About Niki Whiting

The First Harvest of 2015

Raphael's Olympians, 1516-17

Lammas, or Lughnasadh, falls this coming weekend. This cross quarter holiday celebrates the first of the harvest coming in. It is the height of summer and the heat is reaching its peak (and my pique). As much as I prefer the grey, overcast weather that is supposed to be typical to the Pacific Northwest, I acknowledge that honor must be paid to the Sun that radiates its light and heat upon us. My garden is exploding in a wealth of zucchini, broccoli, and kale. The garlic is drying. The … [Read more...]

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The Book of Life

Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Last week I took my kids to a summer showing of last year's The Book of Life, an animated movie all about el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). I knew nothing about the film going in, other than it was animated and I'd heard good things about it. My kids really liked it and I did, too - mostly.Written and directed by Jorge Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Torro, the film is by, for, and about people of Mexican and Hispanic descent. In a whitewashed industry, this is … [Read more...]

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What the Land Taught Me

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At the end of last month I went to Alaska, my homeland and lifelong Love. (You can read the previous entries to learn a little bit about this Place and my heart struggle with it.) My kids and husband and I went to spend two weeks with my parents, sister and her kids. It was a great trip, though like all my trips home, it was emotionally and spiritually complicated. It has taken me the better part of two weeks to recover. Thanks for being patient with me.I left my home in Olympia in the … [Read more...]

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Land as Lover

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[Written originally in 2012. I've modified this, since some of my thoughts have changed a little.]David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous, talks about geography as a container. More than just mountains that enclose or fields that spread out, land shapes our views of the world, our experiences with future places, how we perceive time and seasons, how communities function, and how we relate the non-human world. I see this so clearly from my own upbringing in Juneau, Alaska. It has so … [Read more...]

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A Love Song for Juneau

Juneau old growth forest - where I first experienced Otherness.

[Modified from a post on June 1, 2012]I haven’t lived in Juneau, Alaska, for over a decade. I’ve spent little more than a handful of weeks at a time there. Home for me these days is Olympia, Washington. [I am winding up my time from my most recent trip home - the first one in three years.]For those that know me in person forgetting that I’m from Alaska is impossible. It is a part of my identity on par with being human or female. I am not my body, I am not my sex, yet I am completely e … [Read more...]

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One True Thing

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[From earlier this spring]The gods are real.Remember that one time that one god walked through my living room? I didn’t make that up. Or the dream I had just last week about the work that other devotees are doing, things I shouldn’t know? Or that consistent, still, small voice that whispers to me when I am still and quiet. The gods are real.The land speaks.Some of it speaks more loudly than others. Sometimes I can hear it more easily than at other times or in other pla … [Read more...]

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Living Saraswati

May Saraswati, who is honored on this day of Navratri, surround my Teacher with beautiful poetry and music.

[Written on Oct. 11, 2013]Today begins the final three days of Navratri, in which Saraswati, goddess of language, knowledge and sound, is honored. I have an affinity with Her, as I have spent much of my life in pursuit of education and knowledge, as well as honing my singing skills.Saraswati is comparable to the Greek goddess Athena in many ways. Both are independent; Saraswati, unlike most of the other Hindu goddesses, is not the consort of any male deity; her devotion to her studies … [Read more...]

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