The Call of the Land

Cracks in the Land

 "Our farmers and ranchers have never faced as many problems as they do today with drought, range fires, high gas prices..." - Michael McCau   

Cracks in my lawnThe land is dry and cracking across the heart of America. Drought is the natural cracker, shriveling everything up till there are gaps that demand radical shifts for underground pipes and construction footings, doubtless as well for all forms of subterranean life.  Then there are mournful, moanful cracks in the land from the massively arrogant and suicidal impulse of industrial-scale fracking in a time of profound earth changes. Foundational cracks abound on planes both inner and outer.

Each day as I open my back door and step out into the world I see this inescapably. I'm confronted with a crazy quilt pattern of cracked land where once had been a lawn. It's a troubling sight. Here at home all 93 of Nebraska's vast, sprawling counties have been declared disaster areas because of the drought. Late August now, and the forecasters say we may not get substantial rain until Halloween.

Our U.S. Midwestern drought -- impacting over 62% of the entire nation -- is having and will have  global consequences: "People in wealthy industrialized countries spend between 10 to 20 per cent of their income on food. Those in the developing world pay between 50 to 80 per cent of their income. According to Oxfam, a one per cent jump in the price of food results in 16 million more people crashing into poverty -- accelerating what global agriculture ministers call The Spiral of Hunger. 

Meanwhile, with at least one more long month of melting to go for the Arctic Sea Ice, the pace of heat-driven destruction to our North is staggering in proportion. Behold this brief composite animation. It's a must see. Just about every record has been shattered, with a month more of melting to come.

Watching the world's larger patterns unfold like this is profoundly unsettling, and can be unbalancing as well without some active, creative initiative to respond to the urgent call of the land.

Proactive response is a key element of 21st Century Agrarianism, and thousands upon thousands of people and communities are responding dynamically, helping to establish healthy new footings and foundations on the land as ballast and complement to the surging waves of digital culture. What is needed now -- in this extreme state -- is positive creative response from millions upon millions of people.

If you are among those who will no longer ignore the call of the land, then here is one place to initiate a response: to become informed, to find ways to cultivate the land to restore its health and beauty, as well to grow clean food for yourself, your family, and your community. Check out the possibilities.

Profiles in Wisdom: bestseller now an ebook

 This wise and provocative collection is highly recommended." – Library Journal 

ProfilesI’m pleased to report that Harlem Writer’s Guild has this week announced that one of my early books, the best-selling Profiles in Wisdom: Native Elders Speak About the Earth, has been converted to an eBook file format.  The new eBook version, EPUB, is becoming the standard for the eBook industry.

With the epic fires, drought and storms that have marked this summer, the publication of this work as an ebook seems all the more relevant. Many of the venerable native elders I interviewed for the book spoke of Earth Changes, as understood from their traditional teachings. And they offer much guidance on how we can respond.

In writing the book, I took my lead from John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles in Courage. Focusing on the quality and relevance of sagacity, the book Profiles in Wisdom presents the stories and thinking of 17 Native American spiritual elders. As our existing culture shifts, what do the ancient ones who have been trained in the sacred traditions of Turtle Island (North America) have to say to us? The elders offer penetrating and poetic insight on a host of crucial matters.

Profiles in Wisdom gives the elders an opportunity to relate their diverse teachings about the human relationship with the Earth. Each of the elders has a personal story, character trait, or insight that can help us get in touch with our own innate wisdom. Their teachings are in response to a series of critical questions asked of each of them: What is your personal story? What do you see happening in the world now? What do you see ahead? What specific advice do you offer to those who will listen? What have you come to know about living in balance on the Earth? How could other people apply these lessons?

Profiles in Wisdom is available for immediate download as an ebook on many web sites.

New York Times Book Review:"Profiles in Wisdom does a fine job not only of presenting the dignity, complexity, and wit of important Indian philosophers and religious leaders, but also of issuing cautions agains easy uplift and wisdom injections...There are some stirring and unexpected powers unleashed in this book."

The Washington Times, John Elvin: "Our leaders should sit and listen to the counsel Steven McFadden has gathered in this book."

Mythic Teachings of Our Land: New ebook tells the Legend of the Rainbow Warriors

lrwHere is one way of expressing America's ancient teachings in a soundbite suitable for the digital age: 'There will come a time when the Earth grows sick. When it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world who believe in peaceful deeds and not words. They will work to heal the land...they will be known as the Warriors of the Rainbow.'
Over the centuries many of the elders of the Americas have dreamed that people of all colors and faiths would come together on the land and heal the earth.
In contemplating these legends while working in the agrarian realm, I've always felt that these mythic notions are in many ways what the good-food, community-food movement is about. It's not just providing clean food so people might have strong bodies and minds, but also about right relations, and about directly involving people in healing the earth -- or otherwise inspiring them to empower ambassadors (farmers and gardeners) to touch and heal the earth on their behalf.

In the way I have learned from the elders, we do not speak of these stories as prophecies, but rather we refer to them as understandings or teachings. The stories originate from many sources, arising from a great number visionary elders of the Americas, figures such as Black Elk, Weetucks, White Buffalo Calf Woman, Quetzalcoatl, Crazy Horse, White Shell Woman, and Eyes of Fire. The understandings have been passed on through the generations to the present with meticulous care, and they continue to inspire hope, vision, and positive action among the people.

Thus, it seemed to me auspicious when earlier this week The Harlem Writers Guild announced the release of a new ebook version of one of my early works that weaves together a great many of these teachings, Legend of the Rainbow Warriors.

Legend of the Rainbow Warriors is a true, carefully researched nonfiction account of these key pluralistic myths and mysteries of the Americas. As critics have noted it's also an electrifying exploration of how those archetypal teachings are resounding through real time upon the land as we approach the signal date of December 21, 2012.

I'm pleased to add my words in echo to the publisher's announcement: Legend of the Rainbow Warriors is now available for immediate download in an array of ebook formats -- and print editions -- from either  iUniverse.com  or Amazon.com

BOOK REVIEWS
“I urge everyone...to read this small yet exceptionally powerful book.” - Odyssey Magazine

"This is one of those books...once you've read it you will wonder what you had been thinking of the world before that time. It is informative, inspirational, wise and genuinely important." - One Heart

"…McFadden offers insight and hope. Further, he speaks to the power of individuals to address the overwhelming and complex problems facing us today—locally as well as globally.” - Headline Muse

"An extraordinary book. We recommend that it be read by all college students and their professors who are concerned about future life on earth. - Cynthia Knuth, FONA

"...you will want to reread it often and keep it handy for reference... Although the prophecies were made many years ago, they ring true for those who are living in today's world." - Amazon customer
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Cornucopia Condemns Corruption: Accuses USDA of Complicity in 'Organic Watergate' Scandal

watchThe  Cornucopia Institute, a watchdog organization safeguarding organic farms and food, has charged that there is a conspiracy between corporate agribusiness interests and the USDA that is undermining the integrity of US-certified organic farms and food.

Since 1990 when the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was established, the US government has for all intents and purposes owned the word organic. With possession of that word, the government also laid claim to the trust of citizens who want food free of industrial chemicals and genetic modification. That trust has been steadily eroded, the Institute alleges, as multinational agribusiness corporations have climbed into bed with the NOSB.

Cornucopia’s white paper charges that the NOSB has been stacked with agribusiness operatives. This stacking is a steadily complicating and corrupting influence that violates the spirit of the organic movement and undermines the integrity of the organic standard.

The report underscores the need for people to step forward and restore the integrity of the organic label so that it will mean something sure, steady, clean and strengthening. The report also plants relevant seeds of doubt in the minds of consumers, and may motivate more households to secure food directly from local producers via CSAs and farmers markets and other emerging models.

Cornucopia's challenge of NOSB ethics and standards will reach a cresendo this week (May 22-25, 2012) at the meeting of the NOSB  in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

FULL DISCOLOSURE: My wife Elizabeth Wolf is an employee of The Cornucopia Institute.

Fate of the People Linked to Fate of the Land

Berry"There is in fact no distinction between the fate of the land and the fate of the people. The pillage and indifference that characterize America's treatment of its natural resources have caused incalculable, perhaps irreparable damage not only to our land, water, and air, but also to the health and stability of human society.”
Thus spoke renowned essayist, poet and farmer Wendell Berry as on April 23 he delivered the annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Where he lives in Kentucky, Berry said, it has become impossible to close one’s eyes to the consequences of systematic land abuse, because the impacts of mountaintop-removal coal mining are everywhere felt and seen.

“Corn and bean monocultures destroy the land more slowly,” he added, “but down the way, down the line, the destruction will be as complete.”

"There is a growing movement among people who do not ignore those problems, whose work is the “by now well-established effort to build or rebuild local economies, starting with economies of food, an enterprise Berry described as “both attractive and necessary.”

The movement to create and support farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture farms, and other local food economies, Berry said, is driven by “ordinary people who have seen what needed to be done and have started doing it.”

The full text of Berry's lecture is here. And an online video record of the talk is here.

The Howl of the Land

 Howl

Listening by Amy Lehr Miller

The land is well beyond calling. It's howling. Howling so loud it cannot be ignored. All over the world.

This ear-ringing reality came to the forefront today on the front page of The New York Times in a story headlined, "When the ground goes bump in the night." 

The story reports on events taking place in Clintonville, Wisconsin. "Police here have received hundreds of calls this week from citizens awakened by noises that they said seem to be coming from under the earth.

"At times," the Times reported, the nocturnal noise is "like someone banging on the pipes in the basement, while at other times it was so loud that windows rattled and the ground jolted."

“There’s something radically wrong with this earth,” Verda Shultz, 47, told the Times.

The unexplained noise in Wisconsin is just one of many such occurrences in recent news. The Huffington Post published a roundup report on several other notable cases from around the world. In that report speculation on the cause of the noise ranged from UFOs and tectonic earth shifts to HAARP and hoaxes. There is a swelling mass of webpages and  YouTube videos capturing the disturbing sounds that are being heard around the globe.

As I hear the noise -- whether it originates in the distress of the earth of the distress in human souls operating occult technology --  the call of the land has attained an extreme level. It's howling. The land -- our earth -- requires our intelligent, respectful, heartfelt and ongoing response.

As the renowned Mayan elder and Daykeeper Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez told me long ago about the ancient nature understandings about the calendar year 2012 and the general tenor of our era: "Big changes are coming in this frame of time. That's why it's important to talk now and tell people to respect Mother Earth, and to stop destroying the water, air, and mountains..."

The Whirling Rainbow Year of 2012

For an understanding of how traditional Daykeepers and native elders of North America regard our land as we move toward the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, check out my ebook, Tales of the Whirling Rainbow: Authentic Myths & Mysteries for 2012.    wrcover 

 It is a swift, powerful and penetrating look at our current era from the vantage of the wisdom traditions that have been anchored on this land for 20,000 years or more.

 Tales of the Whirling Rainbow
explores how those teachings may bear upon the present, agrarian and otherwise. ou can read this ebook on any computer, Smartphone, iPad, Nook, Kindle, or whatever — 10 different eformats.

You can read You can read this ebook on any computer, Smartphone, iPad, Nook, Kindle,  or whatever — 10 different eformats.

Here's a sample review from Amazon.com: “Tales of the Whirling Rainbow is a stunningly powerful little book. It puts the whole 2012 story in a new, more authentic, and vastly richer and more hopeful context. By seeking out the traditional keepers of medicine wisdom for our era, and having traveled the road of adventure with them, Steven McFadden has assembled a matrix of powerfully intersecting tales, all true and all with immediate relevance. I loved this amazing little ebook.”