Norns and the Tree of Life: Elders taking part in creating the future

In Norse mythology, the Norns are female figures who work with past, present and future, pouring waters on the Tree of Life so that life of the tree is sustained.

The Norns spin their tapestry at the roots of Yggdrasil.

These figures become our allies, as we explore the role of elder women in today’s culture.  Using the inspiration they provide, we’ll explore our own journeys – how we’ve come to be at this unique place on the planet just at this time. We’ll explore how we can continue to weave the threads of destiny out of the experiences of our contemporary lives and lineages. We’ll discover what it means to find ourselves in the amazing privilege to be in this unique and luscious part of the world. The Norns help us shape our quest for being elders when there is a “Great Turning”, to use Joanna Macy’s phrase.

Another important guide in our journey will be San Bruno Mountain, whose very existence maintains numerous endangered species, plants as well as butterflies.  Using movement, shamanic journeys, writing practices, and guided meditations on the mountain, we’ll be experimenting with learning how to listen to Nature’s voice, as She speaks through the environment.

The story line of our own destinies is entwined with the wisdom of these elder figures – the Norns, the mountain, and the endangered species who live on San Bruno.

A gift of being elders in this present time -  the latest discoveries of brain research can actually help us shape the ways our brains function and the way our lives unfold. Ancient stories describe the Norns coming to babies’ births to forecast how their lives will unfold – and now we are able to share the Norns’ opportunities by putting into practice the amazing new tool provided by recent brain research.

Come join us in this pilot project blending ancient story and newly acquired modern wisdom; take part in creating what shall be, in the culture and in your lives as elders.

Check out the offering on the calendar – see if this journey is for you!

Here are some of many good resources:

Macy, Joanna: “Active Hope”

Hanson, Rick, “Hardwiring Happiness”

Sturluson, Storri: “Prose Edda”

Clebsch, Carolyn – Valley Moon Qigong and Meditation Practices

Mission Blue Nursery October 2013 Native Plant Sale

9:00am to 2:00pm

The Mission Blue Nursery is located in Brisbane  - Google map and directions

October 2013 Plant List

Fall is coming and it’s time to get those California natives for the important Fall planting season. Is your garden looking a little dreary? Plan ahead and this Fall plant those late bloomers that will highlight next year’s Fall garden. An excellent choice is the California Fuchsia which happily survives a hot and dry summer, plus others that will thrive from Summer into the Fall with added water – lizardtail, monkeyflower, seaside daisy, goldenrods, and coast buckwheat, to name a few.

 

Payment by check, cash, and now credit card!

Bring your own carry-out boxes

The Mission Blue Nursery grows only San Bruno Mountain native plants. Please join us in cultivating and celebrating these plants!

The Mission Blue Nursery is one of the hands-on arms of the San Bruno Mountain Watch Stewardship Program. Nursery volunteers donate their time to grow California natives from San Bruno Mountain for restoration projects on the mountain and for public and private gardens, parks and planting areas around the mountain.

For a list of all plants under cultivation at the nursery go to our What’s Growing Now page. Not everything on that list is available to the public.

Summer Solstice Event – Belonging to the Universe: Personal Experiences of Universal Light

Bathed in the light of summer, get ready to reach beyond the sunlight that surrounds us on the longest day of the year!

Cosmic triggers can come about through a wide variety of life experiences–

  • A deep need for change summer solstice
  • A profoundly challenging situation
  • A dream
  • Spontaneous AHA experiences
  • Meditation
  • Medicine journeys
  • Shamanic journeys
  • Trauma

We find ourselves connected to the universe, filled with joy, hope, and comfort. The moment passes – but it instantly becomes part of our reserve of peace, power, and strength.

Spend a day in a sunny mid-Peninsula garden, swimming, feasting, playing. We’ll share personal stories and transform them into power objects or mandalas.  Materials and symbols will be available to help bring those profound experiences into daily life. Celebrate them; make them tactile and visible, bringing their power and wisdom into daily life.

Visualizations will be shared to expand your capacity to reach toward the light in the universe, the light within the earth, the light within our own bodies. the light that’s constantly within reach.

Our exploration this day will accelerate our journey to become more effectively and fully present as we take our places in sustaining the web of life.

Enjoy this video while we wait for the solstice to arrive.

Please confirm with me directly if you plan to attend, and I’ll give you directions to the mid-Peninsula meeting site. $50 includes art materials and lunch.

Mid-Peninsula location given when you reserve a space by emailing ginny@eco-psychology.com

Click HERE to read what others have said about Ginny’s events.

Freyja: The Goddess of Love Meets the Guardians of the Elements, Sept 30

In 2012, an ancient myth is expanded to illuminate our journey through these times of challenge. From seeds planted centuries ago, follow a guiding thread as Freyja, Norse goddess of love, is moved by greed for a golden necklace. She descends into the realm of the underworld, in what becomes a journey of discovery and transformation. We can recognize greed’s gripping power today, in the imbalance of money, possessions and power, in politics and in personal lives

Take part in a fascinating journey into hidden canyons on San Bruno Mountain, south of San Francisco. Visit four sites imbued with the resonance of the past, and their invitation to connect with the elements.  Help to shape a story unfolding as we journey; we follow the tale of Freyja – and uncover, as she does, our connections with the elements of creation – earth, air, fire, and water.

Freyja, guide and companion, explores and reveals her preparation to descend into the unknown; doors open to our own capacity to walk the path that all humanity is now confronting.

Stories passed from generation to generation are repositories of wisdom, and hold open the doors of experience, of knowledge that has no other recourse than to come to the surface when it is needed.

On Sunday, September 30, at 10:30, meet in Brisbane at the foot of the mountain.  On a corner opposite the San Bruno Mountain Watch office, at 44 Visitacion Ave., there’s a cluster of dwarfish painted fireplugs.  That’s a good meeting spot – bring good walking shoes and a walking stick if you’d like one.  Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, a journal, a rattle – and a willingness to share personal reactions and recollections.

Donation – $40; no one turned away because of lack of funds.

Please pre-register, emailing me at freyjand@comcast.net -  or call 650-323-4494.

See the sequel listed for the following week-end, creating Freyja’s Breastplate of Protection.

Limited number of people can be accommodated for each event.

A Wisdom Story – my new mountain series

Freyja - The Norse Goddess of Love

Freyja - The Norse Goddess of Love

The wisdom story of the Norse goddess Freyja and her magnificent golden necklace takes us to four mountains that surround San Francisco Bay. Join us in a new exploration of this journey – a narrative for our times about the power of love, the strength of intent, the willingness to sacrifice, and the balance of power that inspires us to rethink our personal roles in the transformation of life on the planet.

Freyja, the goddess of love, threw caution to the winds and followed four dwarves into the hidden darkness of the earth. She would pay any price to possess the magical necklace, Brissingamen. Freyja was a shaman, skilled in prophecy, astral projection, and divination. The dwarves, guardians of the elements and directions, worked below the surface of the earth forging magical tools and instruments –including Brissingamen, their most beautiful work of art.

The human race also lusts for Brissingamen – emblem of the elements and a key to our harmonious existence. The entire human race is at stake as we flounder, searching for a way to live in balance with the very elements that sustain life – and equally have the power to annihilate us.

Heimdall returns Brisingamen to Freyja, in an anachronistic painting centuries after the era of the myth's popularity.

Four local mountains will be our points of entry as we descend via shamanic journeying to discover our personal relationships with the elements. The ancient vehicles of poetry, song, and story-telling will carry us each day on this sacred exploration. Gentle walking, taking space, journaling, and personal sharing will be encouraged, as we pursue the quest for Brissingamen, the “jewel of humanity’s enlightenment”.

The mountains will include sites mentioned in my award-winning book, Circling San Francisco Bay: A Pilgrimage to Wild and Sacred Places. Since several sites could serve the same element, the combination will be based in part on the home territories of the participants.

To apply for participation, please email me something about your current quest and whether meditation or shamanic journeying play a part in it. What attracts you to this journey?

Scheduled dates: March 24, April 14, April 28, and May 12.
Cost: $150 for the series, $135 for payment in advance by March 10.

Email Ginny Anderson, at Ginny@eco-psychology.com or visit my website to read what others have said about past events.

Response to the War on Women in America

A Pilgrimage with a Purpose to Sacred Mountains

Within the last several weeks, drastic attacks have been leveled toward women in America from our own Congressional representatives.  The one that arrested my attention was the House of Representatives’ vote to cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood centers.   The list below from MoveOn includes 10 astonishing actions and dialogues that represent deep threats to our freedom.

Let’s take a look at our lineage – in meditation and shamanic journeys, we can hear from our mothers and grandmothers. A pilgrimage to sacred sites near San Francisco Bay can provide contexts for an exploration of personal stories – the way our lives have been touched by these issues, the implications for our lives and those of our children. Let’s avail ourselves of the opportunity for grounding in the natural world that sustains all life on the planet – including the members of the House of Representatives!  Visits to three sites will take place on weekdays during April and May, organized around the availability of those who’d like to participate – so let me know of your interest, and the dates will come out of the responses.

If you’re too young to remember not having birth control information available, or for that matter birth control itself, you’re about to be part of a national throw-back to a time of diminished freedom, a time of being demeaned beyond what you could possibly imagine.  I personally lost my 4 year scholarship to graduate school at New York University many years ago when my pregnancy was discovered.  They graciously allowed me to stay in the program without financial aid, saying “This is just why we don’t want women in this program!”  We cannot allow the current political climate to take us back to the times when women were second class citizens.

Let Nature speak to you, remind you of your lineage, help you explore our role and our opportunity to make mindful choices in this time of human existence on the planet.

Email Ginny for more information on journeys into nature, guided by community and by the ancestors to extend our paths forward. We are shaping the future.

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP War on Women – from MoveOn.org

1. Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven’t.

2. A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”

3. In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4. Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5. In Congress, Republicans have proposed a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6. Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

7. And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8. Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9. Congress voted yesterday on a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

10. And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can’t make this stuff up.

Footsteps of Spring

It’s light from below, rising to the surface.  Creamy yellow flowers, very close to the ground, are wreathed by pale green leaves. When Footsteps of Spring bloom, they bring to my mind Persephone rising from the underworld, foretelling of spring, her golden hair spread on the surface of the earth before she’s completely returned to human realms.

What would she see that might entice her to come out? On the fields of San Bruno Mountain, other flowers are already beginning to dare the weather.  Fragile pink-white blossoms of manzanita near the mountain’s summit present themselves.  Here, where such endangered species are protected, each year’s new blooming is a gift.  She might also see wallflowers, a reminder of the centuries when people carried these luxurious blossoms.

Maybe she would see YOU, out and about on the green slopes of San Bruno or elsewhere on the mountains surrounding San Francisco Bay.  Connect with  MountainWatch.org to find free guided walks on the mountain – or contact Ginny Anderson (650-323-4494) to arrange a hike with friends involving shamanic journeying with Plant People on San Bruno. Or, come join us for a Mountain Meditation on Mt. Hamilton, February 28 from 12pm to 4 pm.

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is upon us, symbol of death and rebirth that inspires the shaping of new beginnings, new ways to turn the wheel of life. The longest night of the year will pass, and the return of light will begin.  As the darkest moments of this season depart, open your thoughts and intentions to living more and more fully in the light.

Holly Bush

Holly Bush

Gather one or more of the mystical plants of this special time of year, and decorate your home – holly and ivy, oak and mistletoe. (Virginia Beach has created recent blogs about these seasonal plants that will delight and engage you.)  Let their presence support the wonderful transformation toward the light celebrated throughout the world.

Pine Cone

Pine Cone

Find a pine cone; cupping it in your hands, blow into it the fears and sadness you feel for the wounded Earth; for the departure of ways of living that we’ve blindly drifted into; for a sense of helplessness in the face of disharmony among the peoples of the Earth; for personal concerns. Gather the threads of disillusion, of worry, of darkness, and wind them into the pine cone with your breath.  Build a bonfire. As the fire begins to flare, add the pine cone to the flames, setting your intent to release the helplessness and apprehension you’ve been carrying. Free your spirit for creative dreaming, for opening the way to notice the new sparks of light over the coming weeks. You’ll find them in peoples’ actions, attitudes, in plants beginning to emerge – a myriad of moments revealed in your willingness to be open to them.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe

And on January 17, join me at Mt. Hamilton, where we’ll enjoy the beauty of enormous mistletoe clusters nestled among bare oak branches.  We’ll talk story of the mistletoe’s special gifts to our awareness.  Between now and then, let the season’s dreamtime drift you through the long winter nights.

Star Despacho in the Rolling California Hills near Holister

Recently, I joined two friends roaming n the California wilderness south of Holister. The dimpled hills were the California gold that it took me so long to enjoy when I moved here decades ago. Now, their toast-colored surfaces were sparsely dotted with oak and juniper, spaced far enough apart so that the rolling terrain was clear to the eye, looked deceptively soft and inviting.
That spacing allowed each oak to stand out, their distinct silhouettes ready to reveal the experiences of their lifetimes for anyone who might want to ask a tree its story. Twisting branches reflected their lifetimes of response to whatever has come their way, internally or externally, and each stood poised in the windless afternoon sunlight, willing to be known. .
The paved road gave way to a deeply rutted earth road, just one lane wide. Near the horizon, a coyote ran toward an unknown rendezvous, as we ourselves stopped to have our own encounter with a small grove of oaks. In the midst of the trees lay a boulder partly emerged from the earth, decorated with orange and gray lichen, silent invitation to be just as still, and feel the day, so full of life and so remote from ordinary activity.
Accepting the invitation, I touched the stone, and felt its presence seep into me, calming the restlessness that’s so much a part of life in Silicon Valley. This stone teacher was a provider of tranquility and presence. Resting my hand on its surface, I let its quiet being seep through my skin, and travel through my hand and arm, into my core, slowing my breathing, feeling the companionship, sharing the sun and blue sky.
A small breeze idled by, stirring the native grasses into dancing, bowing, straightening. Gentle, the day said; this is gentle. Dragonflies agreed, and floated from stem to stem, their bodies tiny flags extending from the stems of grass as the tiny creatures clung to them, seemingly immobile before they moved from one to another stem.
Nearby, another small stone formation hugged the ground, pointing in the direction of the horizon. I looked to see what it asked me to notice – saw simply the undulating hills, and on the horizon, an unidentified dip of a hill’s silhouette in the hazy distance – a mystery for another day’s exploration.
How to do peaceful? The day was teaching us, reminding us, of another way of being. High above, clouds moved across the blue sky, and we witnessed the bird shapes, the dragon shapes, the animal shapes – all characters in story after story, the dialogue unfolding as we watched and gave it language. Every part of the landscape extended the invitation to expand, to be just as present as the clouds, responding to the wind, gently melting into the warmth of the day.
Back in the car, we shared earliest childhood moments of awe – pre-language perceptions of light and shadow on a ball sent rolling across a floor; lying safely abed in a city apartment
watching the moving reflections of the passing car lights high on the wall,; sitting on a kitchen floor, feeling the enormity of a huge cooking stove, with fragrance wafting from its.high unseen surface.
Awe is everywhere, and slowing down to receive it is a nearly-forgotten gift.
At last, we reached our destination, and unbundled the precious pieces of the offering to be made. As we moved about, we pointed out to one another the changing cloud shapes – winged cloud-beings, a buttermilk sky flaming in response to the setting sun. From the tall grass, a small bunny emerged, sat in the clearing, and settled in to watch us curiously. She sat very still, reluctant to call attention to herself, but even more reluctant to move away from whatever we might be doing.
Anticipating the soon-to-be-revealed night sky, we laid out a beautiful fabric, and on top of it, a large white paper square. Laying down designs of sacred geometry, we used this ancient language to call the star beings. Patterns emerged – a square of sacred tobacco, a circle of cornmeal, a triangle of sage, and others. We named our intent with each of them, Each successive addition – of delicate flower petals from our gardens, of grasses, of delicate flowers from the site itself, nourishing presence of seeds and dried fruits, of herbs and foods, we called to the stars, called to the ancestors, called to the spirit that surrounded us. Kintus , each a small grouping of 3 well-matched bay leaves, were placed on the star despacho,. We folded the edges around it, tied it with a pure white ribbon, and gathered the filaments of one another into it, touching heads, hearts, bellies in a reciprocal exchange of the life force.
The moon came up, a bulging half-circle of white light, surrounded by an iridescent halo of light. Among the puffy clouds of the buttermilk sky came the stars, and we sat contented, watching the cloud movement and the revelation of the stars.
And morning and evening were the first day.