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Why is everybody laughing?
-- David Thrussell of Snog, at the DNA Lounge
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For the first time in years, we rang in the New Year at a psytrance party in SF — Tribal Convergence at the Gingerbread House! Michael Liu, Witchdokta, and the Mendo Organized Chaos crew had done a great job putting the party together, and the place looked amazing. We found a cab with no problem (just say no to surge pricing and exploitative business models!) and got there just as Galactic Illumination started their set …
I had been in a reflective mood for the last few weeks, spending lots of time with tarot cards. And fortunately there was decent cellphone reception at the Gingerbread House, so my online tarot journal on TapestryMaker (the social network/community software I’ve been developing) was right there there at my fingertips. So as I enjoyed the vibe, I looked back over these recent readings and reflected some more …
Happy New Year! We had a great New Year's Eve at Tribal Convergence; more about that soon. And now it's New Year's Day, a great time to start setting the rhythm for the year. I did a lot of work in December reflecting on my goals and priorities and what kind of life I want. One thing that really came out for me was wanting to integrate tarot more deeply into my life ... no time like the present!( Read more... )
Oh my, so much to catch up on since my last public journal entry: Solstice readings, including Lisa de St. Croix's excellent Visual Journaling; full moon readings late on Christmas Eve after a big holiday party; and then the Fortune Circle Holiday Party! And as I start my period of reflection on 2015, I'm going to work backwards, so to speak; which means that the Harvest Tree readings at the Holiday Party are the first ones I'll be journaling about.
The Fortune Circle work I've been doing with James Wanless and about a dozen intrepid Fortune Seekers has certainly been one of the highlights of these last few months. Our get-togethers usually include James talking about one of the Gold You Rules, splitting into breakout sessions for discussions, a guided meditation, and then picking cards that match the topic of the night. The holiday party had a slightly different format, picking multiple cards and describing a spread for people to do their own Harvest Tree reading. One interesting thing about the Fortune Circles is that they're pseudonymous; Monday night, it was me, Morpheus, Azeri, the Queen of Wands, Dragon, and the Fortune Maker.( Read on for more... )
This is a tarot spread I created for anyone who relates to what I’ve been saying – about losing touch with earth, about knowing there’s something inside that wants so badly to come out, about missing their creative selves, about just feeling goddamn lost right now.
-- Beth Maiden, Creativity, courage, commitment: a tarot spread for the new moon on Little Red Tarot
It's true, I do miss my creative self. It's been years since I've written poetry or fiction or worked on e-luminatus or journaled about psytrance. Sure, I've been creative in other ways, but for quite a while I've felt a gap. And it does feel like there's something inside me that wants to get out, so while I wouldn't say I'm feeling lost, this spread still seemed like a great choice for the December new moon. It worked out even better than I had hoped.
One thing I came away with: one good way to get more in touch with my creative side is by doing more writing. This is something that's completely within my power. I can see it, feel it, believe it ... so, time to do it!
Writing about Beth's spread and my new moon readings seems like a good place to start.
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First, we have to convince our own governments that when they mandate snoopy back-doors and kill-switches in social media, they give that capacity to dictators, too.
Secondly, we have to make the connection between copyright enforcement surveillance and global justice struggles, by explaining as often as necessary that you can't make a system that prevents spying by secret police and allows spying by media giants.
And finally, we have to convince these businesses that it is in their interests to make the architectural changes that protect their users from arbitrary detention, torture and murder when they make the unplanned transition from cute cats to impromptu atrocity videographer.
That's 2012, then, and several of the years that will follow. Let's get busy.
2011 wasn’t the year I expected it to be. But while it’s easy (and depressing) to look at what didn’t happen, one of my resolutions was to take a more asset-based thinking approach to life. If I look at what I — and we — accomplished this year, it’s pretty impressive.
In keeping with the goal I overachieved on the most in 2011 ("spend more time with family and friends"), we decided to spend a quiet New Years Eve at home hanging out with a few people … most of whom got sick and cancelled. So it was a very low-key wrap-up to 2011 and start to 2012, quite a contrast to the last couple years.
Which seems like a good thing to me.
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The rest of the weekend was sunny in SF. We took it easy on Saturday, and I spent Sunday hanging out in Dolores park with a friend. Life is good.
Monday morning, it was on the train to DC. Well, more accurately, the train to Chicago, which got there eight hours late. So we missed our connection. So we wound up on an overnight thirteen-hour bus ride to DC. Fun! Well no, not actually. But still, we made it; and BORDC's board retreat (the main reason we were there) was excellent. From there it was on to Charleston to see my Mom; very weird not celebrating Halloween, but it was great to see her. And then back to SF again, and finally home to Seattle. After sleeping at four different hotels, three residences, the train, and the bus (or at least trying to, on a 14-hour overnight trip from Chicago to DC) ... can I just say how good it is to be home?
Wednesday evening, when we finally got back here, I dropped by the Atrium. They had been closed for a few days after their Halloween weekend blow-out, and it was fairly low-key, but it was great to be back. Friday night was a stompy darkwave set by DJ Anomaly, and then last night was Transition II.
Of course The Atrium's nowhere as big as Barneveld, but even with a small crowd the vibe is amazing. It was looking partcularly trippy Friday night, with some new UV-active Cyberdog artifacts and gorgeous flowers. And the light makes everybody look good!
no! its not a secret forbidden world that only a few fortunate transgressive people can/must participate in. it's all of that but it is also a world anybody can enter.... and so its all about how you want the fantasies to be.
-- Can Fantasy Stand Against Hegemony?, 2003
Over a lunch at Samover in SF earlier in the week, I was talking with a friend about how the magic that happens when a psytrance party goes well -- and how to get more of that magic in our day-to-day lives. Saturday night I was thinking about her and all the wonderful times we've had together, and looking forward to the next time we go out. After I while I let my mind turn off, enjoyed the music and the vibe, and danced with D. It was another great night. Plenty of magic.
I heart psytrance.
It was a great vacation: SF, Edinburgh, London, SF again ... good times with friends and on our own, by train, automobile, and yes even plane -- without going through a single body scanner. w00t! The next few months will be pretty hectic but I'm feeling recharged after the trip.
We drove up from SF and got back to Seattle on Wednesday afternoon. There was an early show with a "special suprise guest" at The Atrium, and when we dropped by who should we find but DJ Anomaly, back from her European mini-tour, playing an unannounced set at "Welcome Home". How cool is that?
We bopped for a while, had a glass of wine, and were home before 11. I heart psytrance.
PS: the tweet at the top has nothing to do with the rest of the story, I just liked it
What would you like to introduce to your life?
Introduce no more than one or two rituals at a time
and make sure they become habitual before you introduce new ones.
"Incremental change is better than ambitious failure.
Success feeds on itself."
-- Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier, p. 9-10
It's been a mighty relaxing ten days. My break wasn't quite complete: I used Twitter, Facebook, and email a few times each to arrange logistics, and spent a couple of hours reading blogs one night to see what was going on in the world. Even so, it was a dramatically different rhythm. Which makes it a great opportunity to rethink how I'm engaging with social media.
As a first step, last night and this morning, I checked the places I usually hang out. Have I mentioned recently how much I like social networks? Usually I don't hit all of them in order, so it was interesting to compare-and-contrast. ( Read more... )
They're how I follow the news, get different perspectives, stay in touch with friends -- and make new ones. When people complain that online connections are just a poor substitute for "real life", I just shake my head and tell them they're doing it wrong. And as I've argued passionately in Cognitive evolution and revolution, The future of civil liberties, A grassroots social network activist's perspective, and Freedom not fear, combining social network and real world activism is a great opportunity to regain our rights online and off.
But there are downsides as well. Facebook constantly changing its interface and finding new ways to violate my privacy, the arrogance and elitism of the guys running Google+ and their evil naming policy (along the incessant circling over the last few days), Diaspora*'s inability to edit posts or block obnoxious people … and the time I spend checking FB, G+, D*, Twitter, Quora, Dreamwidth, tribe.net, free-association and elsewhere.
So it's time for a break from social networks.
See you in a week or two!
In the aftermath of my events on Sept. 11, 2011, I feel violated, humiliated and sure that I was taken from the plane simply because of my appearance. Though I never left my seat, spoke to anyone on the flight or tinkered with any “suspicious” device, I was forced into a situation where I was stripped of my freedom and liberty that so many of my fellow Americans purport are the foundations of this country and should be protected at any cost….
This country has operated for the last 10 years through fear. We’ve been a country at war and going bankrupt for much of this time. What is the next step?
-- Shoshana Hebshi, Some real Shock and Awe: Racially profiled and cuffed in Detroit, Tales from the Heartland
The F-16 fighters that had shadowed the plane before it landed in Detroit and the SWAT team that dragged Shoshanna and her two Indian seatmates from their seats was responding to the crew's report that … somebody had been spending too long in the bathroom. On the same day, F-16s also scrambled for another flight where … three people made repeated trips to the bathroom. WTF?
Following a catastrophic national event, such as 9/11 in the United States, conditions are anything but ordinary. The people are traumatized, they long for someone to make them feel secure, and an ancient paranoia switch is once again waiting to snap on. Under these conditions, fear mongers thrive. Their characteristics are so hand in glove with the trauma reaction of the population that their identifying behaviors are scarcely "seen" at all. In short, after we have been thoroughly traumatized, we cannot see the devil.
-- Martha Stout, The Paranoia Switch
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I'm also checking out Diaspora. If you're over there, please say hi!
5 things I enjoy:
1. hanging with D
2. walking in the park
3. social network activism
5. dancing to psytrance and/or darkwave music
Reflecting on this today walking through the park, I realized that there's also one thing I enjoy a lot that I'm not getting anywhere near enough of: hanging out with my friends. Hmm, so as always there's room for improvement. But still.
Five out of six ain't bad :-)