Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting By With Friends

Currently, many of my friends are in various stages of hurt or alarm or fear or struggle. It's almost as though the Universe is calling upon us to realign our very selves. [Which may indeed be the case, but that's for a different post.]

Some of my friends need to move ~ from one coast to another; from one town to another; from one country to another. Each move is calling forth vastly different strengths from these folks.... and from their friends.

Some of my friends struggle with aging and dying parents ~ arranging hospice; supervising trips and moves; sitting beside them as they breathe their last; organizing memorials. So many different ways to do and be with those changes.

Some of my friends face their own health issues ~ knee replacements; stents; diabetes; broken bones; hypertension. The lists of these can go on and on; and eventually will.

As we go through these issues, these stresses, we have the opportunity to reach out to each other, to be a support and to have support. It's most difficult when we think we can handle it all alone. Or we think no one else cares. Or we think asking means we are weak. Our self-judgement makes us forget what John Lennon so wonderfully sang: I get by with a little help from my friends. We need each other. Community is what provides support, and we are that community.

These are each and all things I need to remember myself!

What is going on in your life that could be eased by connecting with a friend? How could you ease a friend's way through a troubled time? Why is it important to you to do that?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Hummingbird

Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke
Today we celebrate Memorial Day. There are various stories about its origin ~ though flowers have been laid on graves since time immemorial.

One story says that it began when former slaves in Charleston, SC, dug up the bodies of 257 dead Union soldiers buried in a mass grave at a Confederate prison camp in order to give them a proper burial, as a sign of gratitude. Another relates that on May 5, 1868, Major General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic established May 30th as Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Flowers would be blooming all over the country in May. That year also saw the first large observance at Arlington National Cemetery, including the presence of General and Mrs. Ullyses S. Grant.

What does this have to do with the Hummingbird? With my focus on Memorial Day, war and peace, I drew a card, wondering what gift would present itself to enhance the day.

As ever, I was impressed by the vitality of the draw. In the guide book, the themes of this card are Victory, Success, Recognition, Inspiration, and Illumined Presence. As a nation, we have been fortunate that most of our wars have resulted in victory and success, such as ony war can bring. Memorial Day is for the recognition of our war dead who continue to inspire us to always think twice before heading into battle.

Beyond that, Hummingbird brings a wonderful set of gifts to me: beauty, wonder, awe, joy and free-spiritedness. Hummingbird is its own kind of warrior, bringing forward the needs of Nature to sustain even the most light-winged and precious of her creatures.

Again, from the guide book:
"Receiving this card may signify spiritual insight, expansion or breakthrough. It cautions us, however, not to lose poise. A flash of arrogance, conceit, or out-of-control pride can ignite a wildfire within." It's message is: "Remember what guides you."

Balance. Not such an easy step on Memorial Day. How can I honor the fallen warriors while holding fast to notions of peace and non-violence?

What guides you? What kind of warrior are you? How do you balance giving honor with your other beliefs? What do you value most? How do inspiration and success show themselves in your life?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Resurrection Reversed: A Call to Allow

Colette Baron-Reid, The Hidden Realms
With a focus on What do I need for today?, I 'drew' a card electronically from Colette Baron-Reid's Wisdom of the Hidden Realms deck. For the first time, the card appeared reversed. I felt myself shudder. I recognize the expression of the card is a challenge and it's calling me to change.

From the guide book:
"When the Phoenix challenges you, ...let go and let what doesn't work fall away. Maybe ... you're more comfortable with the familiar, even if you know it's not the best you could create for yourself.
Fear of change is a crippling experience, .... The task at hand is to allow for an ending, as it's timely and right that you do so for the highest good of all. In surrendering to the fundamental purposeful change, you will most definitely find yourself in better circumstances. The action needed is allowing. A rebirth is assured."

Change is a natural part of life. We watch children grow and change. We comment on their changes. We comment on the changes in a person's appearance after getting married or having a baby. These are changes we deem 'good' because we see them as life-affirming. When the changes are grey hair or glasses or divorce or moving, we are not so sure of the blessings in them. As we face those changes, we need to allow them to flow in our lives, to break us down, to break through our defenses and barriers. Allowing for that also allows for the creative energy that redesigns and rebuilds us, that molds us into stronger, more exquisite forces of nature.

I'm in at least one of those places right now. There are changes on my horizon and I find myself challenged to allow the flow of those changes so that a new, creative me can be birthed. The birthing process is messy and painful and intense; the result is always worth it. The reversed Phoenix card is reminding me of that.

What change is coming (or has come) in your life? Are you allowing the change to flow? or are you resisting it? What creative result do you want to birth? How can you assist or allow that creativity to happen?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Dystopian Trilogy, part 1

In Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood writes a stark future. She herself refers to the genre as "speculative fiction" ~ meaning, in her definition, that it could happen. Not that it will. Some have referred to Oryx and Crake as science fiction; others as horror. My personal preference? Dystopian. One view of what the world may look like if we continue our self-destructive, and/or earth-destructive, path.

One element of the novel that fascinates me the most is that it takes place entirely in the life and mind of the main character and narrator, Snowman. Oryx and Crake are both figments of his memory and imagination. As his memories tumble forth, so do the characters develop. Atwood's clarity of style makes this work.

There remains a frightening element to this book even though it was published over a decade ago, in 2003. Much of what is intimated as causing the global devastation (overpopulation, destruction of species, blithe separation of the wealthy and those without less or no access to wealth, lack of a true moral compass, etc.), continues to bounce us forward to this day. Other causes (genetic and bio-engineering of new species of everything from animals to plants to viruses and cures, etc.) remain firmly in the speculative arena, yet tug the reader toward the sense that they are possibly happening.

I'm currently in the midst of the second in the series, The Year of the Flood. The title flood is a waterless flood, more of a vast barren wasteland. I'll continue the tale when I finish the story.

What do you speculate will the future look like? What do you see happening now that causes you to fear? What causes you to hope? How can you affect change in one direction or the other?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Scorpio Full Moon Myths

This Full Moon arrives conjunct with the asteroid Lilith. Lilith bears Her own set of myths that are only magnified when She comes in contact with the Moon Mother. Many of the myths of Lilith cast Her in the role of a power to be confronted and perhaps even subdued. But Lilith is not one to succumb to the demands for Her to bow to what others, especially men, want of Her.

In one of Her aspects, Lilith scares Inanna ~ One of the powerhouse Goddesses ~ because She carries dimensions of Inanna's own archetypical nature. Who, indeed, is She? How does She bear to carry so much power?

In another aspect, She does not accept Adam's demand that She be the particular type of partner he wants. She does not falter in Her belief that the animals do not need Adam, or Her, to name them. Even when that belief means She can no longer be in Paradise and another is created to replace Her. She leaves that Paradise fully understanding She must, and will, survive on Her own. She lives into the fullness of the meaning of virgin as an autonomous, self-sufficient woman; one not needing to answer to any man.

Lilith's story is a cautionary tale, meant to scare women into submission. If a woman dares to challenge the system, she will be banished. This, however, backfires as soon as one realizes that banishment is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lilith is the dark, hidden side of Lunar Myths. She is the One strengthens as well as scares. She can live in the darkness. She can shine like moonlight and pierce that same darkness.

What is your favorite tale of darkness and light? What is your reaction to the stories of Lilith? Why would a Dark Goddess be representative of the light of the Full Moon? How does Her tale touch you?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Full Moon in Scorpio

Sunday brings with it the May Full Moon ~ in Scorpio. Amazing that in the month filled with blossoms and revelations of the Spring to Summer months, the Full Moon shows Herself in Scorpio, the sign dealing with everything we prefer to keep hidden.

It's time to uncover the path and the pieces for the next segment of our journey. These may be parts we don't want to notice much less acknowledge. For the sake of our own creativity and growth, we need to allow that cool lunar glow to illuminate the way for us, no matter how dark and ugly things may look.

The capacity to continue ~ and blossom ~ in our creativity depends on on our willingness to let the shadow ~ our personal shadow/daemon, what we've supressed, denied or disowned ~ out into the light. Embrace our wholeness! Bask in becoming integrated! Commit to the process of growth, of becoming. Walk through worldly chaos to that quiet spot in our core. To do all this requires us to step outside our comfort zone with open hearts as well as guided and guarded psyches.

As you prepare to encounter and embrace the Scorpio Full Moon, consider where you have lost your power, your vitality, your passion. Where are you playing it safe, hiding in the shadows, not playing your edge? What can you discard in order to create what you truly want?