Friday, November 26, 2010

Sacred math and the sacred hoop

words from Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux 1863-1950

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything and everything tries to be round.

In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished.  The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it.  The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance.  This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.

Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle.  The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.  Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.  The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle.  The moon does the same and both are round.  Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were.

The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.  Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children."

Over a hundred years ago Black Elk had a vision of the time when Indian people would heal from the devastating effects of European migration.  In his vision the Sacred Hoop which had been broken, would be mended in seven generations.

The children born into this decade will be the seventh generation.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Petroleum Administration for War Advertisement

Petroleum Administration for War Rationing Advertisement
The Petroleum Administration for War (PAW)
[courtesy of the National Archive]

The PAW was the Federal agency responsible for ensuring the supply of gasoline and other petroleum products during World War II. The PAW worked with representatives of petroleum-industry businesses to ensure that the military had an adequate supply of gasoline while necessary defense industries could still function and that there would be enough left over for civilians to receive the amount guaranteed them by rationing.  This advertisement was published in newspapers in order to encourage civilians to minimize their use of gasoline.  [More below]
View large format for fine print
Do you think the rationale of telling the truth and 'asking nicely' would have worked this time?  Consider how ready most of the Nation seemed to be to 'fight them over there' after 9/11 and you might see how this would have been a reasonable request from the Victory Gardening.  But if you'll remember, we were told to act normally, 'keep shopping' or "they" win (*act normally = whatever particular color on the terror mood ring chart they happened to dictate.  "Hmm, I felt comfortable being orange-normal at the football stadium last week. But maybe we shouldn't take the leap into red-kooky and fly to grandma's this month."). 

With Peak Oil past us and the end of oil being ever nearer - rationing gas and bringing back Victory Gardens would have seemed even more reasonable - and almost nostalgic to the point of admirable, engaging  whole  new generations of patriotism in action by doing their part.  I guess being that honest would have cost Bush and Co. (and friends) an awful lot of money on oil and agribiz stocks...not too mention all the immigrant slave labor. Well, I'm sure everyone will one day look back with pride when recalling  those precious patriotic moments worthy of Howard Zinn's storytelling legacy. All the brave things that terrorists hated most, 'super sizing' in the SUV after trips to America's biggest superstore, employer and Chinese importer, WalMart.

We sure fixed them...

Happy gardening!