JEFF PHILLIPS & LIESBET VERSTRAETEN REPORTING from Mother Earth
“Lolamai-Kuwaqatsi” is Hopi for "all is wonderful Mother Earth"!
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The past five weeks has been the most “out of touch” with “civilization” that we’ve ever been; no words can convey the power and awesomeness of being totally embedded in the womb of Mother Earth. We’re back at our friend Arni’s place on the remote north-west coast of Flinders Island, which is about half-way between Tasmania and Melbourne in the south of Australia. Most of our friends who may be reading this now have probably seen the film we made about our weeks here in 2009, The Chronicles of Balarnia, “Balarni” being Arni’s nick-name. It’s been two and a half years since we were here; it’s pretty much the same, only it’s grown a bit, both in terms of indigenous vegetation and Arni’s “semi-permacultural” construction projects. The medicine wheel we made in 2009, our very first, has held up well; before we leave this time we’ll give it a good over-haul.
This document of necessity will be quite brief, not nearly as in-depth of a report as I’d like to send, after being essentially out of electronic communication with everyone for over a month; we have to drive 60 kms both to have electricity and to go on-line, and we have to leave in about 3 hours to go back.
Up until the day we left Hobart five weeks ago I was networking massively about the state of the world and the “geo-terrorism” scenario. Just as informed minds had expected, the situation with Fukushima and the global spread of radioactivity has continued to worsen; and revelations of nefarious intention and agendas at the highest levels of worldly power continue to unfold. As always, it’s important to realize that it’s not “them” that’s doing it all, it’s “us.”
This entire reality, what I would describe as a form of Hadean tragi-comedy crossed with “theatre of the absurd” has seemed light-years away during our weeks at Balarnia, except, in fact, for the week of intensive chem-trail spraying that went on directly over our heads about a month ago. Yes, even over the northern sector of Flinders Island, home to no more than a few dozen people. For a while we even considered that these sinister pseudo-cumular emissions might be specifically for us!
Luckily, however, the very first thing we did upon arriving was to erect a Djed pillar in honour of the positive dimension of ancient Egyptian cosmology. I know about the Djed from my wonderful friend Moira Timms, author of Beyond Prophecies and Predictions, who told me that the Djed is the most powerful of Egyptian symbols and was actually the focus of their most important ceremony called “raising the Djed” that was conducted at sacred and powerful moments in time. The Djed pillar is a symbolic representation of the back-bone of Osiris, who Moira likens to being “the Jesus of the Egyptians.” The Djed represents the union of heaven and Earth, the forces of stability and regeneration. The Djed is also associated with the crown chakra. And the “Djedi” are the “spiritual body of Osiris”, that is, those who are living in their highest consciousness.
I call ours the “Uncle Djed pillar” because we’re using left-over materials like wooden cable spools, pvc piping, and an old ceramic insulator from a power-pole, plus the fact that where we are looks like where the Klampetts might have come from.
Coincidentally, we just happened to arrive at Balarnia just before the Egyptian new year, which is July 23, the “heliacal rising of Sirius”, which is the brightest star in the sky and the most important celestial being to the Egyptians after the Ra, the sun. July 23 is when Sirius becomes visible again after being in conjunction with the sun for 70 days. In perfect harmony with the cosmos, our “raising of the Djed” was conducted on the Egyptian new year.
One of the ancient Greek scientists, Aristotle possibly, wrote about how dolphins all seemed to disappear around “the time of the dog star”, what they call “the dog days” in America, which is in fact 23 July, Sirius being the “dog star.” I’ve always felt there is some kind of connection between the whales and dolphins and the star Sirius. Also on the Egyptian New Year, Liesbet and I were down at the beach and saw a pod of dolphins for the first time ever here on Flinders Island. Another cosmic synchronicity.
Only a few days later the chem-trails started appearing, so we “activated the Djed” on behalf of Mother Earth and requested that the chem-trails be banished. The next day these very interesting cloud formations appeared, and when another chem-trail was released, it looked as if these freaky cloud-beings actually moved towards the chem-trail and chased it away, causing it to dissipate and disappear.
I’ve made up a new concept for what we’re doing at Arni’s. You may have heard of WWOOFing, which is “Willing Workers on Organic Farms.” It’s an international network that people join, then they go to places that host “wwoofers” in various countries, where they work a few hours a day in exchange for food and shelter. What Liesbet and I are doing is called “WWIRSPing”, or “Willing Workers In Remote Semi-Permaculture.” We are doing more and harder work of various kinds than ever before in our lives but not for money; we pay for everything ourselves but we get to stay here and do whatever we want, build and grow whatever we want for as long as we are able to stay here, which could be anywhere from a few more weeks to a few more months. If we could raise $200,000, we’d buy Balarnia to make sure that it remains THE coolest place we know of on this planet. Then Arni could give up on mining gold and buy the schooner of his dreams!
Liesbet’s been doing a massive amount of gardening in several different garden areas, and I’ve focussed on building first furniture, then the stone medicine wheel complex based on the chakras. The Djed pillar is inside the crown chakra, and 25 meters away at the root chakra is a regenerating eucalyptus tree. At the heart chakra will be a small kiva-like chamber which we will be able to sit inside; on top will be soil with plants and sand with another medicine wheel. I’ve also built two large heavy-duty seed-beds, one with chicken-wire on top and one with plate glass; any garden area has to be protected not only from the chickens, of which there are 22, but also from wallaby’s, wombats, and the ever-present possum. In addition, I’m trying to sprout some non-indigenous conifer trees like the giant redwood and the hoop pine, of the Auracaria family.
The building where we are living is not isolated from the surrounding environment by any means; the air blows through nicely and, most awesomely, we can hear the myriad frogs and birds which are always around, especially in the evening. In particular, there are a few more-porks, a native owl, around, as well as another kind of owl that sounds like a cat meowing. At least three of four kinds of frogs, including the banjo frog; kookaburras, of course; and many kinds of small song-birds, like the blue fairy wrens and a swallow-like kind with a very complex song that appeared a couple weeks ago. An ornithologist friend of Arni's observed over 50 species of birds here a few years ago.
I’ve been working so hard that my hands and arms have begun to mutate; I’ve been doing so much physical landscaping, hauling, and construction…a form of “nature dharma”…that I have yet to pick up a paint brush, much less start to write any of the several books that it was my goal at least to begin while at Balarnia.
What we are doing is totally crazy to normal people…doing a massive amount of work, for no money, busting our asses day in and day out, on land we not only don’t own but can’t even stay there for any great length of time without having to leave because of governmental bureaucracy bullshit. We are doing our best actually to live in the reality that we would like to have, and that we’d love to see other people making an attempt to live in…a reality not only close to but firmly embedded in, the womb of Mother Earth; a way of living that is not self-contradictory and that is in harmony with nature; a way of living that is making a serious move towards extreme voluntary simplification and sustainability in a true sense…not the geo-political meme sense. We are living with no electricity, rain-water to drink and pond-water for other uses, planting many many types of edible plants, constantly honouring the Earth and communing with the local nature devas, much in the manner of the original Findhorn in Scotland. We don’t have any 8-foot hollyhocks or 5 pound cabbages grown in sand…yet…but miracles are happening nonetheless. The blue skies, the songs of birds, the voices of the wind and ocean, the gentleness of the rain, the stonedness of the rocks, and the power of life are miracles enough to keep us happy!
What we are doing and how we are living there is in honour of and in the spirit of several of our heroes, in particular, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, whose work we first really discovered here in 2009; Edward Abbey, author of Desert Solitiare, based on his journals from being a park ranger in Arches National Park in Utah in the 1950’s; Black Elk, the Lakota medicine man whose vision of the “healing of the sacred hoop” we are trying to fulfil; William Blake, the 18th century Irish artist/poet/visionary who lived on the fringes of society, foresaw the “Satanic mills” of the Industrial Revolution which is now destroying the Earth, and said that only those people who are true artists, that is, who are true to their own inner and natural creativity, are truly spiritual; Olaf Stapledon, the British philosopher and author of The Star-Maker, whose imaginative writings resemble a journal of actual experience far more than mere flights of fancy; Hundertwasser, the Austrian artist who came to live in remote New Zealand, who loved nature and spirals, hated straight lines and right angles, and who stressed the importance of being in tune with our waste; and finally, William Ricketts, an Australian sculptor and in many ways like William Blake, who spent a lot of time in the central desert with aboriginal peoples in the 1960’s and 70’s, who then created a massive garden of sculptures based on real people that show them literally as a part of nature…I’ve never seen anything like it…the sculptures are installed in a former bird sanctuary near Dandenong to the east of Melbourne. His purpose was to demonstrate to the Wasichu mentality, the white people from Europe, the sacred nobility and beautiful uniqueness of the aboriginal people who have been almost totally exterminated by the greedy and psychotic strains of racism that are unfortunately still “alive and well” in this the “lucky country.” This, like Fukushuma and uranium mining, is another story.
We’ve been reading lots of books, and I’ve been learning some words from the Hopi language. “Lolamai” means “all is wonderful” and “Kuwa-qatsi” means “Mother Earth.” At Balarnia, “all is wonderful for Mother Earth” and we’re doing our best to show her and the Great Spirit that the “people of one heart” are not only not extinct, but are actually thriving in our own small way. We are hoping that the spirit of Balarnia will spread to the ends of the Earth before it's too late for homo sapiens, if in fact the show's not already over for "man, the wise." Maybe destroying ourselves is in fact our final and highest act of real wisdom...doing Mother Earth and everyone else who lives here a big favour.
Check out these photos to see where we are and what we’re doing. Hopefully next week I’ll have time to write more and share our journey here in greater detail. Until then may the Great Spirit smile upon you always, wherever you are and whatever the nature of your personal reality might be…may it be meaningful to you!
Flinders Island Tasmania
25 August 2011