I am excitedly stepping up to the plate of on-campus community organizing. The Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign touched down here last quarter, and I worked on it under the supervision of friend and experienced organizer CL. A project that is radical, tangible and together enough that my heart is feeling the fiery tongue of glory once again. Our goal is for OU to stop burning coal on campus (can you believe it, are we in Victorian England or what?) Now that our friend CL has left I have stepped up to lead the group. This is challenging in more ways than one, and it's relishing to have to stay on my toes, for it makes living turgid with qi so easy. The kick-off event for will be a panel discussion by alternative energy researchers. We will be exploring which energy technologies are hypothetically best for replacing fossil fuel immolation to heat campus buildings. Through this discussion we offer views of a route this school can take to energy interdependence with living processes. The administration and board of trustees is beginning to hear our message.
Groundhog's Day is Tuesday of next week! The USAian holiday, featuring Marmoda monax as chief weather prognosticator, is based off of European traditions that came before it. Badgers and serpents used to be the reporters. The notion was that the hag of winter would either stay in and finish her snooze, thus spelling no more winter; or, she'd come out and make it nice for a day so she could gather more firewood! Those astute badgers would see their shadows and know exactly what was going on. Don't hate the hag, love her: without winter, would we experience the renewal of spring vigor with such joy? You might ask the hag to shorten the winter a bit, even though you like her gift well enough. You can vote with your CO2 emissions if your mind is made up.
Imbolc is the name neo-pagans have remembered for the holiday, halfway 'tween winter solstace and vernal equinox. The word means either "milk" or "in the belly", depending on whose translation of Gaelic you go with. The time was a celebration of the coming of nature's spring quickening, and farm animal lactation in particular because it arrived early, around this time. There'd be bonfires, herbed beer, and the desire to relieve from whatever psycho-somatic constipation you might have incurred while bundling up against the cold. My Athens-based, anarcho-pantheist discussion circle the Philosophers' Club designed a rite to celebrate Imbolc. We played a riff off of Campbell's "Belly of the Whale" archetype. This means disappearing off the face of the Earth for a time, and coming face to face with your shadow side. The objective here is to face the monster with a loving heart, so as to include more of it which is who part of who you really are, (the hurt and divine gifts that got put on the shelf), into who you act like you are. Our method is jumping in a freezing lake. The shock of submersion has the tendency to rip your etheric body from your astral, and when you come back to your psyche you briefly notice it as if you are a newcomer. New management, new policies. It's a good way to start the long spring cleanse cycle. Last year we chanted around a fire and then dunked through a hole in the ice, taking turns getting naked, cold and then warm again. 11 or 14 of us in a row, with many spectators, made the plunge into "Sophia's womb".
Other news: Naomi is getting interviewed for two nature-based curriculum design gigs. One in Cincy at Imago, next to Enright Ridge Ecovillage. Go on with your savvy self, dear woman. I am taking Spanish, SCUBA, plant classification, and propagation. My home DIY ambition for this quarter is starting to grow Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms), and to make another batch of miso. I made some bombin' sourdoughed granola last week. Soak culture then drain 48 oz oats, mix in 16 oz shredded coconut, plus 24 oz soaked nuts, 12 oz raisins, 1/2 c. honey, 1/2 c. olive oil, tbs. cinnamon, tsp salt. Dry on low in oven or in dehydrating contraption.