I am finally considering myself a reformed urbanite, although the seeds of the natural world were always within me (actually everyone, because in fact, we are nature) After spending 2 years straight on this farm and implementing -- re-harmonizing the land with the design I created, I came to the realization(s) over and over again, that everything, yes all of what the indigenous wisdom I have read to date is true. All of it, and I can honestly say that without humans re-harmonizing with their own nature, or at minimum allowing and supporting those who do…then we may be in irreversible trouble. Also, there is no way to separate ecology from spirituality, because the Logos is Nature, is always talking to us in patterns-symbolism, if we are just present, we can see, read and understand the message. Masanobu Fukuoka knew it best I believe, farming (nature) cultivates people! Also, Bill Mollison reached the very important conclusion and teachings in Permaculture, which was long protracted observation & pattern recognition, work with nature, not against. Now that I have been back in the states working since March, I see so much the value of what I learned working outdoors, creatively with nature that I am in utter gratitude almost daily when I stop to reflect on the dichotomy of the two worlds I work in-between. It's quite interesting and I will be writing about it at more length, soon.
"A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life."
Sacred Feathers...Feathers in hair for Native Americans had a spiritual meaning. They were worn by Native American Chiefs to symbolize their communication with the Spirit, and to show off their divine wisdom. Feathers also represented the power of the thunder gods, along with the power of air and wind. Sometimes feathers were representative of courage during a battle or a successful hunt.
Again I write about ritual and symbolism. Ritual is important aspect of healing, as our ancestors used it to help clear psycho-spiritual-physical aliments. The act of a ritual is a powerful healing tool for all people collectively, as it has been practiced for millennia by our ancestors, around the world. Symbolism is the language of the psyche (subconscious) and is most effective in communicating with the parts of ourselves that are still in the in the dark or unconscious as it were.
Feathers have an ancient symbolic meaning, they are linked to the air element, freedom and pure potential. They are attributed to transformation that is strong, swift and potent.
Feathers are used by a healer ("yachek" in the Andes or shaman) on the aura (energetic body) of an individual, in smooth, long strokes from the head to the feet, in order to clear energy. They are used from any one of the nine cardinal directions towards the body in order to invoke healing energy.
The Andean Condor is associated with the Sun deity and is the ruler of the upper world. Condors live in the Andes Mountains, the highest peak of which is 6,962 metres high (some smaller species are found in California and Mexico). Condor is a symbol of power and health. Condor has a wingspan of 2.7 to 3.2 metres. Its plumage is all black, except for frills of white feathers at the base of its neck. It also has patches of white bands on its wings. The colour of the skin on its bald head changes as a form of communicating emotion. In males the irises are brown and in females they are deep red. Condors have extremely good eyesight and can spot food from miles away, symbolising being able to see or plan far into the future. Condor’s talons are not for hunting. In fact condors hardly ever kill for food, they eat meat that they find (benevolence) and thus symbolise making use of what we find and working with what we have. They use branches, sticks and feathers to make their nests, also symbolising the use of things that are to be found in our everyday lives. They nest very high on cliffs teaching us to make our home in heaven. They glide from mountain peaks and often make use of wind currents to soar, teaching us to surf the currents, ebbs and flows of life. Condors typically lay one egg, teaching us to treasure that which is rare and that some things only come along once in a lifetime. They have no natural predators and are thus Kings and Queens of the heavens, because they are at the “top of the food chain” although they rarely kill. These birds can fly at 90 km/h and are thus the harbingers of rapid transformation. The people of the Andes view the condor as their guardian. When the Spanish arrived in the Andes the condor became a symbol of freedom from oppression and slavery. Condor is the messenger of the gods and the carrier of our dreams and prayers to heaven, because she flies much higher than any other winged animal. She teaches us about the ancient mysteries of life and death, about communion with the spirits and how to soar above our limitations.
Condors have an uncanny ability to sense death, so they are sometimes seen as the angels of death, circling around when life is about to end. Condor is very powerful protection in the spirit world. Condors live on average between 50 and 80 years, roughly the average lifespan of a human and thus teach us about life. Although humanity has been responsible for the near extinction of the condor, we have also been responsible for saving these birds, whose numbers have increased in recent years. This represents humanity’s ability to solve problems which we have created for ourselves. The prophecy of the Eagle & the Condor says that when the Masculine Eagle (mental aspects) and the Feminine Condor (heart aspects) fly together again (when the north and the south are no longer at odds), we will again live in harmony and recreate paradise on Earth.
Condors rest at night and fly by day. Legend says that they draw the dawn and the sun across the sky. Condor chicks leave the nest at age two, symbolizing independence. These birds also signify connection to the land and one’s place of birth, because they do not migrate at all. Condor helps us transform that which is dead and no longer serves us into energy that helps us soar above, into greater heights of awareness.
Thank you for reading!
We have a main access road !
Our main access road is part of the main frame design of the property. In Permaculture, every element has many functions, as we will describe here. The road curves into and down mid way the 7.2 acre property to the worker home we will be building, soon. Access is an element meant to harmonize with water, so we have taken advantage of this opportunity in the design & implementation of this element. The choice for the curve is also for purposes of size/functionality, prevent erosion (& as mentioned to catch rainwater coming downhill). The curve is also an example of using natural patterning + edge, as the land slope required this shape. Because this shape/pattern creates more edge effect, we are using this opportunity to plant on the bank of the curve (to also help keep the rock wall in place & again, to prevent erosion). Finally , it will empty into a pond to the immediate left of the curve of the entrance and then down road, into one of the main frame swales.
Another post and more pics (for adequate perspective), as the road "accessories" are finished, soon.
This as well as other large and small projects are what's new for our farm and also we imagine interesting for our volunteers to experience and work with... So much is happening these months and in the next few years as we develop our Permaculture farm from the very beginning :)
At times the amount and scope of work can be intimidating, and avoiding mistakes are thoughts we consider... so far we are happy with the slow and steady thoughtful progress we are making. The key to prevent 'mistakes' or rather ' expensive learning opportunities' ! is to remember long protracted observation is 1st. Then planning, and finally execution.
Thank you for reading!
*CLICK ON ANY IMAGE BELOW TO MAKE BIGGER (includes photo captions)...*
Andean Eagle, difficult to get a closer shot, the bird was massive. Light grey coloring, beautiful bird. The Andean fox is very well camouflaged against the dry background.
This week in returning fauna: Andean fox, a pair of owls, and many other variety of birds, a snake, and an Andean Eagle...
All animals and elements in an eco system play a vital role in the balance of the system itself. For example, foxes may have been seen as predatory animals, however they have their function as well; keeping wild rabbit populations to manageable numbers. Permaculture magazine ( <- click for article) does a great job of explaining this in their article related to this subject.
A great indicator of sustainability is not only an increase of your soils per year, but also returning natural systems (biodiversity). Biodiversity = health and strength of an eco system, in all areas of life (soils are also another part of the entire system on a micro level & is of course, therefore a living eco-system). As slow as our process has been in the last 2 years, in establishing our permaculture farm from a mono-culture to polyculture (our food forest), we have indications of going in the right direction with wildlife returning.
Thanks for reading!
Design for efficiency, pattern your design to harmonize with your work, daily living & the natural landscape. A living ecosystem :
Permaculture Ethics: "Care of the Earth, Care of the people, Share the surplus" - Bill Mollison
I recently listened to a lecture by the director of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, Geoff Lawton. I really enjoyed what he said about ancient cultures and ethics. In order to live in community, people lived by an average of 18 ethical principles, they lived harmoniously (within their tribes) with each other and their environment. Creating and living by a system of ethics meant life and harmony vs. disorder, chaos and possibly death. Where are our current ethics? If they are not taught at home, when and where are they discussed? You don't really hear of the word? Is this part of why current reality is not in harmony? Is it because ethics and values are no longer part of our consciousness? Is it missing in interactions with each other, with our environment? Is this why greed is rampant, even at the cost of our environment and ourselves? Permaculture has 3 ethical principles, Geoff stated, that with these as a minimum, societies etc. can live more harmonious and sustainably. They are: Care of the Earth, Care of the people, Share the surplus (back into both). Perhaps people can begin to discuss and identify what ethics are, or even a virtue? Then perhaps once again, they can be a part of society at large. I love this diagram because it illustrates Native American virtues (which are related and connected to ethical principles) that were valued and I believe created much more harmony and happiness in communities.
Wisdom:..... To cherish knowledge is to know Wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people. In the Anishinaabe language, this word expresses not only “wisdom,” but also means “prudence,” or “intelligence.” In some communities, Gikendaasowin is used; in addition to “wisdom,” this word can also mean “intelligence” or “knowledge.”
Love:..... To know Love is to know peace. Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most. In the Anishinaabe language, this word with the reciprocal theme /idi/ indicates that this form of love is mutual. In some communities, Gizhaawenidiwin is used, which in most context means “jealousy” but in this context is translated as either “love” or “zeal”. Again, the reciprocal theme /idi/ indicates that this form of love is mutual.
Respect:..... To honor all creation is to have Respect. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected. Some communities instead use Ozhibwaadenindiwin or Manazoonidiwin.
Bravery:........ Bravery is to face the foe with integrity. In the Anishinaabe language, this word literally means “state of having a fearless heart.” To do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant. Some communities instead use either Zoongadikiwin (“state of having a strong casing”) or Zoongide’ewin (“state of having a strong heart”).
Honesty:........ Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave. Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others. In the Anishinaabe language, this word can also mean “righteousness.”
Humility: ......Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of Creation. In the Anishinaabe language, this word can also mean “compassion.” You are equal to others, but you are not better. Some communities instead express this with Bekaadiziwin, which in addition to “humility” can also be translated as “calmness,” “meekness,” “gentility” or “patience.”
Truth:....... Truth is to know all of these things. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.
On this trip to my farm, I did a walk thru with two knowledgeble people who are Ecuadorian and experienced in ancestral knowledge and andean agriculture. To my surprise, they both told me I have a ceremonial mound called a tola. It is considered a powerful energetic point or center of the land, basically of the entire farm in this case.
It is where energy radiates or is created, and symbolizes a mothers whom. It is used to heal people, and originates from the yachac's (quechua word for shaman). Andean culture share the belief (as many other ancient cultures), that all illness is a decrease in energetic vibration of the body, before and while it is manifested in the physical. The tola is for healing ceremonies, to raise the energetic vibration of the person(s) in it, and it is considered a direct connection to the cosmos. In ancient times, the tola also had a pyramid constructed over it to focus the energy on the people inside.
It is located using an instrument, called a tupuc. It is flower shaped with a point at the end, where a shaman holds the tupuc until it carries and points them to the energetic center of the land. The tupuc pics up the energetic points or lay lines where the tula is to be created.
It's shape is a circular mound surrounded by stones giving it structure, with an entrance/exit for an unbilical cord (symbolized by a tree tunnel). The tree tunnel is created by planting them into a topiary, giving them the form of a passage way leading to the center of the mound. These trees are important in the cosmo vision, as they are considered spirits and are often referred to as grandfathers or abulelitos, who assist in the healing of the earth and the individual in the center.
We will be restoring our tola at some point and will share the pictures of our progress as it goes!
Thank you for reading,
Theses photos of a reconstructed tola were taken at the Jatun Yachay Wasi; Ancestral Wisdom & New Consciousness University in Colta, Ecuador.