Through my weekly radio show, I strive to create a medium for pagan, and spiritually progressive voices. Mainstream media has neglected these bards, great thinkers, and earth spiritualists. Yet their ideas, stories and songs can help us better understand the connections between earth as sacred entity and living sustainably amongst ourselves and our environment. I hope you enjoy listening to these ideas, philosophies, songs and stories as much as I enjoy sharing them with you.
Because May 1 is such a great holiday, I'll say Happy Beltane again this week! But that's only one small part of it. This week I was also witness to the birth of Caer Cormorant; a Gorsedd, or gathering of Bards (doing it Druid style) in Olympia. May day is also often recognized as a holiday intended to rally for worker's rights, in America, and across the world. So I'm going to take a moment here to address the worker's tragedy that just recently occurred in Bangladesh. During the last week of April a large crack appeared in one of the buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This crack was several stories long and the building it was found on was used as a garment factory (ever noticed how many of your clothing items say "made in Bangladesh?"), it employed several hundred (if not thousand) very low wage workers, mostly young women between the ages of 15 and 20. Dhaka authorities ordered the building evacuated as it was deemed unsafe. One factory owner sent his employees to work in the building anyway, threatening them with loss of one months wages if they didn't work in this building which he and the engineers he paid said was not going to collapse on anyone. Within two hours of these workers starting their shifts the building did collapse. The death toll now stands at 580 workers! Rescuers have given up on finding any survivors any more as they continue to dig through the rubble. Until recently, hardly any news outlet at all even mentioned this tragedy. Amy Goodman reported it on Democracy Now! a news show broadcast on KAOS and some other Pacifica stations. Aside from Amy Goodman listeners almost no one had heard of this tragedy. To raise awareness of this tragedy myself and a few others, working with are local food co-op, tied tatters of cloth on the branches of a tree in their parking lot, when last I checked, only about 220 tatters had made it onto the branches of that tree, but it did make people stop and ask"what are these tatters about?" When they heard they were understandably appalled by the conditions these Bangladeshi people are forced to work in and they became aware of these injustices that still occur in the world time after tragic time. Those tatters waving silently on the tree? Each one represents another life lost for the comforts of western consumerism. Hopefully, we will reach 580 tatters before the co-op members, or their representatives, ask for them to be removed.
Music wise, this week on Wheel of Wonder, we'll have a few new Beltane songs and in the 9 o' clock hour we'll have a special Interview with Peter Mayer, an inspired and universally spiritual singer songwriter from Minnesota. To hear some of Pete's great songs, go to his website, or listen on YouTube. I look forward to bringing you this week's Wheel of Wonder!
Picture Credits: Picture one is a double-crested Cormorant from Wikimedia Commons, the second picture is the tatters on the tree, by me.
Last week on Wheel of Wonder we spoke about Celtic Faerietales. Yet this through the lens of how these Pre-Christian era tales show the beliefs and values of the ancient Kells. It seemed to me that there were some recurring themes: The Giant as an apparent symbol of Nature's wrath and from the "Cailleach of the Snows" The Crone, or bitter wise woman as the danger, of the harsh winter but eventually overcome by the Maiden of Spring. The Giants seemed to always be masculine, and as antagonists; overbearing and Patriarchal. Hunters of souls and individual. In many Celtic Faerietales they could only be overcome by bold and clever men, working in concert with wise and brilliant women (who the men usually had the good sense to listen to). Another recurring theme was in the advantages of always being nice to strangers and animals, as they would do you a good turn in response, most especially when you needed it. Recurring Archetypes in the Celtic Tales of the Pre-Christian world included: The Mystic (or Shamanic) Hero and Adventurer, The Magical Woman, The kind and wise elder male (or Sage/Druid), the Wise Woman (Or Crone), Animal Spirits (sometimes shown as Humans transformed by Magic), and Faerie helpers or foes (who weren't always understood, but respected). If one ever studies folktales and faerietales, one should go back as far into history as possible, to understand the values of a culture, modern retellings are often just modern (did you know Cinderella was a woman versed in magic and soothsay, and not just some hapless girl a Fairy Godmother took pity on?) Go to The Source.
For this week though, the Wheel turns and we'll talk about Beltane and about this incredible event in Olympia Washington called PROCESSION OF THE SPECIES, which took place Saturday. I was there did you see me? I was The Green Man (picture above). Hope you join me this week on Wheel of Wonder!
Hello, well its catching up time again! Week before last on Wheel of Wonder we completed the Elemental Episodes with the fifth Element: Spirit. Or as we saw defined on the website gnosticteachings.org: spirit: mid-13c., "animating or vital principle in man and animals." In the belief systems of the five spiritual Elements (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Spirit; sometimes called Ether). Spirit flows through everything, often when I think about the Pentagram, I think about it as the Fifth Point, it could also be represented by being of the place that is the center in the sacred circles some earth spiritualists call forth in ritual. It was interesting to look at the online gnostic teachings available on this subject. Gnosticism is of course Christian Mysticism, and some say relate to very powerful energies, so be aware and proceed with respect and caution if you should choose to investigate them.
The week that followed as I was running through my thoughts on what should be our next topic of discussion, eventually I decided to grab a deck of Celtic Tarot Cards, do an Alchemists spread and see what came up. The overall message I found in that Tarot drawing involved many "swords" cards but almost all in relation to the signifier card of "The Sun." because of that significator, it was overall about as positive a message as you can get from 5 cards, three of which are swords. The message I found was one of Humans becoming more aware of, or perhaps, remembering the spiritual dimension of we Human Beings, and using that knowledge to create a better world. That is the time this reading said we live in. What a wonderful message!
This week is very important though, because this week is the week of the KAOS membership drive. KAOS gives me a medium through which to share these neat Pagan, Indigenous, Sustainable, and New age ideas live on FM radio! The only reason I can do that is because KAOS remains a non-commercial radio station, it doesn't matter if corporate media does not see Wheel of Wonder's message as important or profitable for there bottom line, because the people who listen to KAOS ("One of the top 10 non-commercial stations in the USA" according to Performer magazine, and The Princeton Review) donate actual money to support it. There are not very many fully independent media outlets left in this country and I hope whether you enjoy listening to Wheel of Wonder, or just reading the blog, or if you are indeed one of the select and wonderful artists I play the music of, or one of the great thinkers I direct traffic to the websites of, that you will consider donating money to KAOS, this week.
Happy Ostara, hope you had an amazing Alban Eiler (as the Druids would call it), or that you are just enjoying the coming of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, or the Harvest of Mabon if you live on the southern part of the globe! I spoke a bit about the Spring Equinox last week on Wheel of Wonder, and shared some of the legends of St. Patrick as the broadcast was on St Patrick's Day.
One of the major foci of every Spring Equinox gathering I had the honor to get to, was the idea of achieving balance, just as the day and night (both equal on this day) stood witness to on that day, and the celebrants I met sought to achieve, through ritual, for the spiritual and mundane aspects of their lives.
This Ostara, also reaffirmed for me what I had learned back in 2007, while sitting in our local Interfaith Works community round table discussions; all spiritual groups, and many of the secular people, not bogged down in dogma or politics, are truly all seeking the same thing: To bring forward positive, healthy, life-affirming communities where it is safe to grow, live, learn, and express the truth of who we all are truly meant to be individually, and as a collective of Humanity.
Alban Eiler or "Light of the Earth" has seemed to be the perfect name for the experiences of this season. If every person on this Earth is free to shine the light of their personalities, their personal "spirits" (not just the ones they call on for help, and for guidance, the ones they ARE) the entire Human race could see each other clearly, walk in each others beauty, and begin to understand that together we are AMAZING, right here, right now, on this world.
Wheel of Wonder goes back to the two hour format this week to make room for "Sunday Sun-up" from 6am-8am (PST). This week we'll be taking a journey through the elemants of earth and fire, and into some of the beliefs systems concerning the fay. Check out the new links, and hopefully you'll get a chance to write (email@example.com), call in, or just listen this week to all the great info and independent music on Wheel of Wonder! (If outside the local area: check out kaosradio.org)
The picture of the Earth at equinox above and to the right is from NASA GOES Satellite, and was available through Flickr public photo site, and is attributed to NOAA.
Hello again, patient people! Although last week I explored indigenous cultures of the Arctic Circle and their music, as well as the changes they face in their culture with the melting of the Arctic Ice. I didn't get to post on that. This week I found myself on a journey through the world of the Four basic elements of Neo-pagan Cosmology (Air, Earth, Fire, Water; you know them. I also like to include Spirit). The Playlist was posted at spinitron.com I only managed to cover songs that made me think of Air, Water, and some Fire, I'll have to cover the rest on a different show!
PS: All the rest of my recent Wheel of Wonder Broadcast playlists are at Spinitron.com as well! (sidebar KAOS, then search by date.)
Wheel of Wonder will be heading back to the three hour format again for a time, sometimes, if I'm very inspired I might even extend it to four! I will always be done broadcasting by 10am PST though, to make room for Cottleston Pie, the Sunday morning children's show (Learn more about Cottleston Pie at kaosradio.org). Imbolc has passed here in the Northern Hemisphere of our Mother Earth and the trees are beginning to bud and blossom, waking from their winter sleep. I've been invited to many healing ceremonies for the people and the Earth. There is even a "Red Cedar Circle" in the area: an open drumming circle founded on the principles of local native, spirit medicine I have had occasion to join.
This in part is what's inspired me this week for Wheel of Wonder. I'll speak of the Four Fold Way (check out the new link in the sidebar), with help from the writings of Dr. Angeles Arrien and other ideas of healing song, and envisioning a healthier, more sustainable earth centered economy. I believe this is indeed the work of the twenty-first century: to return as a people to a life consecrating, sustainable way of living on this planet, our mother, Earth. Many people are beginning to realize this, its at the heart of the Neo-Pagan movement, the returning to the old religions movement, developing a new respect for the knowledge of the native peoples, and even supported as a necessary change according to credible scientific inquiry. It is part of the honor I have in sharing these ideas with you on Wheel of Wonder. Thank you to everyone who has listened in, followed the blog, and shared your feedback with me. Its a privilege for all of us to be in this together!
I found the picture above on the website Nature's Blessings, original artist at present, unknown. Nature's Blessings is not a bad site for info either.
There I go again not posting for a while. My apologies to those who have been following. Have you heard? We may have entered a new age of the Human experience. It is believed to be an age of greater compassion and a greater sense of interconnectedness and perhaps seeing things from a different perspective in regards to the wisdom of our collective human past and all of the cultures and ancestry that have made us who we are today. Many believe that finally, the quick march of Industrial progress has led us to a place of potential jeopardy (Global Warming, Cancer, Pollution, Too much stress on the Earth's Ecosystems, too many people) were we HAVE to stop a moment and look back on how we've reached this point, and how we should perhaps take a new path, more Human and Nature centered, less focused on Money and GDP (which is, in its essence, just a measurement have how quickly/how often a society can acquire and resell its own natural resources, and at what profit for the few people who put that money into interest bearing accounts).
Over the past three years of Wheel of Wonder, I've been sharing the viewpoints of the Earth spiritualist movements, indigenous beliefs, modern paganism, and new age spirituality. In the hopes that others may not as easily see the natural world in terms of money and GDP. Another part of the effort has been to clarify the modern Pagan viewpoint, de-mystify beliefs and rituals of the sacred which are not within the mainstream Abrahamic religions, and give everyone a reason to consider "wait a minute, it sounds like these Pagans, Gurus, and Indigenous peoples are not evil or homicidal, or devil worshiping after all." Hopefully, along the way, I shared an idea with you that could help lead you to your own spiritual truth, after you heard something on Wheel of Wonder that seemed to make sense to you.
You may also just enjoy good, mostly independent, multi-genre music. As we continue into our fourth year, I intend to continue doing all of these things, as well as sharing the insights of science and spirituality that coincide together (at least in a qualitative, if not quantitative fashion), and new writing and interviews , not always based on the work of musicians, though Wheel of Wonder will still be a mostly music show. Come along and join me as we continue the journey on Wheel of Wonder.
PS: I've been double checking the links, some need updating, this year, I'll be doing that too as well as updating/resurrecting the on site playlist.