Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a Father's Moon holiday if there ever was one. I've recently found myself describing the energies of this time of year as the hot, dry, aggressive, shooting, yang energies of All That is Manly and Good in the World. If that doesn't describe this quintessential American holiday then I just don't know what does.
  • Reasons I'm proud to be an American: The Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the transcontinental railroad and the Eisenhower interstate system, jumbo jets and the Gemini Moon missions. We are a people who rise to a challenge and are proud of our successes.

These masculine energies (I almost prefer "yang" to "masculine" because it allows the concept to be separate from maleness. Humans of any sex or gender encompass both yin and yang energies in their beings) have gotten a bad rap in the recent years, but they are essential to meeting our true potential as an individual or a society. These are the energies that instigate building, planting, and harvesting. These energies incite young adults to strike out on their own and communities to revolt against unjust rulers. They are the impetus for contests and challenges of all kinds as well as the acts of culling and decision making. In fact, most of the things we Americans have to be most proud of are born out of masculine, yang, Father Moon energies.

  • Reasons I'm proud to be an American: Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and all the black, white, young and old people who used non violent resistence to break the back of opressive segregation in our country.

The American Fourth of July holiday celebrates all these energies as we Americans express them so essentially. Our country was born out of a belief that we can live life on our own terms as individuals and as communities. Our Founding Fathers were wise men who worked hard to craft governing documents by culling and winnowing words and ideas until only the most important were left in. Despite the repercussions that we can see so clearly from this side of history, the expansion of our territory across the continent was driven by people who were willing to take chances to be free from oppression and the constriction of "society." The great American fortunes were built by men who took chances and built companies, factories and industries to harness the great natural resources of our land. As the pioneers saw it grass is just grass, but a cattle ranch or a farm is money in the bank and a chance to live in freedom.

  • Reasons I'm proud to be an American: The native people of this land who, despite centuries of explicit attempts to annhilate them, are still here, still living and still succeeding in adding their voice to our American story.

Last summer I wrote that the Father Moon energies might just be the root of all the evil our culture has wrecked upon this earth. Expanding, conquering and controlling energies are behind environmental degradation, oppression of minority groups and massive scale war that have marked this era in our history. Our American history is so full of tales of Father Moon energies that they are, of course, equally full of the tragic consequences of these energies unchecked. The anti-war, minority rights and environmental awareness movements of the last 30 years have all been directly and explicitly working against these tendencies in our culture.

  • Reasons I'm proud to be an American: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B Anthony, the people of Wyoming, and all the women and men who worked tirelessly and peacefully to assert the right of women to vote in this country's elections.
We should be sure though, in our work at bringing balance to our lives and to the world that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We need the penetrating and constricting action of the Father’s Moon energy to form the formless potential of the Mother’s Moon energy into something useful. You can argue the environmental impact of dams and irrigation projects but those projects have allowed vast areas of this country to support much larger populations than the virgin land could support. The same is true of the industrialization of the Northeastern United States and the diking of rivers in the Midwest. A field, even a beautiful one full of grasses and flowers can not support the same amount of people or cattle as one plowed and planted with grain. These are the Father’s Moon energies at work.
  • Reasons I'm proud to be an American: Irving Berlin, I.M. Pei, Carlos Santana, Bob Hope, John Audubon and all of the other immigrants who have crossed oceans or deserts to come to this country and lend their talents to our ever changing society.
So let us celebrate these fiery and explosive, constricting and controlling, penetrating and culling forces of All That Is Manly and Good In the World. Let’s do it now, at the height of the sun’s power in the heat of the summer. Let’s celebrate our ability to create fireworks and sky scrapers, to plow fields and teach children. Let’s make some noise and be a little dangerous. Sometimes it is just necessary.
  • Reasons I'm proud to be an American: levels of wealth, health and freedom of conscience unprecedented in history which allow us to pursue even greater levels of just wealth, universal health and freedoms of all kinds for all people. Happy 4th of July!

Photos by one of my best good Flickr friends graygoosie. Thanks to her for letting me use them. Go see what she's up to this summer by clicking on the photos!

1 comment:

normajo said...

Very well done my friend. Thanks for all the inspiration.