Mythic Prelude for September, 2009
Sowing the Wind
“If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me.”
Macbeth, I.3
Even if the sheer cacophony of this summer were not enough to tell us that the high wind of the coming year has begun to rise, the sweep of change that the wind always brings would be evident to us in the set of crises that dominate the months ahead. How critical are the issues that face us between now and the end of the year? So critical that the "economy," what remains of it, is an upstage spear carrier compared to the main players at front and center. The lead actors, not to put it too bluntly, are matters of life and death now. In December the Codex Alimentarius will be proposed yet again, as European pharmaceutical firms seek to ban herbal medicines, and thereby eliminate competition for their synthetic products. As you read this, health workers are allegedly being trained to administer flu vaccine in American schools, and in house-to-house visits. They will reportedly try to "persuade" families to allow their most vulnerable members -- the youngest and the oldest -- to be injected with fluids that will, if the previous Pandemic & Panic show of 1976 is anything to go by, likely kill more people than the virulent disease itself.
For some of us, this is a much more urgent issue than the firmness or flight of our money. We'll explore these things more next month in the Scorpio season of darker, deadlier matters that test our skill in addressing fearful questions without arousing fear. As you know if you have interest in these things, the chorus is rising now from forte to fortissimo among doctors warning of the dangers of an inoculation program too hastily designed and done, and reporters who see this month's mass vaccinations, riding fast on a wave of fear propaganda, as nothing less than a plot by Donald Rumsfeld, Gilead Sciences, Prince Philip and others to wreak the most horrific crime in history, a grand Malthusian scheme to infect and destroy billions of what Ebenezer Scrooge called "the surplus population."
Breathe. In such times it is best to navigate the chaos as calmly as one can, and look for steady bearings in the most luminous places. One of this month's essential texts is David Spangler's "A Call to Action: Fear & Loathing in the World," an invitation to "acts of subtle activism" at a moment when the hard "intentionality and the feel of desperation" behind the fury of today's public discourse, and the actions of physical and non-physical beings alike, seem to reinforce the certainties of those "whose imaginations are populated with images of evil forces at work in the world" -- and thus are moved to take implacable positions and to see every controversy as "a battle between light and dark" rather than what it is, "a metamorphosis, a growing up and leaving behind childish ways."
Spangler correctly writes that the old image of a battle between "good" and "evil" isn't just outworn, but dangerous. What makes our problems impossible to solve in the consciousness that we have had so far is not the difficulty of the issues themselves, but our addiction to drama and struggle. The one who wins the battle craves another victory, the loser craves a rematch and revenge, and the only way it can end is on a field strewn with too many dead for the few still living to number. It is not possible to continue the battle. "Instead," Spangler writes, "we need to think the way a caterpillar thinks as it transforms into a butterfly. The cells that formed the old structure of its body are not enemies to be defeated and cast out by the new shape; they contain the very life force and substance from which the new will be built once they surrender to the alchemical miracle of metamorphosis." They contain, as a seed does, the form and energy that will burst into new life.
Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed. Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.Nietzsche
Inevitably, we have to learn new spiritual skills, and use them more expertly and bravely, at a time when desires flame, passions crackle and the stakes seem to go up every day here in Peru, one of the true soul laboratories of our time. While I came here without romantic dreams of Inca mystery and ayahuasca visions of jungles latticed in light, and I expected that Peru is one of the countries where nature is being destroyed in the name of "advancement," I didn't expect that on the day I landed in Lima, the "Battle for the Amazon" would be raging so fiercely that the government would soon declare a three-month moratorium -- now about to expire -- on new mining construction in the selva. Nor did I expect that on the day after I found my house in Urubamba, the Sacred Valley would be under threat of a paro, a road blockage by farmers incensed at having now to pay capitalists for the water that their ancestors have had for free since the Bronze Age. Little did I know that in coming to this lyrically beautiful place to write for a few months, I'd soon be committed to capturing what I can of an ancient forest and civilization that are vanishing more rapidly than the ones who love them can shore them up.
But some things were predictable enough.
One was that The Real News network's series on "People vs. the government" -- progressive news sources are stuck in old conflict metaphors too -- would be by Al Jazeera, not by media from the Peruvian police state, and never from the United States. As we saw in Hiding the Spider, the Money Elite has long been so expert in hiding behind the governments they buy that one need not be cynical to ask if the first governments were invented by plutocrats wishing to screen their crimes from view. The trick still works, as we see in this festival alegorio from Cusco. The chain saw felling the tree that the elf tries in vain to save says Gobierno, not Barrick Gold, Anaconda, or some other scarcity-obsessed plunderer out to get the oil or the copper before a competitor can.
Nor is the wolf at left named Monsanto, the company most universally feared and hated in the Latin world for its aggressive campaign to replace the miracle of Andean maize with genetically-modified, blimped-up, standard yellow suicide corn.
"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal." Hosea 8:7
The contrast could not be more extreme between the mastery of agriculture that once made the Inca's realm perhaps the most brilliant farming culture in our planet's history -- and the loss of their land that the people of Peru face today. These terraces at Pisac, and others like them all over the empire, were once so hugely productive that food grown on them sustained a population that one estimate places at an astonishing 33 million in the decades before the Spanish came.
A labor force that big may explain why the Inca's engineers and builders took only a few centuries to build immense farms and temple complexes so much faster than Romans or Spaniards ever did, so that conquistadors and their priests could only attribute these magnificent works to the help of El Diablo. Like their counterparts among Egyptologists who bring every resource but wonder to their task, they could not understand how high and fast men may build when they feel their work is sacred, and when they know that the Pharaoh or the Inca owns all of this, but we share his responsibility of stewardship for it.
There was an honor and joy in Peru's life then, as we see in early accounts like Garcilaso de la Vega's. But no more now, in a continent ravaged by polluters and their wholly-owned public officials who give the people two intolerable choices: victimization by agribusiness and mineral firms who are now reported to own, amazingly, 70% of Peru's total land area; or an impetuous rage that can find no legitimate target when the corporatist devourers and destroyers remain well hidden behind "the government" and the eternally luckless men in uniform who do what it tells them.
It is evident how the showdown must go, if and when it comes, now that Yehude Simon, the prime minister who resigned in July to take the fall for the bloodbath in the jungle, is being groomed to run for president against the almost mythically inept Alan Garcia. This man, who ruined the country's economy almost overnight after he was first elected in 1985 on a promise of opposing the Free Trade Agreement and "those right-wingers . . . [who] only believe in . . . foreign investment and in the law of the fittest" is now president again, apparently because any alternative would have been even worse. He proceeded as soon as he regained office to violate his campaign pledges and commit his country to free market policies and what Al Jazeera called "a predictable legal framework for US investors." The fire sale is about to resume. There is no overestimating the sadness of Peru, where I have yet to get an answer to the question any child in any other country can handle: "What person in your country do you admire?"
"Every time I plant a seed, He say kill it before it grow, he say kill it before they grow."
Bob Marley
The biodiversity of the Sacred Valley must have made it look centuries ago like an elegantly-cultivated garden of Eden. One trick to this verdant magic was experimental stations like this famous one at Moray. Each of these tiers was a microclimate that tested which varieties of coca, maize, potatoes and beans would thrive at which precise elevations, so they could then be matched with terraces at the optimum altitudes in other areas of the country.
The result was a greater mastery of what the Quechua called ayni -- that is, helping nature to be abundant so that Mother Pachamama will take care of us in turn -- than anyone else has ever achieved. When we consider that even today Peru has so many varieties of staple crops --perhaps as many as 5,000 species of potato -- we can only guess how many more must have grown here once, thanks to the Incan genius for the management of soils, seeds and water.
But this too is rapidly changing now, and those who are bent on creating abundance on their terms have learned well the lessons of keeping their work out of sight. Nelly Luna Amancio's July 13 article "Amenaza para la salud" in Comercio de Peru reported that, according to an Agriculture Ministry study, "genetically modified . . . hard yellow corn spreads silently and illegally in different regions of Peru, even though current law prohibits the entry, production and marketing of these products." Two strains of this GM maize have been identified as products of Monsanto. No one, not even Biodiversidad en America Latina, Ecologistas en Accion or the Madrid-based environmental alliance whose "Tolerencia Cero con los Transgenicos" is the source of the image that headlines this page, has been able to find out how more and more of these Monsanto death seeds are getting into the country. But the anecdotal evidence grows, as farmers keep reporting that agents from some company they've never heard of approach them to offer seed corn (it's free now, you buy it next year) and a serum that can be injected directly into the growing ears of corn to make them boomingly big.
"Every seed is awakened, and all animal life." Sitting Bull
If we were talking here about a process of life rather than of death finely calculated for profit, we could say that in the actions of Monsanto and other engineers of planetary suicide, a new myth is being born. We all know the myths of the tiny seed as a symbol of life's explosive, irresistible force, in everything from Jesus' parable of the mustard seed to the adage as old as Aeschylus that from little acorns mighty oaks may grow, to the story of Jack's magic beans, so potent that from one of them there grew overnight a beanstalk big enough to hold a giant's castle above the clouds. Even a Bad Seed, as in the story of the innocent girl who carries her mother's hunger for murder, is expected to replicate its kind. In every seed, until now, life has gathered its force to the unstoppable moment of emergence, ready or not, as when the newly-pregnant Dewey Dell in Faulkner's As I Lay Dying says, "I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth."
At least this has been true until now, as we come to our decision, not a "battle," as to whether life is a sacred mystery that we're to preserve and rejoice in, or a commodity to be calibrated and sold. Let us pray we have the wisdom to see the riches shown here not as what is being lost -- though it is surely in peril now -- but as what is ours to protect and celebrate. Let us proceed at nature's own subtle speed to project our intentions as lovingly as we can in circles who speak and sing our truth, yet do not give ground.
If David Spangler is correct in this advice too, then clearly it is time to stand together with like-minded people in ways that resonate with us.
One is the Sept. 9 Cleanse the Currency meditation, aimed at using our collective intentions to purify our money from the infections of fear and lack that rob it of value. On the same day, Joe Berlinger's explosive new documentary Crude opens nationwide in the United States.

You can also join Pachamama Ayni, whose efforts I am honored to assist.

At the Sept. 22 Equinox, you can join a sound circle -- like the one I'll join in Cordoba, Argentina at the first World Gathering of Circle of Sound -- in a Global Harmonization linking groups all over the world in the frequencies and intentions of Compassion, Unity, Acceptance, Joy and Peace.
The main thing is to get in the game with others and hold fast in this Libra season that favors partnership and the abundant harvests that come from courageous teamwork. It's time to sing. To hold the vision of teeming, variegated life. "To see the thing in the seed," wrote Lao Tzu, "that is genius."
Keep Holding That Frequency.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2011:
For Prelude (November, 2008) and Acts 1 and 2 (April - August, 2009), see UFC Index
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
2012: The End of . . . What?
Copyright 2009 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.