Regenerative Landscape Architecture
13 Jul 2011

The Hopi Prophecy Revisited

At the Oregon Country Fair this past week, I was lucky to motivate myself to get to the tipi in Community Village where a presentation was being held on the Hopi Prophecy.  I wove through the wide strands of people looking for clothing and other gear to enhance their appearance and enjoyment, and with purpose I arrived at the white towering canvas structure in time to claim a comfortable cushion and accept a shell of sage leaves to smudge myself.  The Hopi Survival Guide had frightened me as a teenager when I read it, but the message of the prophecy lingered beyond the dire warning of the direction human beings have been heading, that of choice.  I wanted to come to this talk at the Country Fair because whoever was revisiting it at this time could have something current to suggest about one of the oldest prophecies on record.

The tipi filled up, and a prophecy cloth was shown to us.  It depicted the actual drawing relaying the prophecy on the rock wall.  The cloth had been created by a man officially asked by the last native elder in charge of sharing the prophecy to carry on the teachings after his death.

The points that the speaker considered important centered around a third kind of major disturbance in the scale of time, shown as the third circle on the bottom horizontal line, after the rightmost vertical line, and the figures lined up atop the top horizontal line.  These figures’ heads are disconnected from their bodies as they travel the path of disconnection, basically the opposite of a spiritual path.  Immediately, I noticed that the third disturbance, as indicated on the speaker’s cloth, bore a striking resemblance to a symbol that I wrote about in a previous blog article, that of a pyramid with its apex hovering above its main lower two thirds.

The two symbols, that of people with their heads disconnected from their bodies and that of the disconnected pyramid, which is so common and yet strange nevertheless, seemed also to be obviously related to one another.  The discussion in the Community Village tipi centered around this symbology of disconnection.  The prophecy appears to indicate an inner sort of war, a time where people are stuck in their heads, disconnected from their hearts.

In my studies of mythology during a college exchange to New Mexico, I gained insight into recognition of symbols within the variation of depictions by different hands, in diverse cultures, and at various times.  The cloth shown to the group in the tipi during the Country Fair had a distinctly pyramidal third disturbance symbol, where in the example I found online (shown above) the symbol is not immediately recognizable as related to the pyramid I mentioned.

Human senses are deeply affected by environmental and internal stimuli.  For instance, perception is easily dulled with repetition of things we know to be untrue or ridiculous, as with television commercials or talk shows.  Entrainment to such low-frequency patterns of thought act on the mind to discount and eventually not see a variety of options outside of what is presented.  Eating food with chemical additives like energy sodas and neon orange snack foods has an emotional impact on the human organism, dulling and confusing our sensory capacity.  The kind of recognition that one can have, therefore, as a result of specific stimuli has validity.  In other words, you sometimes have to be in the right mood or state of health to see or be drawn to something, for instance a connection.

To me it is definitely possible that the Hopi Prophecy warns modern people of what is already perceptible as the early stages of a kind of global media pop-corporate culture seduction including pod-to-pod living and an all-encompassing drive for fame and wealth.  From personal mp3 playing device pods that block out the sounds of Nature and communication from other people, to the automobile that surrounds us in a slightly larger pod of glass and steel and carries us directly into our home box or pod from our work pod, we are distinctly cut off from what is real in this world right now as a mass culture.  Subliminal advertising doesn’t even have to be in use if soulless music is played in grocery stores.  Media conglomeration continues to squelch local perspectives and diverse reporting of what is news-worthy.  There are so many additional examples of disconnection in this society (U.S.) that I’m sure I don’t need to go into them here.  Perhaps it’s not quite as all-encompassing as in the movie The Matrix, but the similarities could be worthy of thought.

Here are the important questions as I see them:  how could this kind of disconnectedness have been foretold by an ancient people?  And more importantly, why is it worth being warned about?

I think that the first question is a whole other article, so I will say that I think they were deeply connected to their natural sensory ability and leave it at that for now so I can move onto the second question.  Disconnection is a serious threat to the survival of our species.  Whether you believe it or not, the fact is that humanity exists inside a living system where connectivity is the name of the game.  Everything affects and is affected by everything else.  If you’ve ever experienced synchronicity, you’ve witnessed the magic of how your seemingly routine decisions can help another person’s manifestation come about, and vise versa.  The casual conversation you have on the commuter train with a stranger on the way to work triggers you to see a musical performance at which you run into an old acquaintance who has just the information you were looking for, etc.  We are all connected in a mysterious web of energy whether we utilize it or continually block ourselves off from recognizing it.  Connection can be as simple and yet profound as being in the right place at the right time because a friend tipped you off to something good.  In terms of global systemic balance, do you think it is better to tune in and turn on to what your intuition is telling you or to stop and check your facebook messages every time the bing goes off on your smart phone?

I would like to bring into this question the symbol of the levitating pyramid cap.  There is an interesting video series that interprets this symbol in an uncommon way.  After watching the exploration of levitation via complex symbol magnetics, I decided that it is perhaps possible that the “Free Masons” called themselves free because they had discovered how not to have to lift a finger to build with stone.  Regardless of that particular interpretation, the floating pyramid symbol is almost everywhere you look.  I even saw it at the Oregon Country Fair!  Who knows why or what it means?  It does get used a lot by conspiracy theorists though to “prove” their theories, thus inspiring fear.

Fear itself seems to be mainly a kind of disconnection from reality, reality being the bioenergetic fact that human beings can create material substance from thought via emotional frequency. I postulate, then, that the Hopi Prophecy is a warning against separating from our nature, our inherent powers of creation, our basic connection to Nature and to each other, and an admonition to reconnect within, and to act in strong accord with the deep frequency of the heart chakra.  In this way, we can save ourselves from our own darkness.

On Sunday night of the Country Fair, I sat on a bale of straw next to my new friend and fellow camper Octavia, who is a good friend of Brian Stroud and his wife.  The wire and L.E.D. crystal she carried to illuminate her way and lost later that night reminded me of The Dark Crystal, and the way the Skeksis merged with the urRu again after the crystal was reunited with the shard.  I wonder if this is the meaning of the Hopi Prophecy.

 

02 Jul 2011

Apocalypse Power

We’ve all heard the term “conspiracy theory.”  This is the idea that a master plot is being carried out by an elite group to take control of humanity.  There are several tangents of conspiracy theory, from government control, to alien take-over, to hollywood satanism.  After reviewing a number of explanations and analyses of these theories, I would like to bring some points I haven’t seen yet into the conversation.

While the main message of the conspiracy analyses I have digested seems clearly to be “get ready for suffering,” I’d like to insert Franklin D. Roosevelt’s deeply wise statement here, that the only thing to fear is fear itself. Those of us interested in personal and social evolution and grappling with ideas about how to best handle things like the Patriot Act and corporate personhood, for instance, can stock our toolboxes with methods for getting and staying connected to source energy from within our personal energy bodies.*  Such enables those seeking a source of personal power or a stronger footing from which to do their best work to sidestep the destructive energy of such theories as well as that of various energy vampires who out of their own fear endeavor to hold back the light of the awakening soul.  That mouthful basically means that within your auric field, you are safe, if you learn how to nourish and utilize its fascinating qualities.  It also means that there are many people in the world who avoid their own truths, feelings, and shadow selves by tormenting anyone they see shining brightly.  It seems easier to them to push others down than heal their own suffering and rise to a new frequency.

When I use the term ‘source energy,’ I intend to point the reader toward a consideration of whatever conceptual version of Great Spirit with with she or he resonates.  When I say ‘God,’ I get a Christian vibe from that word.  I learned from the Bahai faith, which I studied in college, to tolerate Christianity for its basic teachings of love and service to a higher good for all humankind, even though I can’t find the same attitude towards its mass murder of women intent to channel healing (W.I.T.C.H.es) back in the 15th to 18th centuries.  Native American spirituality has always held strong sway with me, matching up with my own earthy sentiments in terms of a natural diety who wants humanity to evolve toward greater health, love, and harmony with Nature.  As a natural mystic, in the style of Alan Watts and Van Morrison, I’ve chosen to weave that with a practice of Taoism, which fits my observations, studies, and experiences of the world.  My sense is that it doesn’t matter what name a person gives to what has been called ‘higher power,’ or how exactly one practices reverence for this entity or energy, in accordance with basic shalls and shall nots of energy exchange, such as respect for life, which goes without saying for the most part.  And I should probably say for the sake of clarity that I believe there to be only One, thereby rendering any arguments of satanic worship fitting into the definition of higher power irrelevant.

Having said all this, the main focus of this piece is the use of focus for protection.  Or, to be more precise, sidestepping of unwanted experiences or circumstances.  In my study of manifestation, which began when I lost a job in 2006, I’ve learned how closely it relates to Taoism.  Allowing events their neutrality opens the path to deeper experience and opportunities one might have missed were focus frozen on what has happened and how much seems to be wrong with that.

How this relates to conspiracy theories as presented in videos like ‘Are You Ready?,’ ‘Satanic Hollywood,’ future world map projections, and similar story lines is that fear is the main tool of such supposed agendas, yet the expose efforts available online as mentioned above just generate more of the same fear.  The tone of all the documentaries I’ve watched and articles I’ve read is the same, a warning.  There aren’t many solutions or action-plans is this material.  The movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward looks at one man’s design ideas about human settlements as a solution and does address the fact of our unique power as human beings to withstand and avert disaster from a spiritual base.  But after viewing the movie I was left with an unquantifiable dread and no idea how to get to a safe place, so to speak.  The message of hope seemed obscured.

Granted, not everyone will share my response to conspiracy theory.  Some may digest it wholly as fact and spend the rest of their lives scrambling to build a zombie-proof fortress underground.  Others might dismiss it all and keep on gardening, programming, trading stocks, or whatever they are currently doing.  The message of conspiracy theorists, regardless, is to be afraid, and this discussion responds by suggesting an option for transmuting generated emotional thought patterns with regard to the integrity of the energy body.

So here’s the crux of my argument.  Because conspiracy theory seeks to generate the energy of fear within you, it leaves its weakness open, and that weakness is the need to scare you.  Once you recognize that weak spot in the conspiracy argument for what it is, you can simply know that fear generates patterns of energy within your bioenergetic organism that create that which is feared, and you can then change your frequency to that of love and appreciation.  What this simple but powerful act does is move you out of the channels that lead toward the apocalypse or satanic alien takeover or nibiru collision or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to be quite blunt.  There are many scenarios for apocalypse, and I won’t go into them because why dwell on what is not desirable?  In fact, that is exactly what this work is about.  A great film about focus in this context can be found on Youtube, combining the coexistence of quantum physics and conspiracy theory.

One final point I’d like to make in the conversation about conspiracy theories is that fear of an apocalypse of any kind serves to motivate awakening individuals toward the development of inner spiritual-energetic resources that appear to be designed to serve the well-being and survival of the human being, regardless of the state of the environment…  This is a Taoist perspective.  Fear or empowerment?  The supposed perpetrators of global attack on grassroots people can’t get you if you can get connected to the only real source of energy there is.  By doing this you can get on with the unfolding of your unique gift to the world and participate in the evolution of humankind toward greater good for all life.  That’s my $.02.

*I will be teaching a workshop in the near future on an effective way to get and stay connected to Universal energy currents that heal and protect us from within our personal energy bodies.  Keep an eye on my calendar if you would like to attend, or sign up for my newsletter to be notified of dates and locations.

 

30 May 2011

Pizza Permaculture

One of the main principles of Permaculture is to grow by chunking, or to start with a manageable piece of a site and build off of it so as to connect each area within the larger context.  In other words, pick a spot that makes sense to you and go from there.  “There” can be the back door of your new home in late Spring, where you only have space and time for a small kitchen garden.  It can be a barn that holds your front-burner project.  Whatever you choose, once you start working Permaculture into your site, it becomes easier in a way.

For my intern, who is building a cob pizza oven for this year’s Village Building Convergence on a double lot in Northeast Portland, Oregon, a Pizza Permaculture garden made sense.  We assembled a design team and met on-site several times to assess and prepare the space for holding the workshop. 

Design considerations were limited by other activities and features sited nearby:

·    Sun exposure needs for the plants differ from that of the mushrooms, so I sited the tomatoes next to the “crusts” (burlap bags containing mushroom spawn & growing medium at the tops of the beds) without the use of cages.  This will allow the tomatoes to drape over the burlap bags and shade the spawn inside, creating a microclimate.
·    Proximity to the cob oven makes it easy for owners and their guests to bring fresh ingredients to the prep area when the pizza dough is ready to be topped.
·    Leaving adequate space for movement around fire pit seats and the wildlife tree bench ensures a welcoming and comfortable space as well as a functional garden.
·    Narrowing paths between beds allows for such a small garden to inhabit this special sun-drenched spot amidst other activities and gardens.
·    Visually linking the garden to pizza via shaping the beds like slices is a fun way to key potential users into the social side of Permaculture.

Permaculture principles adhered to included:

A.    Observe over time & design for specific site & client.  The owners have lived at the site for six years & have been able to witness & cooperate with site microclimates, as well as weave the pizza garden in with other design elements, namely the cob oven.  In addition, following the installation, they will be able to observe its success and make adjustments over time, extending the observation period.
B.    “Start small with intensive & productive systems that are manageable.”* The design is for a very small overall area, but inside it much is happening.  From soil layering to mycoremediation, the pizza garden allows for growth by chunking.
C.    Obtain a yeild.  Herbs will continually produce, and so will mushrooms.  Plants like Basil and tomatoes are fun to plant each year and widely available.  Giant zucchini can be shared with neighbors or provide potluck dishes to help the owners continue to build community with their neighbors and the Permaculture network of Portland.
D.    Connect using relative location.  We’ve placed the pizza garden in useful relationship to the wildlife tree bench, firepit, and cob oven.  This means being able to walk between all of these areas, carry produce fresh-picked from the garden to the oven’s prep counter, and sit comfortably on the bench and around the firepit.
E.    Use biological & renewable resources.  Donated plants & organic compost & mulches, & volunteer design & labor contribute to social as well as natural capital, or the long-term establishment of beneficial relationships & stored energy.
F.    Turn problems into solutions.  When we recognized that the beds had been sited 12” too close to the bench in an effort to give room for firepit seating, we were able to plan for narrowing the bench around the wildlife tree as well as move the beds out.  This solved the problem of people not being able to lean back against the tree before when sitting on the bench.
*paraphrased by Tom Ward

Watch this video from one of our site prep meetings:  Beds Are Dug, Now Let’s Talk A Bit

Here are the steps of the workshop:

1.    Scrape to bare clay earth, about 4 to 6 inches depth
2.    Lay down a thick layer of innoculated hardwood chips (6 months’ old Alder, Maple, Birch, Cottonwood, Ash = no more than 20% of pile)
3.    Spread a compost layer on top of wood chips and mix with chips
4.    Layer with cardboard that is 3/4 wet and has been punctured with holes for each plant

5.    Plant and topdress with compost

 

 

 

Following the installation of the mushrooms and plants, children immediately began playing a guitar and swinging near the new garden, and a chicken hopped in next to the smallest Basil plant.  We erected a chicken fence.

I wanted to make the workshop replicable, so that anyone not familiar with Permaculture could use it to get started in a manageable way, or show their grandparents how fun and useful Permaculture can be.  A young woman from San Francisco wanted to use the workshop to introduce her summer camp group to sustainable gardening.  A designer from Montana took inspiration from the lively discussion during the workshop for seeking a more deeply satisfying niche.  Look for the workshop again soon.  And start preparing your spiel to your grandparents.  🙂

23 Mar 2011

Demonstrating Permaculture – Two Easy Ways

They are the people who live in so-called neighborhoods throughout America, and if given the chance, they will light up to Permaculture. Read on for one designer’s take on utilizing Landscape Architecture and Permaculture Design to transform suburbs and urban grid neighborhoods into an adventure in cultural transformation.

05 Jan 2011

Mycelium Demonstrating Taoism

Mushroom guru Paul Stamets showed the first video ever of mycelium in action a year or two ago at the Oregon Country Fair. His laptop kept shutting down, and he rebooted five or six times before ending his presentation early. I had been building the Front Porch that year, and Paul’s talk was the one presentation I made it to at my camp’s booth, wandering by in the early evening on my way back to camp and realizing I’d happened to make it to the talk even though I’d forgotten about it from a full day of frolicking in the woods. I lay atop the numerous carpets and cushions we had spread under the canopies hung from the forest and watched little streams of material flow along the fungal network.  Stametz had discovered from making the video that mycelium make a web of routes so that if there is a dead-end at any point along the network, the fungus always has an alternate way.

When my van wouldn’t start on a drizzly Saturday recently, I found myself at a mechanic’s shop instead of my yoga class.  I thought about all the ways I could find meaning in the unexpected change in my schedule, and Taoism came to mind.  The ancient eastern philosophy reminds us to go with the flow and not see the day’s turn of events negatively, since, as Alan Watts once said, they aren’t done yet. After studying and doing my best to live according to its principles, I have arrived at a sense that Taoism is mainly about going with circumstances instead of resisting and judging them, since they are a part of a large orchestration that didn’t start at a specific point in time and doesn’t particularly have an end either. It seems that fungal mycelium are directly demonstrating this principle.

What if circumstances provide the architecture for energy to flow through our lives and carry us somewhere? Under the colorfully lit nighttime canopy of Oaks and Vine Maples that night at the Country Fair, I’d reasoned that the streaming stuff within the fungal network of the mycelium was information of some kind, and that it had to move, but that it didn’t necessarily have a destination or end-point in mind.Stamets  showed slides of the human brain next to the mycelial networks, and it appeared that the human neural network is practically the same as the mycelial one. In a macro/microcosm, the most mammoth principle can be seen in the smallest forms, and vice-versa.

Considering the events of that Saturday provided me with insight into new ways to work with circumstances as if they are the architecture through which my experience is able to flow, suggesting that accepting the avenues that present themselves will allow me to continue to move and thus grow, change, and evolve.  Mycelium provide a striking visual example, thanks to the videography work of a mushroom pioneer.

In the larger scheme of things, if nothing else, evolution is certainly a prime goal, for we do not know what we are, regardless of what our science thinks this week, and we cannot see where we are headed, except that there is a path opening before us in every moment. We can live in a rut, retracing the same path until we move into the Great Mystery, or we can choose to see the beauty in the ever-changing structure which houses the immaterial substance at the core of our bioenergetic species identity, and go with it.