A Rite of Memorial
Crossing the River
Peter Bruner Soderberg
February 3, 1954 – June 1, 2014
Order of Service
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This is the fourth in my series of posts on how I connect to the elements in the Southern Hemisphere, living on the western coast of Australia. This time, I turn to the South where I contemplate the element of Earth. Previously, I called on Air, in the East; Fire, in the North; and Water, in the West.
Standing in the South urges one to contemplate a deep, dark and quiet part of the self. To the South lies the lush forests populated by the majestic Karri, Jarrah, Tingle and Tuart trees which don't grow anywhere else in the world, and green fields used for farming and vineyards. This makes it a tourist destination and to go "Down South" in Western Australia means you are escaping the suburbs for peace and tranquility. Even further south lies Antarctica and the South Pole, and weather patterns from the Southern Ocean bring the cold fronts in Winter that hit the coast line sometimes with a great deal of power....
Well, the answer, in my experience, is all too often.
The most common problem I’ve encountered is what I will indelicately term the ‘bully factor.’ It’s always deliberate, if perhaps unconscious. It’s simply a fact of life that some voices carry more weight than others. And it has nothing to do with volume....
Whether you want a teacher of magic, marketing, or anything else, here are seven helpful hints:
Time for Action! It's Fiery Tuesday and we have stories that will outrage, excite, and illuminate.
This week: religious minorities join forces in odd alliances post #HobbyLobby; the battle over the Wilderness Act; climate change outrage shortage; coastal Maine lobsters feel the pinch of climate change; Nova Scotia bans fracking....
How do you purify a desecrated symbol?
Some friends of mine who own a Baltic imports store had just come back from a buying trip to Latvia. “Come see this,” said Sean, when I walked in the door. “It's very special.”
He was right. The Thunder brooch was beautiful, bronze, big and solid enough to heft in the palm of a hand. A Sun Wheel, but this was a Sun filled with lightnings: Sun and Thunder in union. “It's a wonderful piece,” he said, “but I can't put it out on the floor.” I was on the verge of asking why not when suddenly I saw why not.
I have a postcard on the window frame above my computer. It's an artwork of a small iconic mountain in Northern New South Wales and the road that leads into the town. This is the view you see as you drive into town. The postcard has the words coming home written down the side of it. The sunset sky behind the mountain, the greens leading up to it and at its base, the black road with the white dividing line - they tug at my heart. I have it there to remind me, to let that mountain and that view of home call to me.
But that's not where I live. I haven't lived there for years. I live a thousand kilometers to the south, in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Even though I adore Local Magic - both the concept and the living engagement with it - I've hesitated to make a commitment here, to this land. I spent three years living on the edge of the city, next to the ocean and felt a wild belonging to the sea and the air that didn't seem to feel the need to be tied down. But since I've been living on this vast plateau, in the last year, the land has called to me....