Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Storm, Part 1

I thought I'd left it behind, that desire to remember everything, every ache, every pain, every wrong anyone had ever done to me. Walked away from the desire to carry it all to my grave. I'd certainly done my work on it ~ as it had done its work on me.

Then I encountered The Storm ~ an event both external and internal ~ that unsettled me, that openly illustrated that I hadn't experienced all the elements to this depth previously. I began to realize how much I hadn't truly let go.....

In this moment, letting go has become a continuing drift from memory to ache to forgiveness and back again. It's not entirely over yet. I've scarcely stepped through the Heart Gate ~ this place where I deeply feel all things bubbling and roiling in intense, wild and wondrous ways. My Shield is down ~ lying in the darkness beside the Path ~ and I'm still upright, still moving forward. Feeling every movement, every shift, both inside and out.

Through my own encounters, I have learned that each person experiences a different version of The Storm, one that is tailored to the individual. The experience is defined as much by how one holds on to personal 'stuff' as what one chooses to hold on to.

No matter, The Storm has its effect. As Murakami's final two lines say:
"When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what the storm's all about."
Have you encountered The Storm in your life? Or perhaps more than one? What changed for you? What changed within you? How are you different?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Libra Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

This week gave us another significant astrological occurrence ~ a Libra Full Moon with a Lunar Eclipse. Lots of big energy moves with this one. It completes, or continues, some cycles which have been on-going for the past year. The energy will ripple out for the next several months.

This March is providing several major charges of energy: a Solar Eclipse, the Spring/Fall Equinox, a Full Moon, a Lunar Eclipse, Holi, Purim, Good Friday and Easter. Every one of those events is about change.

Lunar Eclipses bring clarity, direction and a level of completion to what has been working its way through and in our lives. This particular Lunar Eclipse is in Libra, signifying balance, compromise, harmony, cooperation, and relationships. What it brings in is the space for us to connect with our inner and outer world in order to see our path forward and if we need to change course or not. However, because it is ending a cycle, it's important to make peace with our past, no matter what it's brought into our lives.

There is much to be considered with the energy of Libra in this Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse. First, remember to hold space for both sides: light and dark, good and evil, self and others. Learn from the combined aspects of these dualities, hopefully creating Jung's creative third path. Release the need to be right; embrace the possibilities of deep communication.

Remember that the dual energy also includes time to relax and time to play. We will be better off if we are gentle with ourselves ~ accepting and forgiving our own short-comings.

Personally, I found the energy of this Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse stunning. It expanded and exploded within and outside me in the most amazing ways. The day before, I woke from a dream of explosions and found there has been a bombing at the Brussels airport. The day after, I came face-to-face with how I will dance with changes coming in my life as well as what will continue to create those changes.

How do you feel about your own power? Do you see yourself as victim? victor? creator? How do you work with any of these images of yourself? How do you approach your inner demons? do you acknowledge them? befriend them? fight them? What happens when you face the power, overt or subtle, of others in your life? Do you take time to discern your own right path?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Does Fear Define Us?

I woke this morning in the midst of a dream. One of those dreams that feels real ~ that shakes you and puzzles you all at the same time.

I was working for a young man who called me into his office to ask me if I could or would 'take care of' several employees. Remaining quiet, I listened as he proceeded to give me pointers on how to do it. Then he instructed me to escort one of them to an interview. When I left his office, two men were waiting for me. We took a golf cart to an open area with an elevator. The men asked me to accompany them down to the interview. I declined, claiming claustrophobia. Trying to shake a bad feeling about the trip, I went through a door in the huge glass walls in front of me. I found myself outside, on a hillside above a creek or river. I heard voices behind me and decided to slide down the muddy hill, in skirt and heels. As I started down the incline, I heard a loud 'POP' from the direction of the elevator ~ then another. I knew a bomb had been detonated. After reaching the water's edge, I started angling up a grassy slope almost immediately next to where I'd slid down. Assuming I'd been knocked over the edge by the bomb, several people helped me up when I arrived at the crest.

Upon waking, I checked my phone only to discover, through Facebook's Safety Check stating a friend who lives in Brussels was safe, that there had been a bombing in Brussels. More terrorist actions. More reason to fear. I only felt grief-stricken. Was this related to my dream? Was my dream related to this?

Then came the declaration of responsibility from the Islamic State ~~ and all the news items using the term terrorist attack over and over again ~~ and a candidate running for the US presidency proposing using waterboarding on any suspects.

I slowly began to understand my grief. What do we know about what happened? More now, certainly, than we did then. Yet our first reaction is fear.... "Oh, no! Not again!" And the media drives this by focusing on the terror aspect. We seem to want to frighten ourselves ~~ to take the adrenaline hit ~~ to lash out at the 'other,' no matter who that may be. What about the people who helped others through the trauma? What about the families of those who were injured or died? Why don't we first pray for them? Think of the possible bright spots? Why do we prefer the darkness and fear? Why do we focus on the injured and dead only in terms of victims? The language we use, the choice of reaction, the hope or hate we give breath to truly defines us. Which defined you?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Darkness Dreaming

Our dreams are the place where we meet each facet of who we are. Our past arrives there with all its regrets, joys and lessons. Our future peeks in with all its possibilities. Our alternate universe self shows us the 'what ifs' continuing on elsewhere and elsewhen. Our angst, fear, grief, anticipation, elation, and every other emotion creates the background music. Dreams carry us deeper and farther than thoughts.

Over the past several nights, I've awakened from strange and somewhat disquieting dreams. In many of them, I am leading or herding people ~ sometimes through a woods, sometimes through a crowd, sometimes through a dark room.... the settings were all different, the movement similar, always through. Relating these to a friend, we joked that I was either Moses or an Australian shepherd.

I call the dreams somewhat disquieting because when within them, I am happy. That juxtaposition of setting/action and emotional response lead me to the conclusion that there is a deeper movement happening. I see an outcome or source or destination that creates true joy within me.

This morning's was no different ~ I was seated, leaning against a brick wall. A basket of gleaned apples was being passed around. The apples were bruised and wormy, but mostly edible. I nearly let the basket pass when a voice nearby said, "Ya might wanna take one and eat. Ya never know when food will come our way again." So I took the basket, grabbed one of the apples and joked, "I guess the worm could be counted as extra protein." A few chuckles ran through the people around me. Through this entire exchange, I was feeling content ~ as though I knew something better was in the offing.

The disquieting part of these dreams is waking from them with the sense of peace within me along with the mental images and the logical recognition that the scene should be disturbing. I thought, What's wrong with me? That quiet voice nearby calmly replied, Not a thing. More to come. So I wait. Acknowledging as I do that stars can't shine without darkness. Ready for the next installment.

What images surface in your dreams? How do you determine if it's a dream or nightmare? What do you feel within the dream? Does it match what you see or hear? Do you listen to what comes in the Darkness? Why? or why not?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Forgivenesses #2

I began the year considering the role of forgiveness in my life.  That consideration continues.

As I move forward through this year, I am entering a phase of significant change in my life. I will leave behind a legacy of some sort. My fear is that it will be one of failure or one attached to negative feelings. One of those left behind has been a challenge to my sense of cooperation and camaraderie, as I apparently have been to them. Where does that leave me in the journey of forgiveness?

Unlike the author of the quote, I believe forgiveness is a significant piece of our journey and not necessarily its core. When we can forgive others and ourselves, when we can ask forgiveness and be content if it comes or does not, the rest of our experiences are simpler, more focused. It is difficult, if not impossible, to love when we harbor ill will against others or against ourselves. We often gnaw on that ill will, attempting to justify it or reconcile it to the rightness of our actions. For me, the central point is forgiving ~ reaching that point when I can open my hand and no longer cling to my desire to wound. Yet, I acknowledge that there are times when being forgiven by others is impossible. We have no power to force it.

In answer to my own question in the previous paragraph: where does that leave me? It leaves me with the struggle and desire to open my hand, to let loose the reins of discontent with another, to wish them well on their journey and mean it. That will lead to my own healing in the end.

Where are you in your journey of forgiveness? Is there someone against whom you harbor ill will? Why? Where in your body does that feeling live? Can you begin to open your hand? or your heart? or wherever you feel the tightness? If you can, and do, how does that feel?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Looking for My Tribe
In a recent journeying experience, we went looking for connections to and disconnections from our tribe. Along the way, I found several attitudes and past experiences that contributed to my disconnection. As the journey was coming to an end, I heard a direction: Find your tribe. As I looked around, continuing on the path out of the journey, my own voice echoed: Who is my tribe?

Returning to the room and the group, my mind responded: I have no tribe.

Now, in terms of my tribe of genetic origin, my rational mind argued, I belong solidly.....

Wait, cautioned the voice still arising from the Journey. Breathe. I paused and found a whisper quavering inside my chest with the lightness and quickness of hummingbird wings. I could not quite catch what it was saying, but I knew I would.

Later, when relating the episode to a friend over a glass of wine, she began nodding vigorously. Yes, she said. You have no tribe. She grasped at words to explain what she meant. You fit in to so many different places. Like with the music and musicians, yet you are not a musician nor a groupie. Like.... Then she seemed lost for words. She tumbled and sputtered, backtracking and apologizing. It didn't sound the way she meant it.

But the Light had gone on in my head. Yes! I responded. Precisely! I was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. It's not that I have no tribe ~ it's that I have every one. That's what had been fluttering against my ribcage. And again, a couple of days later, when I found myself relating the tale again to another friend, she agreed that not only was I connected to every tribe, she was as well. Perhaps I continue to discover the breadth of my tribe.

What tribe/s do you claim? What tribe/s claims you? How do you participate in the variety of tribal offerings around you? What are your characteristics? your rituals? your beliefs? How do you move within your tribe? Is being part of a tribe significant for you? Why or why not?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Super New Moon in Pisces and Solar Eclipse

Tuesday, March 8th at 23:19 UTC (11:19 p.m.), the Solar Eclipse begins. The four-minute antumbra will begin at 1:59 UTC (1:59 a.m.) on Wednesday, March 9th. It will be visible in a swath of the Pacific Ocean and Micronesia. Living on the West Coast of the U.S., it will not be seen in the sky, but it will begin at 3:19 p.m. and be at its maximum at 5:59 p.m.

Those are the technical details. Then there are the other, more arcane meanings. A solar eclipse happens when the three most powerful and influential celestial bodies ~ Sun, Moon and Earth ~ align and create a new energy, a new story, for us to embody. Having this particular eclipse happen while the Super New Moon is in Pisces sends us into Mama Ocean, the collective unconscious, where depth hides the memory of every story that's ever been lived on Earth. It contains all of archetypal life as well as the myths we plumb to guide our steps. Within this container rests our creative imagination.

This is the New Moon for travel into the Dreamtime, for practicing and dancing with our creativity. Mama Ocean helps us shape-shift in that deep, dark realm, in the primal womb. This is the time to engage our passion and uncover what we are passionate about ~ to dream a present and a future that embraces each and all of us. Within that Dreamtime travel, there is a call to stay present, awake and aware. It is a time of healing the deep soul wound through many clear or subtle routes, including karmic completion, full awareness of feelings, forgiveness of self and others.

What are you feeling as you pass through this Eclipse and New Moon? What draws your heart? your passion? How are your interactions with others shifting? How are you expressing this? What creative expression calls to you? Are you answering it?

Monday, March 7, 2016

What Brings Strength

from the Haindl Tarot
I'm amazed by the fact that I haven't written on my blog for nearly a month. The year began swimmingly well, then..... Ah, well. That's how life goes, isn't it?

A few weeks back I participated in a fantastic tarot workshop. Afterward, I roamed the local New Age bookstore and looked at several tarot decks. I have a couple of them, but neither has felt quite complete for me. So recently, I bought a new tarot deck ~ or two. I really love this one. It's designed by Hermann Haindl and the cards are exquisite. I love the ethereal earthiness of them.

From the pamphlet:
The Ace of Stones in the West. The eagle landing on the rock is the two fundamental realms joined. Earth and sky, "ordinary" reality and spirit, feminine and masculine. The sky, the Earth, the rainbow are beauty and gifts.
For me, the flecks of white represent feathers and fluff tossed by the wind. So much of my life is touched by the lightest of substances being blown through it by Spirit.... chance encounters, odd phrases tripping off the tongue and caught, a sudden outburst of weather. Each of these connect and focus my inner eye.

The Eagle making contact with the Stone reminds me of the balance of Air and Earth, Breath and Body. The Stone appears so huge in comparison to the Eagle. If the Eagle touched down too quickly or at the wrong angle, great damage could be done. Behind the Eagle shines the Rainbow, always a symbol of magic and promise for me. It is the bright, silent and present witness to the connection between Air and Earth. The connection that brings support and strength from above and below to balance and sustain my being.

What brings you Strength? What do you see in the Ace of Stones? Are there other systems you use to remind you of your connections with Spirit? with Nature? with Life? How do you share those connections with others?