Sunday, January 8, 2012
It's the first full moon of the year, and as usual, the moon wakes me up in the middle of the night. It's like all of a sudden everything is clear and my mind is quiet enough to write an entire book or solve the riddle of my schedule or understand the limits of the law or have a crystal vision about a person I am working with. It's dark and quiet and I can feel my ancestors speaking through me. But then it's 2am and I'm like, why can't my ancestors talk to me around 4pm, for tea or something? Not to complain, but I just want to sleep through the night, "like a normal person" as I have been known to say.
I don't know if it's the jew in me, but I am quick to leap into the rapids of the river of torturous inner dialogue of trying to figure out what is wrong with me. As anyone who has read an article about insomnia in their therapist's waiting room can tell you, freaking out about not sleeping is just about the worst thing you can do. I've been reading a book called Healing Night, which re-frames the modern epidemic of sleep disorders as a serious lack of dreaming, mostly due to our excessively lit up lives and guess what? There is nothing wrong with me!!! I recently read that after researching pre-industrial peoples' sleep patterns, and re-creating them in some studies, sleep researchers found that before modern "light at night" times, most people actually slept in two distinct sleeping chunks, with a little hour or so of wakefulness in the middle. This middle of the night waking, sometimes called The Night Watch, was often used for meditation, prayer, creativity, making out, and staring into the darkness, and wasn't pathologized as insomnia! WHAT??? I love the Night Watch! (My sweetheart might not love it as much as me though.) The book explores our malnourished relationship with the dark and our excessively lit up evenings and how that has affected our dreamlife, which is at the root of fatigue and insomnia.
But this is just a little aside. What I want to tell you is what I was thinking about when the moon woke me up, which I welcomed and curled into like a cat.
So, many months ago, I began a long post on community wellbeing and first aid for the occupy movements. I was so excited! I was so moved! I was so inspired! And then I didn't ever finish it because during the exquisite murmurations of this movement, I was suddenly displaced from my tiny gnome house in the woods by a fungal occupation of a severe sort. The mold inspector literally said, "It's as if you moved all your beautiful wood furniture into the forest and it's trying to decompose it." I was witnessing time and death and de-materialization in fast forward...of my stuff. It was gross, even though as you all know, I really try to not to hate on any living organism. Hey, we all got to eat. ANYWAY, I never finished the post.
So in the middle of the night, the moon was like, "Dori! You need to finish that thing you started about community well being for the Great Turning!" Then it went on to tell me that actually, I wasn't supposed to write about an actual first aid kit, but an invisible one. I was like, "Oh moon, you so crazy!" But I know the moon is not crazy and I knew just what ze meant. We need to shift out of the idea that things are going to save our lives all together. Even in, and maybe especially in, our liberation movements, it's time to sharpen our skills for connecting with the invisible and surrender to what might be moving through us right now. The Occupy Movement, and all of it's inspired tributaries, is supporting new possibilities of community and a new kind of interconnectivity, and I think that calls for a new kind of healing. I am not advocating not bringing your first aid kits to actions, but I am suggesting we begin to cultivate a stronger and deeper commitment to practicing magic. Or whatever you want to call it.
It reminds me of a dream I had last spring in which I was a small child with a bossy older sister who trapped fairies in bubbles and kept them under her bed in a trunk. One day, I snuck into the trunk, broke open all the bubbles and freed the incarcerated little people. They danced around me in a circle and sang, "we're free! We're free!" Then suddenly, I was my age now and I was giving a tour through a cityish town. I said, "This mound would've made an excellent home for the fairies, but they don't live here anymore." Someone on my tour asked why not, to which I answered, "They are afraid humans don't know how to like things without keeping them, they are worried they'll be enslaved, but they want us to know, the revolution can't happen without them." Then my dog showed up wearing a fancy suit and stole my keys and I woke up. What a revelation!, I thought. I have to write this down and tell everyone that the revolution can't happen without fairies! This is Very Important Information.
Now, as you can see, I didn't tell everyone right away, because it sounded a little weird. I mean, I realize that this is not something I need to worry about at this point; let's face it, I work as a witch and my hair is really impractically long and most importantly, I am learning so much about the impact of shame on our wellbeing and how essential it is for all of us to encourage each other to release shame, by saying and being in our truths. So here I am, telling you all that the fairies want to take part in the revolution. I am still unraveling what this means. I think part of it is that we need to open up to collaborating with everything and everyone and not give precedent or privilege to the obvious and what can be seen and what we consider "real". (more on this in my queer magic/queer healing workshops) Our work is not just to resist and dismantle the dominant structures, we also need to revive our imaginations and reconnect with what is real power, not the toxic mimics.
I'm not a luddite or self- righteous about it, but I'm still not on facebook or twitter or cell phones. Last year was the first year that I started to waiver- Arab Spring! Occupy Wall Street! My friends' photos of dogs and outfits and babies! We're witnessing how uprisings are being fomented with all this technology and how exciting! but I still think social media and networks are our training wheels for something else. We're weaving a web that is strong and vibrant, we're connecting across borders, we're remembering how to be part of a whole. It's as if the planet is knitting itself more tightly together, faster and faster- we're moved and changed by learning of somebody somewhere else moving and changing. I see how these tweets and posts are training us to dream together and move in some kind of graceful resonant current. I see the glimmerings of the days to come in which actions are planned in dream circles and we have meetings on the astral plane and artists are healers and healers are activists and activists are healers and we all dream together new dreams of a just, beautiful, life-sustaining world, where the invisible, the "unreal" and the imaginary are all loved and honored.
NEXT: Part 2 , the practical and the magical: First Aid for Witches.
at 8:08 AM