Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Night


Christmas night was dark and beautiful. There was a crystal glow around the moon. As I focused my camera and zoomed on it, I held my breath ~ exhaling slowly as I snapped the shot.

Involuntarily, a smile grew across my lips. I spoke quietly to the silvery glow. "You are beautiful tonight, Lady. Thank You for Your beautiful show."

I stood outside in the dark. Inside, family and friends ate, talked and laughed. My sense of contentment overwhelmed any other thought. I walked farther into the darkness, watching the show as clouds scudded across the moon then released Her. Stars winked through the wisps of cloud.

Gratitude washed over me ~ and continues to wash over me as I remember the moment. "Thank You, Lady, for family, friends and love. Thank You for memory and choice. Thank You for all who have passed through my life. Bring blessings to each."

For what are you grateful during this holiday season? Do you take moments to look at the night sky? What feeling does the night bring you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December's Capricorn New Moon



Accompanying the Winter Solstice this year is the Capricorn New Moon. As ever, Capricorn is about deep reflection and introspection fitting perfectly into the winter cycle of hibernation and allowing time to ponder what newness and shape may be coming into one's future.

In this reflective stage ~ and the 'letting go' phase of the New Moon ~ I consider the brand new year approaching as a time to take action, to deepen my connection with my higher self and with the Ineffable One. I choose an empowered and authentic life.

Moving forward from this New Moon, stepping into the New Year, is perfect timing for releasing the past ~ all of the past, whether I deemed it good, bad or indifferent. I choose to spend this time grounding and centering myself to establish my deep, heartfelt next step with honor, integrity, boldness and courage. I disengage from any false beliefs and self-limitations as I ride the wave of transformation into my next twelve month cycle via the current cultural calendar, awake, aware, conscious, grounded.

This New Moon lights my way to embracing my Shadow, loving both my Light and my Dark. I continue on the path to wholeness and balance, redefining my beliefs along the way. I do not get what I want; I get what I believe. I get what I call forth from the Darkness of the New Moon into the Light of the coming year and next Full Moon.

What do you believe? What does this New Moon say to you? How do you empower yourself? What do you call forth into the New Year?


Monday, December 22, 2014

Waking from The Darkest Night



Let This Darkness Be a Belltower
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29 by Rainer Maria Rilke

Quiet friend who has come so far, 
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.


In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.


And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.


The Winter Solstice showers us with the shortest day, the return of the Light, and one more vital event: the longest, darkest night.


Through much of my life I've been instructed, either explicitly or implicitly, to dodge or deny the dark. I, ever the contrarian, chose instead to embrace it. Reflecting on it now, I know that wasn't always the case. That change happened one long, dark night when I was six. 

Akin to this year, the Winter Solstice was accompanied by a New Moon. I'd always been a light sleeper; many noises roused me from sleep. Generally, I rolled over and returned to the Land of Nod. This particular night was different. Something brought me to the stage of full wakefulness. The room was completely dark, with that palpable darkness that brings with it a fear of the unknown. The door to my closet was open and I sensed movement within it. I heard a rustling coming from it.

My younger self knew enough to call for protection ~ I sent a prayer for my guardian angel. Almost immediately, a tall shadowy being sat on the foot of my bed and began rocking it gently back and forth, softly telling me a lyric tale. Soon, I fell asleep again.

The shadowy figure returned whenever the need arose. Because of that, and the tales I heard, Darkness became my ally rather than something to fear. I learned an ally works with you and was content to have Darkness in that role.  When I was older, in college and beyond, friends commented  on my familiarity and comfortability with Darkness.

How do you feel about Darkness? Do you turn on lights every time you enter a room in the evening or night? Why or why not? How does the darkest and longest night affect you?



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014


Winter Solstice ~ the shortest day and longest night of the year. Many ancient civilizations created monuments aligned with the sun rising on the Winter Solstice morn. One of the most famous is Stonehenge in the England. Also, Newgrange in Ireland and Chichen Itza in Mexico. The oldest known is the Goseck Circle in Germany, circa 4900 BCE.

The one in the picture is the temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt. The massive stone walls rise to look like hands holding the sun in the sky. Quite an incredible feat to create!

Winter Solstice is one of the markers of the rhythm of the seasons. Although in our modern culture, we label it the beginning of winter, its alternate name is Midwinter. Celebrations filled with rejoicing in the return of the sun marked it as a central seasonal feast.

I love Winter Solstice, Midwinter. My very being recognizes the rhythm it marks. Despite all the modern ways to mark time, I feel the shift within as readily as I see the days afterward begin to lengthen. For many years, I marked this time with a week-long retreat, my personal time of hibernation, to reset my internal clock and prepare for the coming new year.

Do you feel the shift from darkening days to the beginnings of more light? What do you do to mark the Winter Solstice? How do you honor the shifting season?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Time of Waiting


Nearly Winter Solstice. The time fields rest, wild creatures hibernate, darkness reigns. Considering all that, patience should be readily accessible ~~ hah!

It's also nearly Christmas. The time when everyone, from the very young to the very old, is focused on giving and getting. Stores are looking to increase their bottom lines which are so necessary to their existence. Everyone is wrapped up in wrapping up their gift purchases. Within this cultural context, patience is nowhere near.

Individually, we have the opportunity to pause, to reflect, to be mindful of what we are doing and why the season is significant. I'm not referring only to the birth of the Christ ~ the "reason for the season" to many people. I'm referring to the deeper and broader reason.

Let's turn back the clock ~~
Before, and even after, the beginning of the Christian Era, winter was the darkest, longest time of year. Yes, longest. Even though we now know 24 hours is 24 hours, time seemed different then. Think about it. If we didn't have artificial lighting, winter nights would seem interminably long. Candles and oil lamps only hold back the deepest dark. They don't dispel it as electricity does.
So the darkest time ~ the Winter Solstice ~ became a time to celebrate, to acknowledge one's kinship with others, to cajole the gods and goddesses to return the light and the food sources. Light became personified, Someone as well as something to honor and re-call. Ceremonies, celebrations and rituals for this time abound in the mythologies from around the world.

Winter is the natural time to hibernate, to rest, to take stock of what is most important in life. It's the time of year all of nature waits, expectantly, for the return of the Light.

How do you cultivate patience? What does winter signify to you? How do you balance gift giving and waiting? celebration and ceremony?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Be Yourself


Today, my Teabag Tarot showed up with this gem: be yourself. I chuckled.

"Wow," I thought, "that's one tough thing to do."

The past few weeks have been rough. No particular reason ~ everything on the outside is going well: work, family, finances, even the weather. Yet ~~ yet ~~ I had no motivation to write my blog posts. I'd been doing so well ~ and recently found my brain more void than fruitful. Every time I attempted to write, I'd reach a spot where the words stopped flowing. Or I'd fall asleep. Or I couldn't stop looking at something useless and trivial online.

It wasn't that words weren't there. It was that I couldn't quite access them. As though I was reaching through a fog toward an unseen and unknown spot.

That's who I was in that moment. My belief in myself, in my ability to draw words onto paper, remained in tact. The surface itself was shifting following the direction of the wind. I settled in. I allowed my deepest center to hibernate, to find rest and ease, to settle into the rhythm of the coming winter.

Allowing the space for that to happen isn't easy. I want more to happen; I want to move, to create, to feel the lightness of what's within me bubbling out. Recently, though, it's less a bubbling and more a slow drip.

As the Winter Solstice approaches, I feel that inner compass turning toward the stronger sun. I'm thrilled to feel the pull.

What do you do when your creativity rests? What does it mean for you to "be yourself"? How do you let go of the "shoulds"? What do you feel when you do?


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gemini Full Moon


©2014 ML Monroe

As darkness fell on the night of the full moon, the sky overhead abounded with clouds. Pulling up to the library, I thought, "Here's a month I'll miss getting pictures of the full moon!" I stepped out of my car and walked across the drive to the entry. As I glanced to the east, my breath caught. The moon was a picturesque haunting vision with wisps of dark clouds scudding over her surface. I pulled out my camera and snapped a couple dozen shots. No touch-up needed to show Her amazing beauty.

This Gemini Full Moon is expansive and empowering ~ an abeyance from the intensity that has swirled through life in recent months. Attitude is vital to the capacity to move forward; gratitude and avidity top the list.

In December 1999, a Hopi Elder spoke words that reveal the power of our attitude ~ and this moon:
"There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
...
Banish the word 'struggle' from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration."
What will you do in this moment between breaths? How will you release the word 'struggle'? What attitude/s will you choose to have as you move forward toward Solstice and the New Year?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Giving Thanks


I've been busy lately. Life gets that way occasionally. Work keeps me active. Almost every evening or night last week, I had an event as well. No time to blog.

The work week was a short one because of Thanksgiving. After my other activity, I now had an entirely different reason to be busy.

Saying this may give the impression of disgruntlement, yet I honestly have felt awake, aware and alive through it all. My feelings have ranged content to joy. No explanation as to why. No desire to know either.

Reflecting on these past two weeks, I find I've felt much gratitude. I am thankful for my health, my family, my friends. I am grateful to have a job in my career field, health insurance, wonderfully functional vehicle. My deepest gratitude is for the intangibles, the essentials, the essence of life. If I had to put those into words, they'd be: the Ineffable One (known by many names), Breath and Wonder or Awe.

Thanksgiving provides the pause in my busy routines that allows me to recognize and acknowledge that which is truly important ~~ and to give thanks, with as much humility as I can muster.

For what are you grateful? How do you express it? When does your gratitude surface? How do you slow yourself down to notice?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Predicting









"One cannot predict the next mythology any more than one can predict tonight's dream; for a mythology is not an ideology. It is not something projected from the brain, but something experienced from the heart."
~ Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space
,







I love Joseph Campbell and I am grateful for the breadth of his work being recorded in some way. His books, interviews and presentations are fascinating and his creativity boundless. The above statement, two sentences, is packed with meaning.

"[T]he next my mythology..." What does that mean? Are mythologies created? Can they change or adapt to the current age? How much control do we have over their development? or their creation?

To better understand Campbell's statement, I looked for a definition for mythology that went beyond "a collection of myths" and found "...a set of legends, stories or beliefs, especially ones that have a religious or cultural tradition." In that context, each new or emerging culture could potentially develop its own mythology. I like that; it rings true in relation my experiences.

In the media, every 'generation' has received a reference term (Millenials, GenXers, Boomers, etc.). Each of those generations seems to develop some portion of its own mythology. What are the stories, the legends Boomers believe? What about Millenials? How are they different? How are they similar?

Belief in particular stories does come from the heart more than the head. There was a legend that grew around 9/11 regarding who had 'weapons of mass destruction.' Even though the reality proved different from that legend, many people choose to believe the myth.

Now there's a growing movement regarding Marriage Equality. The challenge from the old belief system and from the new mythology are clashing ~ and the new is emerging with a spreading victory across the country.
                                                                        
Although both of these are political situations, their truth lies in the beliefs of the people more than in anything solid. Our culture shifts with each new mythology as it builds momentum and finds footing. Joseph Campbell's statement bears validity today too.

What are the myths you've grown to believe? Do you think mythologies change with each new cultural group that arises? Have your beliefs shifted with the tide? or as you've grown older?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meaning in Life







"If you want a meaning in your life, find a meaning and bring it into your life, but life won't give you a meaning. Meaning is a concept. It is a notion of an end toward which you are going. The point of Buddhism is This Is It."
~ Joseph Campbell, Myths of Light






Though I wouldn't call myself a Buddhist, I willingly acknowledge This Is It. This moment is truly all I have. I plan for the future: what I'll wear tomorrow; how soon I can pay off my credit cards; dinner plans with a friend. That keeps my mind's eye pointed in that direction. What I have, though, is NOW: the clatter of dishes in the sink, the people around me talking, the music playing over the radio..... and what's most alive in my soul.

What is it that's alive in my soul? In this moment, it's gratitude: for a warm place to sit; for the technology on which I am typing; for the tea I am drinking; for the people in my life, individually and collectively; for my employment.

For me, the most difficult part of This Is It rests in letting go of the plans, of the chatter of my mind about what more needs to be done, of the itch to tap the next screen and read the next text. I live and breathe our fast-paced, overwrought world. Besides that, I'm an information junkie ~~ in certain arenas. I love reading, learning, discovering. Those things keep me focused on the future, on tomorrow or, at the very least, on the next moment.

For now, I'll take a deep breath, let my fingers rest beside the keys rather than on them, close my eyes, and let the breath flow out of me.

How do you stay focused on this moment, the one you are in? Do you believe This Is It? or do you believe there is more? How do you balance yourself between the Now and the Then?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Your Story Heals



Here's a thought:
My story, your story, heals us and others.

I already knew ~ and totally understood ~ that telling my story could, or would, heal me. Simply speaking the story, putting it out to the Universe, provides the opportunity for me to hear how it sounds. Am I whiny? Am I angry? Am I making some of it up? exaggerating? Am I hiding something? Am I afraid? Happy? Sad? Grieving? The recognition of all of those are important for my personal healing. Telling my story brings it all to light.

What I have put into the equation when I tell my story is the impact it can have on another person's healing. What I feel, or felt, about my experience can shine a healing light into the darkness of another's wounds. My story can add a new perspective to the story of another person. If she or he has experienced something similar, the other's mind can compare the two events and see how they are related. Sharing my story encourages the other to share hers or his. So many ways to aid in the healing process!

Probably the most significant and promising healing of sharing stories is in the sharing of them in the first place. It becomes the moment of connection ~ and connections are the basis of health and healing. Connections with others on that deep soul-story sharing level reminds us that we are not alone. It reconnects us with life and breath in its most basic form. I am grateful for every moment of those kinds of connections. They are the cords that form the netting beneath me, that catch me when I fall.

When do you tell your stories to others? Are they stories of joy? sorrow? success? failure? Do some of your stories scare you? Have you risked telling those? If you haven't, why not?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Glad I Didn't Get My Wish



It seems everyone I know has a story about at least one time, and generally multiple times, when he or she felt like a misfit. Out of place moments or awkward situations rank as some of the most difficult times for youth. Teens and early twenties are times when most of us want to fit in, to belong, to feel we are a part of something larger than us. We equate belonging with being loved.

I particularly like this quote for the post script. Getting my wish of fitting in didn't always work out the way I wanted it to work.

Looking back, I find that most of my life was spent "on the outside, looking in." I recognize now that I didn't "fit in" because I was strong in my unique spirit. I wouldn't have said that at the time. It's taken years to recognize its truth. To "fit in" meant doing or saying or wearing things that didn't come naturally to me. I wanted to "fit in" but didn't want to make the required changes. I wanted more to be accepted than to belong.

Now I see the strength that kept me apart as a gift. I had a strong sense of self, though sometimes I found myself wanting the company of others. When my peers went out for pizza or my co-workers met for an after work cocktail, I longed for an invitation to join them. Yet I learned to be content with my solitude. I found my own company enjoyable. Others did invite me along over time. Not fitting in led me to inner peace, a level of comfortability with myself and choice.

Did you want to 'fit in' when you were younger? Did you actually fit in? How did you feel? What did you do to get through it? How do you feel about 'fitting in' now?



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Be Teachable



Colette Baron Reid ~ The Enchanted Map


From the guide book:
Wisdom comes from participating in life, not just reading about it. This card suggests that you might not have enough knowledge about what you seek, the direction to take, your circumstances, or the nature of your inquiry. Important information is coming. Note is the time to go to school, ask a person who might know more than you do, or find a teacher or a course of study so that you can more clearly understand what the next right action must be. Sometimes life unexpectedly sends you to an unfamiliar school, and you must learn by experience. Now is a time to be teachable, open to changing your preconceived notions. Be a student, and be willing to say the most powerful mantra of all: "I don't know ~ yet."

When I first saw this card, I thought, "Of course. So fitting for a teacher." Then I read what was written in the guide book. Ahhhh. Quite a different story. This is about being humble and accepting the education as it is presented. More of a wake up call than a pat on the back.

To reinforce this particular lesson after drawing this card, I read a friend's post on Facebook about an experience she is having and we shared a private exchange about the lessons she is learning. My head leans toward saying this kind of experience couldn't happen to me ~ it nudges me in that direction. My heart and my soul know a different story. I ache for the pain my friend is experiencing. I hold her in my prayers. I bow in thanks to be a support and to honor the teacher she is being for me.

I have preconceived notions of my strengths ~ and they are being tested. My pride is currently being challenged to the point that I am being redefined by it. I have a definition of who I am that is being redesigned and charred to the point that I am not sure I will recognize it when it's done. I am learning about what is most important, and what is not. I am a student once again.

Are you in a space of being teachable? What or who in your life has a lesson for you? Are any of your preconceived notions being challenged? How will you face that challenge?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Innovate



Last week, I attended a wonderful work-related conference. In the final presentation, one of the PowerPoint slides read "Innovate." Although this was the very last presentation, many of the participants were gone, that word struck a chord within me. Innovate.

Innovation only happens in the presence of creativity. Creativity arises from that gently open space inside that feels like magic. The open wonder of play.

Play isn't the only place where we find creativity, but it certainly is the most free, and the most freeing. If you watch children at play, on a school playground, in a park, at a party, you see them making up rules as they go along. When they are young, we applaud this creativity. As children reach 8 or 9, or begin to participate in team sports, we insist they follow specific sets of regulations. This is a good thing in terms of becoming law-abiding, rule-following members of society.

In terms of creativity, the strictest rule-abiders find themselves stymied. This is what the social psychologist Erich Fromm's statement addresses. Abiding by rules implies that particular outcomes are certain: win or lose, right or wrong, success or failure. Yet to innovate, to be fully in the flow of those creative juices, requires ~ not suggests, but demands ~ that I risk and challenge the absolute, the certain, the clearly defined.

Throughout my life, I've rarely seen myself as a risk-taker. And yet.... I've taken great risks that have led to some of the most amazing results: moving half-way across the country with only what could fit in my van and no job; applying for law school; applying for, and getting, a job in Cairo, Egypt. None of these, or others I could list, were certain successes. Yet all of them led to life-changing, wonderful, incredible creative moments in my worldview.

To innovate in my life right now requires me to let go of what appears as certain, to risk failure (or what others might describe as failure), to allow creativity to crack through the shell with which I surround myself. I embrace the challenge!

How do you allow creativity into your life? What does innovation mean to you? What keeps you from being more creative, more innovative? What courageous first step will you take to change that?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Loving Your Soul


Teabag Tarot....what an incredible, crazy, wonderful statement to awaken to!
Love. Your. Soul.
The words themselves, run together into a sentence as they are, appear simple to the point of being a no-brainer. Yet the number of people I see who clearly do not love their souls astounds me.

Clearly I don't always love my soul. I don't think about it, consider how the consequences of my actions reflect the care I have, or do not have, for my soul. When I allow stress to take over my life to the point where I eat everything in sight or sit around the house in a stupor....then I'm not showing care for my soul.

I don't show care for my soul when I disrespect myself. That can be by talking in a way that others may approve of, but that is not healthy for me ~ like gossiping or making fun of others. Or it can be the way I carry myself, from wearing clothing to "fit in" to using language I may or may not otherwise use or smoking. It isn't about whether or not I do any of these things, the actions themselves are neutral. It's about my intention when I do them.

Loving my soul ~ loving your soul ~ takes practice and presence. It takes paying attention to my thoughts and intentions. Sometimes it also means taking time to be alone so that I can check in with my soul, recognize how it responds when I act or speak or move or dress certain ways. I want to love my soul. That's where the entire practice begins.

How do you show love for your soul? What practices do you have to stay in touch with your soul? Do you recognize its rhythm? What will you do to keep in touch with that part of you?


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Full Moon in Taurus


I was all set to write about something else in today's blog when an astrologer friend said, "Don't take a position!"

"Why not? What are you talking about?" I asked.

She chuckled and told me that this Full Moon would bring out the 'positions' in all of us ~ and may cause some problems in the manner in which they pop up. "It's about finding your deeper values and being flexible in the way in which you show them."

Great. I'm guessing that means I need to watch what I say and how I say it, which is often on my mind. Communication, clear communication, is one of my greater values. It'd be good if that showed up right now.

I decided to look for more information. This is what I found at mysticmamma.com:
"This Full Moon is a good time to determine just what you value and want to stand for, create in your life and carry forth into the next cycle of evolution." But this was my favorite part in its echo of what my friend had said: "If you look around you can see the bloody knuckles, scraped knees and noticeable limps of those around you who may not have taken Saturn's 'suggestions' to put responsibility, discipline and mature patience into play... Now, seeing as Scorpio's realm is power, sexuality, death and transformation as well as the shamanic and shadow worlds, we are experiencing just how fundamental the surrender (a most feminine action)_ to the Divine is for our survival...
Attachment (Taurus) and letting go, i.e. death (Scorpio) are big themes highlighted at this Moon. Look deeply and closely at anything diminishing your self-worth and address the issues underlying your lack of intimacy, inability to show up in all your radiance, or buried beliefs in scarcity."

Okay. So how'd mysticmamma ~ and my friend for that matter ~ get inside my head and heart to expose my biggest issues..... or, wait, are these issues for more people than me? Is that what she's suggesting? Yeah. That's about the sum of it.

Can you feel the pull of the Full Moon? How do you feel? What's being uncovered about your values? What attachment do you need to release?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Call of Grief


Grief may be the most misunderstood of feelings. It strikes like a snake hidden in the grass. As the world begins to appear in color again, grief raises its all-suffering head. It screams, alone and out of control. It is a solitary and singular feeling.

The past two weeks, death traversed my path several times. A co-worker shared about two deaths that happened within a week of each other and another that is imminent. A friend had to put her beloved dog to sleep. Yet another school shooting tore apart a small community. After a multi-year battle, the younger brother of a friend chose to let his kidney disease take his life. I've watched for years the physical deterioration of a friend with AIDS.

I don't know how to comfort someone cocooned in grief. All I can do is reach out, touch him or her to signal "I am here for you" and allow the space or distance or closeness needed. When my own grief arises, I hope someone is around to do the same for me.

Grief is more than a feeling, stronger than any other emotion. There is an aspect of it that is intensely physical, aching and overwhelming. Its timing and rhythm are random, chaotic and entirely its own.

Despite all this, grief also draws people together. Communities care for those in grief with food, comfort and even physical assistance ~ such as cleaning house or mowing the lawn. I understand another's grief because I have tasted my own. Loss is an experience we all share. We understand its cyclical nature as well.

Have you had a recent encounter with grief? Your own? or someone else's? What effect did it have on you? What did you do about or with it? How do you care for yourself when you feel grief? Is it different if it's your own? or another's?

All Hallows Day



All Saints' Day in Poland
My personal and spiritual continually unfolding myth includes both the Pagan celebrations, such as Samhain or Hallowe'en, and the Christian celebrations, like All Hallows or All Saints' Day. Both encourage the honoring of the ancestors, of those who have already passed through the veil from this world to the next.

The image above is of a graveyard in Poland where there is an honoring of those who have died. Flowers and candles abound as far as the eye can see. It reminds me of a variety of festive days: weddings, family birthdays, funerals, graduations. Any of the days we choose to celebrate are decorated with floral arrangements and honored with lit candles.

I knew few of my ancestors. My maternal grands died when my mother was a teenager. My paternal grandfather died when I was perhaps five. I recall very little about him, except that my brother and I would play on his sick bed and he enjoyed our company. My maternal grandmother died when I was seventeen. My high school graduation was her last family event. I have stories of all of them. Images and words surface in the dreamtime, arising from that stored genetic pool of memory. This is a day when I can sit within that dreamtime, connect with them, talk through my day, the course of my life, gather tidbits of wisdom from them. At the close of day, I blow out the candles with a heart filled with gratitude, joy and grief. What an amazing time.

How do you honor your ancestors? What do you feel when you think of them? What would you like to say to them? to ask of them? to share with them? What do you want from them? Are you pleased with their responses?



Friday, October 31, 2014

Samhain's Thinning Veil


http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs20/i/2009/278/9/3/Samhain_Goddess_by_ArwensGrace.jpg
Samhain is the autumnal finale when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. What makes this holy season, this particular turning off the wheel, an opening between Life and Death, between Light and Dark?

Each of the Quarters and Cross-Quarters on the Wheel brings the worlds of this present reality and another more ethereal reality closer together. Midwinter or Yule brings a season of elves and merry-making to drive away the Dark and celebrate the Return of the Light. Imbolc is the first planting, the coming of the 'milk' when the young are conceived and born. Ostara reveals more of the Light and coming Life, when we recognize the fertility in the greening of the world around us. Beltane begins the summer flowering and the fairies. Midsummer or Litha brings the fair winds and weather, the height of Light and fullness. Lammas, the Loaf Mass, is the first harvest, the time of baking bread and bringing in grain.
Mabon is the height of the harvest, the autumnal balance of Light and Dark.

Which returns the cycle to Samhain, the end of the harvest season and beginning of the fallow time. The veil thins as Light slips away, leaves fall from deciduous trees, food-bearing and flowering plants growing above ground wither and die or slumber. Only the root plants have any chance of continuing after this, and even they will be gone soon. Often with the first frost comes the first illnesses. Fall begins "cold and flu season" when we see a rise of immune vulnerability. The days are grayer, more dismal. Shadows lengthen even during the daylight hours.

In many cultures, this is the time to remember those who have passed from this world into the next, to honor the ancestors who have left this physical reality, but have left behind their collective wisdom.

This is the season I love most. The thinner veils suit my Scorpio Moon well. Over time, I've learned to  traverse the worlds during this passage of time. Though it can be a dangerous place to wander, it brings much knowledge and wisdom. As I've gleaned that harvest, the greater instruction has been to pass on what I learn, to recognize that I am an instrument to bring that information into this present reality.

How do you feel about this time of year? What is your favorite part of this season? In what time of year do you feel most comfortable? most happy? Why?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Message of Initiation



Shapeshifter Tarot



"As the initiate, you are learning to control your willpower in order to accomplish your goals and desires. A new cycle of life and being are before you; use the wisdom of the dragon to determine whether this cycle will be positive or negative."







Today I sought a reading on my strengths, or needed strengths. I was feeling drowsy, not able to truly concentrate and didn't like the first two readings I received. I wanted more positivity. The first two times, I received cards that were questionably not of a hopeful and positive voice. Each time there was one that was saying I could be selfish or insensitive or bull-headed. Of course any of those things may be true, but I certainly didn't want them in my reading! Ha!

Besides the card (one of three each time) that would be of a more accusatory nature, there was one, or perhaps both, of the remaining cards sounded similar to this one. Since I could feel the strength of my will encouraging me to continue to look for the 'right' interpretation of a card, I thought this one most suitable. It also called upon the power of the dragon, and I liked that as well. I have a particular affinity for the creatures ~ and I like the strong sense of blowing wind in the card's imagery.

Another point with which I was instantly connected was the title of the card: Initiation. The explanation card referred to me, the participant, as an initiate. I like that particular label: initiate, "a person who is instructed or adept in some special field." It's like being part of a special, sacred or secret group. It's nice to feel 'selected' for something.

How does the term 'initiation' strike you? What do you think about being an initiate? How have you reacted when something turned up in your life that you didn't want? What did you do?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pluviophile



Sometimes there are words with which one must fall in love. Pluviophile is one of those for me.

This past the weekend was an exceptionally wet one. Upon leaving the house on Saturday, the comment was made that the rain was "awfully wet" at that moment. I chuckled at the comment, yet agreed with the sentiment. Especially since several rivulets were coursing down my head as I darted into the open and waiting van. The raindrops were big and ploppy. They splattered on the windshield and street, and, I suppose, on my head. Not small, gentle drips, but full, round drops.

On the rainy days since Saturday, I found myself smiling more, walking more erect and listening to the patter of the rainfall. Strolling slowly, deliberately, with an open awareness of the water coming down, or about to do so, I felt a kinship with the women in the picture. What incredible fun!

What kind of weather brings joy to your heart? Is there a special descriptive word or name for it? How do you act when you're filled with joy? Any types of weather that cause a 'blah' feeling for you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Get Up, Never Give Up


This feels like a statement I should be writing about on a Monday ~~ because Mondays are simply 'those' kind of days. Instead, I'm posting this on a Tuesday.

Sometimes I wake up feeling grumpy or tired or sad. I have to tell myself everything will get better. Ha! On some of those days, it's easy to say, "The only way for things to go is UP!

What I like best about this statement is the very last three words: "never give up." It's not about life being perfect or so screwy that everyone should feel sorry for me. It's not as though things will always be rosy. It's about not giving up on life. And not just any life. Your own.

I remember days when getting out of bed is really tough because I feel sad or sick or sometimes both. I drag myself out of bed... or I bound out of bed. Either way, I get up. It's not so much about how I perform the act ~ it's about doing it. Because, I've discovered this through my own trials, action really is more than moving the body. As I move my body, my energy increases and I begin to feel better, then moving and the motivation for it becomes easier. The spiral goes up instead of down.

Getting dressed helps too. At first, changing into anything helps. Gradually, I find that I want to look good ~ or dress a certain way. I begin to care about my appearance. Then I begin to care about who I see and what I say and, well, everything.

What do you do for yourself on days when you feel down? How do you stay focused? How do you "show up"? What have your experiences taught you about 'never giving up'?



Monday, October 27, 2014

The Wind Faery



Thoughts, Words, Intellectual Analysis
The Wind Faery whispers that the power of thoughts manifests the unseen into the physical. Take time to observe your predominant thoughts. Are they positive? Do they reflect empowering concepts? Or are they negative and disempowering? When you tune in to how your mind is focused, you will surely see the relationships between your environment and the thoughts you're thinking. To change the world of outer conditions, you must first change the way you think. The Wind Faery also reminds you of the power of intellect, as this is a good time to use the power of your analytical mind. Think before your act; this is not the time for impulsive action. A well-thought-out strategy will yield a positive result.

My question when I drew this card: What strength will be present on this day? Thoughts, Words, Intellectual Analysis. I couldn't find more precise terms than that. How utterly amazing. What I need is to be aware of my thoughts and insure that they stay in the realm of positive. I will draw to me whatever it is that I am thinking. I choose to maintain peace.

I love this image of the Wind Faery. Eyes closed, allowing the wind to blow hair and garment, to carry and uphold both. She is clearly at peace, no matter the circumstance. She is also unabashed by setting herself into alignment with the wind. With her closed eyes and calm demeanor, she exudes confidence and grace.

What do you see in the Wind Faery? Which of her traits calls to you? or do they all? Why is she visiting you now? How will you change your thinking?




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Walk Through Fire


Have you ever felt like you were walking on hot coals? or across burning sand? I know some people have done these things literally, but I'm referring to that feeling of needing to move quickly and gingerly through something.

Lately, with the wonder of Mercury Retrograde and both the Solar Eclipse and New Moon, much of that kind of feeling has been happening in my world. Scorpio is so intimately involved in all this ~~ the hidden places are being brought to light. This is not the easiest path to pursue. Yet there is no true alternative. If I try to avoid the truths arising and being revealed, well, it'd be like stepping fully on the hot coals without protection or awareness. I only get burned. And I still have to face the truths. So I might as well face them from the start.

Since Mercury has gone direct, language is easier and expressing what's been happening and what continues to happen is more likely to make sense. The revelation piece comes out of Scorpio's hidden realm.

How does all this relate to Bukowski's quote? Revealing my truths, especially the ones I've spent time tucking away into the darkest corners, is "walking through the fire." It burns away the cover I've so carefully designed, planted and cultivated ~~ sometimes so well that I've hidden the truth from myself too. I walk well when I keep moving and face whatever is left after I get to the other side of the fire. I am eager to walk well through the fire!

What lies at the core of your fire? What have you hidden? What is being revealed? How well do you want to walk through your fire?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Solar Eclipse and Scorpio New Moon


The Solar Eclipse coincides with a Scorpio New Moon on October 23, 2014. The New Moon is at zero degrees Scorpio: a signal of completion and initiation. Scorpio is about truth. When we are truthful with ourselves, and in the light of the eclipse, releasing our karmic loops, we have the opportunity to begin anew. We need to use this time to look at our Shadows: our fears, anxieties and old patterns. If we see them clearly, we can then move forward into a new pattern for our lives.

The Hoopoe is a totem of completion, the trinity and creative capacity. She carries the ability to tap into ancient wisdom, energy body and connection to higher realms. She balances with Mother Earth and is quick of movements: making decisions, increasing spiritual awareness and tuning in to personal internal rhythms. Hoopoe sings her own song and lives through her own power. Being in the sun taps into Hoopoe's wisdom. She is skillful and creative in deterring predators in both the spiritual and physical worlds. A perfect totem for the Solar Eclipse and Scorpio New Moon!

I sense an era, a phase of my life, coming to completion. It's not a huge change. There's a tug on the sleeve, a nudge of an elbow, a nod pointing me into another direction. My heart feels both apprehension and joy at the possibilities as they open to me. I'm glad to have the Eclipse, the Scorpio New Moon and the Hoopoe reassuring me that all is well and as it should be.

What phase of your life is coming to completion? How do you feel about that occurring? What supports you in the midst of change? What spiritual wisdom guides you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Become a Lake


After growing tired of her novice's complaints, a sage sent her novice to get some salt. When the novice returned, the sage told her to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
"How does it taste?" the sage asked.
"Bitter," responded the novice.
The sage instructed the novice to put another handful of salt into her pocket while they went for a walk. The novice did so. They walked in silence to a nearby lake. The sage said, "Mix your salt into the lake." The novice swirled her salt in the water.
"Now drink from the lake," said the sage.
As the water dripped from the young woman's chin, the sage asked, "How does it taste?"
"Refreshing," said the novice.
"Do you taste the salt?" asked the sage.
"No," replied the novice.
The sage and novice sat on the rocks beside the lake. The sage explained, "The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. The amount of bitterness tasted depends on the container into which the pain is placed. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake."

How do you stay a glass? How do you become a lake? Which would you prefer to be? Why?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Silly FB Questionnaire


When I logged onto FB the other day, I was greeted by one of those silly questionnaires. This one wanted me to answer the questions to discover my totem animal. My immediate thought was, "What the heck? I might as well give it a go and see what happens." So I did. This is the result:

"What animal walks by your side? ... Your totem animal is the owl,... Owls represent wisdom, and the ability to see what others do not. This means your mind is unique,... You observe situations in a 'positive' aspect, meaning you probably suggest that there is good in everything. Owl people make excellent spiritual teachers...
Some additional details about owl totem: Intuition, ability to see what others do not see; ...change; capacity to see beyond deceit and masks; wisdom; traditional meaning...is the announcer of death, most likely symbolic of a life transition, change."

I have to chuckle about this. It's almost as though Owl wants to remind me that It is in my life for the long haul. My high school mascot was an owl ~ Its presence began there. Five years ago, I attended a Women's Dreamquest where we drew power animal cards to place us into groups. I drew Owl (along with 4 or 5 other women). Three years ago, I spotted a recently killed young barn owl at the side of the road and felt called to do a ritual to send Its spirit home. In short, yes. I already knew my connection to Owl and Owl's connection to me. It was, and is, humorous to think that a FB questionnaire would identify the connection as well.

Have you taken any of the FB quizzes? Have you 'discovered' anything that you didn't already know? What do you think of these kinds of questionnaires? Do you consider them fun? serious? educational? helpful? What animal has shown up repeatedly in your life?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Easy Cures


Every now and again, I come across an image and a saying that strike me as almost too simple. My reaction is the mental version of smacking my forehead with the heel of my hand.

This one caused that reaction in me. Wow. It should be so easy, right? Yet I find myself awake in the middle of the night, thinking about .... well. nothing in particular and everything in general. Those weird questions run through my brain: What should I wear tomorrow? Is it going to rain/snow? What did X mean by saying Y? Did I pay the water bill? Do I have clean undies? I think you know the ones.

Then there are the bigger-than-life questions: What do I want to be when I grow up? and when will that be? Will I ever write the great American novel? Do I even want to? Do I have enough money to take a trip to Macchu Picchu? Will anyone ever truly know who I am? or love me for who I am? Is there a God? I think you know these queries too.

While these questions might keep me awake at night, I've gotten better at laughing at them, recognizing their potential for diversion, their non-real presence. The laughter breaks the mood, shatters the stress before it's fully formed, leaves me more relaxed. Then I can fall asleep.

I've also learned to laugh at these same type of questions that arise in the light of day as well. You know these too: Is my boss watching? Is this within my pay grade? Were my coworkers talking about me? Does my breath stink? Most of these questions pop into my mind because I feel insecure or "less than." Not because any of this is true or really matters. I make it important. I define my reality around some pretty silly parameters. That, in and of itself, gives me reason to laugh.

Do you sleep soundly through the night? Are there times you awaken anxiously? What is important in defining your reality? Can you find a way to laugh more? What would that be?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

300 Posts


ML Monroe ~ 2013








"You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however."
~ Richard Bach









Today I'm giving myself the opportunity and permission to celebrate. I had a dream that I would continue to write a blog for 30 days, or however many continued to bubble out of my moving fingers. Today's post is number 301. Even skipping an occasional day, I've written fairly continuously since March. That's an accomplishment worth celebrating!

I believe in celebrating every accomplishment we have ~~ every dream that comes true ~~ no matter whether it is a large colorful one or a small barely noticeable one or any in between. Celebrations can be, as this is, simple acknowledgements of having done the work to completion. Or taking oneself out to dinner. Or throwing a party. Or going to bed early. Whatever makes your heart sing when the task is over.

We human beings are better at putting ourselves down than at self-congratulations. I'm not saying to brag or boast, but to recognize that we have gone through some steps or trials or learning or whatever it takes in order to get there. I am always grateful for every encouraging word or smile; every person or thing that helped ease the way forward. I believe in recognizing, in the process, that others help us attain those goals too ~ we are part of a larger community that supports each other.

What have you accomplished today? How do you feel about your accomplishment? Have you expressed your self-congratulations? Have you expressed your gratitude? How have you done that?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Difference Beocming










"The old woman I shall become will be quite different from the woman I am now. Another I is beginning."
~George Sand











I'm always fascinated by quiet, unobtrusive, yet powerful statements made by strong women from various times and backgrounds. This one is the most recent.

Our culture teaches us that women disappear as they age. Their sole outstanding feature is the remains of their youthful appearance. This is what creates the incredible market for botox and a variety of plastic surgeries; hair color products that promise to cover the gray; the latest make-up and facial care products that 'defy aging' and keep our visible face, neck, eyes looking young and supple.

We forget the beauty of aging. We forget that we have earned every wrinkle with our laughter and our tears. We forget to be proud of the experiences that have shaped us into the beauties that we have become. 

I'm not saying that women should not take care of themselves. Or should not color their hair. Or should not use the latest 'age defying' creams and lotions. What I'm saying is that we women should not be slave to them. We should make the choice of using these products out of our own desire to explore the variety of aspects of who we are rather than to pretend that we are not growing older.

We can believe in our strength, our determination, our beauty without giving in to the culture that worships youth. I don't want to be afraid of growing old, of fading from existence and becoming invisible. I want my aging to be graceful and grace-filled. I want to exult in the different I that is becoming.

How do you feel about the aging process? What scares you about aging? How can you keep yourself from fading from existence? What first step ~ or small step ~ can you make toward embracing the different I that is beginning?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Be Kind and Kick Ass



When I read this, I thought, "How wild!" Then I began to truly consider what it was saying and realized it was even more wild a notion than at first read.

Wake up. I hear that term used in two different contexts:
Getting one's behinder out of bed in the a.m.
Becoming aware of one's gifts ~ whether inherent, explicit or provided by others.

The deeper revelation is to reach a place of enlightenment, a higher awareness of everything. As Thornton Wilder said, "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." I would add that it would be important to not only be conscious of them, but recognize the variety and dimensions of them as well.

Kick ass. That's the phrasing that made me grin. That also gets used in a couple of different contexts:
Instructing someone to beat on another person or thing.
Describing someone or something as respectfully powerful.

My thought was the next step of telling someone (or one's self) to be respectfully powerful. I use the term 'respectfully powerful' because it's often said with a laugh or a proverbial punch in the arm as though telling the person to "go get 'em" in stronger language.

Be kind. Coupled with Kick ass, this seems mutually exclusive. One is an order to be strong and forceful. The other, to be gentle and respectful. Together, they provide a balance: strength and gentleness, force and respect. One should not go forward without the other.

Repeat. Yes. Please do. As often as possible. From the perspective of balance.

 How can you create a more present awareness in your life? What strength of yours is powerful yet respectful? How can you hold power and gentleness in the same space?




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Who Am I Today?


Wisdom of Avalon cards ~ Colette Baron-Reid

From the guidebook:
When the Water Faery swims up to you with her liquid magic, she...asks you to consider how you really feel about things, and why. She also reminds you that you are not your feelings; you are the one experiencing them.
Remember, feelings are the fuel for manifesting. Be certain that you want to create what you're feeling. Allow your feelings to pass through and focus on the positive.

When I decided to draw from the Wisdom of Avalon deck, the query that popped into my head was a surprise even to me: Who am I today?

I stopped shuffling the deck. Really? WHO am I? My brain almost reworded the question. Instead, my hands began shuffling again and I focused on the question: Who am I today?

The Water Faery showed up. Of course, She was perfect. Occasionally, I need to be reminded that I am not my feelings, but the one experiencing them. Because of that, I have the power to change how I react to them, how I allow them to express through me.

That expression piece can get to me. The one written about the most is anger ~ don't react in anger; don't allow anger to express in mean or nasty ways. There are other feelings that capture me too: sadness, self-pity, fear, playfulness, exuberance, humor, to name a few. Even feelings that are labeled good can reach beyond the gentle flow of the water and into flood stage.

It's about choice. Who do I want to be? Today, it's the Water Faery.

What feelings are strongest for you right now? What feeling can capture you the easiest? Does it take you in a positive flow? Who do you want to be? How will you choose?


Friday, October 10, 2014

Do Not Feed


Not so long ago, I experienced what was to me a baffling illness. I can describe it more readily by what it wasn't than by what it was. There was no fever, sweats, sniffles or cough. There was no purging from either upper or lower orifice. It was a very, very brief wash of.... something. And that was the baffling part.

So in today's TMI culture, I could have rushed to the computer and typed in the 'symptoms.' My experience doing that is very unclear and over-the-top number of responses. What happens when I begin to read those responses? Fear sets in.

Don't get me wrong. I believe in being informed and in utilizing the 'information highway' to the best of my ability. But even WebMD requires accurate and thorough information from me. Then it spits out information according to a logarithm. No interaction, no questions, no awareness of my previous health history. The information I gain needs to be offset with the human interface. At least it does for me, so I don't feed my fears.

There's a lot of fear on the loose out there. Every request for a campaign donation is laced with fear of 'them' or the other side's policies. Almost every news story on the evening news overwhelms us with how bad things are. For the past several years, I've chosen not to watch TV news. I don't care for the atmosphere of fear it breeds. I continue to work on taking responsibility for my fears and the ripple of fear they cause in the world. It makes my personal world a better, safer, saner, happier place to live.

What feeds your fears? What do you fear? How do you feed the fears of those around you? How can you influence others to release the fears and let love and acceptance flow in? Do you want to live in a fearful world or a loving one?


Thursday, October 9, 2014

After the Eclipse


Throughout the night of the Lunar Eclipse, I was awake. I would slip into sleep, then awaken to step outside to see where the Moon, Sun and Earth were in their dance. I would return to bed and the process would begin anew.

I felt strong, connected, thrilled ~ anything but tired. When I awoke in the morning ~ well, when I finally got out of bed to prepare for work ~ I felt rested. What a strange mix of activity, power, light, life and connection!

As I was leaving for work, I was agape at the tremendous beauty that shone above me. I snapped the above image. As often happens, the photo only scratches the surface of how captivating the moon and clouds were.

I often feel energized and electic with power on and around the Full Moon. That coupled with the Lunar Eclipse left me tired, ready to sleep and dream. The stages through which the Moon passes share energy with our own phases of life ~ sometimes even of day.

How does the Full Moon affect you? Do you feel the pull of the Moon? How does it happen? How connected are you to those phases?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Almost Eclipse Time



©2014 by ML Monroe
Tonight ~ or more precisely, in the wee small hours of tomorrow morning ~ there is going to be a lunar eclipse. I'm hoping to wake up enough to see it and perhaps even snap a few shots of it.

As I went for a walk after dinner tonight, the Moon was above the horizon, but still in the region of the sky where it looks huge. I love those moments of seeing Her in a way larger and appearing closer than at any other time in the night sky. The nearly cloudless sky made for a bright and beautiful view of Her. I would stop every now and again on my walk to take a few more pictures.

In the view of some folk, I may be considered lunatic. The Moon is an attraction I do not challenge. She is my passion. Or perhaps, more precisely, She reflects my passion. I love the night ~ and look for Her in it, no matter Her phase.

As the time for the lunar eclipse draws near, I am tired and yawning, but excited. I got some great pictures during the last one and would love to get some this time as well. However, it's the thought of the entire lunar eclipse process, and what it means, that captures my imagination and holds me in thrall. That at the fullness of the eclipse, She cannot reflect the light of the Sun because Earth is in the way. What part does that play in the continuing relationship of Luna and Sol?

How do you feel about the lunar eclipse? What do you think about the process? What effect does the eclipse have on you? What would you like it to have?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lunar Web


©2014 by ML Monroe

The moon is waxing toward full ~ and toward a lunar eclipse. As I took a picture of it through the branches of a tree, I did not see the fine lines of a spider's web. Not until I was looking at the pictures on my computer were those threads visible.

What a fitting hidden attribute for the month of October! Grandmother Spider weaving Her web to catch Luna. Even if Luna were to come close to Her web, Grandmother Spider could not hold Her.

Once, a very, very long time ago, Luna's feet touched Gaia, the Great Mother Earth. She was one of the Great Mother's daughters. She radiated beauty, reflecting the joy and effervescent life around Her. Where many of Her sisters were loud, She spoke quietly, Her laughter as a tinkling bell. Because She was so quiet, She could often wander off by Herself without anyone noticing.

When She wandered into the sky, Sol noticed Her and demanded an explanation as to how and why She was in His territory. Sol had noticed Luna's presence, but He had not taken note of the full extent of the beauty of that presence. Since Luna was prone to wandering into unknown territories, Sol requested Grandmother Spider weave a net to keep Her out of His sky.

Grandmother Spider wove the web as Sol asked, but neither He nor Luna knew how the thoughtlessly requested web would come to trap them both.

Have you ever made a request when you were upset that you may not otherwise have done? How would you treat an intruder into your space? Do you keep your upset feelings in check? or do they rule you in the moment?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Relax and Enjoy


My life of late has been busy and full. Work keeps me busy for five days of the week. Weekends are full of relaxation.

Although that phrasing ~ full of relaxation ~ sounds like an oxymoron, it is not.

The busyness of work is all about performance. Doing my best at a particular set of tasks. The tasks are defined by my superiors with little input from me. Creativity, encouraged on some level, is not always needed, useful or applicable. All that's okay on the job. I like what I do and I keep getting better and better at doing it.

The fullness of the weekend is creativity, which is singularly relaxing. It doesn't matter what I'm doing ~ gardening, walking, visiting with friends, shopping, reading, writing, photography ~ all of that, which encompasses and is encompassed by my creative energy, is relaxing.

While I was out today ~ watching a movie, wandering an art show, walking with a friend ~ I saw the nearly full Moon showing Her face in the daytime sky and snapped a picture. For me, today and often other times, the Moon symbolizes my shifting and creative energy. Any time She poses in the sky, I gladly take Her picture.

What do you enjoy? How do you define relaxation? Does it differ from your job? Where does your creative blossom?


Friday, October 3, 2014

Come, Wanderer






"Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving -
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come, yet again, come, come."
—Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkh, or Rumi
(September 30, 1207 – December 17, 1273)






I share a birthday with Rumi.

Maybe that shouldn't be my most first thought when reading this. Yet, I've always loved Rumi. I first found his work when I was in high school, working in the library. It caresses me with its passion and intensity.

Wanderer ~
I've been a traveler, a nomad, a gypsy since a very young age. My mother said I habitually wandered off. When I was 5 or 6, I climbed to the top beam of a house being built in my neighborhood and she needed to climb up to get me. I promised to be good, to stay close, to let people know where I was going. Alas, I have indeed broken that promise at least a hundred times.

Rumi speaks from that deep place of love, the knowingness that someone is always present in your life, will always return to you ~ or allow your return. The call to that return is exuberant ~ "Come, come.... yet again, come, come." The invitation is not only real but overflowing with emotion.

Rumi's voice can be heard also as the voice of the Divine, the Lover of us all, hailing us, reminding us that there is a place for us whenever we choose to return to it. It's that open, passionate invitation that keeps me returning when I feel less than charitable toward myself, when I need to be held by the essence of Love.

Is there a place, solid or spiritual, that beckons you? How do you feel when it does? What draws you back? How do you "hear" the call?