The Karma of Wasps

©2012 Cynthia Rudzis 

The Karma of Wasps
by Patricia Snodgrass, artwork by Cynthia Rudzis 

It was early April when Beverly Martin noticed the polistes wasp queen building her nest high in the pitch of the front porch roof. It was just a small daub of paper carefully smeared along the rafters, but Beverly knew that soon the young queen would lay her first clutch of eggs in the cells she was busy constructing.

Don, Beverly’s husband, was uneasy about allowing a wasp to build her nest there, but Beverly reassured him. “This species isn’t very aggressive,” she told him. “And she’s high up enough in the rafters as not to be a bother. Polistas are quite beneficial, especially when it comes to your garden. They’ll take care of the cabbage loopers and corn bores that you complain about. Besides, if you tear it down, she’ll just rebuild it, and then she really will be irate.”

“They won’t bother your bees?” He asked, frowning up at the queen.

“No, they’re not like yellow jackets and won’t invade the apiary.”

“All right,” he conceded, “but the first time I’m stung, she and her kin are outta here.”

“Fair enough,” Beverly responded as she noted the queen’s progress in her logbook. “If they become a nuisance, we can put up fly strips around the hive. It’s best to do it after sundown when they’re dormant. That way we can get rid of them without starting a war.”

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I Am the Mountain Walking

©2012 Bodie Parkhurst 

I Am the Mountain Walking
by Dr. Douglas Ezzy, artwork by Bodie Parkhurst

Mountains do not walk. Not in the sense that most people think of humans walking. But that is precisely the point. If you assume that only humans are truly alive, that only humans are active, that only humans think, feel, and have emotions and hopes, then the rest of the world looks lifeless. But what if not only dolphins, whales, and chimpanzees, but also trees, orchids, creeks, rocks, rivers, and even mountains were alive? What if they were “people” with purposes, activities, and “spirit,” just the same as humans?

Or, to put it differently, what if I am not only human, but also part of the mountain, and the mountain is part of me? From that perspective, mountains do indeed walk. When I walk, the mountain also walks, because the mountain is part of me. I am the mountain walking.

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Selfportrait VIII: Introspection

Selfportrait VIII:  
by Hans-Joachim Roedelius
Horizon Music


Horizon Music publishes a selection of music similar to New Age/easy listening/techno material but with more character. This is not just another album full of earcandy; Introspection is dedicated to the victims of terrorism, wars, and other battles in the world.

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Songs of Naka Peida

Songs of Naka Peida
by Peggy Green
The Orchard


I can’t stress enough how much I love this CD.

It just brings so many beautiful images to mind along with the liquid gentleness in the guitar’s voice. The lazy movement of chords reminds me of a cross between Folk and Blues, with the added touch of silvery snow that Green’s solo playing conveys.

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Where is Gaia, when we need Her most?

Where is Gaia When We Need Her Most?

Where is Gaia,
when we need Her most?
A guest editorial by Kenaz Filan.

At 6:10 a.m. CDT on August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast. By 11:00 a.m. several of the levees which separate New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain had been breached. The birthplace of Dixieland Jazz, Mardi Gras, and New Orleans Vodou soon lay submerged beneath a stinking cocktail of brackish water, raw sewage, and petro-chemicals. People asked “where were the lwa? How could they let something like this happen to their city?


any theological issues deal with nebulous abstractions, but the question of suffering is always direct and straightforward. We cannot help but be concerned about homeless children, about shattered families, about old people dying of exposure and young women raped by roving gangs of thugs.

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina throws the question of suffering in our face. Few cities rivaled New Orleans for its concentration of Witches, magicians, sorcerers, rootworkers, and other Spiritually Aware Folks. It has long been known as the Vodou Capital of America: if any city in the United States was home to the lwa and the spirits, it was New Orleans. And yet all of that magical power was not enough to turn away a hurricane or to hold the levees in place. What does Hurricane Katrina tell us about our magic, or about the spirits we serve and the gods we honor? These are not easy questions, but they demand an answer nonetheless.

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