Thursday, November 8, 2012

Partners for the Patriarchy - Keeping Watch in New Times

After Tuesday's election I decided I, the non-tv watcher, need to watch more tv, specifically FOX so I can understand what is driving the anger, fear and hate of so many good people today.  As I've now listened to Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller and have seen what the Koch Brothers actually look like a vision I had this time last year has been on my mind.  It was the second in a series of three visions all at October's end. The first vision involved being in the Universe and seeing a heart made out of stars in the American flag where the fifty states are found.  This is what followed two days later. 

Two days after seeing the heart and flag of stars, I found myself in the Universe again.  Usually I float along in awe of all the stars but this time I realized something was different. The stars were minimal.  In the distance was a man’s face made of lines of light, a man appearing pained and frightened. 

As I moved toward the face, I realized this man had the saddest, most terrified expression I had ever seen. The only thing close to this was my father's face once in a dream and then in real life as he sat in bed looking at me in his last weeks on Earth. 

In the vision, I gradually moved nearer the face.  As I did I began to gently float  into middle of the stars making up this pained man's face.  As I did, the face slowly fell apart and disintegrated.  I found myself in a Universe absolutely filled with stars.  

I knew I had seen the diminishing, pained and frightened patriarchy, the system that for centuries has been in control.  The man represented not just men, but the part of us all that is frightened of losing control, afraid to really sit still, be vulnerable and exposed.  I also knew I had seen the unspoken sadness and terror of the patriarchy that’s filled with grief and regret for what’s been done to Earth and others directly and indirectly in the name of competition, control and conquest.  (It's hard if not next to impossible to express grief and regret when one can't be vulnerable and has lived life impermeable. I know. Although I am someone of great heart, I know.  The one thing I didn't do with my father in his dying was open myself to express my regret and grief because I was unwilling to be vulnerable.)

Two days later I found myself in the Universe again.  In the four years I’ve experienced traveling like this, never had three experiences been so close together. 

This time I traveled rapidly unlike anything prior.  I zoomed through space and as I did I saw the faces of many, many animals. Their eyes and faces made of energy often come to me as I float among the stars but never this many or this quickly.  I wondered if I was speeding to the edge of space or returning from the beginning of time. The last face I saw I recognized.  A fox came and stayed with me as the vision ended. 

I went straight to my copy of “Animal Speaks” and read about fox.   Immediately I knew why fox had stayed. Ted Andrews writes that there are 21 different kinds of foxes found throughout the world and that the “Card 21 in the tarot deck is The World, a card reflecting a new world opening up, that the process of creation is beginning. It reflects that the world is growing into new patterns that will be beneficial.” 

This fit perfectly with the first vision days earlier in which I saw the energy of creation being pulsed to us through the stars and the grid laid for the new consciousness of love.  This world of new patterns speaks to a model of relationship based in cooperation, community and compassion for all arriving as the patriarchy is dying. 
The Dying Patriarchy
The face of the dying patriarchy had immediately reminded me of a presentation I heard at Belmont in the Fall. The title “Death Watches: Keeping Company with Men Waiting to Die” intrigued me. I sensed I was to hear this talk yet had a scheduling conflict. Just prior to the presentation, a client who had never cancelled called with an emergency.  This wasn’t an accident. 

I rushed to Belmont and found a seat just as Tucson writer Nancy Mairs accompanied by her husband George was invited to speak on their work with men on death row. 

What? I had come to hear a talk on how we keep company with the dying patriarchy. I thought the title was a metaphor since the talk was presented in the business school.  This wasn’t what I expected yet I knew I was to be there.  

The speaker shared of corresponding and spending time with Eric, one of several men she had come to know on death row. 

She and her husband are a powerful testimony to profound forgiveness and compassion. Despite having lost a foster son to murder, they do not support the death penalty. In Mrs. Mairs words, “Somebody’s dead. Why would I want anyone else dead?” 

She told of the heartlessness of the system and the disregard she experienced looking into the flat gaze of men on a clemency board as she spoke on behalf of a man sentenced to die. She referenced the childhood traumas of the men she had known including the absence of nourishing touch in their young lives. 

I found myself thinking about the patriarchy, the hierarchical system of separation and control that has contributed to the neglect, abuse and sense of powerlessness creating the pipeline funneling so many into our prisons and death row. I found myself thinking of those who profit financially through the stock market from these prisons. 

So many of our systems are broken because the patriarchy is broken and cannot admit vulnerability and shame. When vulnerability cannot be admitted or shown, it’s nearly impossible to touch and be touched.  Like so many on death rows and in our prisons, the patriarchy has been deprived of nourishing touch. 
There is grace and beauty in this time of such brokenness as we hold the fertile soil for new patterns represented by the fox and the flag of love in my visions. 

I found myself wondering if a new world of patterns of compassion and relatedness are being ushered in, what does a death watch or keeping company with the patriarchy as it dies look like? 

In one of his correspondences Eric wrote, “I need a hug.” 

I suggest as part of the new pattern the dying patriarchy needs a hug, not a hug affirming the wrong that has been done, but energy extended in compassion that says we see your fear, your isolation and sadness and we will not retaliate or shame you. 

Although I like to envision the greedy, controlling powers of today asking forgiveness, I realize the patriarchy does not have to ask forgiveness for me to extend forgiveness. Extending forgiveness as the Mairs do is part of the new pattern. 

Another aspect of the new pattern is honoring the gifts of the patriarchy. In the first vision I saw an American flag in the Universe. If not for the patriarchy, I would not have seen a flag nor be in America right now.  I am not condoning what happened to the Native Americans or slaves, nor any of the pain at the hands of the patriarchy, but the patriarchy got us here. Hosts of souls from times past have brought us to this amazing place in time.   

I am grateful to the Eric’s of the world who have given their lives as souls caught up in our broken systems. I feel gratitude for Eric’s ancestors taken from their home generations ago and brought to a new land. I thank them and ask for their forgiveness. 

And I feel gratitude for the patriarchy for participating in this great drama unfolding on Earth and in the Universe.  I am grateful to the systems that have gotten us to this place and I ask forgiveness for standing on the sidelines so often in judgment and criticism. 

The greatest challenge of this New Time may be forgiving and loving the patriarchy, hearing it through what’s not being said and providing nourishing touch rather than retaliating or withholding presence.  If this system of control and conquering is honored, it will be laid to rest in love and less likely re-emerge on a planetary scale in times to come. 
About the Animals
For two months I’ve puzzled over why the many animals showed themselves to me that night.  Previously if I saw a specific animal in a vision, I would often have an earthly encounter with that animal shortly afterward or hear of a related discovery in the news. 

I’ve remained puzzled as to why they showed up one after the other that night until preparing this post when I realized it's through the animals I’ve been shown my own pattern and thus freed to experience a new pattern.  
I have heaped criticism upon the patriarchy for its mistreatment of nature and the animals.  I judge the patriarchy for being hard hearted yet the animals have shown me my own hardened heart.  

Over the last three years the animals have been showing me my pattern of closing my heart (with frightening ease) and turning away or disconnecting in despair when pained.   

I recall the first dead birds that I came upon and the rigidity of my hands and arms as I tried to hold them. I knew I was to hold and honor them but I could not feel anything.   The animals kept arriving until finally tears came.  My heart finally broke and then I felt anger that was more kin to rage as hostile thoughts tiptoed around the edges of my mind. I would read news stories and wish I could inflict pain on those who abuse, torture and misuse animals of all kinds.  

The animals kept coming and I finally realized the honor I was being given. Whether standing on the roadside or in my yard, I am being given the privilege of bearing witness to an animal’s living and dying. I’m gifted with a time to share gratitude for that animals presence here on Earth and ask that they and their soul group feel healing as their spirit returns to the universe.  I am being gifted with an opportunity to not just love that animal but open my heart in love to the part of the patriarchy and all who kill and wound animals out of their own woundedness and closed, hurt hearts.

The animals have shown me my pattern of closing my heart due to sorrow, pain, despair and hate.  Yet through their death they have shown me a richer pattern, the experience of feeling gratitude, joy and love for life here on Earth. The animals willingly come to Earth to participate in our lives, yet they are quiet participants, not hoarding, killing or arming themselves.  They do not seek revenge but offer themselves to us so we might come to more fully be all we are created to be.  

In this new time may we realize our partners in the heavens and here on earth and bring forth the highest and best of who we are through the love and wisdom in our hearts and minds.  (And in this new time may I see and hear all the ways that even the men and women on FOX news are my partners in this new Time!) 

Dawn Kirk
The Good News Muse, (8 November 2012 and 31 December 2011)

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