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21 Sep 2007

Autumn Equinox News 2007


Autumn Equinox 2007

The wind is blowing…the leaves are falling…and…

“Arbeit macht das Leben süss”
“Work makes life sweet”

“One way of pushing the human personality too far is by depriving it of its minimum requirement for variety of stimuli. The resulting loss of well-being takes a form called boredom. [Our intuitive self] by producing this unpleasant feeling, motivates the person to change what he is doing. We in civilization do not customarily feel we have the ‘right’ not to be bored and so we spend years doing monotonous work in factories and offices, or alone all day doing uninteresting chores.” ~ Jean Liedloff, The Continuum Concept.

How has the work ethic strayed so far from what it was originally intended? Wanting to be personally productive, provide for our families, and contribute to our communities is indicative of humans as social animals. These attributes are innately ‘good’ and in essence, who we are. The twisting of our compulsion to labor and ‘progress,’ has brought us the wasteland that is modern day work.

Many in their daily activities no longer feel engaged, let alone connected to others or to nature, for that matter. We are offered jobs that leave us in spiritual deficit, giving us little more than a paycheck. And with this paycheck, in an attempt to make up for the hours we have wasted throughout the week accumulating money, we acquire things. Things do not fulfill us, and often leave us indebted, needing to work more than ever. We toil, so we may consume, so we must toil…

The days will now become shorter, and the time for ‘dying’ and an attendant ‘stock-taking’ is at hand. It might be a good time to ruminate on what is not sustainable in the current economic system that we habitually take part in. For our earth, its population, and ourselves. Then realize: What aspects of our lives do we want to re-engage with, making them sacred once again?

There is at least an autumn’s worth of pondering in this…

“We can start providing for a different world of work now…We need to insist on work that is not destructive, that deepens the worker, that encourages her creativity. Such a transformation requires a willingness to take a collective risk, a kind of risk very different from capitalist risk taking. The kind of risk I’m suggesting is no small matter. It means leaving a culture based on the idea of success as the accumulation of wealth-as-money. In its place we need a culture that understands success as life. For John Ruskin, humans should make ‘good and beautiful things’ because those things will re-create us as good and beautiful in their turn. To make cheap and ugly and destructive things will kill us, as indeed we are being killed through poverty, through war, through the cheapening of our public and private lives, and through the destruction of the natural world…Spiritual rebirth will mean the rediscovery of true human work. Much of this work will not be new but recovered from our own rich traditions. It will be useful knowledge that we will have to remember.” ~ Curtis White, The Ecology of Work.

For more of Curtis White’s The Ecology of Work:

For more about Jean Liedloff’s Continuum Concept see her interview
in the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of HEX Magazine.

* * * * * *


We wanted to share this letter and newly forged folk song sent by a friend to the HEX myspace page…

Hey, Hex! I was thinking about you these past few days. It is the height of canning season and I am busy pulling up and putting away! I make teas from the herbs and fruit that I grow on my property. My son and I were out stringing Crabapples to dry and we started singing these little bits. Before we knew it, we had ourselves a GREAT little Tea-Harvesting-Song. When we are picking herbs and bouquets, my oldest son says we are “bringing in the tea.” That has stuck, so that’s what our song is called. I thought of all the great things I have read in your magazine, things you have shared with me about the seasons and what not. I wanted to share it with you, if that’s ok? Here it is.

Bringing in the Tea
The winter’s come
The nights are long
The days that come are gray as dawn
The sun it shines, but barely warms
The Cup you hold is filled with gold
The winter’s come
The nights are long
The days that come are gray as dawn
The sun it shines, but barely warms
The Cup you hold will soothe your soul

That’s it, short, sweet, and simple. I have always wondered how old folk songs came about. Now I know—they just DID! We sing it over and over as we work, its rhythm the same as our task. After we sing it ’round a few times, I hum it. My little one likes that part the best.

So I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Autumn. The mornings are crisp and fresh. It has begun leafing outside and the poison oak has started donning its coat of many colors. In case you’re stuck in a room staring at a computer today, I wanted to give you that visual! Now—back to my applesauce!

Much Love-Many Blessings,
Keoma McCaffrey
(and her Boys!)

To contact Keoma or view her profile see:

* * * * * *


(Riding) is in the hall
to every warrior
easy, but very hard
for the one who sits up
on a pow
erful horse
over miles of road

~ Old English Rune Poem

As the external environment moves into longer nights, so does the mind wish to delve into the deeper, and sometime darker, parts of itself. Our ‘souls,’ as well as our physical bodies, are inextricably tied to nature and her seasons, and so we also now must prepare for the journey into the underworld that is the darker months of the year.

One may postulate about this trip for hours. Understanding our own intentions, dreams, fears, etc. is something well worth myriad conversations. But intellectualizing ourselves and our mental processes is easy while we sit in a comfortable state of non-transition. But for “one who sits up on a powerful horse over miles of road,” hence, the one who truly travels into the chthonic regions (be it moving through the worlds, or delving into one’s own subconscious) the road is hard. Growth is work. Moving forward, means also searching the unexplored aspects of our internal selves.

Just as Sleipnir was born of adversity (the giant’s stallion) and chaos (Loki) to be Odin’s steed on his journeys, so do our trials give us the figurative ‘powerful horse’ of will, endurance, and the drive to discover one’s own truth, to help carry us through the dark night of the soul—to the dawn of understanding.

* * * * * *

Until Samhain, may you and your
household be blessed and kept. Hail!

~HEX Magazine

* * * * * *

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