Creation stories

This year has been all about stories for me. I’ve never been more aware of how stories shape reality. The power and sheer proliferation of stories is overwhelming. Every person has their own story about every event. That’s billions and billions of stories, cascading, intersecting, feeding and birthing each other.

Back in April I found myself feeling offended that there wasn’t a single ‘right’ story about the coronavirus. Of course that’s stupid and naive. There has never been one right story about anything. And intellectually I know that. But sitting in my apartment, day after day, immersed in news stories, social media stories, conspiracy stories, friends’ stories, family stories, and being able to see that all of them were conflicting and lying and wrong drowned me. I needed one solid truth to hold onto, to get my head into the air, and there wasn’t one. I drowned in despair and fear and uncertainty.

Now I’m watching the Black Lives Matter protests and these stories burn me with rage and sickness. The lies and deceits, the omissions, the racist framing choices, the desperation, the actors, and the screaming into silence…all burn.

The protests and BLM stories playing out now are all stories that have the power to show people something they have no concept of. They reveal the stories that are so deeply embedded that you don’t know they’re there, or that they even are stories. You assume that the story is reality, when it’s not.

But that’s the power of story.

Stories are a human and linear way of understanding something that is not linear, something that is an intrusion of the unlimited, numinous potential of the universe, of creation. It’s called creation for a reason. Stories are the most powerful of ideas—ideas with shape, direction, force, energy and soul. Ideas that draw people and events into their flow.

Stories are an act of creation, making space for new things, shaping and changing reality.

A few months ago I wrote a story. It was a solarpunk-inspired story about what my street and apartment could look like in a hopeful and sustainable future.

A couple of days later I found that some pawpaw trees had sprouted in the abandoned and ignored garden attached to my building. It’s likely they’ve come from a possum or fruit bat. I thought it was interesting and then forgot.

A month or so ago, I discovered a random passion fruit vine had been quietly winding its way through the hibiscus and myrtle bushes and had produced a couple of fruits. Again, no human had planted it and it’s likely to have come from an animal. But I’ve lived here for years and this is the only time there has ever been food-plants on the property.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, one of my neighbours, who I’ve spoken less than 20 words to in the whole time I’ve been here, knocked on my door to talk excitedly to me about his plans to put in a communal vegetable and herb garden. Pretty sure I stared at him like I was going crazy.

Last weekend they started clearing the space. We now have a compost pile of sorts.

People are buying plants. One of my other neighbours is building raised garden beds in his garage. And my contribution so far is the weed matting and mulch.

I wrote a dinky little story about communal food resources and sustainable living in an urban environment and ended up manifesting the damn thing by accident.

That is the power of stories. Especially in the hands of magical people. That is the one truth I can hold on to—by telling the right stories we can create the amazing, beautiful, inclusive and hopeful future we want.

So I’ve started another story. And this time, I’m putting in effort. I can’t wait for it to happen.

Update:

One week later we already have pea shoots. Also, a neighbour randomly brought up in conversation how good intentions improve plant growth. It was very hard to hold a sensible expression while I responded that I’d read some research that supported that, too.

The myth of this moment

Moon and Venus in Gemini assailed by a bat

I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s going on at the moment in terms of narratives. It seems like everyone has their own version of the crisis—everyone’s going to die, no one’s actually sick, COVID’s very infectious, children can’t pass it on, stay home to keep safe, it’s my right to exercise, there’s no toilet paper, I made bread.

But these are not the myths of this time. These are the small personal stories that are played out and leave scars and fade across the ages. The myth is much bigger. To find a version of it, I looked to the astrology. Jupiter entering its fall in Capricorn and conjoining the South Node. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. Venus retrograde in Gemini and Jupiter retrograde in Capricorn.

What follows is probably not very good astrology, but it is a mythic-style narrative. And I tried to put into it some of the teaching elements that myths have—the advice for what to do in this situation that can be handed down through thousands of years in a simple-seeming story until it’s needed again.

I’m not pretending that this blog post could become anything that epic. But writing it was cathartic. I actually wrote it a week ago and almost deleted it because the depression and oppression swamped me for a while. But I made it through that wave and this has helped me frame what’s happening. It’s reassuring to be able to see the way to an ending that I would like.

The myth of this moment

The King of the Dead and the Lord of Time conspired long together. They saw the brightness of the Queen of Heaven and the fiery joy of the Sky King and decided that a harsh lesson must be taught.

The Queen of Heaven slipped by them, one at a time and thought she was free. But the Lord of Time and the King of the Dead cast spells on her. For they knew her sister would soon call her down into the Underworld to imprison and slay her and they hoped to weaken the Queen so that she would not return.

The Sky King they called to their mountain fastness where he was weak, and combining their powers they unleashed the Dragon on him. The Sky King overcame the Dragon, but its tail battered him, sapping what little strength remained to him.

And while Sky King was distracted, the King of the Dead and the Lord of Time emerged from the Underworld and, hidden by the bright beams of the Sun, they enacted their deadly plan.

A plague was unleashed upon the land and, though it killed, that was not its true purpose.

It took the people of the Sky King—the travellers, the explorers, the teachers, the generous—and it locked them up and made them hoard their goods greedily.

It took the people of the Queen of Heaven—the lovers, the dancers, the musicians, the friends—and silenced them and made them fear each other.

And the King and the Queen looked down on the world and saw that all they had worked for was gone. And they despaired.

And the Queen of Heaven was dragged down into the Underworld. And the Sky King fell on the very border of the King of the Dead’s domain and tumbled back down the unforgiving mountainside.

But the people saw what had been done to their strong and beautiful Queen and their wise and generous King. And they realised with horror the parts they had been forced to play.

So the people gathered together in any way they could. And they cared for one another, and sang songs, and played music, and taught children, and made plans for the future.

And the echoes of their joy and love went down into the Underworld and up into the stony heights and the Queen of Heaven and the Sky King were renewed and came forth once more.

And the people danced joyfully with the ones they loved. #RSPM