Sunday, April 23, 2017
Welcome to Earth Day. Well truly I meant to write this yesterday, but you know how time is all ripply and wobbly it never sits still. Thank goodness for photographs am I right? So we'll pretend that I got this post out on Earth Day okay, just work with me on this folks.
Seen from space everything looks so peaceful and majestic. You can't see the bird droppings on the driveway, you can't even see the driveway. From a distance all is right with the world. The clouds move, the oceans churn, and the green grows. It's only when you get down in it that things get messy. Humanity is like that too, from a distance you see the cities, the airplanes, the space station and satellites, and if you're another species out in the cosmos you might think, "My what a marvelous civilization, look at all the art and culture." It seems that way until you get in closer.
Earth is our home, our planet provides for us free of charge the elements necessary for life. We are part of Her (yes Her). The elements in our very bodies all come from this planet of ours. We are made up of the Earth. We are little walking talking Earth bodies. Yet there seems to be a large powerful faction that seems to promote strategies that would destroy this large body of which we are made. This would be akin to you or me deciding to cut out several of our vital organs to sell on the black market, completely oblivious to the fact that when we do we shall perish. They say that we own the Earth, which would be like one of our fingers or toes proclaiming themselves lord and master of our entire body while refusing to feed that body or keep it clean. This boys and girls is why we have an Earth Day.
Currently we have two of the self proclaimed "masters" rattling their sabers at one another threatening to start a war without limits. (Nuclear war for the laymen among us). Again to use the body metaphor this would be like your left hand throwing a grenade at the right hand. Right now in the zoomed in view of our species we do not look like sophisticated cultured beings, we appear as monkeys throwing excrement at each other. While we beat and torment those that wish only to protect our water so it is safe for all, we allow companies to take ownership of lands and reservoirs who care only about shareholder profits. While we pass laws that make it more difficult to cut back the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean and thus our seafood, we eviscerate funding for renewable energy research and start ups. We have politicized caring for our world, and because of that we all suffer.
I have been watching for most of my life the wholesale destruction of all that is beautiful and life sustaining. It has been a great weight on my heart since I was 11 years old. I am the reason my family recycles (who now would not even think to throw away something before checking to see if it is recyclable). I care for Earth like I would for a family member. I get angry when I see Her abused, as I would if I saw a loved one being beaten by a spouse. To me the Earth is not just home, She is a person, a Mother of Mothers, She is our Ancestor from whom we descend. When you view Her as such it becomes personal. You wouldn't let someone beat your Grandmother so why would you let them do that to the Earth who is Mother to all? So when people ask me to be calm and realize that politics have to play out, I am less than patient. I tend to resonate more with the words of House Baratheon (sorry Game of Thrones reference), "Ours is the fury!"
Anger is not a bad thing. Anger is a sign that something is wrong. Now that can mean it is our perception or thinking which is wrong, but in this case where we have mountains of data and rigorous research I'm confident this is not a perception error. We are killing our Mother. We are killing ourselves and all our distant relations of plants and animals with us. Yes even I am guilty. I use too much water. I don't eat as locally and responsibly as I should. I try and do better, but working within the system we have it is nearly impossible to not do harm. Which says to me we need a new system.
So why am I telling you this? Well if we need a new system, we need people to dream that new system into being. So my intrepid dreamers what matters to you? Do you like to get out in the water to fish or boat. Dream a system that protects and honors our waters. Do you like to hike through the woods? Dream up a system of land management that fosters our forests, and keeps them vital. Do you like a city life, but hate the traffic, noise and fumes? Dream up a city of the future with green energy, bustling transit hubs, and urban farming knit within the fabric of civilization. The older generations are passing onto us an out of date system that won't serve us. It is up to us and our descendants to dream a better one into being. We start there in the dream, then we bring those hopes and wishes into our plans and actions. This is Earth Day and we are little Earthlings. It is time to make Momma proud.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, April 16, 2017
I hope you had a lovely easter or passover. Whichever holiday you celebrated or didn't I hope the week brought you joy.
This week I sent back a book to the library. This was the first book I had to use interlibrary loan to obtain. It is quite a rare find. I have been tracking serendipity of late. Often when I am contemplating a particular topic information appears where least expected. In this case I went to the dictionary. I was fairly certain I knew what the word meant, but you'd be surprised how many words we use that started out with a different meaning. Words like people can change. Well I was quite shocked to find that the origin of this word started with a Persian fairy tale. The title of which is in the picture above.
Serendipity is finding something helpful or valuable you weren't actively searching for, and indeed the Princes of Serendip were continually finding something while on a completely different errand. To use video game lingo, they were the masters of side questing. Their island was beset by dragons that attacked ships and their father sent them forth into the world to find a way to defeat these dragons. On the way they rescued a lost princess, kept a king from being poisoned by a vassal, retrieved a magic mirror, and delivered a nation from an evil hand (yep totally malevolent that hand). It should be noted that during this they were tracking down a wizard with the formula for the death of dragons. The princes considered themselves great failures because they always just seemed to miss him. As the story plays out though it was through these acts of service that their main quest was fulfilled, in a way that couldn't have happened if they had attempted it. So they found what they were looking for because they didn't truly know what it was they were looking for.
I have mentioned before that I've been getting signs through dreams. Indeed last fall my dreams of a phoenix over the course of a week led me to co-create a very special midwinter drumming ceremony. I was completely surprised to learn that a phoenix plays a major part in the story of the three princes. Once again it was if the universe ran in and pinched me on the bottom and then ran out of the room while laughing hysterically. When these pieces keep showing up, I think it means I'm on the right path.
So why am I telling you this? There is an undercurrent in our life, beneath the chatter of our minds and plans. If we are flexible and curious that current can take us to unexpected places, somewhere we could never find if we were to consciously seek it out. Some people seem to head right for their goals, my road always meanders. The Princes of Serendip accomplished their goal because despite being on a crucial mission they were always available to do service for others. Here too is a lesson. It can be easy to become wrapped up in our errands and lives so that we don't offer of ourselves where we can make a pivotal difference in the lives of those around us. As you go through this week try loosening your grip on your plans and perhaps just see what else develops. We all have missions, but sometimes the best means to accomplish them is by taking the long way round.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Well we had winter for two days this week, but we seem to be firmly entrenched in spring now. I've had a low key week which is nice considering the flurry of activity that March was. I am doing my best not to overcommit myself this month. Which is lasting about five minutes it would seem. Somehow the pacing in my life is finally picking up. I can't complain, for years my calendar was empty and my phone silent. Now I have to silence my phone. Things do come around.
My big story this week is that at long last my car has a working driver side window again. HURRAH! For any of you who have ever had a window you couldn't roll down you know why I am so excited. I have the wind again. I hadn't been able to roll the window down since early last May, and let me tell you the summer was miserable in my car because of that. So in the early evening I was treated to the feeling of the breeze on my face as I drove towards home.
It is often said that it is the simple things in life you treasure. For the past twenty four hours I have had random upwellings of joy. I was blessed that a friend of mine's husband had the tools and mechanical skills to get the job done. With myself providing the parts and the friends and family discount they offered me, I was able to afford this miracle of modern engineering, a working power window. It is the small things over the course of a life that really add up into something special: cooking a meal for a loved one, leaving a light on for them, a hand of support on a shoulder, offering to pick someone up from the airport, or calling someone to check on them.
We have the myth of the self made man (or woman) in our culture. We value independence, and it is important to learn to stand on your own. However, it is an illusion. Most of us don't build our own houses, grow our own food, make our own clothes, manufacture our own cars, and cut our own roads. We are interdependent. All of us together create the conditions to make it easier for all of us to function in the world. Very few of us go it alone, we are all standing on the accomplishments of those who have gone before us, and thousands of unseen people who's contributions touch our lives. I felt so accomplished yesterday, but all I did was buy parts (which by the way a friend helped me look up). It is a small thing, a window, but it allows us to see beyond our walls. A window that opens is helping me see the connection between people and the interplay of giving and receiving.
So why am I telling you this? Well honestly I'm still riding the, " I have working car window again,", high. Seriously though, there are so many ways that we can help each other, and when we do we see the world in a kinder and clearer light. Right now we may not have all the pieces we need, but odds are someone we know does. More importantly we may have something that they need as well, but are too shy to ask us for. With the ways of the world a door may close on the traditional path to getting what we need, but a window may open instead. That window may take you some place you hadn't expected, and sometimes that is the best place to be. I hope you find the solutions in each other this week.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, April 2, 2017
I hope you had a joyful week. We keep flitting between spring and late winter chill. I was fortunate to attend a new moon ceremony led by a good friend. As things go there was of course a bit of mischief to be had.
I was supposed to be the drummer. I even arrived early by the statue of Pan. There was a chill but I set up and played my didjeridu to pass the time, and then when I was fully winded switched to my drum. It was getting quite late and still I was alone. Well as it turned out the ceremony had been moved to a different hill in the park. I had to hop in my car and zoom around to a pavilion on dog hill. This meant the ceremony was very brief, but as we stood there under a dark sky with a bit of chill, the mists were rising. Afterwards, we took a candle lantern home with us. I stuck around for a bit and let people draw a rune for the new moon.
Several other people who had been at the circle were off in the distance doing some fire twirling, but with lit color changing LED balls. It was a hypnotic dance of beautiful vibrant fractal light. Watching them practice to a trance inducing beat was magical. It reminded me of a book I read a few months back called, The Night Circus. I highly recommend it. In the novel the circus arrives mysteriously and is open from nightfall to dawn. It is called Le Cirque de Reves, meaning the circus of dreams. Each tent is an act of magical creation, in which reality is sculpted as high art. Reading it made me want to use my talents to create wonders.
I am often asked what got me into my line of work. I usually answer that it was my own suffering that led me into healing. While that is true, it is really only half of the answer. Wonder and fascination are what makes my heart expand and flourish. Seeking after that child like sense of mystery has been the true driver of my soul's engine. The pain and suffering were simply the shovel to move that fuel of wonder into the furnace of my heart.
Years ago when I began pursuing my dreams with a friend, we worked with the manifesting energetic tools that were being popularized at the time. We were focused on the big dreams and big picture, but we ignored the day to day pieces of living. We didn't get much of anywhere with those dreams and sadly that friendship is no more. These past few years I have made tremendous strides in the small pieces of the dream: setting up an office, writing a book, writing this blog, putting out regular videos, speaking at events, teaching classes, furthering my education, and just taking care of all the day to day steps. This is good and well, but I had lost sight of the vision. I had no big dream guiding those steps, no great passion. As a spirit recently told me, "You don't let yourself dream." Now while my overall work has improved, I'm still not where I want to be. This is because although I am still moving the shovel, I'm not stoking the furnace with the wonder of those big ideas.
We are people of the middle world. Below us is the earth our mother, and we must tend to our needs while we are embodied. Above us is the firmament of stars and heavenly cosmos. We get a lot of contradictory messages growing up, "Reach for the stars," while also hearing, "Get your head out of the clouds." Recently spending an evening out in the country I was able to actually see the stars. Here in the city it is easy to forget the majestic beauty that lies just over our heads. I'd been a good little task master the last few years, but I hadn't been looking up and beyond the day to day to the bigger picture. I suppose it was good, I'd been on the other extreme, all dreams with no action and having realized I'd come to the opposite of action without a direction. You see we need a star to steer our life by, a dream, something that stirs the fires in our hearts. For me it is to connect with that sense of wonder and share it with others. This is what makes me a trickster, I don't accept the world just as it is, but rather what it could be. What could be more radical than that? So it is clear to me it is time to dream big again. I think I have a decent handle on the practical steps so now I have to nudge my focus between the day to day and the overarching vision I have for my life.
So why am I telling you this. Well you probably are in a similar spot. Either you are full of dreams, but are not connected to the day to day necessities or you are all necessities while the secret yearnings of your soul are constantly put on the back burner. We are people of the middle world meant to bridge the energies of the earth and the stars. You are meant to dream big and make an impact. This doesn't mean you have to change the world, just your corner of it. Wonder may be my soul's drug of choice, but yours could be compassion, peace, wisdom, or joy. The actions you take don't have to be big they just need to be fed by a big and vibrant heart. So get out your astrolabes, put on your work boots, grab your gear, sing your song, and step out onto the path. Find your guiding star and let your actions lead you there.
Peace and Blessings,
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Well I have been a busy bee. Above you see pictures from my spring equinox drum ceremony. It had everything a budding thaumaturge could ask for: two drummers for balance, one male one female, a dark and light drum, a clear and smoky crystal, cold and warmth, clouds and sun, and last but not least a man and his dog.
Monday the 20th was the equinox and I was of course dedicated to ceremony, but I was also on a time constraint. For Monday is my do everything day. I clean, I do laundry, I teach, and I goto the gym. It's why I never schedule clients on that day. Shamanic practitioner I may be, but the toilet isn't going to scrub itself, nor the laundry wash itself. So in between loads of laundry I scampered off to a local park. I met with one of my teachers there and I set up my altar space. Just as we were getting started an older man walked by with a little dog, and my teacher a consummate dog lover asked, "What kind of dog is she?"
I have often written about the power of questions, and what they can unleash into the world. I had no concept of what was to follow. I should note beforehand, that I am always a little trepidatious about performing ceremony in what amounts to public space. I never know who will be around, if they will honor the space, or if they will be belligerent and start spouting religious dogma at me. In this case I needn't have worried. The man whom I shall call Mr. J. was extremely friendly, curious, and courteous. He obviously was very kind natured and loved to talk with people. Indeed he kept us talking for at least twenty minutes, and even asked us about what we were doing. I was vague on the details, but simply said we were celebrating the incoming season of spring. He wanted to know more, and so I meted out little bits of information all the while quite conscious of the time ticking away and becoming more and more anxious. I finally gave up and just let him meander on his conversational track until it seemed like he was at its conclusion. I remembered this is ceremony and whatever happens will happen for a reason.
Mr. J. departed taking his little dog home. We very quickly moved into ceremony. Now here is the very interesting bit. When I arrived it was quite raw and wet out. It didn't feel like spring at all. I was regretting not having ear muffs. Well about midway through the ceremony the sun started to peak out. All of the sudden the gray overcast light was peeled back to reveal the bright yellow light of spring. By the time we'd finished the drumming, the temperature had moderated considerably. It felt a good 10 degrees warmer. It was as if spring had arrived at the apex of the ceremony. Perfect in its timing I was glad I had indulged Mr. J., for if we had started when we first intended we would have missed the transformation from winter to spring. Instead our drumming seemed to be plugged into the exact moment when the seasons changed.
Later on that day as I was busily seeing to my chores before teaching I realized something else about our encounter. Mr. J. had been the living archetype of the Fool from the tarot. Now don't misunderstand, I'm not insulting him. I don't mean fool as someone who is ignorant or stupid. I am referring to the open innocence that the Fool card can possess. It is the wild card of the major arcana. It is the zero card, the void, and is one face of the divine. The Fool is also lucky. Often in the card he (or sometimes she) is depicted with a little dog heading off into the world beneath the sun, innocent to any dangers on the path ahead, and so they are open to new experiences. Looking back I can't even be sure Mr. J. was actually there and not a spirit in disguise meant to test our courtesy while helping us to be in sync with the energies of seasonal transformation. I have been told that the old stories still walk amongst us in our world.
So why am I telling you all this. Well are you ever in such a hurry or so tied to a schedule that you miss the magic that is trying to happen for you? Do you treat others as an inconvenience rather than an invitation? Are you aware of those moments when the balance changes and something new begins? Well maybe it is time to slow down your agenda and greet what is coming to you right now. Here we stand at the doorway of spring. What unforeseen forces are stalking you for your higher good? Will you snap out of your controlled routines to see the mystery that hunts for your heart? Will you capture the magic by letting go of the reins to your plans? Try just for a few days, and maybe one of the old stories will find you. Maybe you'll meet dear Mr. J. and then, well that's another story.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, March 19, 2017
I hope you had a great week. I'll be honest the time change really punched my clock in more ways than one this week, and the next ten days for me is going to a blur of activity. I'll be teaching my normal four Tai Chi classes as well as hosting the monthly Local Chapter of the Monroe Institute meditation, speaking at local meditation group, teaching another Qi Gong class at the Louisville Salt Cave, and facilitating a four hour workshop on runes. This whole month has been that way with clients too. I'm grateful for the sudden influx of opportunities, just hoping I can space them a bit more wisely in the future.
I"ve been trying to reconnect with my deeper mysteries this year. People keep coming to me with more complicated and heavy issues and so I'm upping my game by returning to my magical roots. What I am noticing as I delve back into my divinatory tools and otherworldly interactions is just how much I actually pick up on subconsciously. There are many times I will do something in a session, or in my life spontaneously for no apparent reason. It is only in looking back after the fact that I realize I made the perfect move for what was about to occur. This has shown up as I review old dream journals too, as I am realizing part of me at least is very in touch with what is going to happen beforehand (sometimes by years).
This unconscious preparedness should have me more excited, but truthfully it would be nice to know what I know more often. For one thing it would improve my confidence level and lower my anxiety. Intuition is a subtle thing, and in my case it likes to fly under the radar. There are reasons why I use cards, runes, and other divination tools to focus. Having a little bit of structure actually gives me the freedom to range out with my senses. A starting point is kind of important if you're trying to get someplace. Now I have random bits of information pop into my head all the time but stringing them together into a coherent reference of meaning is where the work comes in.
Now I don't mean to complain about running on the equivalent of psychic autopilot. I'm actually rather pleased once I figure out that I did something on purpose, even if I didn't know it at the time. What I realize is that my need to make all these senses more conscious is part of my effort to be "in control". Of course we could just as easily call it my addiction to the illusion of control. Oddly the more I let go of control, the more things flow, and the more access I have to my intuitive faculties. So the only reason to try and look in control is for appearance sake....basically marketing. I really should give that up, marketing is not one of my strong points.
So why am I telling you this? Well perhaps like me your guidance is just fine and you're not aware of how pervasive its positive influence is on you. Many of us have such a strong image in our heads of what being psychic or intuitive means we may be blocking our natural tendency to find our way in the dark. What if we let go of trying to prove to ourselves over and over again that we're plugged in? If you are part of this world, you're connected even if you don't know it. How our guidance shows up for us is going to be very individual thing and trying to compare how it shows up to for you as opposed to anyone else is futile. I suggest we all just chill and run with our natural inklings. We can always analyze after the fact. Once we start to trust that some part of us knows what it's doing, it becomes easier for us to access more pieces of the puzzle. So as you move through your week, keep stock of the things that turned out right. How many of those happened because you just did one thing that you didn't think about until later? You may start to see the patterns of awareness hidden beneath the surface of your everyday life. You may start to see yourself living both within time and outside of it. You may even see down the deep well of the self to the light you carry within.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, March 12, 2017
I hope you had a blessed week. I've certainly been hopping. I've had many meetings, clients, and classes to keep me on the go. My next goal is to get started in the studio again so that I can get my hands in clay.
This week has not all been about building though. As has been happening across the land, violence has come to my home. For those of you that aren't aware there has been a rash of bomb threats against synagogues and Jewish community centers across the nation. I myself happen to teach one of my Tai Chi classes at a JCC in my city. There seems to be a concerted effort by white nationalists (American Nazis) to terrorize the Jewish community. They are not alone in receiving this kind of treatment, mosques have been similarly threatened, and at times even destroyed. The only point of light in this has been the response from both Muslims and Jews who have reached out in support of one another.
This is a dark time in the USA. Those that have kept to their dark corners feel emboldened to gather and attack minorities. I have seen articles with footage from rallies that are calling for a liberal genocide, and the deporting of Jews and Muslims. People around me who are conservative are telling me it's all being blown out of proportion, but most of these are white Christians who haven't had their places of worship threatened, or worse burnt down. In the midst of this all we keep hearing from on high is more chest thumping and spouting of militaristic and violent rhetoric. People are aligning behind the, "Might makes right," argument. With our country's love affair with firearms and recent shootings of immigrants I am to say the least, a bit disgusted.
There seems to be some misconception that the ability to destroy makes someone powerful. Well it doesn't. Any idiot can blow something up, or shoot something, or light a fire, or smash a window. It takes no imagination, skill, or innate strength to destroy. Destruction is easy. Destruction is for wusses. If you want to impress me, build something. Create something elegant. Look at the picture above. The glass canopy is exquisite and delicate. As challenging as it was to make that canopy, it would be extraordinarily easy to break it. Creating something takes at least ten times the energy and skill that ruining it does. Small minds can't conceive, so they attack and smash.
I am finding it harder to muster up any respect for those in this world who take pride in what they can smash. They strut around thinking they're better because they know how to kill, maim, or take something apart. Perhaps I am being a bit judgmental, but I really feel that we need a change of culture. We need a new idea of what a warrior is. Back in the long ago, the warriors were the hunters and guardians of our tribal ancestors. Their strength was used to preserve and protect the people and what they had created. We revered that ability and strength not for its own merit, but for what it provided the community. Now we have separated physical ability from service, glorifying it for its own selfish use. Whom do we honor most, firemen or athletes? Do we honor our veterans or do we worship mixed martial artist champions? Who is stronger, the weightlifter, or the woman giving birth? The warrior archetype has been co-opted by the cult of masculinity, and has lost much of its original meaning and power.
So why am I telling you this? Well we all have a piece of this culture within us. We must ask ourselves what we honor? When we think of the warrior are we worshipping power over others, or the power to protect others? How do you define strength? When I asked that question did you immediately think of a tall well built man? Do you think of women as strong? I'll be honest with you most of my examples of strength came from women I have known. So this week as you walk through the world spend time acknowledging the strength in the hands that have grown your food, that have taught children to read, that have cared for aging relatives, that have woven the cloth in your garments, and that have solved problems with the skill of their minds. Warriors are needed in this dark time, but warriors need to impress us with what they can create.
Peace and Blessings,