Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Eye of the Divine

©2015 ML Monroe

For at least the past month, I have had the extraordinary experience of sitting in the Cave of the Goddess. Note that I did not say resting or sleeping. Although the activity was not physical, there was much happening in that deep, dark place.

Over and over again, soft shudders rippled through my body ~ when I heard unidentified noises and my imagination took me to even darker places; when I recalled the dear ones who died in the recent or distant past and my heart once again broke with grief; when I felt a soft caress pass over an exposed hand or cheek and my connection with the Divine grew more intimate.

Over and over again, my mind grappled with words that were not mine, with words to express concepts that had no words, with silence beyond all words. I am a creature of words and my grappling was, and is, a nearly physical ache.

This Cave exists in many different places, myths and cultures. Sometimes it is an actual opening in rock; sometimes it is a built structure of enclosure, quiet and darkness. Always, it's a place for Seer and Prophet, Sibyl and Oracle. The Cave of Elijah in Israel. The temple of the Pythia in Delphi. The Ailwee Bear Caves in Ireland. Mary Magdalene spending her last years in a cave. The Anchorage of Julian of Norwich. The Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in Belize. The Elephanta Caves in India. The Dambulla Cave in Sri Lanka. The Sof Omar Caves in Ethiopia. All mythic, all holy to a variety of belief systems.

Venturing forth from my personal Cave of the Goddess, I encountered the dark sky and lovely moon and clouds. Clearly, in an amazing veiled form, was the face of the Divine ~ the Moon as the Light-providing Eye. The Face shifted from male to female and back again ~ the Face of the Ineffable Light. It's not clear that my time in the Cave is complete. For now, I'm happy to bask in the Moonlight and wait.

What do you see in the image above? What is your Cave? Where do you feel most at home? How do you encounter the Divine? How do you encounter the darkness and quiet of the Cave?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tattoo Heritage

What is my heritage? How many different peoples populate my genetics? Where were/are they from? What have they passed on to me?

From my parents and grandparents, my sole inheritance is Polish. In some very ways, that leaves open the possibility ~ more likely, the probability ~ that I have a variety of genetics. Poland's history is a country often overrun by outsiders. If recent history is any tell, that means the men being killed and the women being raped and left pregnant with mixed blood children.

My father was dark ~ black hair, olive skin, brown eyes. My mother, fair ~ a 'carrot-top' child, chestnut-haired adult, medium-toned skin, blue eyes.  How did two such varied types come from the same small land? It was explained as 'the hill people' and 'the valley people' ~ presumably those from the open valley being more subject to raids and intermarriage. Were those my mother's people?

So why the interest in women with tattooed faces? Because I feel drawn to these women. I always have. It's as though something within me searches for the tribe or tribes from which I've come.

The woman above is Armenian. The image is from the Genocide Museum. Her coloring and features ~ straight nose, wide eyes, dark brows ~ are so close to my father's. Could I have come from her lineage?

Then there's the Kurdish woman. Blue-eyed, fairer-skinned. Is her lineage akin to mine? Her eyes are deeper set, but that dimple on her left cheek looks like the one I inherited from my mother.

What about your heritage? Is there some cultural element ~ a tattoo, hair style, movement ~ that attracts you without your knowing why? How much does it matter where we come from? What tribe do you claim and belong to now?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kintsugi Dancing

Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanesegolden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanesegolden repair) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum  ...  As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. 

I'm currently in the midst of two group expressions and experiences of going into the darkness with the Goddess. This is the time of year for this passage. As any time of groping around in a dark passage, what I find is evidence of brokenness. Evidence that reveals how the broken pieces have healed and rejoined is also tangible in that darkness.

Finding it embedded deep within reminded me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, joining broken pieces with elements of powdered precious metals to make art out of brokenness. That's what I am: art with visible broken places and shiny scars exposing the unique beauty of how I have healed.... and how much has returned to wholeness.

In the midst of these visions and memories, I am awestruck by the difference in my outlook. It's easier to accept my flaws, to embrace the healing and to let go of the wounding arrows. I'm by no means perfect, inside or out. What I am is reunited. What I am is reformed. What I am is released. It's always my choice as to how I walk in this world, whether I twist and bend to hide the broken places or dance fully revealed and let the scars show that piece of who I am.

What about you? How do you walk in this world? Do you let your brokenness show? What pieces do you keep hidden? Are you aware of your own beauty? How does that awareness define your movement?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Moon in Scorpio: Shifting our Alignment

Meteor showers assail the skies around us all the time. Sometimes, we can even see them. A New Moon provides even more darkness than other night skies.

Today's meteors are named the Taurids. According to Wikipedia:
The Taurids are an annual meteor shower associated with the comet Encke. They are named after their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky. Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween fireballs.
While the night sky is alight with these meteors, the New Moon rests Herself in Scorpio. This New Moon is about our power and our transformation. She shows us what our power is and provides the opportunity to align our life's purpose to it ~ or not. We always have choice.

As with every New Moon, this one is about releasing ~ like the deciduous trees in Autumn ~ and allowing the energy to pull us deep within and center us in our core. Scorpio, under the care of Pluto, ruler of the Underworld, is all about death and rebirth, completion and new beginning. Resting in Scorpio means there is no avoiding diving deep into the Self. If we allow it and trust our instincts, we can arise a true hero with strength and renewed purpose. Scorpio's energy is one of risk ~ and at this time, one of epiphany, if we allow ourselves to pull back the veil. We can realign ourselves with sacred wholeness.

What are you in the process of completing? What new or renewed doors are opening up to and for you? Where are those doors leading? What is your next level? How will you find your way there? What dream will enfold you at this time?

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Silence is a power in and of itself. I have sat in silence in private mediation, in gathered grief, in anticipation of medical procedures or diagnoses, in awe of natural phenomena, and many other places.

By far and away, the most powerful silence I experienced was in October 1988 on the Ellipse in Washington, DC. I was working as a volunteer on the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Fifty-two acres of quilt panels commemorating people who had died from AIDS. Fifty-two acres of silence. Everyone who walked through the area, from street people to grief-stricken friends and family to members of Congress, either did not speak or spoke in brief, hushed tones. As I traversed the Quilt, I discovered that the closer I was to the perimeter, the louder the voices were. However, the normal-toned voices which sounded loud to me were all outside the perimeter. As soon as anyone's feet entered the hallowed ground formed by the Quilt, voices quieted and stilled. No signage requested or required it. Everyone simply felt the need for silence.

The only exception to the silence was at the podium where individuals read the names of the people for whom the panels were made. I had my turn in that spot, reading. And wept while reading, as so many others did before and after me.

Many aspects of our lives are inundated with sound to the point that we nearly fear silence. We understand its power without instruction. What is it that we fear? Power? Intimacy? Diminishment? Strength?

How do you feel about silence? What was your most poignant experience with it? Do you practice within silence?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

When I Grow Old

My life has been blessed by a series of events ~ or perhaps more truly, a splattering of events ~ that have led me to ponder life as a Crone.
Here is my story:
I have met myself as an old woman,
an impossibly old woman,
living inside
an impossibly old, hollowed out tree....
in another lifetime.
She is/I am
A shape-shifter.
A spirit walker.
A seer, in every sense of the word.
I feel her within me.
I feel me within her.
I am afraid.
I am fearless.
I know nothing.
I apprehend all of life.
I hear the voices of the stars.
I dance to the music of the spheres.
I feel that old woman within me.... ever since she first showed up, in a journey, in a dream, in a conversation, more than 3 years ago. She shows herself when I need to see her. Whether I want to see her, to hear her does not matter. She stares me down, daring me to ignore her ~ or try to ignore her. Her laugh is full and dry, a sandpaper drum.

How often  are we presented with the opportunity to confront our future? to face down our own fear of aging and of death? to befriend who and what we will become?

Possibilities abound. What qualities will grow? Wisdom? Silence? Vision? Voice? What will diminish? Need to be seen? Soft skin? Desire for admiration? Fear? A new adventure approaches, quietly, noisily, expectantly, surprisingly ~~ so many moments approaching and flowing around me.

What do you see in your future? How does age affect you? Do you embrace its approach? Do you reject it? Are you afraid of the changes that come with age? Have you had an opportunity to converse with and learn from your elders?