Shamanator & the Cob Fire Hearts
New Myth 17. By Willi Paul, openmythsource.com
Unstable condition, a symptom of life,
Of mental and environmental change
Atmospheric disturbance, the feverish flux
Of human interface and interchange
Leave out the fiction, the fact is, this friction
Will only be won by persistence
Leave out conditions, courageous convictions
Will drag the dream into existence
“Vital Signs” (edited) – RUSH
The 24’ octagonal community cob oven bears up, a statue on a reshuffled stone base in the middle of center court. The daily alchemy of the Tribe is energized by the cooking, meeting / planning, education, ritualizing, and yoga play around the oven. It serves as central heat, bread cruster and fire spirit.
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Straw was born into the bone crunching water crisis in Sacramento back in 2015 and tie-dyed her jeans cutting buds in a Salinas pot farm way back in 2020. A green tea Cali girl who rides a dinged-up 4 foot, mind warped skateboard. History to her boils down to the occupy-fueled NORCAL econo-crash and the firestorm at the Chevron refinery that buried the City Richmond and the telescope folks in the surrounding hills.
In 2020, currency is your word. Tribe labor feeds the collective soul.
In 2021, the Tribe occupied the JP Penny Mall.
The old Pennys Mall lost all of its bargains, security guards and petroleum tentacles long ago and no one cares that the TransPerm Tribe explorers took over the center court area in what some call an “eco-observatory.” Straw keeps inside the Mall property all of the time, relishing the few skylights covered in barbed wire; there are crops to tend on the roof and predators to scan in the militarized zone that once was a parking lot.
Straw’s day to day schedule is been fueled by the big cob oven and her continuous initiation by the Shamanator:
- Mornings – Baking / Study
- Afternoons – Yoga / Farming
- Evenings – Community Meal / Tribe Meetings
- Late Nights – Singing/ Dancing / Myth Writing
The Tribal member who takes the role of the Shamanator is debated and elected every seven months and no one can repeat the role unless they there no other interested people. The Shamanator is the fire wood captain for the cob oven. He/she is responsible for heating the center court and family places, for the daily bread, warming the young and old muscles at yoga and tickling the sky lights at the late evening rituals.
Inserted into the side of the great cob oven is a plague that references one of the three original permaculture ethics:
“Care of People.”
Care of People is about ensuring the well being of both individuals and communities. As individuals, we need to look after ourselves and each other so that as a community we can develop environmentally friendly lifestyles. In the poorest parts of the world, this is still about helping people access enough food and clean water, within a safe society. In the post-crash world, it means redesigning our unsustainable systems and replacing them with sustainable ones. This could mean working together to provide efficient energy sources or providing shelter. When people come together, friendships are formed and sustainability becomes possible.
Straw watches Shamanator stir the glowing wood inside the oven with ease, as the smoke wisps up and out the covered vent in the roof. This process, often called community alchemy by the Tribe, symbolizes the transmutation of wood, fire and oxygen into local energy and the recycling of elements when burned. It is through transmutations of this sort – physical to chemical to spiritual – that alchemy supports growth in consciousness. As a community, the Tribe participates in all phases of activity and feedback, including honest evaluation.
The mighty cob oven is the primary social engine for adaption and evolution in the re-purposed Mall. The oven’s flame is as sacred to Straw as the permaculture team’s inputs and outputs on the roof.
There are few parents and fewer babies in the Tribe. Mentors and friends work with Shamanator and the Council to re-write the social codes and psycho babble from the creaking demise of capitalism. Nature is now guide and value-generator; health care, crop engineering and the arts are heavily influenced by Biomimcry. Songs about composting and pesticide-free grains often fill the cob oven arena doing ritualizing. The Mall is the transmutation chamber and the great oven the soul fire.
Straw is rising, the new soulbread from the community heart – in a quest for love and justice in the Permaculture Age.
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