Byron Ballard keeps trying to tell people that we are now living in Tower Times — as in the Tarot card. For a few years, it’s felt to me as if the veils between the worlds are growing increasingly, thin, worn, I don’t know . . . tattered, maybe. The way a curtain gets when it’s been whipped back and forth and forth and back so often by the wind that the curtain begins to thin, to frey, to become transparent. The veils never seem to really close up again after Samhein and each time there’s a bigger gap left.
I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Maybe our ancestors know they’re going to need more ready access to us as we charge, willy-nilly (will-we-or-nil-we) into the Holocene extinction. Or maybe the land wights are ripping the veils open to get the Hel out of Dodge while there’s still time.
What I do know is that we need to ground. We need to know ourselves in all our parts. We need to be in relationship with our landbase, watershed, foodshed, local community. We need to get ourselves as healthy and fit as we can. We need to learn survival skills, all the way from how to organize an angry group, to how to sew up clean wounds, to how to save seeds, to how to write poetry and dance, to how to program, to how to unvravel old sweaters and knit blankets out of the threads, to how to make solar panels and windmills, to how to do soul retrieval. We need to learn how to hex and how to heal.
We are, each of us, the modern-day result of generations, and generations, and generations untold of survivors. We can call on that.
Each of us is here because we come from an ancient line of survivors, our DNA stretching all the way back to Africa. We come from ancestors who survived Ice Ages, who survived slavery, who survived retreating glaciers, who survived Rome, who survived the Dark Ages and the cutting down of Europe’s forests and acorn parks, who survived the Burning Times, who survived the Long Passage, who survived indenture, who survived famine, who survived smallpox-infested blankets, who survived childbed fever, who survived the trip out West in Conestoga wagons, who survived the African diaspora, who survived driving railroad stakes day in and day out, who survived World War I and mustard gas, who survived the Depression and the dustbowl, who survived World War II and Fat Boy, who survived Selma, who survived Kent State, who survived . . . .
And, as the song says, I refuse to be hopeless because to be hopeless would dishonor those who’ve gone before us.
So lift me up, to the light of change, to the Tower Times, to this difficult time to be alive.
I won’t be gone long; you come, too.