Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scaling mountains: so many ways to climb

More fog this morning. The heads of the Tall Ones are cloaked in gauze. Cool air and a belly full of oatmeal, I take to the keyboard and open to my on-line astrology class with Elsa P. Focused on the transit of Saturn through the sign of Scorpio, Elsa Panizzon dishes out stories, chart analysis and advice with wit, compassion and honed insight. Slowly and steadily, like a Goat (Capricorn-Saturn) one astrological chart at a time, I read and digest the lessons for scaling mountains.

I'm not always sure where a post will lead when I begin though sometimes words do simply back themselves up at my fingertips with directions intact forming sentences and paragraphs. This one is more like the condition of the morning. Instinct has pressed the connection between the Capricorn nature that is very dense in me. After reading and beginning the digestion of today's Elsa class two images set themselves in my mind's eye: one the mountain goat (so often used as a symbol or the animal referencing Capricorn), the other a bull-dozer which is what my father a Capricorn-sun rode for decades of his work life. The article and photo above comes from 1939. Never before have I connected my father's choice of work with his Capricorn nature to scale and skin mountains; but it happened this morning.

"Like a father figure, Capricorn is a role model of self-responsibility and accountability. Saturn, with its penchant for discipline, thrives in Capricorn and therefor rules it. Capricorn must continually redefine inner and outer authroity, sidestepping know-it-all attitudes and embodying instead the teacher who can be taught." - Elizabeth Rose Campbell
Earlier this week I wrote about reconnecting with my mentor, my kumu-teacher Aunty Betty Kawohiokalani Jenkins. Capricorn figure who is both leader and skillful spider who maintains that nature of teacher who can be taught. I reflect on my father, see him in his youth, and during the years when he rode that iron horse with the skill of a mountain goat. He was an expert at it, loving the work even as he was abused by its torque and noise in times before ear-protection was mandatory. Something Elsa wrote about in our class today moves me forward with this piece. It has to do with the reality that Capricorn is just simply meant to "climb" -- work, and teach. Like it or not, if there is Capricorn, there is work. What is that goat looking at?

I picked this photo because that's where I am today. A goat who has done her share of climbing yet I know there are more steps necessary to take. Saturn has taken me to my knees and made it clear when the know-it-all attitude is an inflated attitude masking the work that must be done: my work! Life as makua o'o is a life lived every day: do the dishes, wash the clothes, make dinner, empty the composting toilet, water the garden, love the ones I'm with. Woven into all of it is writing; and I do that from the grist of everything. In ways I can feel now, the routines and rituals of a scaled-down life is the work I have planned to enjoy all along. When there was more -- money, things, stimulation, the ability to see my gifts and opportunities was like dense fog creating an illusion of invisibility. They have always been there (the gifts). Looking back while poised on all fours, the Capricorn in me sees what my father, that original model of authority did to be responsible. It was a harsh form for scaling mountains. But perhaps no harsher than a thousand over journeys.

Capricorn is actually the Sea-Goat, whose mythological origins stretch back further than the classical period. , as represented more or less today in the astrologer’s glyph for your sign. Ea was both prescient and omniscient and was particularly connected with work, wisdom and the instruction of mankind. These characteristics remain to remind us presently, of what is traditionally governed by the sign of Capricorn. - Paul Wade, astrologer

In the Hawaiian language EA means "sovereignty, rule, independence; life, breath, vapor, gas, breeze, spirit; to rise up, become erect.

And a final bit for the cat skinner, whose work is no where near the version of living that is mine today. I found this poem and end with a snipped version of  "The Cat Skinners' Prayer" written by Robert Swanson. This opening stanza was the one that brings images of my Dad on the back of that old D-8 of an iron horse. Please link to the whole poem above

I've shivered and shook on a Dozer
I've ranted, and raved, and I've cu'sed.
My kidneys are dislocated
And I've swallowed ten bushels of dust;
My fingers are broken and bleeding
From wielding the tools of repair.
O God of Internal Combustion,
Please answer a cat-skinner's prayer!

Article and photo credit-link

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