On February 9, I will be presenting “Ritual Abuse 101: Recognizing and Treating Survivors” at An Infinite Mind’s conference in Orlando, Florida. Therapists, survivors (including those who are wondering if they have a ritual abuse or government mind control background and support people are all welcome.
I thought I would share some photos from the Alaska trip. I’m still high from the experience, and the photos are really quite wonderful. I hope you enjoy them!
First, a poem that really captures the culture of people living in Alaska. Everybody values self-sufficiency and everybody has each others’ backs.
we are fish people, wood people, the people’s people
we are speak up, speak over the river people
steady ship, meandering beach, mountain peak people.
we have to see it for ourselves kind of people.
we are fixer upper, do it or it doesn’t get done people.
we sing at church, we kiss our wives, we carve with our door open we wear suits, we wear boots, we are spring clean saturday people. we are strange but we are no strangers.
happy nalukataq! bingo! amen!
we share our wins, we celebrate.
tree shakers, promise makers
we are believers
at any moment we are
the grandparents and grandchildren of greatness
genius and luck, noble and gathered
we are wayfinding people.
trace the edge of your mother and it will lead you
to a coast. who could truly tell where
you or I begin
or where any of our legends end?
is not a direction, it’s a bond.
we turn towards each other
— Christy NaMee Eriksen
People dress in layers in thirty degree below zero weather. Five or six layers aren’t uncommon – it’s the air between the clothes that supplies insulation. Puffy jackets and snow pants have lots of little pockets of air between the material that makes up the filling. Some people wear goggles to protect their eyes. It’s still damn cold.
Here are some things we saw on the way to Coldfoot Camp
This was as high as the sun got!
Winter water from the air. The white spaces are ice that has formed over rivers and ponds.
The infamous outhouse.
View from my bedroom. That ice is on the inside of the window!
Now on to the Northern Lights themselves, the star of the show.
This is what they were like on the night we saw them. They are never the same, so if we had come a week earlier or a week later it would have been quite different. There was no moon and there was no ambient light from the cabins. I have not seen so many stars for decades, perhaps ever!
Here’s an idea of what the camera can see when it gathers light for 10 minutes. A person can’t see anything, or sees just enough to wonder if it is wishful thinking or not.
Suddenly, green light appeared to rise from the horizon all around us. It was bright enough to obscure the stars.
It intensified and spread across the sky. Here the light is more diffuse, and the stars peek through.
And right above our heads, a swirl appeared, as if an invisible hand were finger-painting. It moved slowly and spread to the right.
After about ten minutes, the lights faded and we were back to the dark, star-filled sky. I wish the photos were larger so that you could see the more than a few stars.
It was magic to have the body so cold it wanted to run right back into the cabin, and the spirit so entranced it wanted to stare at the sky forever.
1/20 St. Agnes’ Eve
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
2/8 Full moon
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/25 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/26 Ash Wednesday
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/9 Full moon
3/13 Friday the Thirteenth
3/17 Spring Equinox
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/10 Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat (celebration of spring)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes.)