The Boulder in the Road – Excerpt From Calliput Mountain

TOM

“Does it occur to you,” Tom said, as if reading her mind, “that we’re living in a time warp?  That things from the past are happening all over again?  As if time itself is trying once more to get it right, trying to get around a huge boulder in the road?”

Tom felt contrite when he saw a brief flicker of alarm cross Lucille’s face.  He hadn’t meant to alarm her.  He had only been thinking out loud.

“I believe,” the old man said as he reached for a water bottle, “the gov’ment is trying to turn these mountains into a penal colony.  Four prisons so far, just in our own mountains, another prison in the works.  Add to that the ones already built on nearby mountaintops which were dynamited for cheaper access to the coal.  All done under the guise of helping us by providing a few more jobs.  A few more jobs that are a drop in the bucket of what’s needed here. Meanwhile, they’re taking away the freedom our ancestors fought for more than 200 years ago.  It’s happening again.”

“What do you mean, again!”  A voice challenged.

“In the 1700s England treated America like their own private penal colony.  They emptied their prisons, sending at least fifty thousand convicts here.  Most of them had been jailed for trivial offenses, but more than fifty thousand were sent to this area. They arrived in convict ships in Maryland and Virginia.  Most were jailed for trivial offenses, but their main offense was in being poor. The poor were considered a drain on society.  What better way to be rid of them than ship them to the colonies, sell them into slavery to provide free labor to the elite?

“Many of the prisoners later ended up in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.  Before we became a state.  You likely have them in your own ancestry.” 

“I thought England sent the prisoners to Australia. It’s well-known that country was settled by convicts shipped from England.”  A murmur ran through the crowd.

“Are you saying our ancestors, who settled these mountains, were among the convict slaves?”

“Some were.  But many of the convicts were victims of repression.” the old man said.  “Most likely guilty of petty crimes for survival, a loaf of bread to keep from starving.  You see what I’m saying?  It might allow you to understand why the government thinks it’s fitting to locate the prisons here.”

Tom found himself enthralled by old man Honeycutt’s words.  Why had he never thought about this?  He’d known, having read it in the history books, that England had shipped convicts to the colonies.  But he’d never thought to wonder about it.  Where had the convicts ended up after their time was served?  How many settled in the mountains? It now seemed strange, that he hadn’t wondered. Why hadn’t he?  Wondered, that was.  He’d swallowed the story about them fighting for freedom of religion, as if that was all there was to it.  Now he could see that the long road that led from the founding of America to the present was rife with frightful revelations.

His thoughts drowned out the noises around him.  He’d never understood why his people were held in such low esteem.  His ancestors had pioneered these mountains.  They were among the original settlers. They fought throughout the Revolution to gain America’s freedom.  They were part and parcel of the Overmountain Men.  Leaving their humble homesteads to challenge and defeat the boastful British Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of Kings Mountain.  The battle turned the winning tide of the American Revolution to the Patriots. Afterwards they returned to their mountain homes and reared their families. So what happened?

Somewhere they lost face. Was it because of their homespun ways? Their hard work plus their reluctance to upgrade their status through the appearance of material wealth? They had continued to value the ways of their ancestors. Feeling no need to replace the old ways with questionably new ones. Whatever it was, the world that later re-discovered them behind their mountain walls called them ignorant. They felt justified in considering their resources fair game. As if their coal was there for the taking, however cheaply they managed to take it. Even if they had to blow off the mountaintops and just scoop it out.

Bragging Rights

Bragging Rights

Since this is my blog it occurs to me I have bragging rights.  Today I want to brag about my son Justin.  Not only is he a wonderful son, father, brother, etc., he started out life with a great attitude, that he was born with the ability to make his own choices in life.  He realized this at a very early age.

My brilliant son at the tender age of five came home from his third day in kindergarten.  “Well,” he said with satisfaction, “I learned all I want to know.”  I explained that he had only begun his education and there was much more to learn.  He was still insistent that he “had learned all he wanted to know.” He had no intention of returning to school.  I didn’t want him to feel he had no say in the matter, that school was something which was forced on him.  I wanted him to see it was a journey just begun and look forward to learning more.  To be honest I was bewildered.  It was one thing, I thought, to hate school as some children may say they do, but another to think they have learned all they wanted to know after three days in kindergarten.  I wondered if I’d given him the impression that school was like Tot Lot, which he’d attended for a few weeks the summer before. I talked to the Principal and he thought my son may need some special attention.  He would come offer him a ride in his little red sports car.

My son did not act impressed when the Principal came but agreed to go with him.  I don’t know what the Principal did or said but my son did return to kindergarten and became a happy brilliant student. He grew up to become a wonderful adult with a career in the Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.  He recently returned to his hometown and began a new career.  You can see why I breathe a sigh of relief.  For an intended kindergarten dropout, he has done exceptionally well.

A Wise Quote From a Genuis

I ran across the following quote from Einstein yesterday. “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein

It’s not too late to open our minds and hearts to recall the sacred gift of intuition granted to us at our birth. It awaits hopefully to be rediscovered and renewed. How many times have you learned something new and then discovered you had already known it before you learned it. You had just forgotten it for awhile. It had been waiting in the back of your mind for you to remember.

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 5

Decisions are hard for all of us. Which way do I go now, which path is
the right one, what do I do next, or, most urgently, where do I go from
here? Life is never easy and some decisions can be hard ones, very hard.
And, at times, it can seem as if there is no answer, although we know that
is untrue and every situation has a solution, no matter how hard it can
be to glimpse it at times.
This is where Hekate comes in. Hekate is the goddess of the crossroads.
She is also the mistress of the magic arts, and is included in the grouping
of the Moon goddesses. In ancient portraits she is shown to have three
heads and they look in each of three directions.
When we are at a crossroads Hekate is there with her torch light and
her ability to transcend both heaven and hell and her dwelling place on
earth. She can bring both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind
together, and the need to live in day to day reality home to us. She is
the one to go to for direction when we don’t know which path to take and
which road makes the best choice. Excerpt from STANDING AT
THE CROSSWOADS, Llewellyn. Co
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I find this description of Hekate fascinating for one reason. If you are a female you are presently living through one of three periods of time, all of them represented by the goddess. During childhood you are helped to grow into your onset of puberty. After which you reach a state of maturity that will enable you to take on adult responsibility. This period lasts for some time as you grow further into your womanhood. You may become a mother and/or make other choices for what you want to do with your life. The second major crossroad will lead you into the third period of your life, when you reach what is referred to as old age. Most likely preceded by menopause. This period is referred to as the age of the crone.

If you doubt the existence of goddesses be reminded they have been around for thousands of years. As a stock character in folklore and fairy tales, an old woman. In some stories, she is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. The Crone is also an archetypal figure, a Wise Woman.

The astrologer Alex Miller has researched many asteroids including Hekate.
He also says she is sometimes depicted as a triple goddess, in aspects as maiden, Mother and crone and identified with old age. In Athens she was revered as a chief domestic goddess, protector of the home. He adds that
Hekate relates to far-seeing, prophecy and ceremonial magick; the wisdom
accrued by age; intuition; protection and guidance, especially during crucial life passages such as puberty, childbirth and menopause.”

The crone is often depicted as thin and ugly, but also as a Wise Woman. So it may behoove us to get fat and spread wisdom. But also to heed what Ben Franklin said “Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 4

“As above, so below”.  The structure of the solar system continues to reflect the structure of the human mind. There is proof of this. Many of us have reflected on the historical synchronicities connected with the timing of the discoveries of Uranus (the American and French revolutions), Neptune (the Communist Manifesto, and Spiritism), and Pluto (nuclear energy and the widespread cultural integration of psychological language).

“But the discoveries of those three planets were just the first few drops of rain in the desert. Since 1992, there has been a downpour: not just one new planet, but a deluge of them. …….The solar system has become more complex. Has our sense of the complexity of the human mind also deepened in the past two hundred years? Do we simultaneously entertain many more avenues of perception and belief systems than did our great-grandparents? ……..Developments in astronomy are still reflecting cultural sociology……..The new solar system is real.”   World-famous Astrologer Steven Forrest in The Mountain Astrologer, August 2007.

I’ve learned there are many pathways to the Truth; but there are also many Truths.  The search for my own truth finally led me to astrology.  It may not be for everyone but it works for me.

 Over the past twenty-odd years the most exciting development in astrology has been the discoveries by astronomers of new planetary objects.  As Steven Forrest says, the solar system has become more complex.  In accord with the “as above, so below” the new discoveries reflect what is going on “down below”.

Names were chosen for the new discoveries, ephemerides were created going back many years.  The newly named objects had been there all along, waiting to reflect our evolving consciousness. Which reminds me of a time years ago; I was having trouble with my computer, calling for help from the IT trouble shooter.  He fixed my problem, saying “You were not in sync with the host.”  Perhaps that’s what the new planetary objects were waiting for – for us to get in sync with the host.  Synchronicity. 

As I searched the new ephemerides online and read the results of research by top astrologers (thankful for the Internet!} I was amazed at the new understanding I gained of my own natal chart.  Contacts with the new discoveries were revealing a side of me I’d lost touch with. I found myself going back to my personal history, watching events unfold that had seemed to come out of the blue.  I checked the progressions and transits of the planets and house cusps for those times.  Synchronicity.    

To be continued

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 3

“We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the years and of the season of which we are born.  Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.”    The Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung was one of the major forces responsible for bringing psychological(having to do with the mind and its processes) thought and its theories into the twentieth century.

My timid search for what lay behind the door in the back of my mind eventually led me to the study of Astrology: I’m now an advanced student, still learning.  Over the past few years professional astrologers have explored the meaning of newly discovered bodies called Dwarf Planets or  minor planets, along with specific asteroids and Trans-Neptunian (Kuiper Belt) Objects.  When I checked the ephemerides for their positions at the time of my birth I was amazed at how they tended to explain my natal chart.  Indeed “as above so below”.

Today Huya the Rainmaker, a TNO,  is transiting both my Lunar Return Midheaven and my natal Moon.  A New Moon arrived a few days ago, following my Lunar Return.

Although Huya was named for a Venezuelan rain god, different tribes of indigenous peoples throughout many countries have been adept at making rain.  The shamanic or spiritual way was once practiced worldwide. It used intention, prayers and ceremony to open the heart and mind of the seeker to contact unseen forces that exist in nature.  Most Native American tribes also included a rainmaker. In the shamanic tradition a person could become a rainmaker after a long apprenticeship.

I have a long way to go but I feel I too am working on an apprenticeship. Whatever gains I may make in this life, I hope to carry over into my next incarnation.

My American Indian heritage is very scant. As far as I know it began when a great grandfather took a young Cherokee bride way back in the pioneer days in the southern mountains of Appalachia.  Her name did not survive in our genealogy yet a legend was born.  Traces of her has appeared ever since through one descendant or another.  Not only in physical traits but also in spirit.

For instance I had a great grandmother who was a “Bee Charmer”.  My mother told me Great Grandma Polly Stamper could walk among the bee hives unprotected, talking gently to the bees and they gave her all the honey she wanted.  Whereas Great Grandpa could cover up from head to toe and still get stung. 

I’ve never felt an affinity with bees but I have always loved the rain.  The crashing thunder sending a thrill through my body, flashes of lightening across the sky bringing anticipation of things yet to come.    

I have hope for the future.

To be continued.

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 2

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

During the birth of my youngest child I had an out-of-body experience.  She was breech, the labor had ceased and the doctor was struggling to deliver her.  I suddenly found myself in the corner ceiling of the room, watching.  “Mother!” my doctor said sharply and I was instantly back in my body.  While I watched from above I was filled with an incredible joy.  In those few moments I knew the answer to everything.  I had complete understanding which no words could express.

 “You are a soul with a body, not a body with a soul”
Francisco Coll

Your body is made up of the things of earth right now, but the real you, the soul, is part of the Universe, the All, or as described by religion, God (symbolized by the solar system on the chart). Whatever you call it, you can learn to consciously tap into it and use the wisdom to enrich your daily life. The moment a person finishes their job here on earth, or when a person becomes so confused that they destroy their body, the connection between the soul and the physical body is severed. When you pass on, your body remains here and goes back to dust because it is composed of the things of planet earth. Your soul, the real you, will leave the earth because the law of gravity cannot keep it here anymore. The soul or intelligent vibration no longer has a physical body to serve as an anchor, so it moves out and returns to the universe or the All. The person of science calls it the universe or the cosmos, while the religious person calls it God. No matter what you call it, you are one with it. There is no separation. The only separation we have is the one we think we have. Once you understand that your physical body cannot exist without oxygen, the rays of the sun, the vegetation, or the pressures of the universe, you’ll realize you are the total component of all things. Religion says you are the expression of God, and science says you are the total component of the universe.   The Inner Peace Movement, Dr. Francisco Coll

I didn’t realize for a while I had opened the strange door in the back of my mind.  Since the few moments were so brief I suspected my imagination had played a trick on me.  Later I made friends with a woman who belonged to an occult book club.  She loaned me books in one of which I read about out of body experiences.  Also learning of other paranormal experiences that seemed familiar.  The door in the back of my mind began to open wider.

One night the friend visited and we discussed contents of the books.  I was surprised one was written by Arthur Conan Doyle; he was a spiritualist as well as the creator of Sherlock Holmes!  Shortly after my friend returned to her own apartment I felt a cold draft surround me. Then I began to feel as if some foreign entity was trying to get into me through my eyes.  I kept them lowered, ducked my head and slowly slid along the wall to the phone to call my friend.  She returned.  “Why is it so cold?” she asked.  “Did you have the patio door open?”

“No,” I said.  She came through the door into the hallway which was toasty warm; no outside door had been opened.  Still keeping my head bent I told her about the fear that had come over me, of something trying to reach me through my eyes.  “Get your Bible,” she said. I did.

She turned to the 23rd Psalm and began to read aloud.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Although I came from a Christian home and had memorized this Psalm in Sunday school I hadn’t realized it was used to ward off evil.  Later I learned there are other such verses in the Bible.  Thankful for the protection of the Lord’s Prayer, I admitted I was not quite ready to finish opening the door in the back of my mind.  Not yet.  But some day I would be.

 To be continued