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A Brave, Strong, Devoted Woman

There is much heroism in life that is never known by the majority of us. It is inspiring, however, to encounter such acts of courage and love in people we cross paths with, for in those deeds are the seeds of a better humanity. I wanted to write this article for Mother’s Day, but I am in the middle of moving and couldn’t quite get it written in time. It is also my final homage to Taureans before moving on to Gemini in my next blog.

Eileen McDavid is a Taurus woman who has lived with great loss and suffering these past two years, yet has over and over again risen to great heights of compassion and understanding through it all. She has given me permission to share with you a letter that she sent to family and friends recently. Before I do, however, I would like to give some background information as briefly as is possible.

Her son, Eric McDavid, was arrested on Friday, January 13th, 2006, in Auburn, CA and charged with ‘eco-terrorism‘ under the Homeland Security’s new Green Scare campaign. He was denied bail and held in solitary confinement until his much-delayed trial took place in early September of 2007. On September 27th of that year he was convicted of “conspiracy to destroy property by means of fire or explosives”. On May 8th of this year, 2008, he was sentenced to nearly 20 years in a Federal Penitentiary. Those are the hard, cold facts.

The human story of all that led up to these ‘facts’ is much less cut and dried, and proves that life is stranger than fiction, and there are no black and white definitions of good and bad, or right and wrong. I became involved, as an astrologer, in March of 2006, shortly after Eric had been incarcerated without bail and was going on a hunger strike because he was a vegan and they refused to give him vegetarian meals of any kind.

We astrologers often enter people’s lives when they are in crisis, much as any type of counselor does. We abide by certain ethical standards and do not divulge confidential information unless given permission to do so. Eric’s birth data and Eileen’s are not being displayed because I chose not to ask for such permission for the purpose of this posting. The birth chart says a great deal about the person. It is a blueprint of their character and soul path. It can reveal what ‘makes them tick’.

Eric’s age, at the time of his arrest, is publicly known, so I can say this much: the ages from 22 yrs. on, leading up to the classic ‘Saturn Return’, around the age of 28 to 29 are considered to be the dangerous ages. Why? There are obviously many reasons, but one major one is that these are often highly experimental years. The Associated Press recently printed a list of ‘Actors who died in their 20s‘. Most of these deaths were violent ones. Male testosterone is running high during these years. In this modern era we no longer have clear spiritual rites of initiation for young men. There is often a great deal of trial and error that goes on as they grapple with their idealism and the urge to take some kind of action. Our world is fraught with daunting problems now. Eric had a desire to engage in some type of activism that would protect what he considered to be important. He had a deep and abiding love for the natural world. Enter ‘Anna’ and trouble. Eric fell into that ‘dangerous zone’ in August of 2004 when he met his female nemesis, and the choices he made during the next 18 months proved disastrous indeed.

I encourage you to explore this very human drama for yourself through the various internet sites, which will give you all the information that you need to come to your own understanding. For example, I googled ‘Anna, the informant‘, or ‘Anna, the provocateur‘ and immediately got more material than I could read on this young woman who was paid over $75,000 of our tax dollars by the FBI to do whatever it took to entrap a potential environmental terrorist. Will Potter, award-winning, independent journalist presents an astute analysis on his website GreenIsTheNewRed.

Google Eric McDavid and you’ll get over 35,000 entries, as of this writing.

A fairly mainstream article was written in the May issue of Elle by Andrea Todd. As one blogger put it, “…She was, after all, attempting to write an article about someone who lies for a living. Getting true, accurate information from such a source can be difficult at best, impossible at worst.”  To see the article in its entirety just google The Believers by Andrea Todd (May, 2008). There is a website specifically for Eric where you can get the chronology, lots of information, and statements by two jurors who both filed, under oath, their post-trial declarations.

I quote one of the jurists, Diane Bennett, from her Declaration, “I join Carol Runge (another jurist) in the belief that Eric McDavid did not have a fair trial for a variety of reasons and have stated my wish that he should have a new one… I did not find, nor do I think the other jurors did, that Eric committed crimes in the name of “ELF” or the Earth Liberation Front… If we as a juror, at the very least myself, had been allowed to consider Eric’s financial and mental and physical means and ability to commit the crime, his “wherewithal” to commit the crime, without Anna’s help, then we would have found that he was entrapped…”

My contact with Eileen, Eric’s mother, through-out this entire process has been profound, poignant, and awe-inspiring. Eileen has always tried to turn this ordeal into a blessing, and shared her insights through e-mails to those who wished to be on her mailing list. I think this most recent e-mail speaks volumes for her ability to see light in the middle of darkness. May we all learn from her Taurean wisdom.

“Hello everyone.

I apologize for not emailing you sooner as it is already Saturday. And a huge thank you to all who have sent e-mails and calls of thoughtfulness and love for us. For those of you who have not seen the news in the media spread across the country, the sentence that Eric received was the worst we had dreaded. He was sentenced with the full 20 years. It very much felt like the same as during the trial, that the judge was in harmony with the prosecutor, both stating that Eric was a ‘terrorist’ and a danger to the country and to the government. They even sited the incident that was brought up about how they were talking about dumping a truck load of jam and letting it pour on the street of a major city to ‘jam’ up the streets and stop commerce in the city! Both the judge and prosecutor were both on the same path in stating that they were wanting to make ‘an example’ of Eric to anyone else who would go against the status quo and if they did, they would be in jail for an ungodly amount of time! This was stated in the government’s response to Mark’s sentencing motions, in the prosecutor’s statement in court and also when the judge stated sentencing that ‘an example’ must be made in this case. This brought up a lot of anger in me, to think that they were using my son as part of their manipulating and impressing fear on people, especially those against this government or future inheritors of this earth. But as I began to think about it, hearing that they wanted to use this case as an example, I began to see a reasoning from beginning to end. I began to think of how at the very beginning how ‘Anna’ said when she met Eric that he was safe to be with and he was kind and knew he would be safe for their informant to be with while all along, entrapping him and manipulating every step of the case and her pushing it to the end of some kind of action so they could all be arrested and Eric would be the one to carry the heavy sentence to warn any others of even thinking of doing anything. That since day one, there was a plan to make an example of, and Eric was it. Maybe this is just my desperate attempt to make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense. What do you think? (Thanks, Kareen, for your validation in seeing this!)

Mark (Eric’s Defense lawyer) was awesome in court. He argued to point out the ridiculousness of using the Terrorist Enhancement Guidelines in this case. He tried to get the judge to see that on a scale of 1 to 6 for defining the enhancement, Eric had no history of crime, which would have decreased it to 1, and therefore only 5 years, the judge argued that it should just automatically go to 6 because his conspiracy was against the gov. It was clear that there was no changing his mind whatsoever. Mark also asked our whole family to go forward and present to the court how we saw Eric and felt about him. So we all went before the court and said how much we loved him and saw him as a good, kind, caring, non-violent person and counter to what the prosecutor said, he did not change into this ‘terrorist’ person from the person we all know and love. He is the same person as we’ve always known him to be. This was quite a moving time during the hearing, one of my friends there said that Eric was moved to tears while hearing this validation of our love and support and that it will always be there no matter what.

The miracle I asked for did not come in the form that I had hoped it would come in. After the sentencing was done and the judge left the room, we all sat there waiting for the marshals to take Eric out of the courtroom. I was feeling in a daze, trying to deal with what we had just experienced when I began to get up to leave and I heard my future son-in-law, Brian say to me “Get over there, now” as he gently pushed me toward the gate in the wall separating the audience from the court. I looked up and Eric said “Come over here” and I saw George (her husband) going onto the other side of the wall where Eric was. It was so weird to see this happen because it is unprecedented for people to touch prisoners in a courtroom and then I heard someone say, “Go give him a hug!” I looked over at Eric and saw him and George in a loving embrace and so I moved quickly over to take my turn. It was so surreal to be able to reach out to my son whom I have not touched in 2 1/2 years, and have had a glass window between us, and to finally be able to put my arms around him and hold him again. We embraced in the love of a mother and son, both crying with joy and pain, when I had the thought that I should let Sarah, Rachael and Jenny (his sisters and girlfriend) have a chance before they take him away. I pulled away and put my hands on both sides of his face and we looked into each other’s eyes and with a strained voice, Eric said “Keep breathing” and I said in between sobs “You, too”. I kissed him on his cheek and turned to let the next one come in when I heard from the marshals, “No, only the parents can hug him!” I couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t let Sarah, Rach, and Jenny in, they were right there in arms reach! But they walked Eric away. I told the girls that I was so sorry that they didn’t get to hug him but they all said they were just glad that we got to give hugs to Eric. I have a very dear family. I turned to Jenny and we fell into each other’s arms, in some way hoping that some of Eric’s hug energy that I had felt in my body could transfer to hers. We stood in front of the door of the courtroom and sobbed, sharing our tears of heartache. I had a hard time taking in what just happened because like I said, it is unheard of to allow such a thing and I was so unprepared for it. But the marshals have been very kind during Eric’s trial allowing us to give him vegan food from the cafeteria. And I found out later that it was Jed, our wonderful trial investigator that works for Mark, who had made that happen in asking the marshals. So that, to me, was how the miracle came that day, in the form of a loving hug that was long overdue. This all is very difficult to share with you, crying as I write this or even think bout it, but I feel it is so important that I share the emotional side of this story. Before going through all of this, I never put together in the same thought that with legal stuff goes so many emotions, especially when loved ones are put into the jails and taken away from you for very long periods of time. My thinking is maybe if we become aware of the depth of feelings that happen in these times, that maybe we wouldn’t have so much legal stuff happen. Just maybe.

This last story that happened around this event has a bit more positive note to it. Sarah, Jenny and I went to see Eric Friday morning at the jail and Sarah and I were sitting outside in front waiting for Jenny to finish her visit with Eric. (By the way, he seemed somewhat grounded but yet kind of in a daze, feeling some emotions connected with being glad it is over but also the impact of the 20 years. Cards and letters of encouragement would be much appreciated.) While we were sitting there, this woman came over to us and started talking with us. She was telling us about how she was there visiting her newly married husband and they had recently gotten married in Reno or Vegas and just didn’t make it back in time for her husbands appt. to see his parole officer so they gave him another year, so he was serving it in the Sacramento jail. So she said this was where they were spending their honeymoon. She was saying how she has gotten 3 parking tickets from parking there at the jail because it is one hour parking and she sometimes is in visiting for an hour and 15 minutes, or as long as they allow her to visit and she is greeted with a ticket for $25.00 each. She was telling us how she knows so many people who are in jail or prison. Infact, she was in a relationship with an inmate with a life sentence who she had visited with her church, but she just couldn’t live that kind of life with someone in for life. While she was standing there, a lawyer that we knew from the beginning of the trial walked by and stopped to ask how it went Thursday, so we told her he got 20 years. This other woman heard this as well, and when the lawyer left, she started to tell us about how many people she knows who appealed their case and got out of jail and she urged us over and over again to appeal. She said that she knew that everything would be fine for us, and with Jenny being so dedicated and faithful to Eric, and that we were such a supportive family, that everything would work out. It’s when the prisoners don’t have support from friends and family that it is the hardest, and they get really depressed. She also told Sarah and me that we had such calming energy and she said our auras were beautiful. She just knew things would work out. She asked for Eric’s name and said that she would pray for him every day. After she left, I told Sarah that when people come into my life for just a moment and we share intimately like that, it is a signal for me to take note, almost like they are “angels” (for lack of a better word) or a messenger with a very important message or something important you need to hear and it is time to listen. This woman felt like that. She was light and caring with a huge heart and a beautiful smile and told us what we needed to help us. Before we left, Sarah was sure to put some money in her parking meter so she wouldn’t get another ticket while on her honeymoon!

I know this is all pretty intense, and I hope and pray that you won’t ever have to go through this kind of sadness and pain in your lifetime. And yet as I have said before in moments of my own awareness, that by wishing that for you, it would be keeping you from the beautiful gifts of awareness and intense joy that comes along with the pain. Maybe it would be best to say that in sharing this experience with you has been a real gift to me in the catharsis that is brought about while creating it for you and I hope that you might be a little more prepared by reading this for your own life experiences. Life is SUBLIME!

Love and Blessings!


May 25, 2008  3 Comments
Categories: Interesting People |


1 Eileen McDavid { 05.26.08 at 10:55 am }

What a beautiful presentation of Eric and my story, Genevieve. I feel very honored and thankful for knowing you and having you and your gift of astology in my life. Blessings, Eileen

2 Marcia { 05.27.08 at 7:57 pm }

Thank you both for sharing these powerful and sad life stories.

3 sandrar { 09.10.09 at 6:36 am }

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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