• Michael Martin

Stella Matutina Farm

As I go about my days of farming, I often pore over ideas, images, or lyrics from my experience as I execute my various tasks, whether I’m moving an electric fence, seeding daikon (as I did this week), weeding, or what have you. It’s more reverie than anything: not completely deliberate, and not completely random. Somewhere in between. Lately, besides the English ballad “Tam Lin” (which you can check out here in a rendition by the very talented Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer) and the Anglican hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (which hear in this jangly version by the delightful Rain for Roots), I’ve been ruminating on the scene in Blade Runner 2049 in which the replicant Detective K (played by Ryan Gosling) confronts and arrests the replicant Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista). Morton, a former military grade replicant, is at that point a “protein farmer,” that is, a farmer raising insects for their highly nutritious larvae. Yum.

There is no accident why this image has invaded my pastoral meditations. The Corporate-Governmental Archons have been in full publicity mode, enlisting celebrities from Nicole Kidman to Angelina Jolie to promote the wonderful possibilities of introducing insects into the Western diet as a replacement for those environment-destroying cattle, pigs, and chickens. The New York Times, ever at the vanguard of the bequests of the Archons, even ran a story recently arguing that the taboo against cannibalism may have been an overreaction. My God.

Apparently, this move is supposed to be “environmentally friendly.” Well, I call “bullshit.” Jettisoning husbandry in favor of an animal-free agriculture is the way of death. As any biodynamic farmer could tell you, animals belong on a farm and contribute to the fecundity of everything—the plants and soil as well as the wild creatures (including insects) in the meadows, woods, and waters, not to mention people. Certainly, factory farming is antithetical to this fecundity, but the agricultural project of Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab, and their minions (talk about a “basket of deplorables”!) is just as toxic and even more demonic. The Netherlands’ Mark Rutte and Cananda’s Justin Trudeau (and what the hell, pray tell, is really going on behind the Maple Curtain?) are all in on the globalist agro-scam, hiding behind a nitrogen emissions reduction fig leaf. Sustainable farming is not what they are promoting: they are promoting a continued power grab that went into high gear in early 2020 when the greatest wealth transfer in history began in earnest and corporations capitalized (the exact word) on societal anxieties and destroyed and plundered millions of small businesses with the help of their bureaucratic henchmen in governments around the world (but particularly in the West). Again, as any decent organic or biodynamic farmer knows, transitioning to these sustainable methods from conventional ways of working takes time, 7-10 years according to Vandana Shiva, so going cold turkey, as happened recently (and tragically) in Sri Lanka, can have very predictably disastrous results. Guess what: the Archons know this. Also guess what: it’s what they want. In theology we call such entities demons.

Besides vegetables, we raise a decent amount of protein on our farm. Though veggies are part of our CSA, we mostly raise meat for ourselves—including beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, and goose. To that we supplement our diet in winter with venison and rabbit. Humans, some might be surprised to learn, are also part of the circle of life. We do, however, offer eggs for sale and the possibility for a share in our dairy production. Our little Jersey cow, Fiona, gives about 3 gallons of milk a day on average (more when she freshens) and even when all nine kids were at home this would have been more than we could handle. Now with only four still at home... you get it. We make various cheeses (I made some queso blanco and ricotta this morning), butter, yogurt, ice cream, kefir and so forth, and milk proteins are a great staple of the diet. We also have insects on our farm, foremost among them our honeybees. But we don’t eat them.

Interesting that this all occurred to me the week of Lammas and the Transfiguration, two feasts that mark the beginning of the first fruits and harvest cycle. Today, for example, just before the blessing of fruits (in our case, grapes, cucumber, zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes) in observance of Transfiguration during house church, we read these lines from “The blessing of the straun” found in the Carmina Gadelica:

Each meal beneath my roof,

They will all be mixed together,

In name of God the Son,

Who gave them growth.

Milk, and eggs, and butter,

The good produce of our own flock,

There shall be no dearth in our land,

Nor in our dwelling.

In name of Michael of my love,

Who bequeathed to us the power,

With the blessing of the Lamb,

And of His Mother.

Please don’t be fooled. Nature is not a realm of scarcity. Rather, nature is superabundant. There is an excess of life on a farm and on this planet. Those who say otherwise in the rhetoric of scarcity are trying to sell you something: a kind of slavery.

Protein farmer? How about protean farmer.

Michael’s latest book is Sophia in Exile. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Divine Feminine. Twitter: @Sophiologist_

305 views0 comments
  • Michael Martin

Corn Doll

Lammas, or Loaf Mass, is a feast I would hope to see grow in popularity as more and more people look for a way to connect the Christian Year (or, we might say for our neopagan brothers and sisters, the Sacred Year) with the agrarian year, a synergy once assumed but now almost entirely neglected. Celebrated on August 1st, Lammas marks the midpoint between St. John’s Day (June 24th) and Michaelmas (September 29th), which, as you can easily see, hover near the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox respectively. May Day (May 1st), All Saints/All Souls (November 1st/ 2nd) and Candlemas/St. Brigid’s Day (February 1st/ 2nd) complete the cycle of half-turnings. And they all should be observed.

Traditionally, Lammas was celebrated as a harvest festival to mark to first grinding of the new wheat, so it is no wonder that the ancients associated this event with Christ and the Eucharist. (You have to suspect that this was part of the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lembas bread” in his mythopoesis). It is also the beginning of fair season—a tradition which persists in most rural areas to this day, though shorn of its sacred dimension. According to historian Ronald Hutton, in England the observation of the harvest season starting with Lammas was marked by “the crowning of girls as harvest queens by sets of reapers, the bringing home of the last load of corn covered in garlands, with loud acclamations, and the weaving of images from grain stalks.” [1] This season ended just before All Soul’s Day, after the surplus livestock were slaughtered and the meat salted for winter storage. Again, usually sans salting, this remains the practice in rural communities—I’ll be doing so myself this Fall with the surplus livestock on my farm. But, tragically, this moment in the cycle of life and sustenance is also deprived of its sacred dimension in almost all cases. This is something we should remedy.

You may have noticed something in my description of these mostly-vanished folk customs: they are incredibly sane and health-giving. I’ll take a harvest queen over the celebrated drag queens of our culture any day. Likewise, I’ll take bread and lamb from my farm over the diets of crickets and maggots being pushed by celebrities and the WEF. Because I’m not a fool.

Even the simple practice of making a corn dolly is a way to begin to resacralize our relationship to God, the Cosmos, and our food. Here at Stella Matutina Farm, we observe these practices and host a big and merry harvest festival at Michaelmas. The English folk tradition is rife with the remnants of such observations and practices. The ballad “John Barleycorn Must Die” is one iteration of this mythic and sacramental motif, but so is the tale of the Gingerbread Man. Put simply: something must die, that we might live. A basic lesson of life.

Steve Winwood deserves a round of applause.

According to T.F. Thiselton-Dyer in his magisterial British Popular Customs Present and Past (1876), another folk custom on Lammas was the visitation of sacred wells. I don’t know of any such wells nearby (though I plan on digging a well on my land for a hand pump very soon) but I know if I lived near a sacred well or spring… I’d be there! (Side note: I visited Chalice Well in Glastonbury many years ago and my eldest child was baptized with water I smuggled out of there. So arrest me.)

The Eucharistic connotations of Lammas bread, of course, are the most important: the magical act by which we eat the god who then inheres in us. Sir James Frazer in his classic text The Golden Bough, includes a section subtitled “Eating the God,” which is about the ritual eating of the divinity in contexts other than Christian, and he also associates it with first-fruits customs. “In these examples,” he writes, “the corn-spirit is represented and eaten in human shape [like a gingerbread man]. In other cases, though the new corn is not baked in loaves of human shape, still solemn ceremonies with which it is eaten suffice to indicate that it is partaken of sacramentally, that is, as the body of the corn-spirit.” [2]

Part of Frazer’s project, of course, was to show that Christianity’s god-eating was old news. But he didn’t really get it. What existed as a mythic imagination (though nonetheless very real) prior to Christ became historical and metaphysical reality through Christ’s institution of the Eucharist with the words “This is my body. This is my blood.”

They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:30-35)

What I am describing as an ideal here may strike some as quaint, or even a complete fantasy. I don’t think so. In fact, I think we are heading for what some have called a “New Middle Ages.” Those of us who survive the current chaos anyway. Rudolf Steiner, though he didn’t use that language, in his reimagination of the Christian year and festival life, certainly spoke to this, as did the Russian sophiologists Nikolai Berdyaev and Pavel Florensky. Florensky, surely one of the great polymaths of the twentieth century, put it this way:

History has days and nights. Periods of night are dominated by the mystical element, noumenal will, susceptibility, femininity. Daytime periods of history are characterized by a more active, superficial interaction with the world, phenomenal will, masculinity. The Middle Ages were a period of night; the modern age is a daytime period. We are now at a threshold of a new Middle Ages. In its depths the Christian world-understanding is medieval. In the modern period the present world-understanding is useless. The present return to the Christian world-understanding shows us that we are at the threshold of a Middle Ages.” [3]

Actually, I think we are watching the desperation of the daytime period of the masculine in its death throes. The chaos in the Church, the machinations of the WEF & Co., the pathetic attempts by men to usurp the place of women and the feminine: these are symptoms of breakdown, not ascendancy. Their days are numbered.

And, as I often say, the way to realize the sophianic reality of the New Middle Ages is by embodying it. The things we do—the rituals we observe, the realities we celebrate, the communities we love, the foods we eat, the sacramentality of Things—make the Kingdom come to life.

So make the Kingdom come to life.

Alison Milbank on Lammas.

Michael’s latest book is Sophia in Exile. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Divine Feminine. Twitter: @Sophiologist_

1. Ronald Hutton, The Rise and Fall of Merry England (Oxford, 1994), 44.

2. Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough, abridged edition (New York, 1927), 480.

3. Pavel Florensky, At the Crossroads of Science & Mysticism, trans. Boris Jakim (Semantron Press, 2014), 7.

369 views3 comments

Back in February I published a blogpost entitled “The Canadian Peasants’ Revolt” about the Canadian trucker convoy and their protest in Ottawa (amongst other places) in the Great White North. What has happened in Canada is indeed stunning as well as heartbreaking. Popular podcaster Joe Rogan recently called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “f*cking dictator” and he is not incorrect. What’s going on behind the Maple Curtain is mind-blowing—and Tamara Lich is still in jail on trumped up charges. O Canada.

While the truckers’ protest may have ended for a time, their spirit has not been extinguished. Recently, for example, Dutch farmers have been protesting draconian climate gerrymandering of their government that seeks to close farms and seize property. They’ve brought tractors to the protest instead of the traditional pitchforks, but you get the idea. In one instance at least, they planted a Canadian flag in the center of a town to symbolize their solidarity with and inspiration of the Canadian truckers. The farmers are not having it and have closed down borders and city centers throughout their country. It really goes without saying that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, like his Canadian counterpart Trudeau (not to mention New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and many others) is a protégé of Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum, whose primary funder is Bill Gates. I guess yesterday’s conspiracy theory is today’s political reality. But it doesn’t need to stay that way. It won’t.

What has really struck me in the images coming out of The Netherlands of the protest is the symbolic nature of the farmers in opposition to the technocracy. In my book Transfiguration and elsewhere I have described this as the battle between Sophia and Ahriman, not that Sophia is a warrior (that is actually St. Michael the Archangel’s job—and I encourage you to invoke his protection in these evil times). The farmers, people connected to the land and the seasons, represent Sophia and the technocrats who seek to destroy them represent Ahriman. I don’t want to stretch the analogy too far, but, as with the Canadian truckers, this is a protest with a long pedigree going back to the enclosure riots of the 16th and 17th centuries—a protest of the common man against the machinations of the elites. And, at root, this is a spiritual battle. The spirit of Gerrard Winstanley, both prophet and journeyman, overshadows these protests—which have now spread to Germany, Italy, Canada (again) and other places and will within short order, I think, arrive in the United States. In fact, a worldwide protest is planned for July 23rd:

Winstanley’s words from A Declaration from the Poor Oppressed People of England (1649) are just as poignant now as when he wrote them:

The power of enclosing land and owning property was brought into the creation by your ancestors by the sword; which first did murder their fellow creatures, men, and after plunder or steal away their land, and left this land successively to you, their children. And therefore, though you did not kill or thieve, yet you hold that cursed thing in your hand by the power of the sword; and so you justify the wicked deeds of your fathers, and that sin of your fathers shall be visited upon the head of you and your children to the third and fourth generation, and longer too, till your bloody and thieving power be rooted out of the land.”

That is, what the Dutch government and their counterparts in other countries and the WEF are after is a new form of enclosure. It’s the same old game, what E.P. Thompson described as “a plain enough case of highway robbery, played according to fair rules of property and law laid down by a Parliament of property-owners and lawyers.” And need I remind anyone that Bill Gates has been sucking up farmland like a drunkard at last call? I sincerely hope it is last call for him and his breed.

I have not yet mentioned Sri Lanka, which has fallen into chaos, causing the country’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign. Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas has also just resigned, and this follows upon the resignation announcements of Italian PM Mario Draghi and British PM Boris Johnson, not to mention the assassination of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe. Maybe these things are related, maybe they’re not. But I am certainly watching. As should we all be.

These are dangerous times. Recently, one of my oldest and dearest friends came to me in tears about the status of the world, telling me that she only wants for me and my children and grandchild to be safe. I want us all to be safe, but we’re up against a profound (and profoundly organized) kind of evil.

Unfortunately, what we’re seeing play out now on the world stage is something I saw coming years ago, though I must admit it has arrived much earlier than I thought it would. In Transfiguration, I end with the following warning, which seems now even more pressing than when I published it:

But there must be a place for human agency in this eschatology: free will demands as much. As Berdyaev prophesied, “Either a new epoch in Christianity is in store for us and a Christian renaissance will take place, or Christianity is doomed to perish—although this cannot for a moment be admitted, since we know that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’” Christians all too often operate under the assumption that God will show up in the nick of time in order to save us from ultimate catastrophe; but world history, especially that of the twentieth century, begs to differ (a point that Death of God theology brought to our embarrassed attention). Likewise with the enveloping darkness of the technological colonization of the human person: don’t for a second think that God will prevent us from letting this happen to ourselves. It’s already happening. We’re letting it happen.

Sophia awakens only when we awaken to her. And this is the task of Christians in this age: to awaken ourselves and those who dwell upon this earth with us to the sophianic reality of Creation. We can choose to do nothing. We can simply let things progress and see how it ends. But, whatever the case, Christians need to own their complicity in creating the world in which we now live. We did this. To hide behind the bulwark of a reactionary fear, hoping to raise the glory of Christendom once again from its ashes, or to reduce the Christian mystery to a palliative social program or variation on the group-therapy model: these are missions for fools. In Berdyaev’s damning assessment:

‘The world is living in a period of agony which greatly resembles that of the end of antiquity. But the present situation is more hopeless, since at the close of antiquity Christianity entered the world as a new young force, while now Christianity, in its human age, is old and burdened with a long history in which Christians have often sinned and betrayed their ideal. And we shall see that the judgment upon history is also a judgment upon Christianity in history.’

There is no place to which to retreat. Nothing to preserve. Nothing to restore. There is only the future, the eschaton, the parousia which is always/already here. Let us embrace it.”

Be not afraid.

Michael’s latest book is Sophia in Exile. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Divine Feminine. Twitter: @Sophiologist_

365 views2 comments