Category Archives: General

LAST NIGHT I KILLED A SMALL INSECT: Thoughts on Engaged Ecology


Thoughts on Engaged Ecology

On my way to sleep last night, I was reading from my tablet in an otherwise dark room. Out of the night flew a small creature, tiny in every respect. He buzzed around my ear and then landed on the screen to interrupt my reading.

Without thinking I swatted him, and his remains left a smudge that I flicked away as I continued my reading. Drifting off to sleep, I thought nothing more about the engagement. Then, strangely, I awoke from a dream thinking about him. In my mind’s eye I could see his delicate wings just before I killed him.

And I asked myself in that pause between dreams, “Why did I kill him? Was it because he flew in from the landscape that surrounds us unbidden and outside my control?”

Then, at first light I was still raising questions. How easily my inner killer flashed to the forefront to eliminate a minor disturbance in the eco-field? Was I bothered by my automatic reaction when I swatted before being aware? I knew I had engaged in this reflexive and somewhat arrogant act before, many times, like a serial killer. I knew I condemned small-minded politicians for taking us to war and giving little consideration for their collateral damage. Yet, here I was in bed with them.

Most perplexing: I could not guarantee that I would not kill again in similar circumstances. The least I could do? I could breath and take a moment before mindlessly killing even on a miniature scale. Does such reflection offer a small apology to a small creature? Is there a hint of respect?

At least I am alive and engaged, if only in passing, with the landscape of which I am a part.

THE BLUE STAR KACHINA: Nature’s Rights, Part 2

A NASA photo of Comet 45P taken on February 12, 2017

I first heard of the Blue Star Kachina, Spirit Helper, in 1958 in a college discussion. Five years before Frank Waters published The Book of Hopi, White Feather, a Hopi Elder, had bestowed these ancient prophecies to a young minister who gave him a ride on a lonely desert road.

From a first hearing of these prophecies they rang true. Some years later, I received additional prophetic narratives from a council of inter-tribal sages, and these prophecies have important relevance for the current global upheaval. In addition, my own dreams and visions provide a spotlight focused on where we are and where we might go.

Hopi wisdom, like that of the Toltecs, Cahokias, and Mayas, tells a story rooted in cyclical time. Reaching back perhaps 40,000 years or more the narratives tell of the rise and fall of three worlds or civilizations. Each of the three civilizations follow developmental phases. We are now in a 4th civilization that appears to be following the ancient patterns.

First, there is harmony with Nature wherein humans are deeply connected with the landscape and all creatures. So much so that there are exchanges of information and meaning through a mother tongue that lies beneath all languages. In this phase there is sustainability and regeneration.

Next, humans are estranged from this natural and flowing state as they become enamored with their distinctive form of consciousness, thinking it is the apex of evolution. Startling inventions and technology fuel prosperity for a ruling class, and material accumulations crowd out spiritual values. Predictably, the split between humans and their habitat grows until they foul their nests. Leaders ignore the rights of a larger whole in service of short term material gain.

Then, Nature perceives this growing imbalance within her bosom and starts a rebalancing, usually through massive climate change that produces floods, droughts, fire, ice, sea level changes, and massive die-offs of species. Such a shuddering of the Great Mother is called the Day or Era of Purification.

Three times in 40,000 thousand years, so the story goes, the civilizations have ended, and a remnant group of humans emerge from the wreckage and chaos to start another cycle. We are currently in the Fourth World or Civilization, and the cross-cultural prophecies cite nine signals that we are entering the end of another cycle. Crucial is the ninth sign, the coming of blue stars or comets at crucial moments.

The appearance of stars or comets tells us that we are making the journey to a new, sustainable, and regenerative civilization. The pathway to the new era can either plunge us into complete chaos, pain, and suffering, or we can push off of a high bottom without the loss of most of our species and its current structures.

Our awareness, choices, and engaged ecological choices determine our destiny!

The hopeful side of the prophecies point toward humans who gather together and spend their energy and time purifying themselves of divisiveness, hatefulness, and the toxicity of our age. These seeds of a new era are known by their love, inclusiveness, and deep connection with the sacred web. There are specific behaviors that the remnant humans exhibit in order to be restored to the sacred web. I will explore these possibilities and behaviors in future blogs.

Now, consider the ninth sign of the transition: the coming of the blue star. Relevant to us: There have been numerous blue comet sightings in recent times.

On Saturday, February 11, 2017, there was a triple confirmation of these prophecies with a full moon, a penumbral eclipse, and the appearance of a possible Blue Kachina comet, called, 45P, about 3:00 a.m. Eastern. As of this writing, the blue comet has been visible for two months through binoculars, but at that time was “only” 7.4 million miles away in its closest approach. It streaked across the sky with a blue-green head and long tail (see above). It will be visible until the end of February.

And here is an important point. It will return to speak to us again in 2022, the approximate time that many of the prophecies say we will push off the bottom of the sea of chaos and begin to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, the prophecies make clear that the new seeds of the fifth world or civilization will be those humans who learn the skills of sustainability and regeneration. Chief among these skills is a new bill of rights that truly places all human concerns within the garden of the natural order.

Elders across Earth’s face agree that the Blue Star Kachina has appeared, and it is confirmed in my own visions. It is no longer the eleventh hour. It is the twelfth hour. 

The journey to the fifth civilization has begun.



Above photo of Earth from outer space made by NASA on January 2, 2017.

We in the USA can begin by offering an apology.

We hear and use the phrase: LET’S MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Notice that phrase assumes that the word “America” refers to citizens of the USA.

We apologize to Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America for our arrogance and presumption. We ask for your forgiveness, and we ask for the Greater Powers to enable us to relinquish our hold on such a limited identity. Such arrogance flourishes in the USA but is a virus in most humans schooled in current global Civilization.

To make Earth great again we humans will need to do something that is a very difficult stretch. We need to humble ourselves as we look around the web of life. We need to open our eyes to the beauty and majesty of all creatures great and small.

Can we bring ourselves to acknowledge that we are simply a species among species?  Can we apologize to the rivers for drilling under them and compromising our water supply? Can we apologize to the oceans for filling them with plastics? Can we apologize to the forests for our clear cuts? Can we apologize to our Sun for not using her power that she offers so freely?

We apologize to the indigenous people around the world and especially here in the Western Hemisphere.

In order to make Earth great again, we need to digest mounting scientific evidence that evolution is cyclical not linear. Such an embrace of new science means that there were likely advanced civilizations within Earth before the illegal immigration into this hemisphere. Sure. These ancient cultures had their limitations. But it now appears they in some instances knew how to live sustainably with rivers, seas, and forests. They likely even had technology that in some ways surpasses our own.

So to make Earth great again will likely mean we need to humble ourselves and know that we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us. We can learn from their advances and from their mistakes. We repeat: To our indigenous elders who still practice ancient ways, we offer a heart-felt apology.

Still, no matter how advanced  were these ancient civilizations, their downfall seems to be massive changes in weather and climate. Can we learn this lesson before it is too late?

To begin in simple ways, everyone can collect solar power even on a small scale.

Everyone can collect rain water even if it is one bucket.

And as we collect we can give substance to our apology by pausing each day to say to our local environs, “We cherish you. You have rights. We will speak for you to our fellow humans whose values exclude you.”

Some of us say we love the Earth. If so, the least we can do is humbly to speak and act that truth.


Outstanding women in my life–including my partner, my daughter, and fellow Earthtribers–invited me to join them in the Women’s Rights March.

I did. And 50,000 humans gathered in Austin to celebrate and emphasize women’s rights.

With others I carried a sign that read: CLIMATE JUSTICE FOR ALL OUR RELATIONS!

My own perspective has grown since my days of being a congregant in Martin Luther King’s church in Atlanta. At that time I focused on civil rights, advocating for oppressed Afro-Americans in the USA.

Now, I embrace the Rights of Nature for all creatures great and small. To those in power (and not in power) I join with you in chanting: HEAR OUR VOICE!

We are indigenous people. We are people of color. We are women. We are law-enforcement people. We are middle and lower economic men. We are children. We are humans 7 generations in the future. We are people of various sexual orientations, choices, and practices. We are politically correct and incorrect folks. We are people who don’t come to Will’s awareness at the moment because of his limits and prejudices.

At the March many people wanted to take a photo of the sign. Others wanted to hold the sign and have us take a photo of them to post for their friends. Beautiful young people said, “Your sign is a magnet!”

We were speaking for the rivers, the lakes, the oceans, the birds, the furry creatures, the trees, the Hill Country, the mountains, the insects, and all creatures, great and small. They have rights. All human rights fall under the heading of THE RIGHTS OF NATURE.

Join me in speaking on behalf of all creatures who don’t speak in human languages. They speak in the Mother Tongue of Nature. They rely on us humans to advocate for their rights. All our ceremonies are actually THE RITES OF NATURE. Some are more aware than others.

Who out there will join me in a million upon million March in the Spring on behalf of THE RIGHTS OF NATURE? Our ceremonies, seminars, and social media can become an expression of THE RITES OF NATURE!

Those in power must hear the voices of all our relations if we as a species are to survive and thrive.


Tending the Ceremonial Fires In Earth’s Rebalancing, Pt. 1


In a world where the ethics and stability of our political leaders are questionable, chaos seems the norm. In addition, within planet Earth we have a mighty rebalancing occurring that dwarfs even the instability of many of our global politicians in terms of eliciting our vulnerability. The massive impact of climate change grows more apparent daily. At The Wisdom School of Ubiquity University we seek to offer a kind of hope that embraces possibility in Earth’s larger process.

Herein lies a challenge.

We aspire to build a ceremonial fire in the midst of our global learning community.  Our fire consists of a base of logs that seeks to involve ourselves in an engaged ecology that returns humans to the web of eco-fields as humble participants rather than dominants.  On the base of logs we put many rocks to heat ceremonially; the rocks  will allow us to see humans in the context of geologic ages. First, there was the Pre-Cambrian (3.5 billion yrs.), then the Paleozoic (300 million yrs.), the Mesozoic (200 million yrs), and the Cenozoic (65 million yrs to 1990).  Now, we are entering the Ecozoic, a term coined by Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme to describe our new partnership with humans and more-than-humans within the web of life. The fiery hot rocks tell us of our nature-based lineage and also about the axial moment in which we live.

On top of the rocks we place medium sized juniper logs that burn hot and fast because things , as Barbara Hubbard says, are breaking down, things are breaking through, faster and faster.  Our ceremonial fire needs to start quickly else we humans as a species may perish.

Finally, we cover the fire carefully with dried juniper branches, ceremonial herbs of sage, sweet grass, datura, and copal to purify ourselves, to develop an attractor force, and to send awareness and compassion throughout the web of eco-fields.

As the fire burns, we realize that Earth rights are human rights, Earth rights are women’s rights, Earth rights are children rights seven generations ahead, Earth rights are workers rights,Earth rights are indigenous rights, Earth rights are water rights.  There is no justice apart from justice for all within Earth.  Good jobs are those that support these rights.  Good political leaders are those who support these rights.  Good doctors are those who support these rights. Good education supports these rights. Good military protects these rights. Good capitalism supports all of these rights, no exceptions.

As Dean of The Wisdom School I aspire for our learning community to tend  fires that burn bright in the core of Earth’s conscience.  I, along with our faculty and staff, aspire to offer courses that feed the fires of consciousness, that speak the truth to power, and that build a new and sustainable civilization.

Join me around the fire. And remember our fires, as Jung makes clear in THE RED BOOK, are not just metaphors. They are real to the senses. They burn hot.

Will Taegel, Ph.D.



What you see in the above photo is typical of what Judith and I saw near the Syrian border in 2010.  A devastating drought dropped water levels as scientists noted a massive shift in the area’s climate. At the time we were there political experts observed rising tensions as farmers abandoned their fields and migrated to urban centers.  Judith and I, along with a Wisdom Graduate School team, thought we were going to base ourselves in a sleepy village called Sanliurfa.  What we found was a city suddenly crowded with displaced farmers, a city larger than Austin, Texas. Driving. Even walking in the streets was a challenge.  Tensions abounded.

We were there to study a pivotal archeological site, Gobekli Tepe, which was surrounded by parched fields, wheat fields dying in October heat above 100 degrees. This was the place on Earth where humans first learned about the marvels of wheat. Yet, now it was a desert. We talked to young men who could not get married because the dowry was high and the jobs non-existent and their farms gone.  We talked to young women trapped in drought and repressive customs.  One young woman had taught herself six languages by listening to audio tapes.  She longed to go to school, but the patriarchy would not even allow her to go to elementary school, much less to law school to which she aspired.  Was this extreme condition in Nature going to shape all of our cultures?  We asked ourselves, knowing it would. But surely it wouldn’t spill over to the USA. But, of course, it has.  And now we wonder, how can we be safe?

Three observations: in 2003 during the George W. Bush administration, the Pentagon urged Congress to elevate climate change “beyond a scientific debate to a U.S. national security concern.”  In my view, the Pentagon was right. I observed the tensions on the Syrian border growing out of the drought.  We have to address, know, and become full participants in Earth’s rebalancing of Herself if we are to find safety.  This knowing and being part of Earth is more basic than gun laws or immigration policies, in my view, though it will include creativity that emerges from our learning the mother tongue of nature, a nature in massive balancing.  This knowing will allow us to find solutions to myriad of our problems, though it will be a challenge.

Second, we  have to give our young people(and ourselves) an initiatory pathway to  become morally mature participants as Earth citizens.  Young people, uneducated and educated alike, know intuitively that the dream of Western Civilization to own a house, an auto, tech devices, and a good job is not sufficient.  As such the materialism of the industrial nations does not satisfy our spirits.  We must know that reality, given our prodigious addictive appetites.

Finally,(for today) Earth-based spirituality and living offers us a glimpse for being safer both in terms of the mighty forces of Nature and the multiplying threat of terrorism.  So far, our glimpses of the mighty forces of the Great Mother drive us to humility.  A good ground to stand on,kneel on,  or, best in my practice, lie on.

More to come.  Your thoughts?




Yesterday, I lost the conch you see here.

The occasion was the Thanksgiving sweat lodge, 2015. Standing on a buffalo robe, I joined other ceremonial conchs in connecting with the 8 directions. The sound of many blowing conchs lifted us into the domain of gratitude.   The wind was blowing, gusting to 49 mph. The sky was blue. 30 of us linked and loved. A few minutes later, I reached for my conch, and it was gone.  After the sweat lodge, I looked again.

Still, no conch.  It couldn’t have disappeared into thin air. Someone had to have it, by mistake of course.  I looked around to see who was the culprit.

As time passed, a tightness in my chest and tears in my eyes grew.  I took a walk and thought of the story of this conch. According to my research, it was given to my great, great grandmother, a refugee from a Shawnee village brought to the strange country of Texas when Texas was an independent nation circa 1830’s.  A local tribe likely gave it to her for ceremony. It had been passed down as a cherished relic, and I became the fifth generation carrier. I realized I would miss terribly the unique sound of this conch.  It resonated with this web of eco-fields where I live in the Texas Hill Country.  With it I joined 38,000 years of humans linking and healing with this particular variation of sounds.  With its loss, I realized how important sound is, particular sounds to reach out of ourselves and become vibrations of our beautiful blue planet.  With these sounds we become a morphic resonance, joining the ceremonies of untold generations of our species.

We looked everywhere, and could not find it. I looked in bags. Talked to most every one. Missed a good Thanksgiving meal and Lillie Rowden’s beautiful turkey.  I suffered.  Until Jane Jack Morales followed her intuition and suggested I look in Judith Yost’s bag. Judith is my beloved partner.  Sure, enough. I had put it in her bag, not mine.  Alas, I was the culprit.

We all laughed at my mistake.  Lots to learn about mistakes.  Human suffering. Momentary loss of awareness.  A caring community.

But, the day after, I mainly relish and embrace the beauty of sound.  The gift of the sound of this little shell.  The creature who died to make it possible.  And you for sharing this moment.




Last Friday night Judith and I attended a local high school football game. We are not big football fans, but we like to go out on a warm September night and experience community coherence. We go early for the pageantry and to catch up with old friends. Just before the national anthem, a local leader took the field microphone and said,”We have a rare privlege tonight because Jonathan McCombs would like to say a few words.”

I scratched my head,”Was this the man whose family was washed away by the Memorial Day flood just three months ago?” It was. Let me brief you on the story. On Memorial Day, 2015, Jonathan and his wife, Laura, and two children, Andrew, 6, and Leighton, 4, rented a very nice home by the beautiful Blanco River. It was about a two and a half hour drive from their home in Corpus Christi, Texas. On Saturday of that weekend they played in the river and had one of the best family days of their lives. Late in the afternoon the rain started, not a downpour but heavy nonetheless in the village of Wimberley, the jewel of the Blanco River Valley.

Even though the rain in Wimberley was not unusual, a storm sat over the near-by town of Blanco for several hours and dumped up to twelve inches of rain on the riparian system. This perfect storm produced a monstrous tsunami like wave over five stories high that barreled down the valley, taking trees, tearing out all the bridges but one. Seventy homes were swept off their foundations, and over 1000 homes were seriously damaged.

At about midnight Jonathan called for help as the waters lifted their house off the concrete beams on which it sat, see photo above. Now, they were being carried down the river while Laura called her sister to say goodbye. Wimberley residents on the banks braved the waters to cry out to them, and some first-responders actually entered the powerful waters in attempt to save them. But to no avail.

A quarter of a mile from its foundations Jonathan’s home crashed into a large bridge that was 40′ above normal water lines. That was the last he saw of his family.

He was thrown into the maelstrom and washed down river, banging into massive trees. His lungs collapsed. His ribs were broken. He sternum, too. They found Laura’s and Andew’s bodies, but Leighton’s body was never found.

Now, somewhat recovered, Jonathan wanted to come to the ball game to thank the Wimberley residents for their outpouring of love and support. On any given day throughout the summer there might be over 1000 people searching for the remains of his family. The microphone crackled, but I could hear most of what he said in gratitude. Then, he uttered in a clear voice something I will take with me, always,”What I choose to remember is that Memorial Saturday was one of the best days my family had ever had on your beautiful river. We swam in crystal clear waters. We kayaked. We tubed. We laughed. You are so blessed to have this river, and I will love it always.”

Jonathan is a traditional Baptist. He comes from conservative Northwest Texas. Yet, here he was speaking from his heart. Not blaming the river. Rather, embracing and accepting its blessing. Tears sparkled on the cheeks of folks all around me. Mine too. In one shining moment, we as a community returned to the cycle of life, humbled. Bloody. Radiant. Determined. Vulnerable. Full of courage and hope. Resilient.

All traits we can engage in a turbulent era of climate change where extreme weather is now the norm.



On July 4th, we sat on our deck watching the fireworks, did Judith and I. My attention was drawn away to Venus and Jupiter;magnificent, so glorious as to render our man-made notations of independence as very small. Tiny firecrackers and sparklers against Creation’s mysterium.

Then, in a dream later that night, I stood on the lip of a canyon. Stretching out before me was the Blanco River Valley that morphed into a blend of a childhood canyon. (See the two canyons below. You know how dreams connect and show us the interdependence of all things through a variety of amalgamated images.)  A flood had torn trees out so that I could see the resilience and majesty of the entire river as it flowed over several waterfalls, West to East. Still dreaming,  I called some of you to come look at the resilience, the connection between destruction and creativity, between chaos and coherence, disorder and order.  In the dream I exulted over an  interdependence that not only underlies all but has an intelligence beyond common, mainstream sense.

How to describe briefly?

Some of you have given me new terms, building on transense, to describe such moments: funsense, heartsense, lovesense.  My computer doesn’t recognize these words and tries to change them back into the mainstream algorithms.  My machine underlines the words in red to make sure I know I am off the beaten path.

When I woke up from the dream, I checked and saw that my childhood river valley in Northwest Texas flooded on the same weekend as the Blanco River.  Some 500 miles away.  Same storm system, or, better, weather spirits.  Similar resilience.  Folks in both instances celebrated how interdependent we all are with each other, humans and eco-fields, bringing loving coherence out of disruption.

Here is the river of my boyhood, healing and flowing.


Here is the Blanco healing and flowing.        .images

So, I am declaring, for myself, and whoever wants to celebrate with me–our interdependence. The rest of July.  Sure, I appreciate our independence like waves on the ocean, but let’s hear it for the body of the ocean that underlies all passing independence.  In Will’s world independence turns out to be illusory, floating on a matrix of incredibly coherent and beautiful interdependence. Aho to all relations. That’s most basically who we are.




Ray Moody and I talked far into the night on a bus ride.  We had spent the last few days at the cave where Plato wrote his famous parable, the one that birthed Western Civilization.  Although Ray loved Plato, he and I recognized that Plato and his progeny had led us into a form of critical thinking that eventually put humans at the center of everything.  To summarize several hours of rich conversation, Ray and I agreed that we in our current patterns of thinking take ourselves too seriously.

Needed? From my viewpoint,(and I won’t speak for Ray): An upset of our current reductive thinking in order to make room for a larger perspective.  Ray has an elaborate cure for our current societal ills he calls “nonsense,” and he has a book coming out on that subject.  I can’t wait to read it.  Together, Ray and I have so much fun it should be against the law, or, at least, the current laws of thinking. Pause. I feel better just experiencing so-called nonsense in the strange world of Will and Ray.

We fell into silence on the bus ride, did Ray and I.  Then, it occurred to me that what we were experiencing was not nonsense at all.  In fact, the fun and clarity of our thinking was something I came to call TRANS-SENSE.  Trans-sense points to a breakdown in our current Western Civilization thought structures to make room for a new creativity, a shift of paradigms. Weird humor seems to be one starting point of “trans-sense.” Ray continues to prefer “nonsense” to describe his perspective, but I am going with trans-sense, at least for awhile.

Amit Goswami, a clear thinking physicist, calls this new thinking: do-be-do-be-do.  Translated: when you laugh a lot with what appears to be nonsense, you learn a new way of doing-being-doing- being.  In doing-being-doing so you can transcend your usual sense, which likely needs an upgrade.

I know mine does.  Such trans-sense makes way for us to return to Plato’s cave and enjoy our deeper connections rather than running away in the name of enlightenment. And, best of all, trans-sense links the seen and the unseen worlds.