Community Speaks

Words are slippery things – and powerful. Therefore it behooves (seldom get to use that word!) us to handle them with respect.

We must be careful to distinguish between FACT and OPINION. A “fact” you can prove, either by your own experience or by scientific method. (“evolution” is a universally held scientific theory, not a provable fact.) An “opinion” is your personal conclusion from available information (sometimes influenced by emotion!).

 And oh, yes, there is HEARSAY – somebody else’s opinion or expression of fact.  Gossip falls under this category.  We all tend to pass on the things we hear, particularly if the subject is known to the hearer,  and especially if the juicy gossip is negative – STOP.

Wait a minute. I don’t do that! You don’t do that!  Only other people do that!

When someone starts with a piece of hearsay, you can ask, “Did you witness this yourself?”  If the answer is “yes” then ask, “Will it be helpful/useful for me to know this?”  If the answer is “Yes”. THEN the story can be told.  If the answers are “No.” You could say, “I don’t listen to that sort of thing.”  Or some such statement.  

Having offered you a procedure that almost never gets used, you might want to hold it in reserve for REAL IMPORTANT MATTE

RS.  Let me give you a quicker, easier one:  Hear it and DON’T REPEAT IT!  Yes, passing on new, exciting news does get the attention of your audience and our egos love that – however, we run the risk of hurting someone else – and even ego turns from that.

Another aspect of words is their magical power.  Just think: if, when you get up in the morning and look in the bathroom mirror, you say, “OOOOhhh ,this is gonna be a really tough day.”  Or “I’m dreading this day.”  --It will be a harder day.  If you keep telling a child that she or he is clumsy, they tend to expect that from themselves. 

Positive affirmations also work this way:  chose a characteristic you want to acquire.  Write it on a paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. – Each morning look yourself in the eye and repeat the affirmation three time, speaking as if you believe it – gradually it will become part of your picture of yourself.  It works. You create the reality with your words. 

It is perhaps most important to be very careful of your written words.  They have no voice intonation, facial expressions, or body language to aid understanding. 

 I fully realize that this is a simplistic approach to the subject and welcome other opinions to ad

d to mine.  In these confusing and frequently frightening times,  we all seek clarity - and it’s hard to come by!

About the Author:

Grandmother Elspeth Odbert is the Visionary & Founder of GreenSong Incorporated and in her 90 years has become a living legend.

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Updated: Apr 22, 2020

I find myself looking at the future with a jaundiced eye. I don't care how many "Best __ of the year" lists we may see, this has been a mostly negative year. Very little has been positive, much less Best.

It does no good to place blame - the threads are too tangled. Whether we pay much attention to the MEDIA or not (I avoid as much as I can), we cannot help but observe the troubles around us: fewer song birds, more violent weather - fewer bees, more killings - hungry, desperate people trying to find a life - a government bent on creating a nation of wage slaves - a culture based on waste and greed - the list goes on.

And what are we, individually and collectively, to do? How are we to participate in this kind of world? There are no longer solutions to the many problems. It's too late. Patterns set in motion in the past will continue to work themselves out. How shall we live in this mad, bad sad world?

I have no answers to the big questions, only more questions. However, we are in a position to find ways through. These several generations on earth right now are the ones to meet the challenges of our time. Yes, you and your children and, perhaps, grandchildren, are here to change the world. We are the people we have been waiting for.

We have chosen to incarnate at this time in this world. Sounds too woo woo? Sure does. But that's the way I see it. I ask you to allow the possibility. The possibility that you are a hero. The possibility that you are the critical link between what humans have been and what humans can be. The possibility that your strength, your imagination, your deep spirituality, will create and guide our species to sanity.

Even though I am, notoriously, an optimist, I don't believe I am a Pollyanna. I know there are no easy ways through this. We will all suffer deprivation and pain. This isn't a walk in the park. But there are some mitigations.

First, don't hide your head in the sand. Have the courage to look at the worst possible scenario. What is the worst that can happen with: a) the government, b) the environment, c) climate, d) war, e) disease and starvation, etc. How far into all that will you be personally involved?

Then, begin to look at preparing for some of these eventualities. Find a way to grow your own food. That is the strongest political act you can make. You are pulling your energy out of the Machine, the mass market created by the masters-of-the-world. You say you don't have time? Make time. It's your life you are saving. You say you don't know how - learn. You don't have space? Get together with others who do. (We have both space and knowledge, need help with the work. Come out here). That's a beginning.

Gather together a group of people you can depend on, people of like mind, who are willing to work for the good of the group rather than only for themselves. Yes, we can no longer be John Wayne - we must learn to be interdependent, not only with humans, but also with the world around us, usually called “the environment.” Inaccurate phrase. You are not separate from the environment - you are part of everything. Every animal, every blade of grass, is part of who you are. We can no longer act as if we are the only valuable creation in the world.

Further out in the world - run for office in your town. Our struggling socio-political situation is almost defunct, but there are still some ways it can function. A paraphrase from someone “The way the (bad?) will win is for the (good?) to do nothing.” Find out what needs doing in your community and do it. See to the well being of your local people.

Help old ladies - and men - across the street. Throw the ball back to the kids in the park. Shovel walkways for people who are other abled. Grow sunflowers and share seeds with birds and squirrels. Get involved with Life.

I realize that these are simplistic ideas. They don't deal with what appears to be the "big issues." But you gotta start somewhere. Bloom where you are planted. You WILL make a difference. I feel that this time of tribulation will last 50 to 100 years at least. I won't be in this body that long nor will most of you. But you will put your mark on the future. You will change the world. That's what you are here for.

About the Author:

Grandmother Elspeth Odbert is the Visionary & Founder of GreenSong Incorporated and in her 90 years has become a living legend.

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Today I planted onion sets because the Moon is waning and the weather was fine. I’ve been quiet this last day or so as the effects of our political and economic peril roost outside in the limbs of the old maple.

In addition to a stock market in free-fall (like the rest of the culture), we are facing an

aggressive and successful virus which even an adequate healthcare system, a competent government and caring leadership would be hard-pressed to handle. We have none of those things and so must rely on our own humanity, our cunning, our sense of how things really work.

For longer than I care to remember, I have been writing about, teaching about and talking about the idea of “Tower Time,” something you can acquaint yourself with in the Document file that is listed on my website. At first, Cassandra-like, my co-religionists were dubious about the idea and developed different theories, adopting different names for this era that I know through intuition and meditation, through waking visions and nightmares.

In 2018, Smith Bridge Press published “Earth Works: Ceremonies in Tower Time”—in which I explored what we could do if we prepared and relocalized everything possible. The back half of the book is filled with templates for ceremonies and rituals.

My classes went from an introduction to the idea to a class called “Tower Time: Now What?” and then “Under the Tower: the Ethos of Community.” Groups have come up with brilliant ideas for relocalizing, for feeding people, for thriving in resilient communities.

For several years now—since Katrina—I have been reminding us that in a natural (or otherwise) disaster, the people on the ground—the victims—are also the first responders, so it is well to consider how we prepare, how we think about a world without the sign posts we’ve come to rely on.

Repeatedly, ad nauseum, I and others have invited our communities to engage the energy, to still your fears, to find strength and solace in your spiritual life, in the soil of our dear Earth and in regular communion with your Divines (if you are a deist) and your Ancestors. You have been told to ground yourselves, to raise your energetic shields and to try not to be afraid because these are the times we were made for. Over and over again.

So here we are. You may still have quibbles about how I have named this time, you may still think it’s slightly silly to talk about a tarot card encompassing this phase in human history. You may be one of the people who posit that every generation thinks it’s the end of the world.

These times will either be the making of us as a species and particularly as Americans living in this experimental democratic republic the Founders cobbled together for us—or we will be altogether broken. We see it every day now on social media, on city streets, at the grocery store. If you have been doing your work, you are probably not panicking but are being careful and observant. You will now perfect your techniques, especially around boundaries and self-compassion. If you have buried your head in the sand and avoided thinking about anything “negative” that might wreak havoc with your “high vibe,” I wish you luck.

And if you are somewhere betwixt those things and are floundering because you have school or other debt, or ill health while living in a crappy healthcare system, or a broken heart for any of the grieves of your personal or tribal world, then you must drop what you reasonably can and focus like a laser on what you, your family and your community may need in this Tower Time. Stay in communication with those people who understand what’s happening and are both visionary and rational. Don’t panic. Take no shit. Grieve globally and work locally.

The Towers of patriarchy are falling and we must be creating this new world now so that we don’t fall back into the deadly efficiency of hierarchy and lose this vital moment. Because you don’t counter a culture of death by wreaking more havoc. You counter it by remembering that we thrive best in cultures that honor the power of the life force and the richness of human existence and experience. These are the times we were made for.

Which I (and others) have been saying for rather a long time.

Can you hear me now?

About the Author:

Byron Ballard is a Dilettante mediaevalist. Hunter-gatherer, Cove doctor and yarb woman, a published author of multiple books, as well as respected Elder in the Asheville, NC community.

Find her at

and on

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