Meeting the Times November 9 2016

Yesterday, two experiences early in the day assured me of the existence of spirit. Then I was, as are many of us, mystified, stunned and fearful as the unimaginable came closer. Donald Trump was elected president. For some the world shattered.

I have to ask: What are we called to at this moment?

Let me say what I must directly. We are stricken. We don’t know what is coming toward us, what we will be called to meet. And we don’t know what to do or how to do it.

I am thinking about the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Despite adversity, they have created a village. It formed on behalf of endangered and violated Water and on behalf of sacred land and the ancestors. The elders created protocols for entering the culture of Standing Rock:

“Ceremony and prayer are the bedrock of Indigenous peoples’ connection to land and water and are central in protecting them. Actions are ceremony and along with meetings, usually begin with prayer.”

A small group of us will join those at Standing Rock from 11/29 to 12/2. It is more important than ever to stand there on behalf of Water.

There are sacred circles of standing stones across the globe.  Dan Berrigan spoke wisely in the midst of the Vietnam war: “Just don’t do something, stand there.”

Several people met at my house on election night. No one should be alone tonight, we said.  We agreed that rather than watching the returns constantly, we would spend the night in silence, prayer and council. We invited spirit, we passed a prayer pipe several times; we listened deeply.

A core question repeated itself: How do we meet this moment?

For myself, there is a clear call to divest myself from all the systems in which I am / we are embedded that have led to these dire circumstances. Even as they will beckon more powerfully, so determinedly must I refuse them. I am aware of a similar need to disentangle from Western and colonial mind that have brought us to this brink.

Watching a tsunami of fear and analysis which is reifying the divisions and the danger, I will not declare war or name enemies.  i want to walk the No Enemy Way.

It is a time for living the medicine without compromise or accommodation. We are being called to lives of exquisite integrity.

Let us try not to be self-righteous; let’s try to be courageous.

In the darkest times, we have seen people abandon each other out of fear and to serve power. We saw it in this election. Let us try not to be like them.  In the darkest times, we have seen people join with and sustain each other.  Let us be those people.

We are being called, once again, to meet what we must.  Perhaps this is not just a spiritual opportunity but a spiritual demand.

In our circle last night, simple ways repeated themselves:

Invite spirit.  Listen deeply.

Move with heart and prayer.

Bear witness.

Create, confirm and sustain community.

Stand in communion and community with each other, with all others. Stand in the community of all beings. The 19 Ways became increasingly relevant:

Protect the Mother, Earth, as the primary, daily, on-going activity.


Last night we consulted the I Ching. Question: How do we meet this time?

Hexagram 50. The Vessel. (No changing lines):

Ding is a ritual vessel that signifies connection with the spirit world and the ancestors. It is divination… submitting questions to the oracle, as well as the right moment to act. …It offers nourishment to the warriors and sags and the sage-mind in all of us brightening the eye and ear. It suggests a mandate, a fate conferred by heave that is also a duty or responsibility. It means becoming a true and responsible individual.

1972, I marched with thousands of people in Santiago, Chile, in support of President Allende and the Unidad Popular. One year later, I was in Cuba on 9/11/73 when the brutal golpe in Chile occurred. For the next years, I recited the names of those I had met in Chile as if saying a rosary to protect them. (It was not all I did on behalf of Chile to end the horrific violence. I was devoted.) Whether coincidence, magic or the power of prayer, those whose names I said, were not killed by those who were torturing and murdering.

Today we are putting all the names into the circle. We call you into the circle. Let us stand with and love each other and the Earth very well.

Mitakye oyasin, all our relations.


14 responses to “Meeting the Times November 9 2016

  1. maiabythesea November 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Strcken. Grateful. Water is Life.

  2. Kate Noonan November 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you. I needed this very much.
    Love you.

  3. philahoopes2015 November 9, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Much love to you, Deena. Thank you for this.

    I was receiving similar guidance last night….as were many others; it seems the ancestors, angels, Spirit were all broadcasting on many channels…


  4. Marnie November 9, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I am part of that circle. Thanks for the reminder. I need inclusion. Have felt the recoil of violence in my heart today, the memory of fear of the burning cross in our yard at age 5. It is dissipating, thanks in part to this, and the many conversations with loving friends.

  5. Howie Wiseman November 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Kristallnacht tonight reminds us of a terrible night in 1938 known as the “night of glass” because of the Jewish store windows and offices which were smashed and destroyed and books burned. 100 Jews were murdered that night. It was a grace note to the holocaust. My friend Margaret, gone now, a powerful and delightful figure in many people’s lives, then a little girl, came home, located across from the Nazi party headquarters, to find all her family’s glass light fixtures shattered on the floor. It was shocking to her, and In the ensuing weeks her parents shipped her off to England on the kindertransport. She never saw them again. She never forgot the image of the broken glass. Something has been broken these past months in America, though ironically not yet the glass ceiling. I’ll think of Margaret tonight and of glass. I also see water which must continue to flow in North Dakota, glass and water, hard and soft, elements we can see through to get to what lies beyond each.

  6. Deena Metzger November 9, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Yes, Marnie, you are certainly part of this circle. Perhaps you want to come to Called Together in Canton CT April 21-23.
    There is a strong east coast circle that has been gathering for several years. Love to you, Deena

  7. maiabythesea November 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Tonight my daughter and I had a long healing conversation around many things, including the election. We started in deep grief and ended in laughter and communion. One of the many things we talked about was birds. We independently had the strange experience on election day of no birds appearing where they had always been appearing every morning. Also sightings of unusual birds. Her feeling was that they sensed a peak of painful and perhaps dangerous energy, which has now been consolidated…at least temporarily. She remarked that it WAS an earthquake, but not in the physical. Today a few crows came but the doves and most small birds were still absent. There was an intense sense of connection between the crows and I. Very quiet, all in gesture, looking and small voicings. Wonderful My daughter and I agreed that we felt much stronger after this long talk. We all need to have more extended and deep conversations! May we heal through each other and all our relations.

    PS: As I write this (literally!) “my” frog friend who lives near the waterdish on the porch began his rusty song… We’re still here! We’re still here!!

  8. Illana November 9, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you Deena. I am part of this circle and I too name the nameless to be protected by our love and our heart.

  9. Laurie Markoff November 10, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Dear Deena and those of the Topanga community,
    We here in Massachusetts stand with you in this way. Some of us met in Council on the Sunday before the election. We talked of what sustained us in such times…even before we knew exactly what was coming. I was thinking of the Native peoples, how they have, to the best of their ability, preserved their values and culture over so many years, despite living in the middle of a culture that denigrated their ways and destroyed their lands. I am trying to learn from them.
    Yesterday I reached out to the co-workers in my workplace who were feeling vulnerable and afraid: sexual abuse survivors, young people, parents of young children, immigrants and people of color. I listened to their experiences and fears. And I promised to support them in the coming days. I promised that we would not be like Nazi Germany, letting people be scapegoated because of our fear, but would be allies and stand with them.
    This coming Tuesday I will join with Native Americans and others in support of those at Standing Rock. We will protest at the Army Core of Engineers in Concord, MA. We will stand with the Native Peoples, the water and the earth. Whoever is President, it is time that we insisted that decisions be made that privilege the earth above greed. And yes, this means we will have to change the way we live and even the way
    we think.
    I am still wondering how to reach out to those whose fear for their own survival and anger at not being heard led to this election-day result. What have we been ignoring and not hearing and what needs have we not been addressing that has led to this? I want to bring those people into the circle too. Meanwhile, I pray for them.
    Perhaps these times are meant to galvanize us, to make us dig deep down and strengthen the best in ourselves, and act in accordance with our deepest spiritual knowing. Perhaps that is our mandate, our fate, our duty and our responsibility.
    Sending love and prayers,
    Laurie Markoff

  10. suzanna2015 November 10, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Once again, Deena, you remind us deeply of our call to circle, communion and commitment.

  11. Connie R Meester November 10, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Deena- Dear One! Thank you! Connie

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. Lucile Lansing November 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Stand with them and include me.
    Lucile Lansing

  13. Carrie Dinow November 10, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I love you Deena. And I miss you. Thank you for your beautiful writing, and for the way your voice lives inside my being. Offerings of love, insight, and change.

  14. Marcelle Moran McGovern February 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I join with you in dreamingAwake a world of harmonious co-creation, deep listening, honoring of indigenous wisdom, creative pro-active visioning, and intuitive musings that bring us all into greater balance with our Mother Gaia and all the elements and living beings who share this beautiful blessed planet–Let it be so!

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