everything is a spiral

by Rachel Zetah Becker

[This essay was written in the beginning weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic when the first Stay at Home measures were put into place. It was originally published in Vessel Zine by Naropa University in May 2020]

I am fasting today. It’s the third Sunday in a row. I’m trying to get closer to my body. An attempt to detox the rush rush rush that always pulls me away. The old anxiety I’ve been somewhat successfully fending off in the last year has floated quietly, but surely to the surface in recent weeks. Like an emptying carcass. Like a magnet. Like this tight cartilage in my chest. Scar tissue. It has its own body.

Week 3. 4? I have been reading the Heart Sutra every day for a religion class. Buddhism is a blessing right now. Emptiness is Form and Form is Emptiness. There is something to that, slowly sinking in. It’s a relief. In an old journal I read, “Body carries you thru life. And then you let go.” 

The sun feels so good. Looking for the hat I lost last week in a snowstorm. It’s olive green and likely to blend in with the juniper and sagebrush. Seeing my boot tracks in the dried mud I follow myself backwards in time. There’s a sweetness to it. Where did you go , wandering self? What choices did you make? I’m not sure if this will work but it does! I tuck the hat into my pocket and stop and sit with the cactus, noticing how deliberately it protects itself, with dense swirling needles, arms reaching around tiny maroon buds. The wild onions are back this year. Maybe they have been every year, I’m just noticing it. 

This anxious pain in my chest reached a fever pitch the other night. I was sitting in the dirt up on the hill, stoned from an edible, watching the light sink away across the neighborhood. This frantic energy buzzing though every nerve. All these patterns, not doing enough, sexual shame, this fear of being seen, of expressing my needs, fear of other people, fear of my own body, the doubt in my voice. I see the lights of the city below through the crook of a fallen tree and I think about portals. I imagine passing through it. I listen to what I want to believe are less cars than usual moving along the highway. I collect broken branches and arrange them around the dead trunk, remembering how to make an offering.

Most of my life has been holding on so tightly. This past December in a moment of exasperation I asked my brother, why do I hold onto everything so tightly?? “because you’re afraid of letting go.” Why am I afraid to let go?…Do I want to keep things forever? “…well, you can’t keep anything forever. It all goes away eventually.”

On the phone with someone I’m newly in love with. We can’t see each other right now, other than through this screen. We’re talking about the earth’s magnetic field, how a piece of hematite changed the direction of the arrow in my compass. How there is a geographic pole and a magnetic one, which I never knew. We’re talking about volcanoes and looking up a simulation of the wave and wind patterns of the ocean and I am struck by how soothing it is, to look at the earth, as a whole. One breathing being. All of us. I’ve been so wrapped up in my own little world, the dimensions and contents of this room, this house. I forgot about all that borderless space. 

Now I am learning about the sun. How its magnetic field interacts with Earth’s magnetic field every eight minutes, creating a magnetic portal, a breach in earth’s shield, through which the sun’s flares and radiation can travel, making contact with the north and south poles. If you were standing there with a strong enough burst it could kill you. Which leads me to research how Yellowstone is a giant underground volcano and could theoretically erupt at any moment, which would be deadly to a large part of the united states. Looking at the projected ash zone is oddly comforting to me. There are so many forces beyond human control. 

I also learn that our solar system rotates around the milky way galaxy in a spiraling motion. Like DNA. One full rotation takes about 230 million years, which makes 1 galactic year. Each twist in our solar system’s spiral takes 26,000 years. This reminds me of the yogic philosophy of the Yugas. We are spinning in cycles within cycles. I see the conch shells on my bathroom windowsill and a little piece of grass stuck to my shirt, which is also forming a tiny spiral.

My phone!! I am on it so much. Screen time says averaging 4-5 hours a day. How does that happen? I have been stressing out about all the things I could be doing in this time of quarantine. All the projects I’ve been meaning to do, all the books I should be finishing. Talking to a friend and he says, that sound like a mental trap. We’re in a fucking pandemic. We talk about having to face ourselves. A list of amends to make. Pacing in the kitchen. Our neuroses all coming out of their hiding places. So much space now. Yin. Shadow. Darkness. Can you distract yourself forever?

In another conversation with my love we’re talking about learning to listen to the heart, and making decisions with the body versus the mind. That the mind is a tool, but not the only one. The body communicates differently, often more slowly, subtly, requires more space. Being wholly present. Being present with my body is so hard sometimes. We agree that it’s like learning a new language, which helps me relax. It takes practice and dedication and the willingness to be a fool at times. I am expertly fluent in the ways of the mind, fully versed in the tip of the iceberg. With the body, the wild subconscious, the underground, I am clumsy — curious and earnest and also afraid, ready to run. I want to be able to understand what it is saying, I want to hear its songs.

I have been thinking a lot about time in the last few months, before there was suddenly so much of it. Which is further evidence of the problem — there is always time, it is always happening right now. Only right now. The way I’ve been living, always running from time, hoping it won’t catch me. And now that things have been coming to a grinding, shuddering halt I am feeling that inner motion, the deep waves of inertia still pulling me forward into all the expected doing to be done. The water sloshing and spilling all over.

Back to my heart. I decide to have a day with zero expectations for myself. I sink into my bones for a moment. I steady myself to go deeper into the discomfort, the tightness in the heart cavity, the twinge in my arm. Another journal entry from years ago: “I am afraid of seeing myself in pain.” It’s hooked under my left shoulder blade, and stretches across my chest and throat. Breathing into the eye of the storm, approaching the void. Pain body. It wants to be seen. A shift in the space when I realize this. Why won’t you look at me? So often I am trying to run away, and abandon my body. Another journal entry: “Anxiety is my body’s fear of me leaving it.” And earlier: “Anxiety is a sign that my body is trying to protect me.” 

Back to now. Another breath. Another birth, another death. A note, paraphrased: “Impatience is an ally that shows us when we are trying to escape the present moment.”

Today I allow myself to sway and stretch, gently, without a goal. From the Heart Sutra: there is no attainment and no nonattainment. The earth is my body. My body is the earth. Emptiness also is form. Sun-dried bones of a small animal crushed between my fingers. Singing a song to a juniper tree, sending messages through your roots. There are other ways of knowing. There are other webs to connect into. Washing away the lines that divide, redrawing ones that connect. I wonder about the air feeling crisp and clear in Los Angeles and how long that will last. I wonder about the more or less that I can be doing. I wonder about those that do not have the luxury to wonder. I wonder how we will all emerge from this cocoon, from the earth swelling up in a low humming roar, putting us on pause. Feel your body breathing. Be with what is right in front of you. Remember who you are. Take responsibility for your actions, for your power to heal and create and destroy and make a terrifying mess, remember how to be in a body, remember how to trust a seed to emerge from the soil. Remember how to pray, remember how to mourn.  Remember where the water comes from. Remember how to live your days as round and changing as the moon. 

Rachel Zetah Becker is an artist, designer and proud earthling who is curious about trash, apocalypse, and what makes something sacred. She loves a good dance party and wandering in wild places.

the heart

by Dan Becker

photo by Zach Becker

I went northwest to high country flat and unbounded to the sky, devoid of all plant life save the barest  of shrubs and tufts of grass, and seemingly unoccupied by any other living forms for as far as I could see.  It was land cut with trickles of ravines laced into gullies, and off in the distance presumedly swallowed  by canyons. I camped. 

I wandered aimlessly through this land, without direction or decision. Over a gentle rise, I lifted my  head enough for my eyes to see it — fixed upon bedrock, welded to the planet — a heart-shaped rock.  Not a heart shape like you would get from Valentine’s Day with its point and cleavage mounds but an  anatomical heart of stone with petrified muscle and sinew, an aorta, and of a color only slightly  varnished by time. It had no real defined boundaries; as if air-brushed, the vessels just seemed to fade  away. The bottom tip of the heart seemed fixed to a swell of bedrock arched from the sandy soil. From  several paces away, I circled the organ, feeling uninvited to come any closer. Although I thought briefly  about reducing this curious artifact to my possession, I could see and sense that it could not – and should  not – be removed. Nor was I convinced it was even tangible, couldn’t truly picture grasping and feeling its cool polished presence in my hand. It was beautiful but seemed about to disappear. It was bafflingly  out of place, although I know not what place it would ever really belong. 

Driven by thirst and hunger, I circled back to camp, my thoughts in a whirl. I knew I would go back to the  heart, for I was drawn to return before the sun set and the moon rose. As a habitual wanderer, I have  generally found my way in and out of the wild without need of rescue, but in truth, I did not know  exactly where the heart was, I did not know how I had arrived there or found my way back. Yet, I knew  with a confidence that was not mine, that I would return at the ordained time. Nothing else could be. 

When the sun was low in the western sky, I once again stood before the heart. The moon would be full  tonight, rising slightly north of due east. The sun would set slightly north of due west. I felt compelled to  build a fire and set about to find a spot. The heart stood on its bedrock perch, in the dry tracings of  ravines pointing without commitment to the ethereal canyons to the northwest. The soil here was no  different than all that lay around — not bare but covered by ubiquitous wisps of ankle high shrubs and  grass. On the southern slope of this dry headwater was a small sandy depression shaped not unlike the  inside of a saucer sled you would have used back in the day, or a very shallow but large ant lion trap. In  this cathedral, this was the place of the fire. There was no real fuel to be found, so I set about gathering  the smallest of twigs and dry grass stems, for that was all there was. It was a bundle more akin to tea  leaves and bore nothing in resemblance to a bundle of firewood. I placed the handful in the dish of sand  and cast about for more. When I placed the second bundle on top of the first, I swore the first had  grown in size. Not in number, but in each individual twig and stem having added girth. I went for more  and found myself aiming for a group of small junipers just visible to the north in the dying light — surely  there would be wood there. There was, but all of it was living. The three small trees stood in a semi circle before a gathering of attentive sage, all minute, all without a single dead branch. I searched under  and within their gowns and returned once again with just a handful of twigs and stems. I placed it on  the pyre, now more noticeably grown in stature. 

The sun was on the horizon in an orange ball of glory and the moon was opposite, peeking in blazing  white. I stood like the eyes between outstretched hands, bent and lit the twigs with the flick of a lighter.  The flame caught and quickly engulfed the cone of debris. It would be a short fire. But as the flames rose into the tepee shaped bundle, they held, the twigs and wisps of bark and grass burned but were  not consumed. It was a small fire, but a comfort no less. 

The heart was now sunlit from the west, making it glow warmly orange across the curve of the  chambers and the arch of the aorta; and from the east, white moonlight backlit the vena cava and  pulmonary branches. The flickering of the fire animated the scene in pulsating light and the crackle of  life. I was transfixed, staring at this collision of light and life. Small tendrils of smoke danced in the air  encircling the heart. In the swirls a shape began to emerge, of a being bound to the heart. Slowly the  anatomical nature of the heart faded to a pulsating glow as the nature of the woman possessing it  emerged. I dared not breathe and became a statue myself. Although she held all the beautiful and  alluring qualities of a woman, she appeared nonetheless, to be solely light, combined in impossible  impermanence and strength. I have never seen the faintest stars of Ursa Minor except on the darkest of nights… yet here in this spell between twilight and night, they shone bright in an embrace of her.  

I don’t know why I was the one who stood before her. Not having expected the moment, I had nothing  to say, no thought to complete. I don’t remember fear, although I felt my own heart percussing against  my ears. 

She was half sitting half reclining and had the look of someone who has just woken from dreaming and  was trying to place herself in her surroundings. Did she ask for, or did I just offer (stupidly, no doubt) a  handful of earth? Did I step forward to give it to her? It seems it was cast like holy water into her light and she breathed it in, smiling with immense contentment thru closed eyes discerning all the aromas  and every origin of every grain of sand and other living element in that cascade. And her knowing  transcended the plume of dust and for a moment I was there, immersed as well.  

She knew me in an instant, better than I knew myself. She neither examined the actions of my life nor cast any judgement, she simply saw who I was — what I knew and what I possessed. She saw my  humanness, my potential, realized and not — and beyond, to my ancestors that have gone before me.  Almost as a practiced ritual, she had a need for four of them to stand in the circle of the fire.  Immediately, there were four: my father (with gentle righteous integrity), my grandmother (small but  large in quiet determination), Emily (with boundless enthusiasm and openness), and Aaron (with wry  humor and youthful longing). She smiled in quiet satisfaction and appreciation. 

Everything was so connected as to make a mockery of time, erasing beginnings and ends. Every atom of  every molecule of every grain of sand moved from one iteration to the next, animated with every  thought and feeling, so much so that I was inseparable from that handful of dry soil, from my ancestors, from Ursa Minor, from her. Although this didn’t appear novel for her, I could see she was as enthralled  and as endlessly surprised by this knowing as I was. 

I would have stayed there forever, with her. And maybe I did. Time slipped from my grasp as the sun  went dark and the moon rose full. The fire flickered and went out, the smoke swirling its embrace  around me. The place of the fire once again held tea leaves of twigs and grass, untouched by flame.  Where she was, where the heart was, ash drifted away in the moonlight. A star down the handle from  Polaris pulsed bright, held for a moment, and surrendered to the moon.

Dan Becker is a Colorado builder, explorer, occasional poet.

Flower Punk!


Hello Earthlings, dropping in with a brief Public Service Announcement to pass on the joy of a short film that was recently shared with me by both my mom, Jenny and my friend Diane on separate occasions. I’ve watched it several times now and hope you will check it out too!

Japanese artist Azuma Makoto has sent his floral sculptures into space and sunk them to the bottom of the ocean, but most of the time, he thinks about the life and death of flowers. Flower Punk is a hypnotizing short documentary that brings you inside his work and process. After watching, you won’t be able to think about flowers the same way again. (via the filmmaker’s website, here)

“One time I read an old story and started to cry. There was once a very bad disaster in Kyoto. And the monks there dedicated flowers to the victims and prayed every morning. When they would finish praying, they would go out to feed the victims and take care of their wounds. The passage said this was the true purpose of someone who arranges flowers. When I read it, it made me cry so much and I felt, “These guys are punk.” It’s not just about arranging flowers. It’s the whole thing — saying the prayers and entrusting them to the flowers, arranging flowers even in the face of disaster…That spirit is my goal. I really feel it’s a punk spirit. It shook my heart.”  — Azuma Makoto 

“Something that expresses the connection between Japanese people and nature is the artwork “kusozu”. There are 9 panels. After a young, beautiful person passes away due to illness, the body is left in a field. These nine pictures show the process of this body returning to nature. In the end you realize that humans are part of nature. Someday we will also die and go back to nature and become dust.”  — Azuma Makoto 

watch the film here or on YouTube!

Rachel Zetah Becker is an artist, designer and proud earthling who is curious about trash, apocalypse, and what makes something sacred. She loves a good dance party and wandering in wild places.

Allegiance to Gratitude

by Gray Harrison

In the spirit of working towards a world where people can hold kindness and gratitude above our inevitable differences, I bring you a Native American version of a “pledge of allegiance”, also known as the Allegiance to Gratitude…I first was introduced to these words by the book “Braiding Sweetgrass”, by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  The original pledge, or address, is called The Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World. These words of thanksgiving come to us from the Native people known as the Haudenosaunee (also Iroquois or Six Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora) of upstate New York and Canada. The Thanksgiving Address has ancient roots, dating back over one thousand years to the formation of the Great Law of Peace by a man called the Peacemaker, and perhaps before that. Today these words are still spoken at the opening and closing of all ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations.

The more I consider the power of kindness, the more I want it to be the defining characteristic of my interactions with the world.  One of the difficulties I run into is my old programming, which seems to always be there to trip me up, and the next thing I know I’ve said something snide, sarcastic, or thoughtless.  This Native American “Thanksgiving Address” has been an inspiration: it resonates with me in a way few other collections of words have, and I hope it is meaningful to you as well.  

There are many stanzas, each focusing on thanksgiving for all of creation; the people, the water, the trees, the animals, etc.  Here are three of the stanzas; the first for the people, the second for Mother Earth, and the 3rd for the Creator.

Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. 

Now our minds are one.

We are thankful for our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about  upon her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send thanksgiving, love, and respect. 

Now our minds are one.

We now turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address.
Credit to Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and John Stokes and Kanawahientun, 1993. AMERICANINDIAN.SI.EDU

Gray Harrison is a Colorado transplant, originally from Worcester, MA.  Involved in many environmental and social justice projects for most of his life, he is a musician, builder, welder, bicycle mechanic, fix-it kind of person who loves being outdoors, hiking, sailing, bike touring, and porch-sitting.  Always working toward a love revolution on planet Earth.

Equinox Earth Altar

By Stephanie Pieper

After being stuck inside for several days straight due to the bad air quality, I had the desire to connect with nature in a more intimate way. As I was on a walk, I noticed how many of the leaves had started to turn during my time indoors. The air felt “equinoxy” outside too, ya know? Like the sun was out, but crisp cold air slipped up my sleeves every now and again, and I could smell the rains coming. Anyway, I collected some plants that spoke to me on my walk. Even though most of them were on their last legs, I placed each plant in a vase of water when I got home. This felt like a soothing / revitalizing gesture (for both myself and the plants) after watching the earth be scorched for so many days.

As I looked at all the plants I’d brought home, they felt too beautiful to not create something with. Taking inspiration from my dear friend,, I decided to build an earth altar. I am so grateful to be surrounded by people who encourage me to express this kind of creativity. Next to the plants, I placed trinkets and fabrics found around my home. To me, gold, amber, and yellow colors represent the transition into autumn and the virgo season. I poured out a blend of lavender and sage into one of the glass jars, and burned a small stick of Palo Santo in another. (Palo Santo, meaning “Holy Wood” in Spanish, is a wood that has been used by Indigenous peoples for centuries to clear negative energy, or treat pain and stress.) I wrote down a few intentions for the upcoming season and read a a passage from The Faithful Gardener (which just happened to be about the cycles of fire, woah). I prayed a little too.

I can’t say I’ve built many altars in the past, but I now see the appeal. Like many subtle moments in life, altar building is a ritual. This was a space for me to be present and to take notice of all that is around me. This was also a space for me to exercise my intuition and creativity without judgement, a space to reflect, and a space to communicate with the universe. This was a very sacred space.

Do you have an altar you’d like to share? We’d love to see it! If so Please reach out with a photo and description of what is on your altar, and why. 

Stephanie Pieper is a creative entrepreneur, zine enthusiast, and frequent daydreamer based in Seattle, WA. Holding a strong belief that entrepreneurs are building frameworks to a reimagined world, she has focused her energy and work to support these socially conscious individuals. As a freelance designer, Stephanie encourages each entrepreneur to extract their own creative essence through a gentle process of compassion and intuition. She is also the founder of LADY, a donation-based zine and resource for local female-identifying entrepreneurs. Through her creative ventures, Stephanie’s greatest intention is to foster spaces of care within her community.

@sbpieper  /

My Way or The Highway

I guess it’s the highway…

by Alex White

[This essay was originally published on]

How did I get here from there? 

That experience of leaving the house and it’s like you are suddenly at work. You took this route to work so many times that it’s like second nature to you. Walking out of your front door is like walking into a wormhole that takes you to your workplace. 

I’ve wondered how I’ve gotten here from there a lot lately. “There” being several moments in my life that have shaped where I am at today. From going to college to being hospitalized and put on pills, to losing my health insurance, and getting a job to pay for said pills (many thanks to H for getting me that job). It all feels jammed together even though it happened over nine years. 

I work at a vet clinic doing night cleaning, and it’s a 45-minute commute. This gives me a solid hour and a half to contemplate my mortality and the frailty of my body that’s zooming through a concrete jungle at (literal) break-neck speeds each day I work. This commute is somewhat of an improvement from my first job time-wise, where I shared a car with my mom. I would drop her off at work, which took an hour, then drive 30 minutes to my work, and wait an hour for the shop to open up—making a 12 hour day with a 4-hour commute. 

(I find it a little funny that I ended up getting a job as millions are losing theirs. It was also weird to lose health insurance now from timing out of my parent’s coverage. Every time I looked up “losing health insurance” it brought up articles around the massive job loss because health insurance is tied to jobs for so many.) 

I’ve been wondering how to make the best out of the entire commute. There is the underlying fear for my life to contend with. Driving past Suncor both ways, I can’t help but consider the destruction to the surrounding, mostly Latino community. And I am subject to a perpetual barrage of unwanted sound coming from the highway. So I thought, hey maybe I’ll write an article about all of that nonsense, as a way to cope.

I want to talk about the anxiety I experience around driving, and some of the reasons it’s there. Colorado is rated the fifth-worst driving state. Bad roads, bad traffic, expensive gas. I’ve seen too many dashcam videos of car wrecks, and I’ve seen how it’s mostly random freak accidents. I am trying to come to the point of acceptance about it, let go and let God see my blinkers as they say. I need to Accept the Drive. I need to Accept the Work. 

Trying to keep pace with the sea of drivers that surround me, I usually end up with bone white knuckles. When people race past me at speeds that don’t kindly agree with statistics, I wonder if they have a death wish, or if they don’t give it a second thought. Speeding is quite the adrenaline rush, and maybe they are addicted to the feeling. 

The only thing that makes the commute enjoyable is listening to music. 

One significant difference between the commute I had and the one I am currently on is that I am now on the highway a lot. The previous one took back roads mostly and never reached speeds above 45mph. This slow pace made it easier to listen to music. I assume it was safer too.   

Now the sounds of the highway mostly drown out any music I have on unless I play it at eardrum-shattering levels. I also keep the windows down the whole way. You might say, “Alex, why don’t you roll up your windows?” And I say it’s because the car doesn’t have AC. On some days, when I’m feeling curious about the levels of heat that a body can tolerate, I’ll roll the windows up and enjoy the sweet sounds with sweat dripping down my face.   

I will also adjust the windows based on a complicated mix of factors that include but are not limited to, how warm I feel, how much I want to listen to music, how loud the surrounding cars are, how heavy the rain is, and if someone is smoking in the car in front of me. Lately, the raging fires have played a role in my decision. I usually end up fiddling with the newfangled electric windows the whole way through. 

The radio station that I always pick is KUVO, a local radio station that mostly plays jazz. My favorite shows are the Thursday night Jazz Oddessy with Dele Johnson and the Latin Soul Party on Friday night. The Latin Soul Party was voted best radio show 2020 by Westword magazine. 

To cope with the irritation of not being able to hear the excellent music that they play, I  imagine that I am listening to a jazz show with noise show elements. You have to take what you get and make the best out of it, Dontcha know. (Sorry I’ve been rewatching Fargo). 

One of the most profound moments during my ten years of therapy was when a fellow group member talked about how it’s like they want to be sad (angry, depressed, annoyed). It’s like they are addicted to the feeling and don’t want to let it go. My favorite scene in Honey Boy is when Shia LaBeouf is in rehab talking to his therapist, and he says, “The only thing my father gave me that was of any value is pain…. And you want to take that away?” 

I frequently fantasize about moving to Amsterdam, gorging on psilocybin, and riding a bike everywhere. Those fantasies are usually interrupted by a Jeep driving past. 

Each car seems to have a unique sound on the road based on the design of the vehicle. The boxy structure of the Jeep and the Toyota Tundra have the most annoying, grating sound of them all. I can’t say why. My instinctual reaction is disgust and anger. I make a grimacing face each time I hear them approaching.

Sometimes an 18 wheeler with a diesel engine low on oil will whine by. Depending on what I’m listening to the high pitched squeal is either a compliment or an annoyance. 

All of the scattered debris that I see has invaded my dreams. During one particularly disturbing dream, I was at a beach, and Louis CK was saying something offensive. My dog jumped up and bit him on the tongue. I panicked and ripped the dog away, but it kept its jaws clamped down and ripped part of his tongue off. It revealed tendrils that looked like the edge of those blown out tires you see on the shoulder of the road. That has stuck with me, and I think about it each time I see one of those tires. Or exposed steel on barriers or unfinished construction. 

On some cars that drive by, it sounds like they forgot to take off their winter tires. There is also the wind that rushes by the windows. It’s almost like thunder. Like someone is taking a large sheet of metal and making it wobble back and forth.  

Motorcycles probably have the most pleasing vehicle sound. If they creep by, that is. Sometimes they come out of nowhere sounding like a revved-up spinner firecracker, buzzing by like a hornet. It usually scares the shit out of me! But if they creep by, boy oh boy, that’s nice. Nothin’ but pure engine. 

I don’t know if I am a judgemental person, or if the highway brings it out of me. Almost any minor annoyance from another driver has me muttering, “fuck you fucker” under my breath. Thankfully my mindfulness practice usually kicks in during this, and I breathe in their pain and send out compassion. Glaring compassion.  

On two separate occasions, jet flyovers happened during my trip—a little overhead spice. One was on the Rockies opening day. They had the fireworks going too, but I was too far away to hear them. The second time was seemingly random, though the closer I get to work, the closer I get to one of Colorados Air Force bases. It kind of surprised me; I didn’t know what it was at first until I looked up. Anyway, hell yeah, baby! USA USA USA! 

Sometimes the sound I hear depends on how well the highway is maintained or constructed. Sometimes it’s bumpy, and it sounds like a congo solo. POCK POCK POCK POCK POCK. Other times it is smooth sailing. Like a wave washing ashore. Sometimes it rapidly alternates between the two.   

Some of the signs get to be annoying. A person can only handle so much repetition. I react angrily to the signs because, well, because it’s something else to get angry about! I think about how the signs and messages they put up must have gone through several meetings, and I just get upset that that is the best they could come up with. Not that I could come up with anything better, but I don’t get paid to! 

“Buckle up buttercup” Now, if I wasn’t as woke as I am, my masculinity might be challenged by that sign, and I might unbuckle right then and there just to show that sign what’s what. 

“Express lane – Yes/ Speeding – No” I will speed if I want, thank you very much, especially if I’m paying for it! 

“Wearing a mask is mandatory in public places.” Fuck you, die!  

“Click it or ticket – Back seat too!” Why do you gotta go ruin one of the great marketing slogans of the 21st century with that tagline? Come on. 

“Back to School Sale!” Yikes….

The beer billboards are excellent. Pretty. Though I find it funny that the sales pitch of the light beers offers me a break from the gluttony of the other beers- it has lower calories!- while simultaneously, well, offering me a beer. 

The signs, the fireworks, the flyovers, are only some of the fun distractions of the road. Sometimes there are pretty flashy lights. The sun will capture shattered glass spread across the lanes in a beautiful way—sculptural reimaginings of steel and glass. Oh, wait a minute, I’m describing the wrecks I see.   

Excuse me for being morbid, but I welcome the slow down from the crashes. It’s a break from the wind. I can enjoy my music again. I hope everyone is okay! The brilliant orange and the fountain flash from the roadside flares are welcome varieties. 

Sometimes the screaming sound of the tires on the pavement from my car will alert me to the fact that I’m going 80mph. Like they are yelling at me to slow down.  

So much anger. I am kind of angry about writing this, trying to make something meaningful out of my commute. I worry about how these thoughts will crystallize from writing this, and each drive will consist of me going over each part of the article, including this one. But I would just be annoyed about not writing it. So I’m doomed to think about it either way so I might as well have this article to show for it. Maybe I’ll forget about it and get taken away by the music, and the smorgasbord of sounds that come with rolled down windows. 

I like that some people can tell what kind of engine you’re runnin’ just from the sound. That’s a neat niche. No other use than, huh, that’s neat. I have been watching a lot of vice grip garage. Gives me a warm cozy nostalgia. It reminds me of when I lived next to B, who was, and I assume still is, a good mechanic. I would bug B a lot. I would look on as B worked on a dirt bike or truck. Pretending to learn something. 

(Photo by Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)

The absolute worst part of my commute is driving by Suncor on the way home. When I make the turn on I-270 and see that flame burning, I know it’s time to roll up my windows. I am grateful that it’s dark out by that time; it makes rolling up the windows more tolerable. The smell from the refinery is unbearable. I have memories going back to my youth of driving by that place and being outright disturbed by the pungent stench. 

It looks like our own little statue of liberty—Canada’s answer to France. There is no liberty for the people living in the neighborhood, though. Federal regulators have deemed the air unsafe to breathe around there since 2008. It is the most polluted zip code in the entire country. The latest failure from the plant was on 8/13/20. And it’s only one of many times there has been a failure where yellow plumes of smoke began rising from its stacks. Suncor has tried to hide its roll in the pollution of the neighborhood. It’s a symbol of environmental racism that I’ve driven past so many times. I am only one of the 350,000 cars that drive by that section of I-270 and I-25 each day.   

The highway by Suncor is the worst part of the drive, too; all of the trucks that drive on it must degrade the road quicker. I hydroplaned there once, and it scared the shit out of me. 

Last time I had contact with B was one of the many times Suncor was billowing a yellow plume of smoke. B was posting about it and highlighting how it was almost like it was a deliberate attack on the surrounding community. I don’t know if B was talking about the environmental racism of the refinery, or what. I just know B was distraught. Having to live with the absolute chaos, and having little to no control over the situation is terrifying. 

So yeah, I’m mad—about the commute, about environmental racism, and all the noise. I am mad about being seemingly stuck in a future that I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be a part of the “grind” or the “hustle.” I would wager a bet that most people don’t. I chose to go to school for music to escape that life. I would get into a military band and spend my life playing and teaching music. 

More and more throughout college, the reality of life intruded on me, and that dream fell apart. I still held on (and still do if I am honest) to the desire to be free from being a modern serf—a wage slave. I suppose I should count myself lucky that I’m not an actual slave. Being as slavery is more prevalent and profitable today than it ever has been. 

With what lot I’ve got, I’ve wanted to maximize my enjoyment. Through some bizarre calculus, I’ve decided not getting a job, staying home, making art, and desperately trying to sell that art is my best life. I decided to ride on my immense privilege for as long as I could. Once again, though, reality intrudes. Losing health insurance, relying on my grandpa’s car, and making art that doesn’t sell has highlighted the precarious situation that I am in.  

From what I can see, any hope of a “respectable future” is out the window. And I am already in a privileged spot. Maybe that has to do with raised expectations; the “You can do anything if you put your mind to it” school of thought. It could be that the material/structural conditions make traditional markers of success like a home, health insurance, a car, next to impossible to attain. I’m sorry, I just don’t see trading half of what life I have to meaningless work as a reasonable trade-off for my “own” shelter and to be an upstanding member of the community as worth it. 

I am too lazy and selfish, I guess. It’s my way or the highway, though, and I’ve been on the highway an awful lot lately.

Alex White is an interdisciplinary artist from Colorado who draws his creativity from music, painting, poetry, photography, and film. Alex has read at Jazzetry, and Punketry, which are poetry gatherings accompanied by improv music. One of Alex’s most memorable performances was at the Fox Theater during “Howl: An Allen Ginsberg Birthday”. He’s contributed to the community by painting a mural for the CU College of Music, and painting a rain barrel for the Boulder Barrel Project which sought to bring awareness to water conservation. He’s performed with The Boulder Laptop Orchestra, The Boulder Symphony, the Thornton Community Band and improv punk group Black Market Translation.

@commoditycreature /

Pray for Magic: An Open Letter to My Unborn Child

by Hank Stowers

Hey kid,

When I first sat down to write this letter, it was for your younger self. I wanted it to be a letter passed to you soon after you were adopted, set lightly on your nightstand to be puzzled over with dim lamplight and radiant courage. I was going to draw pictures, to help you understand. I would have anguished over every word, desperate to impart the gravity of all species’ greatest threat on a kid, simultaneously paralyzed with the knowledge that my remarks may drift away in a sea of new impressions, as is so often the case with young minds. I would not have been able to deliver the world to you gently enough.

Mostly, I would not be exhibiting my own radiant courage. My courage is waiting, insisting instead that you will survive to read this on your twenty-fifth birthday. Courage is believing that we will find the power to mend our brittle, fissured world, before it’s too late. I want you to see me being courageous, because I know you will need to do the same, and much more. So I speak to you now, grown and flourishing, my child. I hope with all my heart that these words find you well.

As I write to you, the final days of this decade wane away. It feels like the whole world is sighing, tattered and fatigued, and perhaps tenacious enough to to hope for relief. There is so much we need to be relieved of. The number of displaced, stranded people has doubled in the past ten years, and we approach an era in which one hundred million people cannot return to their home, or the scarred remains of that place. Increasingly, our refugee crises, escalations of conflict, and crushing losses of blossoming life, are attributed to weather events. Our climate is not changing, it is collapsing all around us. Fires, heatwaves, droughts, floods, and hurricanes are razing the landscapes that our species have inhabited for millennia. Many other species, woven even deeper into their ecosystems than us, cannot not flee, and are disappearing altogether. It pains me greatly to know that I will reminisce of fellow biosphere community members who you will never know.

I turned twenty five years old today. You will probably be born in a few years (I don’t expect to adopt you for another decade). I cannot imagine the danger that you will soon be facing, learning to survive in your infancy not by example, but through the brute force of trial. I hope that by the time you read this, the deep crevices of inequality and oppression will have been sewn shut, that the word privilege might mean a little less, wedged between us. While an energy dynasty forged in fossil fuels and capitalism ravages the only planet we call home, I have grown up in the private sanctuary of white supremacy culture, shielded temporarily from the destructive power of climate chaos. In my own lifetime, the poisonous ventricles of my culture, rooted in extraction and dominion, have transformed the climate crisis into a weapon. The most brutal of our environmental injustices have been aimed toward communities of color, nations of indigenous people, and intergenerationally nurtured ecosystems. The same architects of imperialism that evaluated millions of human lives as chattel, and built empires atop their breaking backs, have polluted our biosphere, and transformed the miracle of energy, which surges through all things in this world, into a cancer. I have struggled to exist, as humans invariably do, but my obstacles all bask in the empire of privilege, built by slaves and servants. I have never been forced to move anywhere. I have never wandered in the streets of my own community without palatable water, or breathable air. The hottest of my days are air conditioned, the empire into which I was born dumps its toxic waste Elsewhere, a fictitious place inhabited by real people. You, on the other hand, will be a child orphaned and forced to seek refuge by climate chaos, and I have been complicit in your suffering since my own birth. I want you to know that as much as I strive to confront and dismantle the pillars where my privilege resides, I will occasionally falter, and slip into the grasp of a colonizer mentality, and you will tell me I am wrong, and I will grapple with the sanctuary of my privilege before I am able to understand. I was born into a struggle for awakening; a sobering recognition that in our ruthless exploits, white society has only prolonged self-annihilation for a moment. We have behaved like a sailor perched up in the crow’s nest, shooting holes in our own ship. For what my people and I have done, I am so sorry.

But this is not a letter of apology for the apocalypse. This is a letter of prayer, that a new force of hope and resilience sprouting in the soul of my generation will be nourished and cared for enough to blossom in the hands of your own.

There is a revolution happening, growing and spreading through the youth, faster and brighter than any wildfire or heatwave. Oh, how I wish you could be here to witness it with me! It is ecstatic and terrifying, jubilant and heartbreaking, all at once. A great surge of organized, strategic and radical empathy has arisen to meet the goliath of climate collapse. Everywhere on earth, young people are coming together in a shared song of resilience, unshakable optimism, and uncompromising determination. Indigenous tribes are leading us all back to our roots in this biosphere, forming a path boldly defiant of their would-be conquerors. Young women of color are at the front lines of a political revolution, performing liberation, compassion, and honesty in the same halls where those virtues were first legislated away from their ancestors. Everywhere that there is injustice, technology has evolved in the hands of organizers into a tool of accountability and communication. People all over the world are simultaneously feeling the magic of a limitless empathy, the ability to share and fight for the miracle of life alongside anyone, anywhere. We are actualizing the potential of our magic, breathing it to action with political campaigns for mutual aid, investments in renewable energy transformation, and the graceful abolition of systemic oppression. It is all happening right now, in our trembling hands.

This revolution, or awakening, or whatever name it will be remembered by, is for you. For this reason, we cannot lose. It is for your children, and your children’s children. Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga and Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations, says it best:

We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come…Where are you taking them? What will they have?

Across the world, we are rediscovering our empathy for one another, our fellow animals, our rivers and plains, our biosphere, and our future. And we are acting on it. You deserve a world that can hold you, where you can learn to be courageous, and not hopeless. It is my own hope that by the time you read this letter, you will have found space for courage already.

My child, I wait with bated breath to deliver this letter to you. In closing, I wish to add one more thought, more so as a reminder to myself, than a prayer to you. When the revolution began, it was dismissed by many of my elders, even the ones I love. Many walked the path toward hope by our sides, but others laughed at our cries of desperation and sorrow, mocking our resolution, and cursing our joy. They didn’t know that they were only entombing themselves in their misery. The ruinous tendrils of a story they bound themselves to, patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy, decayed. We walked on without them, a little lonelier from the places where love was tangled up in revolution.

When your generation must face its own perils and trials, remind us of this promise: We will walk with you. We will remember what it was like to be a twenty five year old human, bursting with the frantic joy of being alive, and the relentless determination to flourish, and we will walk with you.

All my love,


Hank, He/Him or They/Them pronouns:

I am many things! Organizer for liberation and the abolition of oppressive systems, outdoor explorer and risk-seeker, coffee and cigarette romantic, dork, and more. Most importantly, I am a literary futurist. I discovered the world I want to live in through the writings of Octavia Butler and Arundhati Roy, among others. The vision and critical hope latent in speculative fiction has guided me toward the work of abolishing my own oppressor identity. I spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing, and I think that means I’m a little like Octavia: “…an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.”

Healing Takes Place During the Pause

by Paula Harrison

The Covid19 upheaval has offered all of us an opportunity to pause, whether we are ready or not. It has taken me a few weeks to respond publicly to the pandemic because I knew I needed time to process. 

I’ve been going through many of the stages others are experiencing: denial, frustration, righteous indignation, and anxiety. I’ve emerged into the light of acceptance and even a kind of embracing of the dark. Within this darkness my spirit is light, I feel upbeat and hopeful for the future.

I’m not in deep denial. Rather, I have allowed myself time to grieve for the weaknesses and lack of love this pandemic has revealed about how we treat each other and our Mother Earth. We can only change once we identify that there is a problem and that process unfolds differently for each of us. I have come to understand that this worldwide virus is a symptom of our disregard for the way we should be living on this planet. We have been taking indiscriminately and with an eye to amassing wealth and so-called security. There is a balance, but we have ignored it. The message I have received is that we need to Do and Be differently. If ever there was a call to action, this is it. 

Healing happens during the pause at the end of each breath. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a global hiatus, the healing pause. We are being told that the action we need to take starts in stillness. My hope is that we will each emerge from this experience authentically changed in our ideas about our fundamental needs and values. That we will possess a deeper commitment to the connection between the world’s people and our Mother, the Earth. 

There is never a wrong time to start at the beginning, or, it is always the right time to begin with a good intention. We have always had the opportunity to be our authentic selves while engaging in nature — this is an opportunity, no one is going to bother you from any closer than six feet away, and probably not even that close! Choose a tree and invite it into your heart. Feel the patch of ground beneath you and thank it. Ask what you need to know relating to the pandemic. Be open for an answer, especially one you never saw coming. 

Paula Harrison is a lightworker at ReikiArts in Fort Collins. She aids others in health recovery utilizing bio-field and spiritual resources. Her decades of energy work, and living, have taught her many great and small things. One thing she has learned is that it is very important to allow change to happen within yourself and not to resist when things around you are changing. This can be very uncomfortable, but this discomfort is the material within which you can plant your seeds — to grow, if you can be open to it. You can contact Paula at

Review, Renewal, Reconsideration: Astrological Insights for Retrograde Season

by Sun the Pisces

Hello and Welcome to Earth Church!

About me:

My name is Sun, I am a professional Astrologer of 5 years, and energy coach. I am 1st generation Sierra Leonean and Liberian. I identify as Sun/They/Them is also appropriate. You can find me online at should you desire a personal reading or free information. 

I am so excited to teach you about astrology coupled with energy work and how you can use it to form a better life for yourself!

I’m so excited to be able to offer some guidance in this extremely unique year of transformation, change, and upheaval. These next 6 months we will be experiencing some deep inner work (Shadow Work) and the quarantine has really forced many of us to look inside of what we have not for so long. 

In this first piece I want to give you a beautiful explanation of the energy for the next 3 months. For transparency, at the time I am writing we are experiencing 6 planets in Retrograde! SO, without losing track let’s briefly cover upcoming energy!

What is Retrograde?

First off, retrograde is not bad, it is wonderful to finish old projects, healing, and great for cleaning out old thoughts. Retrograde in the scientific sense, is then a planet appears to be moving in reverse to the human eye through a lense. Seems extremely simple considering, it is not actually going in reverse. Now, let’s tap into the energy aspect. The energy associated with the retrogrades has to do with a few key words:

  1. REview
  2. REnewal
  3. REconsideration

Review is a fundamental piece for us as humans to grow, learn and structure ourselves in our beliefs. I’ll repeat OUR beliefs. Over time it can be quite easy to accumulate the ideas and beliefs of other people because they are in our circle, friends group, or family. So this time period offers a look into what is working for you and your energy. If you begin to notice you get drained around your social groups, it is likely because you do not align with them, but because they are familiar we attach to them so we do not have to face loneliness. 

Renewal is great during retrograde because with all of our old friends and exes hoping to come back into our lives they are usually seeking a type of review also, to heal. Healing comes through owning the darkness within ourselves and offers us the space and time to shed light on that which is hidden. Thus renewing our mind, body, and spirit should one invite themselves to do so. 

Reconsideration of facts, opinions and habits is another wonderful piece with retrograde energy. How is what you are doing now helping you shape your future? If you notice you, or others are stunting your growth, what changes can we consider making? This is perfect timing for launching an idea you’ve been sitting on and possibly need affirmation for. This is your affirmation. This is beautiful energy to work with because now we are able to reach outside of ourselves, get a little bit uncomfortable and strive to hit your goals and vision you have in this world for yourself. 

Which planets are currently in retrograde and what do the planets mean? (dates)

  1. Mercury – Thinking and communication (June  18th to July 12)
  2. Saturn – Law and Order (until September 29th)
  3. Jupiter – Luck and expansion (until September 12th)
  4. Mars – Agressions and Action (September 9th – November 13th)  
  5. Venus – Beauty and Harmony (until June 25th)
  6. Neptune – Dreams and Love (June 22- November 28)
  7. Uranus – Intellect and Technology (until Jan 1st, 2021)

Venus Retrograde will be coming to an end June 25, opening up deep healing from trauma from the month prior. Specifically in relation to the love languages in society and in the collection of the human race. This will highlight not only what we deserve, but how we want to be treated. I can admit, Neptune in retrograde I am quite excited for because love is very important to me (I’m a Pisces), but also we obtain a great time to understand what love truly is. It can often be a misguided area, should we base it on the things we were taught by unsuccessful marriages, television, or peers that practice unhealthy codependent relationship habits. This time period is the ending of a fundamental piece to setting up boundaries that allow you to fully feel and acknowledge the language that can best serve you and help you become more in tune with your heart! 

I love you all, I hope this was digestible, more to come! Please feel free to reach out with topics you’d like to ask questions on and hear more about. I will offer to review one – two natal charts each issue and cover any questions you may have as a group!

Lastly, but not leastly, some very quick direct advice from my tarot deck:

This will apply to your Sun, Moon, and Rising

July Horoscopes:

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Your mind is the only thing that can interfere with your goals and mission this month. Aries people are ruled by their head, sometimes you use it, it’s better if you don’t. Action is what creates the change you seek in your life. Write it out, then go.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Materials, toys, and luxuries doesn’t actually bring you joy. These are illusions of success. Your emotions are precious and should be treated as such, take time to tap in to how you are feeling in your heart, you deserve to succeed internally. 

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

You only fail when you choose to not communicate. When you do fail, the lesson is what you should pull out of the situation or event that causes you inside. Your fears aren’t real until you feed them with attention.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Happy Birthday! Let the world take care of you, you deserve it. It’s been a wild journey of finding and creating stability for yourself, which you always seem to do for others close to you. With the energy flowing your way, try doing the opposite of what you normally do, the fresh energy will help you feel again. 

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

You don’t always need to make decisions, especially if they both seem right. Peace can also come from not knowing the right answer. There is power in detaching yourself from your mind. You naturally always do what is right, that is why you are still alive.

Virgo (August 23 – September22)

You are not and never will be useless. Everyone needs you, they may be scared to admit it. If you already know this, stop thinking you need to help everyone, if you don’t know this, stop thinking you need to help everyone. The message is be more selective and discerning about why you are choosing to use your energy in the way that you do.

Libra (September 23- October 22)

Okay, you are either coming into a deep level of success, or the people around you are helping you do it behind the scenes. I love this for you, it is time for you to keep pushing on the ideas you have, ignore people so you can do your thing, the world needs that more than short term you.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Your mind is more clear than it’s possibly ever been, and if not, it’s because you are looking in the wrong direction. You are sure about what you want, but are you willing to claim it? Cause it’s yours should you pick that person or thing up. Hurry before someone else sees the value.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)

What are your new virtues? How can you apply these new beliefs into your passions and allow yourself to travel the world (inner or outer) during these times? The fire is within you to complete projects you didn’t have the time or energy for before so now is a fresh set of lungs, arms, and legs.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

The world is yours, always has been but now your work is manifesting itself into reality. Your gifts and dreams are finally balanced and the world wants to support you. You do not have to do it alone, in fact, you can’t. Allow everything to fall into place.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Time to work, not hard or smarter, but with a team. You are so good at working with people when you let your charisma shine, now is the time to build the project you want up and it will require a bit of coordination but it will have structure to help you, and help the world equally.

Pisces (February 19- March 20)

You are almost done letting go. The oppression that has been in your life is finally lifting itself from your back, this was a difficult time, but only because the world needed you to get stronger. Now that you are emotionally jacked, and spiritually in shape. Expect to be a powerhouse in all areas of your life.

John Lewis-Williams, mostly known as Sun the Pisces. I am a professional Astrologer, spiritualist and creative. Recent accomplishments include writing articles for SKIN magazine, host of television show Sunlit Studios where I host and provide a platform for local artists to share their unique sounds. Go stream my new EP called ‘Aries Rising’. “Things are as simple as you make them.”

Connecting to our Sacred Earth through Trees

by Gray Harrison

Early each morning, when I sit down at my altar to meditate and give thanks for this life and this sacred Earth, I start by holding a seed pod to my heart.  This humble seed pod carries the energy of a 700 year-old Lebanon Cedar tree, a tree that has transformed my understanding of consciousness and our ineffable oneness with all that is.

Like many humans, I have always felt at home amongst the trees.  I’ve embraced their beauty, their strength, their resiliency, and innumerable other qualities.  I’ve climbed them, built shelters in them, sat in their shade, rolled in their leaves, and yes, even hugged them.  But until the summer of 2019, in the Loire Valley of France, I had never experienced a clear, intentional, and unmistakable communication from a tree. On that day, however, as my partner and I walked up a path on a small hill, we came into contact with a fellow Earthling speaking a new language.  Not in words, but as a palpable energy field of consciousness, reaching out to connect, heart to heart. This ancient and beautiful tree had opened a portal to human consciousness, and it had a powerful message: The trees love the Earth with every cell of their being, and the activities of humans are breaking their hearts.  The tree was emanating an energy which can be described as an overwhelming and unquestionable message of deep, deep love, along with unfathomable grief. There did not need to be any human words; it was a language older than words, and our hearts understood.  

As my life has moved along from that incredible experience, I’ve been staying open to how I can respond to the imperative that I feel every day as I hold the seed pod to my heart chakra.  The answer I’ve found is that the message of deep love for our Sacred Earth, and the inextricable connection of all consciousnesses can guide and teach the human family to once again realize our intimate connection with Gaia Sanctus, the living planet.  

The Tree Initiative

The Tree Initiative is open to everyone of all practices and paths.  The purpose is to reconnect our spirits with the spirit of the Earth with the help and guidance of the trees.  Together, our energies can shape a future of caring and stewardship that will once again make the Earth healthy and whole.  The process is simple, if you will open yourself to it.

First, know this: The trees need us, and we need the trees.  There are many ways we can connect with the trees, and one practice that is available to us has been given by a group called “The Net of Life”. Started by Sharon McErlane (, who received a vision from a consciousness or consciousnesses identified as “the Grandmothers”.  

This is what the Grandmothers say:

“It’s time to get to know the spirits of nature and connect with the elemental kingdom. To save your planet from destruction and return it to balance, this link must be made,” the Grandmothers said, “and you are here to do it! The trees are where you will begin. Trees connect through the mycelium network in their roots, a freeway of communication. The Mother Trees of the old growth forests are masters at this,” they said, “and though only a few of them are left, from these few, others can learn. The great network of tree communication that once existed all over the Earth can be re-activated.

“The Net of Light is even more powerful than you think it is. Its reach is enormous and, when you work, you will be able to link it to the mycelium network of the plant kingdom. The actual work of communication will be done by the trees,” the Grandmothers said, “but human beings are needed to connect the trees to the Net of Light.

Each time you work with the Net of Light, think of the ancient trees, the great Mother Trees. Then, in ceremony, meditation, song, or however you do it, cast the Net of Light to these archetypal trees and ask them to anchor light once again. Ask them to send a radiant broadcast throughout their roots to bless everything that lives. Remember,” the Grandmothers said, “the template for this work is still set into the Earth, so what we are asking of you is do-able. Please take our request seriously,” they said. “Get to work now and more information will follow.”

I encourage everyone to connect with at least one tree.  Finding a tree friend is a practice anyone can try, and it is easy to do.  Look around you, at your home, or at your favorite place, and see if a tree is calling to you.  You’ll know when you find the right tree. Then, as the Grandmothers instructed, sit with the tree, open your heart, lean in, and breathe.  Let the communication flow, and let the tree know that you are with them, and there to support, once again, the Net of Light that holds the sacred life of our Earth.  Sit with that energy for as long as feels right, and return to your tree friend whenever you can. Also, take a seed pod, or a fallen leaf or stick from your tree friend and make it part of your altar, so that you can connect every day to the energy of the tree.  This practice will help open your heart and your consciousness to the Sacredness of the Earth, and you will be an integral part of the healing we need. Thank you, and, as the Grandmothers say, there is more to come.

Gray Harrison is a Colorado transplant, originally from Worcester, MA.  Involved in many environmental and social justice projects for most of his life, he is a musician, builder, welder, bicycle mechanic, fix-it kind of person who loves being outdoors, hiking, sailing, bike touring, and porch-sitting.  Always working toward a love revolution on planet Earth.