For your consideration, here’s a meme I created, based upon the true tales at the heart of my epic, nonfiction saga of North America, Odyssey of the 8th Fire,
My wife Elizabeth and I went to watch Inconvenient Sequel the other night in a sparsely populated movie theater. It’s a stunning film. We walked out of the theater feeling exceedingly sober, and with renewed determination to support clean, non-polluting technologies which are elements of an imperative, intelligent response.
The new film is a sequel to Inconvenient Truths, both films produced by Al Gore, and both reporting the hard reality of what climate change is actually doing to our planetary support systems. The acceleration in the number of and frequency of documented, climate-related, ultra-extreme weather events is dramatic. The charts showing the rate of temperature change in polar regions and the world’s primary farming areas is stunning.
With all that’s going on in the world through the summer of 2017, I suppose climate change can seem like mere background noise. But of course it’s not. It’s real, it’s here, it’s intensifying, and we and our children and grandchildren will contend with the impact for decades to come. Climate chaos right now is a driving force behind the breakup of the North and South Poles, sea-level shifts, massive flooding events, droughts, resource wars, widespread migration of insect pests and diseases, massive waves of human refugees, and more.
After the first film came out in 2006 cadres of corporate-backed climate change deniers accused Mr. Gore of being “hysterical.” But now 10 years later everything that he, and more than 97% of the world’s leading climate scientists projected would happen has in fact already happened. More climate chaos is on the close horizon.
The consequences of ignoring the changes are obvious to all excepting the willfully ignorant. The Sanskrit word vidya means wisdom or knowledge. The prefix “a” signifies a lack or an absence. Adding the prefix to vidya establishes the word avidya, which denotes a fundamental blindness about reality, a refusal to acknowledge and deal with what is happening. Obviously there is a group of determined avidyans among us. Motivated by self-serving contrarian interests, they have poisoned our politics and thereby crippled our ability to respond to this crisis. But as the new film asserts, no lie can live forever.
Around the world most nations have been forced to face the harsh realities that are impacting them. It’s inspiring to see how are responding vigorously by shifting to solar and wind power, and aggressively taking natural and technological steps to mitigate the situation, and to reduce human activities which make extreme climate-change related events increasingly common. Here in the US, however, our politics have been hacked, and we remain crippled in our collective response. For now, individuals and associations must respond on their own, while the government attempts to bury everyone’s brains deep in the muck of illusion.
Knowing that industrial agricultural systems are among the leading causes of pollution and the greenhouse gases that exacerbate climate chaos, I am renewed in my determination to advocate for and to support organic, biodynamic and other agroecological food-production systems that heal the land and that can help mitigate the dangerously intensifying changes. It’s common sense. It’s essential common sense.
The choice is between right and wrong, Mr. Gore asserts toward the end of Inconvenient Sequel. It’s right to protect and defend the natural systems of the earth that make our lives possible. It’s wrong to ignore reality, or to pollute and poison the natural systems and to make the problems worse. It’s wrong to destroy the very things that make our lives possible.
“Fight like your world depends upon it,” Mr. Gore concludes, “because it does.”
I created the meme displayed below to acknowledge our collective Summer 2017 Great American Eclipse Experience. The meme makes direct, grounding reference to the enduring, strengthening traditions which are an available heritage for every person who walks our North American continent (Turtle Island) with respect and in honor. In this manner it’s possible to walk through portals of time, archetype, and insight toward healthy states of understanding, and thereby to acquire wisdoms both practical and ethereal.
Considered in the light of the beauty way, the blessing way, Odyssey of the 8th Fire, the epic online saga I had the opportunity to author earlier this century, is a true, sincere, and respectful exploration of the grounding traditions of the Americas. Those traditions have roots many thousands of years deep, and they endure to an provide an essential foundation for all in our era and for generations of our children to come. – SM
Twenty years have come and gone, and thus I am moved to acknowledge and commemorate a great adventure for our era, and the telling of the true tale of that adventure as Odyssey of the 8th Fire.
The 8th Fire saga tells the real story of a great, long prayer walk in 1995-96 from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The story arises from the deepest roots of our land, but takes place in the present and the future. In it, circles upon circles, spiritual elders make a great and generous giveaway of the teachings they carry.
The actual writing of this epic-length, nonfiction story of the 2,500 mile prayer pilgrimage for the earth took place some 11 years after the final steps of the walk. I wrote Odyssey of the 8th Fire over the course of 225 consecutive days beginning in early summer 2007 and finishing in the deep of winter 2008.
At the time my wife Elizabeth Wolf and I were living on Calle Contento in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over those intensely demanding 225 days, Elizabeth provided intellectual, emotional, creative and spiritual support in a thousand ways, and thereby made possible the writing and online publication of the epic, nonfiction saga Odyssey of the 8th Fire. While holding down a fulltime job at Blessingway Authors Services, she remained close to this project as my Muse, critic, and companion from the first word through the last. Her multitude of contributions made an enormous and enduring difference.
Thank you darling Elizabeth for making it possible to spin out in words this ambitious spiritual saga along the Beauty Way, and to make of it a great giveaway for the people. ~ S.M.
Here’s just a short take from the 8th Fire account of the final day of the long Walk for the Earth:
Day 225 – TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY – February 2, 1996 – Odyssey of the 8th Fire
“We are a part of all that we have met. Yet, experience is an arch wherethro gleams that untravl’d world whose margin fades forever and forever when we move.” ~ Odysseus to Athena, at the end of The Odyssey
…Evelyn Commanda, representing the Algonquin peoples, held one end of the Seven Fires Wampum Belt, and Liz Dominguez, representing Chumash peoples, held the other end. Together, slowly and solemnly, they walked the belt out into the Pacific Ocean, where in a sacred manner they washed it with the waves…
…we were a circle of nearly 80 people representing all the colors of humanity, and many of its spiritual traditions.
We began to express ourselves, to pray. One of the things we gave thanks for on the beach was the tremendous support we enjoyed as we walked. So many wonderful people stopped, or went out of their way somehow to ensure that we succeeded as best we could. So many people responded, and helped us along.
Some people became very interested in the depth and specificity of the prophecies we carried, while others didn’t care very much about that kind of information at all. They just felt we were doing something worthwhile by walking, and that’s all they needed to know. They acted out of basic human goodness. Now in our final ceremony, we sent our gratitude and good feelings to Creator and all the helpers with our song and prayer for all…
Link to the full account of Day 225 of the Odyssey of the 8th Fire.
OK, I cranked up the meme machine this week and created this offering below on life’s adventure. May it honorably commemorate the 20th anniversary of our epic walk from America’s Eastern Door toward the Western Gate, striking sparks for the 8th Fire. For your consideration, here’s the meme:
2015 – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the great prophetic, multicultural Sunbow pilgrimage from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1995 under guidance of traditional native wisdom keepers and the skysign of the Whirling Rainbow.
The journey began — and remains — the Odyssey of the 8th Fire. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to tell this epic tale freely on the web, and grateful for the help that came to support me in doing it.
As the meme below attests, I’m moved this 20th anniversary year to beat upon the drum, to write, and to otherwise let people know about the journey that took place and that in my mind remains unfinished. That’s a key. Via the Odyssey of the 8th Fire everyone has an opportunity to make a parallel literary and spiritual pilgrimage across Turtle Island (North America). From that journey, I feel, much is to be gained.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the great multicultural pilgrimage from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1995 under guidance of traditional native wisdom keepers. The journey was — and is — the Odyssey of the 8th Fire.
As the meme below attests, I’m moved this year to continue letting people know about the epic saga I authored back in 2007 to tell the tale. As time passes the story becomes increasingly relevant.
The year 2015 marks the 20th Anniversary of a great journey that took place over the course of 8 months as a band of pilgrims guided by traditional elders of North America walked from the Atlantic to the Pacific under the sky sign of the Whirling Rainbow.
To help commemorate that walk, I am creating a series of memes letting people know where they can learn the whole of of the true, epic saga Odyssey of the 8th Fire. Here’s is yet another sample meme that I plan send out on it’s own digital odyssey:
I invite you also to begin the journey. Explore what the odyssey of the 8th fire is about, and consider making an 8-month spiritual-literary journey, reading one journal entry each day from the start of the odyssey onward.
With respect, SM