Thank you for posting this. I love seeing more people choosing love for nature and living beings:-)
This is so beautiful! Thank you for posting it.
“Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.” ——James Baldwin
Change comes with each breath we take. Some people thrive on these changes and transitions. I have learned to flow with them. When I was younger, I was afraid of them and of what they would bring. With maturity came the realization that changes can’t be stopped. So I have learned to buckle my seat belt and to go with the flow. Now that we are in 2014, there will be changes in ourselves and in the world around us. You may feel at times as if you are walking a tight rope over a fast running river. The Divine will not let you fall as long as you trust and stay calm. If you do you will be…
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Thank you for sharing this. I also have noticed the helping and sharing thing. I’ve always tried to do that myself but people used to think I was weird for it rather often. Now I not only get better responses, I frequently notice others doing it too. I’ve also seen a lessening of widespread cynicism with people joining together in hopeful projects like seed swaps.
Thank you for posting this. I wish I lived where the aurora is visible but it is nice to see the photos at least:-)
Published on Jan 4, 2014
Giant Sunspot 1944 is turning earth facing. Draconid meteor shower.
Solar,Quake and Weather Links, http://www.bpearthwatch.com
Sunspot AR1944, which appeared on January 1st, is one of the largest sunspots of the current solar cycle. It’s so big, people are noticing it as a naked-eye blemish on the solar disk. Daisuke Tomiyasu sends this picture from Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan:
“Sunspot 1944 was visible at sunrise on January 4th,” says Tomiyasu. “I combined three exposures of 1/15sec, 1/100sec, and 1/640sec to create this HDR (high dynamic range) image.”
Aside: Look carefully at the full-sized picture. There is a red fringe on the bottom of the sun and a green fringe on top. That’s real. The colorful fringes are caused by refraction in Earth’s atmosphere. The effect is explained here.
Although the sunspot has…
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Thank you for posting this!
I promised myself I would not write a text of propaganda, and I do not want to idealize the Zapatistas, but it is hard not to feel empathy for their outcry for human decency. Twenty years have passed since the Zapatistas declared war on the Mexican state for having signed the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA, for closing definitively the agrarian reform by modifying article 27 of the Constitution, and for the lack of institutions to guarantee fair elections in Mexico. The first day of 1994, the EZLN fought and occupied the municipalities of San Cristóbal, Ocosingo, las Margaritas , Altamirano, Chanal, Huixtán and Oxchuc in Chiapas. The official death toll of the armed struggle was 56 casualties, most of them young indigenous rebels. The EZLN also kidnapped the former governor of Chiapas, Absalón Castellanos Domínguez, together with his wife and his brother. The hostages were released later without…
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Thank you for posting this!
Thank you Aisha!
Dear brothers and sisters!
We have entered a new year, and we have entered some very new energies. And now, we will get a chance to experience them together. For this Sunday, we have our very first Gathering around the Pond of 2014. Here is what the CCs have to say about it:
“As you have already stepped into the new year, you have also started to get a taste of the new in more ways than one, and now, we invite you all to take that first collective dive into the pond of newness. For now, you have once again the opportunity to immerse yourself in the energies in the company of your fellow men as it were, as you have once more one of these special occasions to do so through what you have given the name of the Gatherings. These Gatherings are important indeed, as they give…
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Crescent Moon Phase: expansion, growth, gathering, challenges
Ruling Mahavidya: Kali
AUDIO RECORDING 12/31/2013 – Gregorian New Year – New Ruling Mahavidya – KALI (copy and paste the link)
At the New Moon on January 1, we were joined by a group who will accompany us on the journey through the month of January. This rowdy band of brothers includes Pluto, Uranus, Mars, and Mercury. This weekend, as we walk through the tangled forest of the Crescent Moon phase, we encounter another traveler, Jupiter. He’s traveling in the opposite direction, but Jupiter is a wise old warrior, so we stop to talk to him.
With Jupiter’s appearance on the journey, this month becomes even grander than we imagined. He points out new things and explains them, teaching us about the beautiful things in nature and the natural order of life. He explains that there is more going on that what initially meets the eye. He helps us with our vision. He provides a lot to talk about. He tells us about the way ahead.
Jupiter’s addition fits well with our mission on this month’s journey, the mission delivered at the New Moon with the Sabian symbol’s image of a student of nature, lecturing and revealing little-known aspects of life.
It is important to state here that this band of brothers is archetypal . In no way do we want to “deify” the planets. The only deities in our solar system are the Earth (Gaia-Sophia) and the Sun (Sabaoth). The Moon is a satellite used to facilitate the growth process of humanity. But the planets in the solar system are merely instruments.
This weekend we are directed to take a bit of a rest. We listen to what Jupiter is teaching and showing us. He has an uncanny ability to expand things into places we didn’t know about. This is the highest use of the weekend’s energy. But many will react to the Jupiter addition with expansion of conflicts and aggression. Moods can swing and emotions can run wild. Jupiter’s touch amplifies what is already present, so there is a great deal of reinforcement of the New Moon energetics. But Jupiter is retrograde, so its influence is not as strong as usual and it will pass rather quickly. We will take what we can from it.
Though we are traveling with the archetypal rowdy band of brothers this month, the journey is lead by Kali, who is not archetypal. She is real and she is powerful and she is with us every step of the way. Nothings stands in Kali’s way – nothing at all. She obliterates anything that would obstruct or attempt to thwart us. We travel safely.
Today’s report is a bit of a departure, but so goes the energy. This report is like a children’s story because capturing the simplicity of a child helps us to see a much vaster perception right now. Instead of struggling through whatever comes your way courtesy of the Crescent Moon phase, step out of it and become receptive. It’s time for a pause.
8 things Harry Potter fans are doing to fight real-life dark forces
If Harry Potter were a real person, he’d fight child labor, voter suppression, and poverty. Here are several ways Harry’s fans have taken his values from the books and movies into the real world.
By Katrina Rabeler, YES! Magazine / December 4, 2013
Actress Emma Watson (center) poses with actors Rupert Grint (left) and Daniel Radcliffe (right) at the world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” in London in 2011. Harry Potter fans have joined together to carry Harry Potter’s fight against injustices into the real world.
Dylan Martinez/Reuters/FileAndrew Slack finally read the “Harry Potter” series when he gave in to pressure from his students who were obsessed with Harry, the teenage wizard who uses magic, courage, and wit to confront dark forces and save the world.
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Though the plot is fantastical, Slack, like millions before him, couldn’t stop talking about the books. But then he realized that if Harry Potter were a real person, he wouldn’t just stand around talking about himself. Harry Potter, Slack said, would “fight injustice in our world the way he fought injustice in his.”
That’s when Slack had the idea to mobilize Harry Potter fans around real-world problems—and it was easy for Slack to find parallels between the fictional stories and real-life issues.
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In the Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling, who worked at Amnesty International prior to writing the books, wrote about inequality and even ethnic cleansing between pure-blood, half-blood, and muggle-born wizards, as well as non-magical people; werewolves forced to conceal their true identities from a culture that shames them; house elves that are enslaved and inherited down through generations; prisoners tortured in Azkaban, the wizard prison; and the use of consolidated media to control public opinion.
Most of all, says Slack, Rowling created a world that made “fun of normalcy as an aspiration” and believed that “the weapon we have is love.”
Just as Hermione Granger started the activist Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare (SPEW) to try to end the slavery of house elves and Harry started Dumbledore’s Army to fight Lord Voldemort, Slack started the Harry Potter Alliance—a movement of Harry Potter fans turning their deep love of the stories into real-world action in order to “fight injustice in our world.”
Today, the HPA has 190 chapters in 35 U.S. states and eight countries and participation in the group spans all ages.
Slack and the HPA believe in the power of story to change the world and they believe that activism can be fun and lighthearted, even when the societal issues they’re confronting are serious. Slack calls this method of making the world a better place through popular culture, “cultural acupuncture.”
“Imagine people working to end global warming, racism, and genocide as energetically as they flock to movies,” wrote Slack for the Huffington Post. “Imagine them walking out of “Avatar” with an organization that says, ‘Here’s how we can band together to protect Pandora by fighting the “Sky People” in the Coal Industry.'”
Here are eight issues the HPA has already taken on:
1. Labor rights
The Harry Potter Alliance took off when Slack and his friend Seth Soulstein, from their traveling comedy group, the Late Night Players, joined with the group Walmart Watch and created “Harry Potter and the Dark Lord Waldemart” YouTube videos.
The featured main character is a cloaked figure with a Walmart smiley face for a head, the evil Waldemart. The
Just as Lord Voldemort treats his servants poorly (for example, SPOILER ALERT!, he chops off Wormtail’s hand and murders Professor Snape), Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, treats its workers unfairly. 2. Fascism and genocide
The group rose in popularity when Slack and Soulstein combined efforts with Harry and the Potters, a rock band based on the books. Their first move was to mobilize already existing Harry Potter fan groups around ending genocide in Darfur.
This theme shows up in the books when, controlled by Voldemort and his Deatheaters, the Ministry of Magic establishes a policy of ethnic cleansing, believing people with impure or non-wizard blood have no worth.
The group worked with Sifa Nsengimana, aRwandan human rights activist. With her help, in addition to creating a podcast, raising awareness, and sending letters to end genocide, the group established a library in Rwanda for children who were orphaned because of the genocide.
3. Disaster relief
With the help of the Wizard Rock community, HPA raised more than $123,000 in two weeks for Partners In Health following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. With this money, PIH was able to fly five planes full of emergency medical supplies to Haiti. Four of the planes had Harry Potter names—Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore—while the fifth was named DFTBA (Don’t Forget to Be Awesome) in honor of Nerdfighters, a group that joined with the HPA on the campaign.
The Harry Potter series largely takes place at Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry. In the books, education plays a central role and the lead heroine is Hermione Granger, a young witch who demonstrates the role of books and education in fighting injustice and empowering people.
The Alliance has donated more than 120,000 books to kids in Rwanda, the Mississippi Delta, and New York City through its “Accio Books” campaign. It also helped build libraries at the New Beginnings Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., and in community centers across the Mississippi Delta.
5. Modern-day slavery and child labor
Dobby the house elf, one of the series’ most beloved characters, is a slave who has been passed down through generations in the Malfoy family. When Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy, the family patriarch, into freeing Dobby, Harry earns the elf’s undying loyalty. Dobby, as a free elf, achieves self-realization.
And Harry Potter fans have made the connection between house elf slavery and modern-day slavery.
HPA is currently pressuring Warner Brothers, which sells Harry Potter chocolate frogs (a common sweet in the books), to prove there is no child slavery in their cocoa supply chain. The Alliance even sells their own version of chocolate frogs made from fair-trade chocolate.
6. Voter registration
The Harry Potter books demonstrate the importance of civic participation by highlighting the government’s role and its potential to overreach. More often than not, Harry Potter and his friends are at odds with the Ministry of Magic.
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The HPA has used this connection in their “Wizard Rock the Vote” campaign. At 70 Wizard Rock shows across the nation, HPA volunteers walked around with clipboards registering more than 1,100 Harry Potter fans to vote.7. Immigration and marriage equality
In the Harry Potter series, many “people have to live in the closet for simply being who they are,” explains Slack. “Lupin has to live in the closet for his identity as a werewolf, Hagrid has to live in the closet for his identity as a half-giant, and Harry Potter is forced to live in the closet for his identity as a wizard. We all live in closets for multiple reasons. No one should have to, including for their immigration status or for their sexual or gender orientation.” That’s why the HPA raised more than $94,800 for equality initiatives.
In the 2012 election, club members helped in phone banks to add 900 calls to the Maryland DREAM Act to grant an in-state tuition discount to undocumented college students and to add support of marriage equality in Maine. In 2011 they made 6,200 phone calls and processed 214 digital postcards in support of marriage equality in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The HPA also currently has a “Superman Is an Immigrant” campaign to support immigrant rights.
8. Structural poverty
The HPA is branching out into other books too. The “Hunger is Not a Game” campaign joined with Oxfam and “The Hunger Games” fandom to help end hunger. Their newest campaign is “The Odds Are In Our Favor” to raise awareness about inequality.
• Katrina Rabeler wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Katrina is a freelance reporter and writer.
• This story originally appeared at YES! Magazine.
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