Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Year: 2020

As the New Year began, I read several posts suggesting, or perhaps hoping, that 2020 would be a year of clear vision. Like so much of life, it depends on where we begin, where we hope to go, and how attached we are to how we get there or what it looks like when we arrive.

When we open our senses and sensibilities to the experiences of a new year...a new decade...we may actually find a rawness there. A wildness. A birthing. These are messy things. Not only because they're new to us, but also because they take us to the edge, to a place we may not be totally sure we want to, or even are able to, claim.

Let's be honest about the 'clear vision' thing too. It's not about clearing our vision to being 20/20. It's about clearing out what keeps us near-sighted, only able to see to the end of our noses. It's about clearing out what hounds us to stay far-sighted, only able to see months or years into the future. In each of those modes, we miss the Now, the current moment. Near-sighted, we miss the milieu of life around us. Far-sighted, we miss what lives and breathes right before and beside us.

On to the wildness, the rawness of it. The Now seems tame because it is immediate. Yet to be Present to the Now means to face whatever arises in this ever-present, ever-changing moment. We often say the only constant in life is change. What happens when we go beyond saying it to acting it out? We open ourselves to the sudden wild squalls that arise within us, the deepest feelings that show up, happy or sad or angry or willful. We acknowledge them and experience them, even if we choose to keep them to ourselves. We allow the wild within us to remain untamed and real.

In the Now, we forgive ourselves for the moments when we go beyond feeling to expression. We notice the wild expression and acknowledge it, asking forgiveness for the moments when our expression strikes out at others. That's part of the wildness, the rawness of the Now, of being in the moment, of being awake to and seeing clearly the complexity of who and what we are as we enter this new year of 2020.

How do you define 'clear vision'? Is it important to you? How do you use 'clear vision' to set your goals? What is wild in your personal Now? What do you attempt to tame? How is your life different when you are open to your own wildness? 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Sacred Darkness, Holy Light

We are in a season of changing Light. Slight as changes may be, we acknowledge, and even celebrate, them. Of course, Solstice is the most grand, being one of the Cross Quarters humanity has long ritualized.

Seeking to describe this change of Light, I found this poem. Its stunning opening:
The voyager that   
Travels the furthest
Light is a traveler. Its mission: traveling across miles & miles & miles of space to reach us.... collectively and individually.

Humanity has always worshipped the Light, whatever its Source. The Sun. The Moon. Volcanoes. Stars. Fire. Each of these Sources produces awe and wonder. Our first keeping of time was by Light: Sun and Moon for the day; length of SunLight and MoonLight for the seasons, the year. We mark our lives by those same sources of Light.

We also acknowledge the changing faces of the Moon. Light as Traveler finds its way from the Sun to the Moon. From there, Light turns its reflection our way. What an odd way to travel! Currently, we celebrate the New Moon ~ a time of no reflected light. Does that mean Light is not traveling? Not possible! And then, there's the Solar Eclipse. The New Moon and Solar Eclipse occurring within hours of each other. This Solar Eclipse brings opportunity for expansiveness, generosity and big dreams. In Capricorn, it leans us toward regaining control over our life, embracing maturity, and forming a practical plan to achieve goals. With Solstice less than a week past, this is a season in which we notice the Light....and pray that the Light notices us.

This is the season of Change. Winter Solstice: the turning from Sacred Darkness to Holy Light. Summer Solstice: the turning from Holy Light to Sacred Darkness. This Voyager, this Ambassador reaches us for the shortest or the longest of days. It's all about the turning of our world.

On our travels through our lives, our personal world turns. Sometimes it's joy and warmth; sometimes it's too hot and bright. Most people prefer the light times, just as most people prefer the yearly season of Light. It feels more comfortable.

Without Sacred Darkness, we would not recognize Holy Light. One is found in the presence of the other. Darkness replenishes us. We sleep at night. In a darkened room. Our circadian rhythms shift with the shifting of the Dark and Light. We need sleep which finds us during the Sacred Darkness. Sacred Darkness enfolds us as we grieve or have needs or fears. Comfort comes from this enfolding when we allow it, when we open our hearts to let the breath of Sacred Darkness breathe us as well. We know this place instinctually, yet often ignore or even run away from it. As with Holy Light, Sacred Darkness is a gift.

How do you celebrate the season of Light? What rituals do you perform? Do you do them with a community? or on your own? How do you differentiate between the Holy Light and the Sacred Darkness? What do you feel this Solar Eclipse brings to you? How do you address the Shadow cast by the Light? and the Aura that's left?

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Full Moon in Gemini 2019

©2005 ML Monroe
Aaaah.... Here we are. The last Full Moon of the year ~ many say of the decade. In my personal way of counting, this decade ends with 2020. But that's just nit-picking....

Gemini Full Moon urges us to dive deeper into the power of our Self and use it to work with circumstances around us that are out of our personal control. Each challenging situation encourages us to find and express our deepest, truest Self. Gemini's objectivity and neutrality gives this Full Moon flexibility, perspective and adaptibility as we do that.

Friends and I have jokingly said that 2019 has been the Dickensian best of times (and) worst of times, the epoch of belief (and) the epoch of incredulity. A year of changes, of metamorphoses, of activations, it demanded we shift perspective and shake off what doesn't serve us individually or as members of the collective. And it's led us to the Gates of 2020 and our best future Self.
Being in the sign of the Twins, events and challenges may occur in twos. This energy may follow a similar path or may diverge into opposing ones. Two facets of our life may tug our attention. We may be of two minds on a decision that's before us.

As Saturn and Pluto come closer to their alignment (exact January 12th), they keep us reeling between the visible, concrete Middle World (Saturn's realm) and the hidden, secret Lower World (Pluto's realm). All this while the square of Neptune's influence ~ which can cause us to slip and slide into fantasy and forgetfulness as well as loose our inflexible grip on physicality and connect to intuition ~ obliges us to face our disappointments by surrendering our limiting beliefs, reassessing our priorities, and confronting our difficult truths.

Remember that Full Moon energy is all about releasing what no longer serves us. This Full Moon provides the opportunity to let go of whatever we wish to leave behind as we enter the new year. This includes any issues that arose around the time of the last eclipse on July 16th. Ablsolutely anything on which we need closure. Spend time considering this carefully.

Healing is a strong theme since right now, on this edge of the Full Moon, Chiron ~ the Wounded Healer asteroid ~ goes direct in Aries after being retrograde since July 8th of this year. Assess our physical, mental and emotional health. Schedule a check-up. Follow up on a health issue that's been niggling at us. Boost our immune system. Get a massage or give our Self a bit of extra care. Be kind to our Self. Speak up for our Self. Appraise our spiritual and soul health. Be clear about our motives. Practice self-acceptance.

Rest and breathe before the new year ~ and the coming eclipse season ~ begins. Slow down and listen closely for messages from the Divine. Trust your intuition.

What feels out of place in your life? What habits, behaviors, patterns are you willing to let go of? What habits, behaviors, patterns are you ready to bring into your life? How will you allow space for your own health and healing? How can you more clearly be the person you want to be? What is your opinion of your Self? How can you better accept who you are now?

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Open to Gold

Over the past year, I've experienced some health challenges. One modality with a significant influence on my healing process has been acupuncture.

At my most recent session, two separate practitioners worked in the same space with two clients ~ myself and another woman. The room was large. The practitioners spoke quietly and were attentive to their own client. Still there were moments of energetic crossover.

I entered the room and my session first. My needles were mostly in place, the conversation completed, before the second client and practitioner entered. In this way, although there was crossover, there was also flow.

Every time I heard a piece of the conversation from the other side of the room, I'd take a deep breath, release it slowly even as I released the connection to the words entering my own healing bubble. Every release took me deeper into the healing. It was a good practice.

At one point, as I released, I saw my head and shoulders as a cameo image viewed from above. Cameos generally have white, pink or cream colored areas around the edges. Mine were gold. Like the image above, those edges were smoky and flowing, changing as I breathed in and out. A feeling of cool green grass beneath me tickled my ears and cheeks. One more breath in and I released the image as well, sinking deeper even as my outer awareness expanded. In what seemed a brief time, my practitioner returned, asked me if I was ready to be finished, and removed the needles.

The aura surrounding me felt like a visitation ~ something of precious beauty and grace. Oddly, I didn't feel a strong need or desire to hang on to it. I simply wanted to know more about it. What was it? What did it mean? Why had it happened at that particular time, on that particular visit?

Golden auras are considered rare. Generally they occur either because one's heart is opening up or because compassion is flowing into the heart. It brings generosity, protection, peace and reasonableness. Just as gold represents wealth, a golden aura represents spiritual wealth. Most traditions see it as a blessing from the Divine. (Hence, golden Buddhas, golden halos, golden dieties, etc.)

An aura moving from green to gold ~ as my sensation of green grass with the golden aura ~ signifies healing and opening to blossoming golden energy. The green into gold image symbolizes the Tree of Life ~ golden with a center of the green aura of the heart. The heart chakra is called Anahata (the untouched) in Sanskrit. It's where we carry our deepest truths, loves and being. Our heart does not judge or struggle. It flows and changes direction as the will focuses on continuing life.

The spiritual nature of gold, particularly around the heart, is one of awakening, compassion and forgiveness. Gold shows in the aura as one is coming into their personal power ~ their Essence or Being ~ without the constraints of Ego.

My experience seems to be a common one with golden auras. A temporary energy. A passing visit. I hope to cultivate its continuance. The hardest sensation to explain is that it did not exactly feel good. It felt as though I was in a space of higher service. It felt connected, available, expansive. Although these words are considered positive, the space was one of neither positivity nor negativity. It simply was.

This momentary enlightenment passes. Some of the moments may be longer than others. It is difficult to contain, to maintain, when participating in human life. My wish is that every person, at some time in their personal spiritual journey, experience that golden aura.

How do you experience your Essence? What do you see in your quiet, meditative moments? or your Dreamtime? What colors do you see or feel or experience during these times? Where do you experience your center of Compassion?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Teabag Tarot: Today's Gratitude

Buddha Tea

This morning I woke softly with gentle wisps from a dream circling my head. Not that the dream itself was soft or gentle. So much more than that, it was significant.

The details remain deep within me. They provide a pattern of explanations for much that I've been experiencing these past few weeks.

So, what does that have to do with being grateful? I'm grateful for the nudging of the issues which arose recently. Honestly, some shoved more than nudged. All seemed relatively small and even unrelated, until the dream. I'm grateful for the perspective.

When people talk about being grateful for adversities which arise in our lives, I generally get annoyed or even angry. "Be grateful for your car accident." or "Thank the Divine for being downsized out of a job." are absurd statements that border on being abusive for so many reasons. Adverse situations, feelings of fear or personal losses are nothing to make flip comments about.

My issues tugged at me, took me into dark moments, created feelings of fear or overwhelm. They nagged at the back of my mind as I slept. Enough so that I lost sleep over them. Enough so that I dreamed about them. Then, last night, the dreams coalesced into one ~ and took me for an unexpected ride into my past and my emotional attachment to a story I had from it. Like an arrow, they pointed to one particular incident and one forgotten feeling. Shot by that arrow, I woke chuckling quietly and thinking, "Oh! So that's where all this is coming from!"

Gratitude is a practice. I could have gone through that entire dream process and never allowed it into my heart. My practice of gratitude ~ noticing and being thankful for even the littlest things in my life ~ helped seal the lesson in place. I'll probably continue to work with it. Each time it surfaces, the lesson will go a little deeper until I finally shower it with enough light and gratitude to break it apart. For that, I am thankful.

What little things nag at you? How do they show up? Do they ever join together? What do your dreams tell you about them? Do you practice gratitude? If so, how does it affect your life? If not, why not? How does that affect your life?

Monday, November 11, 2019

11-11 A Day to Remember

Armistice Day in Philadelphia
"The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month...."

11 is the number associated with faith. The significant timing for the beginning of peace ~ or more precisely, the ending of armed combat ~ after the War to End All Wars.

And yet, it didn't end all wars. Just over 20 years later, another World War began. And there have been skirmishes around the world ever since. As there had been prior to World War I.

An article came across my news feed yesterday. Though I can't provide a link to it, bits and pieces of the article remained with me, hid themselves in my mind and struck a chord in my heart. The gist of what stuck was two-fold. In a paratrooper's letters home, they described not only the conditions of war, but also the conditions of their training for war. Essential to the training is the building of camaraderie among the troops. A trust and companionship so deep that they would be willing to lay down their lives for each other. In truth, during battles, that's precisely what does happen. Even if they do not step in front of a bullet for one another, if they did not act as a group, a team, there's little to no chance of success ~ whether one deems that winning the battle or getting out alive or both. The resonance for me shimmered in an image I had of my father with other veterans: even if they had not fought in the same troop, the same battle, perhaps even the same war, they shared a deep connection. They knew a side of life I certainly did not.

The second bit that struck a chord was the casual way death was addressed in the letters. Death itself was not casual, but death walked with them on the battlefield, jumped with them from the planes. They spoke of knowing that death would come for some, might come for them. Though their words didn't say it directly, they seemed prepared for it. Calm. Perhaps because that's what they needed to be in order to stay safe with their comrades.

I am not, nor have I ever been, an advocate of war. I ache for the families who have suffered losses and for the lives that have been cut short. I detest that money can purchase someone's way out of participating while others are conscripted. Still, I honor and appreciate all those who join their life force with any Armed Forces. May they experience that honoring wherever they are.

How have you been affected by war? by Armed Forces? What stories have you read or heard? How has war ~ and armistice ~ touched your life? Where do you feel camaraderie?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Loneliness vs Solitude

FOMO is an expression meaning fear of missing out. Before recognizing repeated occurrences of FOMO in social media posts, I didn't consider that particular fear a phenomenon in and of itself. I thought of it more in the realm of an anxiety. That doesn't mean I didn't experience it, only that I didn't know others did as well.

In Paul Tillich's quote, FOMO would fall into the category of the pain of being alone, of a sort of loneliness. We humans are social beings. When we feel left out of something ~ whether by the choice or action of others or those of ourselves ~ we feel uncomfortable, edgy.

These moments can be anything: the need to study instead of going to a movie; not being invited to a TGIF; being a vegetarian/vegan at a company BBQ; discovering friends didn't tell you before eloped; listening to travel stories of family members. The list could go on for pages. All of us feel these moments. The weight of this kind of loneliness can be as light as dust or as heavy as an anvil or anywhere in between. The hope is that as we grow (not necessarily age-related), we learn ways to pass through these moments more easily. Though, in truth, passing through them is never really easy.

Solitude, on the other hand, is often chosen. A solo trip to a new location, from a friend's new home to Machu Picchu, Zion National Park or Paris. Going to a movie because it's one we want to see or we have the time to see. Taking a walk through a local park. Eating lunch away from the office. Solitude doesn't always mean we are off in the woods totally by ourselves. It does mean we are set apart from those who are generally around us.

For about a year, I wavered between these two emotional reactions to being alone. I was going through a health adventure, as I called it. Friends and family members helped me through it, cared for me, and listened to my stories along the way. Even so there were moments when I wanted to do something only to find that it was beyond me. I couldn't go to a concert for which I had purchased the tickets, so others got to go instead. I subscribed to an online course that I couldn't finish, so I was left out of the camaraderie. I felt the pangs of loneliness. On the other hand, many days spent alone with my cat, my thoughts and books on CD, taught me to cherish the solitude of that healing time.

What experiences of being alone have you had recently? How did you feel about that time? What experience of yours can you relate to FOMO? What helps you get through loneliness or FOMO? How is your experience of solitude different from your experience of loneliness?