Calling on the power of fire…not firepower!

Between the pandemic, the climate crisis, and now a frightening war, it seems that we are witnessing a world on fire. It has me thinking: what is the message of Fire? 

In a word, transformation. 

Fire is a catalyst that can purify, cauterize and heal, as well as utterly destroy.

We are watching the destructive might of firepower as the war in Ukraine is livestreamed into our homes in a horrifyingly intimate way, making the urgency of this moment almost impossible to ignore. 

Throwing billions of dollars’ worth of weapons onto the pyre of war is just staying stuck in the same old cycle that has fueled the military industrial complex for so many years.

The war, like the raging fever of the planet, can only be stopped through a deep inner transformation of the human psyche, a firing up of our collective imagination in service to a better vision of the world that could be. 

First, it’s necessary to recognize our own complicity in the social dream that led to the current state of the world. We have to see how we have allowed ourselves to contribute to, and benefit from, the Empire that fossil fuels built. 

Having come to this reckoning, we can spark our own passionate desire to bring a better world into being through the revolutionary fervor that reminds us that the word LOVE is hidden at the heart of the word REVOLUTION. 

It is time to stop wasting our resources on blowing things up. Time to stand down from armed confrontation, and turn our prodigious human technological abilities to inventions that serve life, rather than destroy it. 

Young men should be working together to solve the problems that confront us in the 21st century, not trying to destroy each other’s homes and families with ever more powerful and precise firepower. 

I am sick at heart over the tremendous waste of life and destruction of human endeavor that plays out in war. What can I do, as I sit grief-stricken and horrified on the sidelines?

One thing I can do is to focus my inner attention on the dream of a better world. I can murmur my heartfelt desires in an unceasing mantra of peace, a flowing river of loving intentions. I can hold my inner light strong against the darkness of greed and hatred, insisting that in my own psychic landscape, at least, generosity and open-heartedness will reign. 

This, what some might call the power of prayer, is a strong force that becomes even more powerful when practiced collectively. 

Great walls come tumbling down, ocean waters part, angels descend, when human beings open themselves to become channels for the pure positive energy of the Life Force that pulses in every energetic and material nuance of this planet. 

I call on Fire to burn away my fear, inertia and resistance to change.

I call on Fire to ignite the Revolution of Love so deeply needed now on our planet.

I call on Fire to kindle the beacons lying dormant in every human heart.

From one heart to another, let the fires spring to light! Let our passion for preserving and nurturing Life guide us in making the right choices in these tumultuous times. 

Namaste, I say: the light in me greets the light in you. And may the light that we generate together illuminate a brighter dawn!

Dawn. Photo by J. Browdy

This International Women’s Day, Gaia is calling on us to imagine–and then create–a better world

For many years, I observed International Women’s Day by organizing a major conference and the multi-event Berkshire Festival of Women Writers in western Massachusetts.

For the past few years, the energy I used to devote to those big public events has been redirected to the quieter, but no less important work of Green Fire Press and my author coaching and writing workshops, in which I encourage and guide writers to send their voices and visions powerfully out into the world. 

This spring, Green Fire Press will launch two new titles, The Radiant Heart of the Cosmos, by retired Mount Holyoke professor and dean Penny Gill; and a greatly expanded second edition of Nature, Culture & the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership, by Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons. Both of these books—by wise, courageous, pathbreaking women writers—offer so much good guidance for how to live strongly in the dangerous, fragmented world of the 21st century. 

My own latest book, Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, was just named the winner in the “Writing & Publishing” category of the international Independent Press Award contest, in recognition of the guidance it offers for memoirists who seek to share their life stories as potent good medicine for others. 

As a college teacher, too, I do my small part to bring positive energy and engagement to my students, whether we are studying Mary Shelley’s weirdly prescient tale of Frankenstein or working on crafting writing and speeches that offer positive visions of the better world that could be. 

This year I am participating in a global Teach-in on Climate Justice organized by Bard College, offering a short online workshop on March 31—free and open to the public—on  the importance of our creative imaginations for building bridges to the future we want to live into. 

This International Women’s Day, here’s what I know for sure: All change starts first in our own oh-so-potent imaginations. 

Can we imagine a world where gender—and skin tone, for that matter—is as relevant to a person’s rights as eye color? 

Can we imagine a world where people have the freedom to choose to follow their gifts and their calling, no matter the body they were born into; no matter their nationality, ethnicity, religion or place of birth?

Can we imagine a world in which cultural diversity is celebrated, rather than used to foment divisions?

Can we imagine, and then create a world in which all of the energy, creativity and wealth that currently goes into the invention, manufacture and discharge of weapons flowed instead into devising technologies and social structures that help us live in harmony with each other and the Earth? 

We urgently need to reimagine ourselves as Gaians, created of earth and stardust, microbes and water, animated by the Sun and totally interdependent with all other life forms on the planet, for whom we humans have a special responsibility of care. 

If there was ever a moment when the Divine Feminine was needed in our imaginations, to nourish and cultivate our individual and collective capacity to give birth to a better world…now is that time. 

In the quiet hours of dawn and dusk I can hear Her calling to us in many languages, including the wordless communications of wind and water.

Mother Gaia in one of her many forms. Photo by J. Browdy

She dances through our imaginations in all the human forms she has ever assumed: Isis, Inanna, Madonna, Sky Woman, Tonantzin, Kwan Yin, Tara, Kali, Durga, and so many more. 

Notice that in the Greek and Norse traditions, which have powerfully informed the Euro-American imaginations these last few thousand years, there are no female-bodied goddesses who stand alone in their power. Hera is not the equal of Zeus, nor is Freya the equal of Thor. 

It is time for a new Gaian mythology to take root in our imaginations, one in which the gods and goddesses are not only equal, but united in their focus on bringing love, harmony and fruitful flourishing to the entire Earth community. 

This International Women’s Day, I dedicate myself anew to the task of creating the Androgynocene, an epoch of balance and peace on Earth—one book, one class, one person at a time.

Join me?

Sunflower of Love, by Jennifer Browdy, 2022
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