment would have nothing to do with any weather changes.

Myths of Sekhmet focus on her ferocity, her strength, to the point of blood-lust, in war. That strength is not long-lived. It comes on quickly, completes its goal, dissipates, and She settles into a dormant state. Much like any house cat sleeping stretched out in the patch of sunlight on a chair. Which is also how many of the roaring storms of March happen ~ a sudden, stunning flash and then it's gone and the sunshine returns.

How has March arrived for you? Lion? or Lamb? What do you believe about proverbs like this one? Which others do you know? Which source do you think started the proverb? Is there another god or goddess who fits the proverb for you?