Julie A Carda

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Name: Julie A Carda

After studying dance in Europe, Julie returned to the United States and graduated from Creighton University. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville with a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the past twenty years, she has taught high school and college courses, and facilitated workshops on the healing arts while occasionally writing for academic periodicals. Her quest to acknowledge world religions and the desire to expose the similarities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal Source of love in all people. Besides writing fiction, Julie is co-creating a Space of Love through advocacy for Kin Domains.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In like a lion, out like a lion

Where has March gone? My garden plot is cooking until the end of April. My seeds have sprouted into seedlings and grow round the clock. Snow flurries remind me a lion is roaring upon leaving--in like a lion out like a lamb--NOT! April showers, oops snow, bring May? I love weather. It reminds me of one of the elements I forget to tend. How many people "pray" for certain weather conditions? Why do you suppose this is the case? Who taught us that prayers over weather would be answered? A reflection on dominion sounds forthcoming. Don't forget about the Ringing Cedar series. Anastasia's love will change your life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rays of light, rays of love


Demonstrate love, you are on the receiving end. I envision pure love like the power given to rays of sunlight. Light rays travel over, on, in, under, through--like love.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A poet who understood space of love and Kin Domain

Today I am remembering, poet, priest, philosopher, environmentalist, John O’Donohue, a man who left us words which paint upon the human soul the beauty of who we are. John died January 3, 2008 a little more than a year ago. As the first quarter of the year, 2009, transitions into the next, I am reflecting upon my personal tasks for this year of great change. Perhaps this poem, a prayer from his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, will inspire in you the shifting and movement necessary to expand. Blessings, John for your gift of yourself.


To Bless the Space Between Us

by John O’Donohue

“May my mind come alive today

To the invisible geography

That invites me to new frontiers.

To break the dead shell of yesterdays,

To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today,

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer,

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.”


Visit the site created in his memory—

www.johnodonohue.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A perfect moment

When I view this picture, I can recall the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual responses for that moment. For me, this can be the trigger to raising my consciousness to a higher emotional tier--one with the highest vibration possible-a very positive place to dwell. This tier encompasses the emotions of a sense of well-being, contentment, satisfaction, optimism, sense of thrill, excitement, enthusiasm, hope, trust, passion, compassion, happiness, wonder, and love with its joy, authority, freedom, and individuality. In my plethora of photos from the past, there are a few captured moments which, when viewed now, allow me to access that moment with a keen internal recall. One photo which is profound is a picture of me with my newborn son. If you have difficulty in these rapidly shifting times keeping a positive emotional level, try surrounding yourself with photographs of one of these emotional moments. Blessings to you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Country of Shifting Values

So who decided the monetary value of a young banker CEO and the monetary value of a young virtuoso violinist? It sort of boggles my mind to think both are playing with intangibles. When did everything become an issue of productivity as it is equated to financial gain? A year ago, as I started my research regarding the components of eco-villages, I had a soul stirring moment.


Think about this. If you, the reader, applied to become a member of an eco-village and was asked what talents you brought to the community, what could you site as a contribution? Do you garden? Do you know about permaculture? Can you identify wild plants and their uses? Do you know techniques for food preservation? Do you know how to build, install, and maintain alternative forms of energy? Do you know how to build alternative forms of shelter, i.e., straw bale, sandbag, yurts, adobe, earthen homes, etc. Do you know how to construct ponds? Install pumps for wells? Do you paint? Do you spin or weave? Do you sew? Do you sing? Play an instrument? Dance?


The needs of an eco-village are very different than the needs of urban cities. Eco-villages need people willing to live fully with the earth which every one of us is able to do. Think about that retirement hobby and it's probably what you'd bring as your contribution.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Classical education co-creating

What is happening to classical education? Is there an insidious movement to deem learning to think a sure pathway to financial ruin? Check out the statistics for college majors in the fields of philosophy, painting, poetry, music, and dance—really small underfunded departments—usually tucked away in the dungeons of large universities. These are all fields which allow humans to co-create. Not only do the college statistics show a drop in funding for these fields but the public and private school systems have cut programs or relegated them to a bare bones budget—art and music have become labeled expendable. Children don’t have enough exposure to areas which awaken and expand the brain before they are programmed to become a test taking robot—point in case—no child left behind—America’s biggest educational band aid to date.


When I was in high school colleges boasted how students with a liberal arts education would have the upper hand in corporate America--supporting the belief that anyone with this type of background would come across to an employer as highly educable, capable, and desirable as an employee. At the time, what the educational institutions didn’t predict or anticipate is that a test, instead of a person, would screen for future employees. And no, I don’t consider a person screening a test result equivalent to the person who uses eye contact, body language, vocal tones, and intuition person to person to screen. And yes, there are times when a test is a valid measurement. What I’m stating has to do with balance, lack thereof, and distortion.


According to tests that measure other tests, companies can save a lot of money on training people who are going to leave due to a personality mismatch. It doesn’t take a test or research project for the average person to look around and realize that there is more job dissatisfaction and disloyalty than ever in the history of business. However, like a dog with a bone, institutions will not give up on the concept of profile testing.


Here I am in the second half of my life with a superior classical education, but pitted against the current needs of the labor force, if I allowed those needs to be the truth, I currently have no market value. A current institutional belief is that thinkers in organizations are huge risks because they might challenge the status quo and they are never seen as producers, hence, a drain on the assets. What a classical education provides is the ability to balance thinking and action. Why is this balance important? Because human beings have an innate ability which can NEVER be measured. That ability is INSPIRATION.


Probably every person can find somewhere in his/her life where the following is true. As much satisfaction can be found in thinking as in producing. Ask an artist who conceives of an idea and then brings it out through the action of drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, dancing, or musical expression. While locked in thought an idea brings a certain satisfaction, but allowed to evolve through action, the idea brings yet another level of satisfaction. I’m using the word satisfaction in place of happiness, contentment, and gratification, because we’ve all heard the phrase “job satisfaction” and know what that means to an employer. Ask yourself this question, when I retire I am finally going to...?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thoughts on ways children learn

Another aspect my children enjoyed in our home school environment was their freedom of movement. I didn’t place controls on movement behaviors. When my child had a say in what he learned there wasn't resistance. They wanted to learn so whatever they engaged in during the read aloud time was self-regulated in order to hear me. Sometimes while I read, they built a Lego creation or a city of blocks sometimes they sat beside me and stared out the picture window at the beautiful garden. Either way, it didn’t matter that they moved around, they were getting every word as was demonstrated each time I closed a book and we held a discussion.

At six and seven, their listening attention spans were way off the charts. Did I mention we didn’t have a television? Well actually what we had, was a television hooked up to a video player. The television didn’t get any reception. Amazing what happens to children when they don’t watch movies by that well-known purveyor of children’s/adult shows and view instead controlled content like Nova. Our two saw their first mass distribution children’s/adult show at age seven and ten. When they stayed with friends, television provided little entertainment; they gathered their friends to play outside, summer or winter, even in temperatures below zero.

I grew up in a similar manner since television/electronic media had not yet taken over our lives. Do you remember building snow forts or tree forts? We probably learned a lot about cooperation and leadership never mind application of imagination. Do you see children running in the woods without a parent nearby? Do you trust your children to be alone with nature?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Education and Children in a Kin Domain

One of the areas Anastasia, the Siberian recluse, touches upon in the Ringing Cedar series, which has provided me with much reflection, is the crisis in the modern education system. As a pro-home schooler, I witnessed that my children learned with very little interference. For instance, when the element of time became important to them, they asked for an explanation about how to read a face clock. The explanation took less than five minutes, the concept stuck; I didn’t need anything fancy--just my pointer finger and a face clock. How old was my child when he asked? Six. The same thing happened with calendars, days of the week, and the moon and planet cycles.

Though people elect to home school for a myriad of reasons, I home schooled because I wanted to experience the joy of watching my children learn. There is nothing that can quite duplicate the glow in a child’s eyes and the matching facial expression when a concept has opened another world of thought for a child--that “ah, ha” moment we’ve all experienced. As it turned out, my children are both dyslexic so hindsight being twenty-twenty, they had the best educational foundation possible—direct instruction.

When they couldn’t read, instead of taking up the painstaking task of repetition, we spent the time developing other gifts. I read aloud everything they selected, plus what I sprinkled in. When my eldest was four he began to pick chapter books. He wanted content not pictures. He hadn’t been exposed to media that created pictures for him like television and computers, thus he had a well developed imagination which created vivid images from the written text on the page. For several hours everyday, I read history, science, and all manner of quality literature. Instead of a written exam at the end of each chapter or book, we held a discussion. I became famous for closing a book and saying, so tell me about what we read today.


By understanding their thought processes, I could funnel appropriate material their direction. I guess I could go on forever with examples of positive learning based on my parenting choices, but I’m more curious to hear positive results from others who have witnessed children learning. No educational system can create, replace, or duplicate a loving, respectful, interested, interactive parent. The most I'd venture to say is the system can enhance the foundation created in the space of love, the Kin Domain.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Seeds are miracles

How good are you at plant identification? My greenhouse is exploding with new life. Since this vibrant set of green leaves must be part of every Kin Domain garden, what is your best guess?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kin Domain visitor

Welcome Spring! Above a gentle forest forager. Although we've officially entered the season of spring some parts of the northern mid-west are still under thaw. I'm thankful to say all the dirt covered ice mounds are gone from my Kin Domain for this year. My spring bulbs have made an appearance and I'm all smiles.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Plants with a song

This is St. John's Wort, a medicinal herb which blooms around the third week of June. When the blossom is plucked and squeezed the residue is a purple red. Throughout history this plant has been a constant. Alexander the Great was never without it.

The word wort is just another name for "plant" and the St. John is after an ancient holy man--the red from the plant a symbol of his blood. The herb has restorative properties. From the flower an herbalist can produce healing oils, tinctures, and teas.

In machine harvesting, used for mass production, the top third of the plant is used since the medicinal components are also found in the leaves and stem, but alas, the flower contains the purest content and sings the song. To make a fine product, each blossom must be delicately plucked and covered with a soft cloth so as not to crush the tender petals. These blossoms must be worked with immediately. The flowers can be dried for tea, made into an oil, or a tincture.

If you'd like to know more about plant songs read Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan.

Kin Domain style bee hives


I've been pondering how to get a bee hive near my garden. Living in the city creates unique challenges. Bee phobia is making life difficult for the poor honey bee. In the near future, I will visit the local agriculture college. I need some answers to all the concerns. I'd really be interested in the type of hives Anastasia suggested in the Ringing Cedars series. They sound inviting to the honey bee and aesthetically pleasing to humans. I found a site with a drawing but the instructions were written in Russian. Perhaps I can have my son's friend, who speaks fluent Russian, translate the article. There are some fabulous sites with photos of traditional box designs. Does anyone have a favorite honey bee hive you'd like to share? Please contact me, or send me a photo for my collection. For lots of great information on honey bees and hive construction check out this site:

www.bushfarms.com/bees.html

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Part Three: Kin Domains support creativity

The Musician in Me (Part three of a short story I wrote. I posted part one on March 7, 2009 and part two on March 12.)

He portioned out that meager dinner over the entire forty-five minutes. When at last I stopped, he folded up his remains stuffing the contents into a small duffel bag. Eager to finish, I turned away and knelt to put my instrument in my case. A feather light tap on my shoulder startled me. I swiveled in a crouch and stared at stocking covered feet then let my gaze travel upward to the twinkling brown eyes of my audience.

I stood. He held out a pair of shoes. His polished new shoes. The shoes of a music lover. My mouth fell open. I slammed it shut as he thrust the shoes into my chest and I made a fumbled grab for them before they hit the pavement. He smiled and nodded at me then turned and meandered down the boardwalk.

What the heck had just happened? I didn’t need shoes. For that matter I didn’t need clothing, shelter, or food. Why had he chosen to give me the only thing of value to him? I quickly knotted the laces together and draped the shoes over my shoulder. Then finished packing up my instrument. If I hurried, I could probably find him to return the shoes.

I stooped and grabbed my case then waited for my mother to finish her conversation. I explained the situation to her. She studied me curiously then lectured on about gifting and receiving.

My eyes must have glazed over, as they were known to do when she got a bit preachy and esoteric, because she finally told me to try them on. I did. They flopped off my feet. I realized how much I had yet to grow to fill them. I looked up at her with my, what did you expect look. She shrugged and said someday the shoes would fit and that when that momentous day arrived, I would understand why he had given them to me.

I’m a man now. The shoes had fit when I was sixteen and cocky as could be. The moment I stepped into them, I recalled the twinkling brown eyes dancing with merriment. That long ago evening, I had nourished a soul. Filled him with something he couldn’t get at a warehouse or soup kitchen. He honored my gift of music by giving me his most prized possession. We had both been gifted something. My gift was learning how to receive.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Final Phase of Lasagna Garden

You are at the half-way point in the process. Next, (5) spread a layer of peat moss or other composted organic matter. The more you can thoroughly cover the straw the faster the breakdown. Finish (6) by broadcasting organic top soil. If you have other ingredients that must be included, now is a good time to add those. (6 1/2) Give all the layers a final sprinkle of water then (7) lower the black ground cover. On the example below, I used a black cover plastic overlaid with clear plastic sheeting because the black wasn't wide enough to get good seals on the sides. All of these materials will hold up to the elements. After you remove them, you can dry them on the grass and then roll them up to reuse at a later date.

Do your best to get a good seal. I recommend using rocks, bricks, bales of straw, or boards around the perimeter to seal down the edges and keep out the wind. You want this to cook on high over the next eight weeks. Some of you can get your seedlings started because at this point your outside prep is done. You're going to leave the ground cover in place until you are ready to plant.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prep steps three-three and a half and four

So you have the newspaper and sand laid down (btw, very small amount of sand), now (3) you'll add the straw or moist decayed leaves. If you want a thick mulch leave the straw in the small sections you pull from the bale otherwise pull at it to loosen the section and spread it thinner. Then (3 1/2) you get to wet the area with a hose, sprinkler can or bucket. You don't need to saturate or leave standing puddles, just add enough water so the paper is wet beneath the straw. After you complete this task, if you have manure or compost, (4) broadcast it over the straw. I just throw out handfuls, or on a big area, shake the bag back and forth to scatter the moist clods. Naturally, I have a really sturdy pair of garden gloves--mine have a rubber surface on the palm side and stretchy breathable top.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lasagna garden prep step one and two

1) Take newspaper you've shoved in a recycle bin. I get quite a few of those penny shoppers and use them because the unfolded size is just the right area for me to manage at one time. I lay down a double thickness of newspaper and immediately add (2) my second layer which is a small bit of sand or decayed leaves. Why? The paper will catch on even the slightest breeze and you'll be retrieving an ingredient instead of creating layers. Easy so far, right? No shovels, turning soil, or heavy lifting. You cover the surface whether grass, weeds, or exposed clay soil-no prep. You can work a really small space the size of a shrub or tree area, or a 20x20 space, depending on how ambitious you are and how willing your helpers. Those of you familiar with a chicken tractor method of creating a garden plot will catch on to this technique fast, but sadly, you don't get any eggs as you build the lasagna plot.



Step three and four tomorrow. In case you are just dying to know, there is a really good book about chicken tractoring--which by the way doesn't have a thing to do with tractors. Check out Andy Lee and Pat Foreman's work, Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kin Domain Garden the lasagna method

Years ago I learned a technique for turning poor soil, usually hard packed clay covered with grass, into a soft, pliable, nutrient rich garden environment. The technique is as creative and as easy as making lasagna. Cooks differ in the method used to assemble the chosen ingredients as well as throwing in a secret ingredient here and there. The idea is to try and use what you have and only buy what is absolutely necessary. I usually have sand, dirt, decayed grass and leaves. I've obtained as barter, straw bales, cured manure (chicken and cow), and top soil.

Before you turn any area into a garden space you need to be familiar with the designated location for at least four seasons, eight is better. If factors such as sun direction, shade, drainage, prevailing winds, and animal movements are unknown and not considered, you could be in for some disappointing results. A Kin Domain is about co-creating so take the time to get to know the land and animals. That said, how to begin this technique?

I will take you through the process over the next few days. The first step is to collect all the ingredients you want to use to create your layers.

Here is a list.
Knock yourself out dreaming up the myriad of possibilities.

newspaper
sand
manure
bone meal
blood meal
fish fertilizer
peat moss
straw
compost (broken down)
decaying leave
decaying grass
straw
decaying hay
lime
gypsum
top soil



This is a picture of a starting project. The area being renovated for a garden held a large wooden outdoor play set. Once the play set, gravel and underlayment were removed the area sat through a season. Besides the above ingredients, you will need a dark cover. An old black or blue tarp or the plastic used to block out sun and items to use as weights. Rocks, bricks, cement blocks--sometimes building stores sell imperfects for a discount and sometimes they'll simply give them away. Don't forget that creek beds are a wonderful source for a few flat stones.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spirit animals


Animals really want to be connected to humans. They seek to please. This spirit cat tends the sweat lodge. He keeps the mice down and greets the weekly group of participants. He loves to sit curled near the sacred portal between the fire and the lodge door.

In the Ringing Cedar series, Anastasia explains how animals used to serve humans, always ready to please them. I love her relationship with the bear, wolf, and eagle. A bear who digs a garden and provides warmth on a winter night. A wolf who supervises a toddler and an eagle who lifts that toddler above the trees to get a bird's eye view of his/her space of love.

Incredulous though it seems, the image is spectacular. Read more about this experience and Kin Domains in the Ringing Cedar series by Vladimir Megre.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Installment Two: Kin Domains support creativity


This is Part Two of a short story I wrote, The Musician in Me, published on March 7, 2009


On a good day I’d play for about forty-five minutes. On a not so good day, I’d play for about an hour. It was on one of the not so good days that something miraculous happened.

The location was a beautiful dock where water-taxi’s let off tourists ready to dine and shop. A gentle summer breeze blew salty air over the tops of decorative trees and benches lined a heavily trafficked boardwalk. Occasionally, horn blasts from private boats rent the air. Perfect was my first thought.

As usual, I fumbled a bit getting started not sure what the audience wanted to hear. You could always tell the mood after a few pieces. If people stopped and threw in money after a particular song, I’d play another of similar style.

I played for about fifteen minutes and folks just kept walking past ignoring my open case and me. For the first time, I was ready to give up before I really had finished my warm up. From the corner of my eye, I scanned the environment. My gaze settled on a vagrant shuffling down the walkway. He took a seat on a bench about five feet in front of me.

His hair was a kinky gray. His clothing exploded with every design and color sequence imaginable. His cocoa brown face was etched with deep age lines. The kind of lines that spoke of a happy person—you know the ones that indent upward from a perpetual smile. My mom had always called vagrants ancestor spirits sent to us from God to give us timely messages.

Our gazes locked, I smiled. He smiled back several teeth missing from the grin. His eyes twinkled with merriment. I finished the piece I was playing and he clapped. When I resumed again, he reached for a brown paper bag. After careful scrutiny, he pulled out a handkerchief laid it on his lap then emptied the contents of the bag onto it. A sandwich, an apple, some raw vegetables and a cookie. Since it was five p.m., I imagine this was his dinner.

He arranged all the items purposefully on the handkerchief as I well imagined someone arranging a place setting at a fine restaurant. He then proceeded to eat. No matter how long—or short my piece, he managed to set down his food and clap. While he ate I watched his feet. His toes tapped to the music, even my classical selections. I couldn’t help but note his shoes. They appeared to be the only new item on his person. Highly polished brown leather, thick sole. Very sturdy. Every time I made contact with his gaze his eyes told me that he knew I played just for him. It was as though we were in our own private outdoor amphitheater.

(End of part two)


(Watch for part three--the final installment)

2003 Kin Domain Garden

Above photo of Julie's Kin Domain Garden 2003

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Description of a Kin Domain


A Kin's Domain is a parcel of land for the permanent residence of a family, one hectare (100 m x 100 m) in size, on which a family can build its house, plant an ancestral tree, its own forest, orchard and garden, and construct a pond. The perimeter of a Kin's Domain is enclosed by a hedge of forest plants - cedar, coniferous and deciduous trees, and shrubs.


The Kin's Domain represents the solution to many problems involving the family. It is a comfortable residence, as well as a worthy space for living, which is suitable for everyone, where there is enough space for man, animals, and plants alike. It is an organization of living space according to the principle of "everything at hand." Thus, for the owners of Kin's Domains, there is no longer the need to go to the cellar according to a schedule, to go "to the ends of the earth" to get to a country house, to grow potatoes in a separate spot, go out of town to breathe the forest air or find a water hole to bathe in.

A kin's settlement is a group of closely situated kin's domains, whose owners have become united in a general partnership for the joint construction of a kin's settlement, for the creation of the appropriate infrastructure for administrative, educational, medical, cultural, sporting, and other social establishments and institutions.

- How do ecological kin's settlements differ from existing built-up areas?

- Financially the most expensive part of modern cottage settlements are centralized life-support systems - kilometers of trenches, pipes, wires, hundreds of poles for electrical power lines, etc. The main feature of eco-villages consisting of Kin's Domains is their autonomy. Autonomy in obtaining electricity may be provided by solar batteries, mini-wind generators and mini-hydraulic turbine generators, "star batteries," and other newer developments in the area of power supply.

Houses may be heated by stoves providing economical catalytic heating, a Russian stove, gas installations. In order to keep the air of eco-villages clean, it is necessary to exclude the use of coal.

In addition, there exist energy conserving technologies for the construction of residences and alternative construction materials.

The fitting out of an autonomous water supply system is planned on the parcel, consisting of mutually replenishing and exchanging sources of water from wells, bore-holes, ponds, and springs.

- Why is a hedge needed around the perimeter of the parcel?

- A question of no small importance that is not resolved in city conditions and even in the modern cottage settlement is the proximity of neighbors and the frequently common fence with them. In the conditions of a Kin's Domain, it is necessary to plan for the presence of roads and paths around each of the four sides of a parcel. Moreover, the size of the paths is not less than three to four meters, the size of the road is two or three times greater. Where there is no common fence with a neighbor, there are no boundary disputes.

A hedge, where trees and shrubs preserve their natural appearance, does not require special care in the future. Its width may be from three to ten meters, its height from 15 to 20 meters. Only in such circumstances are neighbors "not seen and not heard." A hedge is able to provide protection not only from the wind, dust, and extraneous odors, but also from noise. And tall forest trees and flowering shrubs do not provoke irritation from the surrounding neighbors, as would, for example, a high stone fence.

A small forest planted with one's own hands will over time provide mushrooms, berries, nuts; it will serve as a home for birds and animals, who have their own role to play in the ecosystem of the domain. If a forest is growing nearby, then the harvest of potatoes will increase by 25 to 30%, the harvest of fruits, from 45 to 50%, and grasses, by 100%.

The Kin's Domain is, in fact, a forest glade built by the members of a family, a type of "garden in the forest," where everything exists that is necessary for the life and nutrition of a family.


Above material taken from, What is a Kin's Domain as published by ChrisMartenson.com
www.chrismartenson.com/forum/simpol-policy-solutions/12650


For more details go to: www.ringingcedarsofrussia.org

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kin Domain Dream Drawing

Every child and adult should take time to doodle out a vision of their Kin Domain. As co-creators we are all master painters in our imagination. Thus, whatever the form of the image, even one dimensional, will capture the resonance of life. In this image, I see ascending arborvitae american strategically placed for view, shadow, and noise reduction. I smell the lilacs from the corner sculpting a gentle curve accented by a bubbling water fountain where birds dip and splash. The glow of giant sunflowers rotate their showy headdress throughout the day to capture the rays of sunlight providing root nourishment to a hedge of raspberries. Root stock apple trees, laden with lush fruit, hold out armfuls of abundant winter eating. Pumpkins meander away from the garden bringing back to all the confined plants knowledge from the surrounding plant wildlife. Anise hyssop spikes wave inviting bee and butterfly activity, the soft hum a reminder of the fragile ecological balance. And between the captured images, space to co-create more than enough. People, dream. Dreams are really important right now. Dreams will bring us back to the truth of who we are. Come dream a dream with me that I might know your mind.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nectar for Honey Bees

For readers in the U.S. Midwest the sweet mother earth is waking from her winter rest. Today the ground was spongy from the thaw. Here and there in the shadows of trees or buildings remnants of snow packed mounds grow smaller. Under an overcast morning sky, I circled my garden and imagined the area in full bloom. I imagined the scent of fresh thyme giving off a distinct fragrance beneath my bare feet. Did you know that if you sow a carpet of her throughout your garden she will provide the pathway to your produce and a soft cushion for bare feet?

My Kin Domain garden is off to a fine start. Anastasia, the wise woman from the Ringing Cedar series, said we must restore our cities to safe, ecologically balanced locals before we make an exodus to the country. In this effort I join globally with hundreds of thousands of other folk who want to co-create a space of love. My city celebrates Earth Day on April 18, 2009 with a fair in a downtown park. As part of an effort to support the honey bee population, restore heirloom variety plants, and to add beauty to every domain, I will be helping to fill envelopes with anise hyssop seed to give to visitors meandering through the park.

Many years ago, I discovered this herb. In my garden, the deer and rabbits ignored its presence. What is distinctive about anise hyssop? The leaves make a delicious licorice flavored herbal tea. When clipped and hung upside down to dry, the purple spears of flowers add fragrant beauty to winter flower arrangements.

If you can plant this near a window, you’ll be entertained for hours as bees diligently work along each spike getting the nectar and moving pollen and the butterflies flit among the blossoms. You might get lucky and have a hummingbird visit.

Although the tea is delicious there is also a beneficial element.

Anise hyssop makes a wonderful digestive aid, breath freshener and has been purported to support lactation in nursing mothers. You can use this similar to any of the plants in the mint family. Since this plant produces abundant seed—will self seed once started—you should be able to find an organic variety. Many seed savers on the internet sell quality heirloom seeds. Happy searching!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Paradise on Earth: Kin Domains


This quote from one of the many eco-village founders encapsulates the motivation given in the Ringing Cedar Series as to why a Kin Domain. “Our main task-by creating our Kin's Domains, by changing our way of life and way of thinking, by realizing our destiny on Earth-is to restore happiness, consciousness, and love to people, and to restore Paradise on Earth!”


Early in my theological education I was introduced to the written work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ, 1881 – 1955, Priest and Paleontologist. One thought of his which has cycled back around and plays upon my mind and heart off and on is that humans create their paradise on earth. Naturally Chardin was one of the philosophical thinkers who had been censored by the reigning pope of the time. Viewed through Anastasia’s historical perspective, he had in all likelihood, come too close to the truth and needed to be silenced. I will definitely go back and visit his work to contemplate the gems he gave to humankind. For all of the Ringing Cedar readers, it is interesting to note that he served on the front lines as a stretcher barer during World War I and was located in China during World War II. His philosophical perspective from the front lines is intriguing. The quote below is one of his gems.


“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.’ "(The Evolution of Chastity, in Toward the Future, 1936, XI, 86-87)


www.teilharddechardin.org/teilharddechardin.pdf

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kin Domains support creativity

When our Kin Domain is a space of love, it provides just the right support for imagination to take flight. Within each of us is a painter, poet, musician, dancer, and philosopher. Here is part one of a three part short story. I hope it warms your heart and tempts you to come back to read the next installment. Enjoy.

The Musician in Me

When I was young I accompanied my mother during her many travels. Born and raised in an upper mid-west town with a rather small population, the travels definitely broadened my horizons. I looked forward to each January knowing my mother was using the time to develop her itinerary for the year.

The anticipation of seeing new places and meeting new people thrilled me. Naturally there was something in the experience for me. How could there not? Somehow, she understood that the travel had to prove exciting for me. Maybe she anticipated problems from me if it were otherwise. I wasn’t always such a respectful, cooperative child. I had my melt-down moments and even I didn’t know when they would arrive. But not her. Through that magical gift that comes with birth, she could predict and ward off most of the worst offenders.

The summer I was twelve, we traveled to the east coast. My mother had family to visit and workshops to present. Between events, we filled up with the sun and water, the stars and water, the clouds and water, and the wind and water. On her free days, she would accompany me so I could do one of my favorite activities. Making money.

Now the thought of a twelve year old making money might pique your curiosity. Most kids baby sit on occasion, deliver newspapers, rake yards, shovel snow,etc.—I did those things too, but I also had developed a special talent over the years. From age three, I had played the violin. By the age of twelve, I had four books of Suzuki violin music memorized. Along with these pieces, I also had several well-loved American fiddle songs.

With violin in hand, I could set up on any street corner in any part of the world and work. It was really a miracle. I washed, combed my hair, put on matching non-descript clothing, and walked until I located a pleasant tourist location. I took out my violin, placed two dollars of seed money into the empty black case and warmed up.

Warm up was always nerve wracking. I’m not talking practice here, I’m talking getting the tingles, twitches, and stomach jiggles out of the way so my mind could focus on the musicality and audience. When people stopped, I fixed my posture, smiled, and let the music sail out. Even amidst the wailing of sirens, screeching of car brakes, and fluttering pigeons, I could make myself big—noticeable. (End of Part One)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kin Domain Permaculture Garden

As the winter temperatures rise and the ground thaws, I'm spending more time at my window planning my garden. I imagine my layout of plants and hang onto the image. Then I draw a sketch using colored pencils. The color seems to give it substance and make the image more real. I let my senses enter the experience until I can smell, see, feel, taste, and hear each plant. I'm fascinated with permaculture. Although this can be difficult to implement in the city due to the question of consensus defined aesthetics, your backyard is usually yours alone. Give it a try. For those not familiar with the term, here is the explanation from the Living Earth Village.


Permaculture as defined by Living Earth Village

Permaculture is the art of learning about the natural relationships between plants, animals, insects, soil, water, and sun and applying these naturally thriving conditions to intentional gardens, orchards, and forests that benefit humans. The goal is to create long-lasting relationships that maintain themselves over decades. As an example, when many different species of plants are planted together without rows or other spacing, insect pests do not tend to invade the plant species, eliminating the need for chemical sprays. You may choose to plant as many as 300 or more species of plants on your own parcel of land.

We have heard the question, "Agricultural subdivision? Isn't farming a bunch of work?" Our response is yes, traditional farming is a lot of work and the return on investment of time and energy is minimal - at best, one year's harvest and then you have to start all over again. Conventional farming methods, even conventional organic farming methods, involve planting rows and rows of very few species of plants, a scenario impossible in nature. So then farmers try to manipulate and control nature and prevent it from entering their fields with artificial chemical and organic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. By using permaculture, none of this is necessary. Some plants take nutrients from the soil and deliver them to us in their fruits, others take nutrients from water and air and leave them in the soil. Some plants have shallow roots that take moisture and nutrients from the surface soil, others have deep roots that bring the moisture and nutrients up from below. When one plant crowds out others and prevents them from growing, it is an indication of an imbalance in the natural systems we have created and it becomes our job to address the root cause, rather than just the effect. When we invest our time, energy, and thought into these relationships the return on investment is infinite, potentially feeding our great-grandchildren 100 years from now and even their great-grandchildren.

For more information on the dream of this and more visit: www.livingearthvillage.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bliss

Writer’s love prodding the artistic muse inside themselves through the artifice of a prompt.


Here is an example. Define Bliss.

I scribble on paper: an emotional response evolving in the ethers which suddenly drops in or perhaps draws me up, and everything at that moment, becomes unified, clear, and profoundly grounding. Now I suppose I could have gone for the Webster’s definition--complete happiness, a state of spiritual joy—but the words lack image. With my definition I can create an image such as recalling my newborn son, or a spectacular sunset dripping in pastels from a watercolor palette, or hearing a plant sing a song that is meant for me alone, and connect the image to a feeling.


“White coral bells upon a slender stalk, lilies of the valley grace my garden walk. Oh how I wish that I could hear them ring, that will only happen when the faeries sing.”


Words like this provoke an image and feelings. I immediately envision a Space of Love, a Kin Domain and I wonder if such a place was the inspiration for this writer. Do you have a place to go where you can imagine?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kin Domains an avocation

My dear readers, today I received an email and could not resist publishing it here.I thank the unknown author. It is a gentle reminder that hunger need not be an issue and that a space of love is paramount for all life. Think about it--a Kin Domain avocation.

Wanted: Earth Healers

To Start: Immediately.

Job Description: Care for the Earth.
Anyone need some work, or a life purpose? If so, look no further than your own backyard. There are billions of openings for hardworking folks in the field of Permaculture, with demand for people to grow their own food, produce renewable energy, build sustainable communities and heal damaged ecosystems! Thanks to corporate plunder, our once abundant natural resources are in rapid decline. As fossil fuels diminish and global oil prices rise, much of the job market will become unstable. What’s the unemployed truck driver, factory worker, industrial farmer, corporate executive and the rest of us to do? Work for the Earth! This big blue ball we have been living on needs every hand she can get. There are Permaculture jobs to suit everyone. Your can design food systems, heal the soil, purify water, provide habitat for wildlife and produce tons of organic food on as little as a quarter of an acre. Jobs building energy-saving homes with local materials like recycled lumber, cob and straw bale are in high demand. These homes use passive solar energy, living roofs, grey water recycling and composting toilets. The ancient jobs of sustainable woodcutting, fishing, wild crafting, animal husbandry, weaving, baking and natural healing are returning with vigor. Educators, bicycle mechanics, bio-fuel brewers, recyclers, community mediators, craftspeople, artists, herbalists, midwives and creative people everywhere are needed now!

To Apply: Please look over your current lifestyle and answer the following questions. Where does your food come from? How are your energy needs met? Where does your water come from and where does it go after it leaves your home? Does your lifestyle/job enhance air, water and soil quality? In an emergency situation, how would you meet your basic needs for transportation and resources? Share your answers about this new career path with your fellow earth healers!

Salary: The Earth is willing to pay top wages for integrating with and embracing Her life systems. Organic food, abundant energy, clean water, shelter, community-based childcare, education and comprehensive natural health care are available to all successful applicants. The benefits increase the longer you work and will be passed on to future generations. So start now and build a better future for yourself and the planet – learn Permaculture today!

"WeMoon 2000"

http://wemoon.ws/
http://www.wemoon.ws/images/logolink.jpg

If this piqued your interest, read Bill Mollison's, Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future. In this style of gardening, all the plants get to "talk to each other", hence giving each other what they need in order to serve the Kin Domain host on the most beneficially nutritional level possible.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Book of Kin Beginnings

"What can help the [children]newcomers to the world determine where the truth and where the falsehood lies...the Book of Kin. In it a mother and a father will write for their son and daughter about what is the most important thing that needs to be created for happiness in life. The children will continue to record the Book of Kin. There will be no wiser and truer books for families anywhere on the Earth. All the knowledge of their pristine origins will be poured into it." (p.244, Book 6:The Book of Kin)

Think about it--what is the most important thing that needs to be created for happiness in life? Can you answer this question without pause? I've read the entire set of Ringing Cedar Series by Vladimir Megre and I still get a quick catch in my throat when presented with this question. However, it doesn't take long for my mind to respond because I've created an image. A Space of Love. How the space is created is the story for your Book of Kin.

Can you begin writing yours? Where will you start? Anastasia, the visionary of the Ringing Cedar Series and of Kin Domains, says to begin your Book of Kin with your own birth, your name, and then ask for what purpose and with what thoughts you take up the pen and start this important book. Next, write about what plan you have for the future and from there the rest will follow. It may come in fits and starts, but it will come and it will hold all the knowledge of your pristine origins.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Heart to Heart Unity


Dear Beloveds,

I desire your support. During the past four years, in my yearning to help with the family financial burden, I’ve made numerous attempts to move beyond the role of displaced homemaker. Wouldn’t you know I learned about this phrase when I needed to fill out the parent form of the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid for my son? It’s defined as someone who left a given occupation/profession to stay home for several years and care for children, sick, or elderly and cannot get back into the work place. Without wanting to give credence to the energy around this issue, I’ve plowed ahead creating opportunity and celebrating every monetary miracle and every fulfilled need which crosses my path.

What I’ve witnessed since my move from Wisconsin is that many of my avenues to create streams of income have shifted—a shift which has allowed me to get clarity around my purpose. My Kin Domain of thirteen years had provided the spiritual and nutritional sustenance to allow me to do what was necessary for myself, family, and community with harm to none. Without this Kin Domain, I’ve had a sense of dislocation. My strength comes from roots planted firmly in the ground. The Backyard Herbalist avocation I created, believed everything necessary for health was found within reach of a person’s doorstep/Kin Domain.

With sadness, I share that at this time my Kin Domain is at great risk of being lost. The core of my being lies in my ability to communicate to this sweet mother earth and all the forebears who’ve graced my past. This piece of wisdom begs to be tended. I’ve allowed a horrible oversight, which I, at this moment, have begun to rectify. I’m responsible for protecting and cherishing my Kin Domain as I’m called to protect and cherish all that I love. The word home doesn’t fully capture the image of what I know to be true. A Kin Domain is a piece of land which imparts to me its total love and healing strength through my willingness to interact and intercede on its behalf. It is co-creation in action.

Four and half years ago, I landed in a new city and in a metaphoric explanation, was spending my conserved reserves before I had time to get my seeds in the ground or take root. Many of you know me as a great barterer. But something unexpected happened. Like many of the mystics throughout history, who were in need of spiritual growth and expansion, a lesson was presented. What to do when the means of payment, barter, isn’t recognized as viable? What to do when the ones we draw toward us are unable to enter into the rhythm of an ages old energetic exchange but have grave needs?

I cannot turn away children—children who need nurturing care, tutoring, and advocacy work around disabilities. I cannot turn away people in need of medical help, meals, or in-home care whether elderly, or single and alone in the world. I cannot turn away women who seek to heal the wounded parts of themselves and desperately want to explore choices around healthy relationships, nutrition, and spiritual development. I cannot turn away from my co-creative purpose which meant I needed to discard certain beliefs, open to wisdom and change my perceiving and measuring devices.

Out of my interaction with community, I learn. I create. I find opportunity to expand. During this time of great shift in the world, I’ve been gifted with stories which I’ve brought from the imaginal realm into reality. I’ve been gifted with mentors—writer’s who’ve shared maps and their pathway with me. I’ve been gifted with the voices of my forebears. Through the guidance of the Creator, I’ve co-created art to share. I believe that the stories I write are meant for others but I’ve no definition of that audience. The stories are in no way what I thought I’d ever write—paranormal romance—what is that--if it isn’t vampires, werewolves, and alien beings? And yet, my books were downloaded to me and written before I discovered it to be the hottest selling fiction genre in the U.S. Let me tell you, my comfort zone has been maxed out and I’ve had to stretch beyond all my pre-conceived boundaries. The material downloaded to me is challenging. Even within the paranormal genre, my stories break from the consensus reality of the recognized form and explore the “what if” component hidden in our thoughts and feelings.

So please, dear one, as I embark on this journey to save my Kin Domain by offering an artistic creation for monetary support, I ask will you aid me? Can you help me, not out of fear for me, but out of unconditional love? Can you search among your friends and send two special people to my website www.JulieACarda.com ? Can you ask them to download an unusual, thought provoking piece of paranormal romance fiction? Can you ask them to leave a donation so I might be free to create what I’ve been called to create-a Kin Domain? Can you ask them to send two others? Can you ask them to connect to the concept of Kin Domains through my website so this vibration might rise to higher levels? Can you share with them about my future vision of an eco-village where every member co-creates a space of love--a Kin Domain regardless of monetary income? Can you share with them my overwhelming sense of gratitude and peace? Can you, for five minutes, hold me in prayer as a blessed co-created intention worthy of all I desire? Thank you. Gratitude.

I love you. With every ray of light, I love you.

Julie

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kin Domains


Years ago I began writing my Book of Kin. Years ago I created a Space of Love. Years ago I had a Kin Domain. Now is the time for the image, so profound in my thoughts so ripe in my feelings, to come forward into my reality. Will you join me on this journey in co-creating higher community? For the month of March, I pledge to write something each day that reflects the truth of who we are. Perhaps a bit of my Book of Kin will spill out. Perhaps revelations on a Space of Love in modern times. Perhaps the full vision of an eco-village so ready to be born that the energetics of the words vibrate on the screen. My dear guest, know this amidst all the emotional chaos, you are loved!