Friday, July 31, 2015

Full Moon Gift

Leather Pouch Craftsman Radi ... this is his leather pouch LINK to see his beautiful work on Etsy
Gathered Magic is a Full Moon gift to the readers, known and unknown, who have come to visit this blog place Makua O'o. The Dedication post for Gathered Magic reads ...

"My friend, Alice Moon, was a gatherer and giver. She gathered people, made room for celebrating and spread the magic around. Alice said, It is our presence, not our perfection, that makes the Magic happen. In the spirit of Alice, and with the encouragement of another dear friend, and long-time loyal reader Joan Tucker I gather the magic here so as'not to spit in the eye of my talent.' These two women are Taurus, the Bulls in my life who help me reach for my Moon's North Node, content with my personal currency as writer. Along with these two Bulls is my husband, Pete Little, an Ox in the eyes of my Chinese Ancestors. He has inspired many characters in the medicine stories, mending and meddling and teaching me to loosen my grip on life, to allow for the unexpected. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Gathered in pouches ... I love the visual picture, and love the word "pouch" ..  filled with magic and medicine of stories, the short stories I have written as blogs or installments over the years are now all in one place. They are gifts, and here is what Lewis Hyde says about gifts, early in his Introduction of the book The Gift Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, 

" a gift that cannot be given away ceases to be a gift. The spirit of a gift is kept alive by its constant donation."

The Moon is Full (in Aquarius) in the sky everywhere on Mother Earth. She, the oldest Grandmother, Grandmother Moon

"We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the nighttime sky. She is the leader of women all over the world and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time and it the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth ..."- from the Thanksgiving Address

In the spirit of gifts, and during the time of Grandmother Moon's fullest face Gathered Magic is gifted. May she bless the arrival of this child of stories, sent as a gift in a pouch, with her light.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Good fortune follows Part II

Very often navigating my way through a difficult stretch of internal angst comes via the voice of an imaged character and creation of a mythic scene. Cross-pollination.
  1. cross-pollination. The transfer of pollen from the male reproductive organ (an anther or a male cone) of one plant to the female reproductive organ (a stigma or a female cone) of another plant. Insects and wind are the main agents of cross-pollination.
The medicine story "The Three Sisters" grows from the anger, the dis-heartened self who sees slow, or non-existent 'success' as failure. As I write the story, the medicine comes for me. I reread the poem Times Alone by Antonio Machado. 

"Last night, as I was sleeping.
I dreamt--marvellous error!--
that I had a beehive here inside my heart.
And the golden bees 
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures."

Machado's poem introduced to me in Angeles Arrien's book the Four-fold Way has healed me of my dis-heartened errors more than once; I fold the poem and the imagery of the bees doing their healing work. I fold the medicine in. Pelu ke aloha. Nature -- Bee and Wind -- are my teachers, I become Bee. I become Wind. I become a cross-pollinator and use words to make honey from my distress, my failures. 


The latest installment of "The Three Sisters" is called Cross-pollination. Dumpling is on the phone. 

"Hi, Anna this is Dumpling." The woman on the other end of the cellphone sounded sleepy.
"Dumpling, hello. Oh god, I've overslept. Can I call you back?"
"No, this won't take long. Anna, I'm calling to say I won't be taking that order for medicine pouches."
There was a long silence on the other end. Dumpling continued, "I'm not the one to do what you've asked. I don't do those kinds of things anymore. So, no need to call me back." Dumpling hung up the phone.
For too long the expectations of others diluted her real love. Stitching and cutting shapes that held meaning for her was the only reason for doing her work any more. The phone call was not her favorite sort of thing, but, it was the practice she needed and there it was. The medicine was not something to buy or shovel into a showcase, which was what Anna Shields would do with Dumpling's stitchery. The pin money had always come in handy, but now? Now the money felt more like pins sticking into her. She had no room nor desire for the bloodletting. (Read more ...)

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Good fortune follows ..."

"...It doesn’t matter if anyone else values these things. Monday morning good fortune follows when you move to protect your interests. It’s not exactly ego interests. What I mean are the things that we sometimes put on the back burner, things that make us feel in touch with our singular selves but don’t necessarily jibe with everyone around us..." - Satori writes about today's sky.

My son and I were talking (via email) this weekend. 

I wrote, "I'm feeling disheartened." This was about my experiences with stepping into teaching face-to-face, sharing what I really love!

"Do you think you have to dumb it down for them? Is it relevant for them?" He said he asks himself these questions all the time. I told him I've been asking myself those same questions for decades.

The weekend was frothy with difficulty, death and obstacles left and right. Reflecting on the exchange of thoughts my son and I tossed back and forth I wonder about my need to keep looking in the 'rear view mirror' as a habit. Satori's thought, "It doesn't matter if anyone else values these things...good fortune follows when you move to protect your interests." As I try to feed these words onto the screen my Aumakua Raven is yelling in the Tall Trees above. I return the calls and ask, "What is it? Where are you." I step away from the screen and walk between the vardo and the Huckleberries. Above me Raven soars. Head South! That's what I see him do.

What I am trying to do is introduce and teach a culture that is "exotic" to some who are not Hawaiian, "interesting" to them for whatever reason, but ... there are requirements. What I ask of people requires them to be willing to change (if they are fragrance heavy) and, prepared to dig into TEK Indigenous Environmental Knowledge with a digging stick and not a shovel. The practices of TEK do not 'jibe with everyone around us' (as Satori writes). 

In the middle of the frothy weekend I quietly took myself on a walk ...
Puddles collected as the ground remembered what rain can do after a two-month dry spell

Blossoms burst from the Rose of Sharon I brought home to remember my Brother David

Spider webs held onto the rain ... treasuring each drop

When I went for a drive to check on some Medicine Plants, I see the braid of La'i to remind me "Remember to Remember."
Head South. Pay attention."O Great Spirit of the South, Protector of the fruitful land, And of all green and growing things, The nobel trees and grasses, Grandmothe Earth, Soul of Nature, Great power of the receptive, Of nurturance and endurance, Power to grow and bring forth Flowers of the field, Fruits of the garden. We pray that we may be aligned with you, so that your powers may flow through us, And be expressed by us, For the good of this planet Earth, And all living beings upon it. - from the Conclusion of Angeles Arrien's Four-Fold Way, "Four Elements Medicine Wheel Prayer Turtle Island West Coast Ralph Metzner

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pockets, pouches or the whole ball of wax?

I've started a new medicine story. It's called The Three Sisters. It feels a little like planting a garden, and the title is inspired by my reading about and integrating a planting style. I think I love this new story as well or better than all the other medicine stories. But that may be because this is the medicine that I need right now.

It may suit others, too. The Three Sisters is growing in pockets or pouches of medicine bags over here. Read each as a pocket, or pouch, or read the whole ball of wax. See for yourself. I am grateful for the medicine of story, and the many many beings and events that come to fill in the blank space.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hinaieele'ele ... the new malama (month) begins

Life continues on our Island Earth. We are grateful for the gardens we plant, and the gardens into which we find ground soften for our own growing space. Last night the winds came with strength blowing, blowing, blowing. The Tall Ones danced a dance they have not danced for at least two months. It has been a long dry spell, and the winds have gone other places, too.

Many floating ideas, knowledge, have swirled in our world ... when one has lived nearly seventy turns around the sun that are many choices/thoughts/ideas. Some of them root and grow quickly skyward, like the corn. Its priority is to reach up. Lead! Other ideas/choices/predispositions need longer gestation. Those are perhaps like the bean who has in its make-up the slow and deliberate under ground nature. Growing will be done undercover, until the time is right. While the corn is busy leading skyward it is the undercover agents like bean who do the business of setting up partnerships.
Even slower are some who are in no rush to go up or down, these are the ground-lovers like squash who will seek a path with their umbrella leaves, and blossom on hollow trailing stems.

Floating ideas, seeds yet to be planted, and recognizing how each idea is so like a gift waiting to be unwrapped. This new malama (month) begins today. The month of Hinaieele'ele has me looking at the quality of my tiny circular garden. Pictured above, the beans are busy reaching, reaching and vine themselves up the bamboo poles a substitute for the corn stalk. I have not planted corn kernels, so the 'ohe (bamboo) is a surrogate.

Small squash plants have been transplanted into the ground to keep bean company. I am learning to apply the teachings of The Three Sisters ... a Native to America style of planting. Companion planting is another term for it. Myth and contemporary application is what I thrive on. I literally eat it up! A storyteller crosses the border with that appetite for braiding old with new, making connection with the metaphor or floating potential, with the gift of Nature Applied.

Behind the scenes I begin another medicine story to keep me on path, and braid it with the agenda for our first classes at HO'OMOKU. We, Pete and I continue to count on the moon, and record our findings as we become indigenous to this place where we live.

What are you braiding as this new month begins?

Monday, July 13, 2015


We have had a very busy week, and the weekend of events and gatherings capped the auspicious time. Slow and steady progress ... he puko'a kani 'aina is my password as we continue in small ways to gain steadily until firmly established.

I found the list (shown front and back) of things 'TO BRING' from one of our first Safety Pin Cafe storytelling times. We were going to make bottle rattles and tell the tale of Raven Stealing the Sun. The list of things for me to bring include all the necessities for a Border Witch!

As Pete and I finished our nourishing breakfast of steamed braising greens, slices of chicken coated with olive oil and Italian herbs I read the list to him. He cackled, "You should put that up on your blog!!" Funny, I thought.

The ways we keep track of the structure of our ventures, inventorying our cache of resources and ingredients. Unique for each of us, and what tickles me today is how my lists of TO BRINGs is something I have been doing for decades.

Beginning with my first job as a teacher and home educator for HEAD START back in the day (1980) I have toted books, sticks, paste, paper, string, beans, and other possibilites. My vehicle of the day was the traveling 'classroom' all the everyday utility of a wondering storyteller!

I'm reading a wonderful book that reminds me to remember to remember. It's Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Her work, and the way she honors Trees by writing words, and stories worthy of their sacrifice (for they do give themselves for the production of books, among other things). Kimmerer's book is divided into sections, and then into chapters. I am reading the Section "Picking Sweet Grass" and nearing the end of the chapter, "The Honorable Harvest."

I met Carol Crowe, an Algonquin ecologist, " writes Kimmerer "at a meeting on indigenous models of sustainability. She told the story of requesting funding from her tribal council to attend the conference. They asked her, "What is this all about, this notion of sustainability? What are they talking about?: She gave them a summary of the standard definitions of sustainable development, including, "the management of natural resources and social institutions in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations." They were quiet for a while, considering. Finally one elder said, "This sustainable development sounds to me like thye just want to be able to keep on taking like they always have. It's always about taking. You go there and tell them that in our way, our first thoughts are not 'What can we take?" but "What can we give to Mother Earth?' That's how it's supposed to be."

"The Honorable harvest," continues Kimmerer, "asks us to give back, in reciprocity, for what we have been given. Reciprocity helps resolve the moral tension of taking a life by giving in return something of value that sustains the ones who sustain us. One of our responsibilities as a human people is to find ways to enter into reciprocity with the more-than-human people world. We can do it through gratitude, through ceremony, through land stewardship, science, art, and in everyday acts of practical reverence."

It's something to consider every day. What do I bring?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

We continue

Hanau e, hanau e ka ho'omoku. Born, born is the making of island. We continue, we activate, we braid together. HO'OMOKU is born. Here are pictures from yesterday's opening ceremony. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Now that Saturn is back (in Scorpio)

"Is it necessary to push back so hard against potential movement? Is it necessary to hesitate as a way of life? You owe yourself better than struggling with the flow of creativity, pleasure, and money through your life. You can now make some progress working this out."
-Eric Francis
The exhalation feels so welcome, ahhh. Jupiter is visible in the sky now, and until the 18th of July the he's paired up with Venus in the sign of Leo (roar). There's big luck available! When I was born Saturn and Mars were in this pair-up giving me an internal sort of tattoo that read 'Hesitate.' Ms. Mars wants to act and roar in the sign of Leo, but, in as tight a conjunction as it was when I was pulled with the forceps, Saturn has had a hold on my mojo. With too much brake, the mojo breaks!

My favorite astrologer, Elsa, has been an incredible positive example of how to flow. Since the first days of our acquaintance via her blog, I have been impressed with what and how she endures. Then, she work a book, her memoirs and that is a story of endurance against all odds. Her planetary specifics? She holds those cards (Elsa is a card-player!) close to her chest. Fair enough, I say. What she shares via her blogging etc. is more than enough public disclosure. 

Elsa has recently made a big geographical move while managing and understanding what it takes to live with a serious immune-system disease. What she experiences she shares candidly. I'm sure there are details she holds like her cards, but, her readers learn from her personal revelations. She serves a large population through her work, and her life. I am served by her example.

Saturn's summer retreat into Scorpio is big business. For me, the return of the planet of hesitation humbles me once again. Astrology gives me new lenses, and I see the reality of my habits: pushing back ... necessary hesitation ... struggling with the flow. Last night as I was out driving the sky shrouded in fires' smoke from the burns in British Columbia. It was late, nearly 10 PM, but just barely light. Up in the muted orange sky were two lights -- headlights -- one slightly brighter than the other. but lined up like your car lights coming at me. Jupiter and Venus. I was out getting some prospective on the old question: Is it necessary to push back so hard against potential movement? 

My feelings were being hurt. My values questioned. The girl with Saturn on Mars' back was spitting mad. But the old woman with Saturn transiting Scorpio and Venus lined up with Jupiter sought the higher ground, left the scene of the battle and found her way into the middle of the flow. By the time I got back to the woods, and home. I quietly climbed under the covers and prayed for a bit of peace in dream time.

Much of my dreams of late slip away. It's okay, busy busy, I welcome the slip of sleep instead of more overtime. How about you?

Monday, July 6, 2015

The pitter patter of tiny (mouse) feet on an 'Ole Moon

"... Today at mid-morning on the start of the 'Ole moons, I consider the readjustments, and readaptation that must be done as we near the opening of our new gathering place. As I write, the small and constant tiny ramblings of mice who have found their way into the insulation in our Quonset ceiling reminds me we are not alone. We only share the woods and the mice they believe there is more freedom now that the Huntress is gone...." - from the PAGES tab of Makua o'o

Do you know Mouse Woman? 
I've updated the page that answered the question, "WHAT IS MAKUA O'O?." This is something I do from time to time as the journey to becoming an elder is for sure a destination with no maps. You may be interested in reading the newest musings poured from my head through the keys of this computer. They are here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Being with sparrows

"Grief does flow."


"Yes, the measure of time is done differently between the beings. The different ways we do the same things."

"It is just so."

The small private conversations that is the language of writers, and storytellers, is often the place that opens when we are not trying. I have been out in my night shirt, playing with the pieces of my life, in company with the hen and the sparrows, and their kin. We don't dress up much here in the orchard and the woods. As the roll of Destiny's dice have brought us here, we are grateful. Night shirts are day shirts, and it truly does make no never mind.

I've been tending to a pain that settled, lodged in my lower left quadrant. All the normal lights have lit themselves: red, yellow, red, yellow ... As is so often the case with me (Scorpio ... water sign not usually known for going with the flow) I create big and little dams so quickly. But, 'grief does flow.' What happens with storytellers with the genetics to gather healing stories is what is happening as I write to you (anonymous reader, dear curiosity seeker, ...) I have been out in the orchard in my night shirt and its near noon in the day. Playing with the bits and possibilities while the morning is still cool I can lose myself, and the pains, with my safety pins, straight pins and hand-stitched letters made from many times used favorite cloth.

The sparrows' song is something beautiful.  

As the time passed unclocked, the hen, the sparrows and finches, the other feathered beings who have names I don't know they come close and share in the hen's food. Robins rustle the raspberries eating the ripe berries. I think, for a split second, "Leave some for me!" and then remember, the pain in me and consider I might not need to feed on more just yet.

It is summer. It is not winter, when so many medicine stories come. Like this one, about sparrows and bears. Ariel and I (Click & scroll down to read the sweet sparrow story). When I sit to pour off a little of the mending that takes place inside my head, sometimes it helps me to jump back and remember. Remember what medicine came another time, a time not tooooo long passed. Remedy in story. I'm in need for something to eat now, upon asking, it wasn't watermelon my body wants. "How about a fresh poached hen egg?" The answer was yes. I've reread the winter tale written just this February, and the short conversation that began this post might have been something sparrows say to bears, or perhaps something a woman in her nightshirt needs.

The poaching water is boiling. That is all. Thank you.