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Under the Tower: a new Tower Time


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 http://www.myvillagewitch.com/

and on Facebook.com/byron.ballard.37

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