Water Running Moon
As the grip of winter loosens, the ice thins, the snow shrinks and the wind brings more swirling snow or melting blasts, in its two-faced manner, we know that the water is starting to run. While it is under the ice and snow, as the frost releases and the land warms, it eats away at the crystal plates above it in the streams and rivers. Its quiet wetness feeds the soil and multitudes of roots...tree, shrub, grass and eventual flower. It is this wetness that is the energy of life, the elixir of all beauty.
Yet, it has been this elixir that has been so reviled in human society by the patriarchal forces that have gripped us for over three thousand years. Messiness, wetness, bloodiness, stickiness, smelliness have sent human females, babies and children into virtual isolation and any one who deals with this to be demeaned. It has caused society to eliminate all that wildness, mess and lustiness of the natural world with the hope of predictability, control, order and domination. We have attempted feats like reversing the channels and even the directional flow of rivers. We have dug deep and broken Earth Mother’s bones, scraped and scarred her skin with vast areas of monocrops, levelled her beautiful hair of grasses and trees into clearcuts and sculpted landscapes, and we have polluted her ocean womb and watery veins with some toxic elements that will take centuries to undo.
Thus, this month is a month of weeping tears for these losses, even in the midst of spring rising once again, calling us to see the miracles around us again...that together give us our life and maintain the conditions for Earth’s survival. Just this week, a neighbour was behind our fence clearing out a semi-wild or feral strip of rocky, shrubby, ferny land, that we had deliberately left. He levelled it and then intended to clearcut all the trees along, but just outside, our new fence which lies on the very edge of their community septic field. This mindset of clearcut and manicuring everything within our reach is the same mindset active globally. Replacing this feral land with lawn creates a virtual desert for the wild and living world. Gone went the native homes and food for multiple invertebrates, insects including bees which pollinate our fruit, small mammals and birds. What a small calamity echoing the big calamity.
All that gives Life continues to be banished from sight…and now we are reaping the final consequences as many of Earth’s biosystems are in decline and many tipping points exceeded. While we as a species have realized some of our errors and have miraculously reversed some trends, including reducing CFCs enabling the ozone layer to repair and thereby correcting the drift of the Southern jet stream. Poverty has been reduced somewhat, access to fresh water has been increased, the development of renewable forms of energy has escalated, and there have been some reductions in greenhouse gases. However, the positive or self-amplifying feedback loops mean now that the continual escalation of greenhouse gases, at its highest in 300 million years, is catalyzing a frightening host of effects.
We stand on a precipice. Repentant, we must turn to face the Spring Maiden, kneel at her feet and humble ourselves to the wisdom of her Life-giving processes. Without her, we are nothing. In the Mayan cosmology, Water is Female, Water is Holy, and the Water Goddess is the Female principle of the world. Her creativity and birthing waters bring life to all of creation, including our little babies. As Martín Prechtel (2001) says, her watery cycles dictate our entire life - our food, the nature of our homes, all the fibre we need, the provision of ocean, lake, river and glacier waters that are the arteries and veins of the planet, and our watery bodies. Even our emotions are the rising and falling waters of our psyches.
Earth is fighting back. She is fighting through fire, flood, wind, shaking and now virus. It is astonishing how such a small but life-threatening virus can bring the entire world to a standstill! She could have chosen nothing more potent and immediate. She could have chosen nothing more catalyzing of global solidarity. This virus passes through our water-laded mucous membranes; how fitting.
This is a profound lesson for all of us…slowing down, sleeping in, playing music, learning and playing games with children, cooking, planting gardens, virtually catching up with friends and loved ones, little traffic, no hustle and bustle, quietness, dramatically less emissions, little buying….could this actually be a model for the way ahead?
Embracing the Watery
For this month of the spring equinox, it is time for the Female principle to be honoured and balanced with the Male Principle. For women, feel the rise of energy