Tuesday, October 20, 2015

(Abrupt!) Shift of Seasons

The fall has been glorious -- flaming foliage, geese in formation overhead, pumpkins on the vine, flowering sage.

But (!) yesterday I came out of Whole Foods and it was snowing.  I'm standing there like an idiot, blocking the exit, blinking and squinting because surely this must be rain, right?  I move out of the way and people are exiting, exclaiming:  Ach! ... Really? ... Is this a dream?... I'm not ready for snow!  So funny really -- my own resistance mirrored back to me while I wrap my shawl more closely around my hunched shoulders.

The kids, of course, have no such resistance.  One boy, maybe ten years old, is wearing hot pink knee socks with his sandals and soccer shorts.  He's not rushing to the car. When I comment, Nice socks, he grins.  Mom and I exchange appreciative glances. (There was a stretch when my daughter Michelle went everywhere dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.)

By the time I get home the sun is shining.  Long shadows are falling across the back yard.  The sky is opening as the leaves fall on the lawn.

A perfect evening for (organic) butternut squash soup.

As I peel and chop, I find comfort in yielding to the inevitable.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Super Full Moon Eclipse Wisdom

Last night our Moon Goddess Meditation Circle reconvened for our third season.  I spent the day preparing, grateful for new beginnings.

How to articulate what happens among us?  Gathering cushions, encircling my coffee-table altar with chairs, popping corn, pulling out the tea tray, printing out relevant info from my favorite astrologers -- all this is easy.

It's expressing what happens when I place my hands on the goddesses that has me calling on ... is there a Spirit of Putting-Things-into-Words?  Which Muse ushers the elusive ineffable into comprehensible sentences?

The dusky-orange, eclipsed full harvest moon of the night before reigned over our evening. Like so many of us, I was transfixed as the shadow of the earth encroached on the moon's brilliance. Until it was overshadowed; then it hung in the sky like a jewel-- dark orange, mottled, shaded in mystery.

The esoteric wisdom is:  That's our shadow -- the collective unconscious of humanity -- all those parts of ourselves that we deny, hidden within the recesses of our psyches, projected onto la luna.

On any given night we have the the divine masculine force of creation (the sun) reflected in the luminous sacred feminine force of creation (the moon).  The passage of the earth between these two is marked by the moon's monthly waxing and waning. These rhythms reflect the interplay of the masculine and feminine at the heart of creation.

But on the eclipse we have the earth directly lining up between the sun and moon, to dramatic effect.

The moon was a super full moon, closer to the earth than it has been in 33 years.  It won't be this close again until 2033.  So full-moon energies are amped up way more than usual.  The gravitational pull on ocean tides and our bodies -- composed of 50 - 75% fluid -- is significantly stronger.  Tides of emotion run high in the several days before and after such a potent lunation.

Have you noticed?  Anything going on in your relationships?  Things falling apart?  More volatility than usual?  It's the play of planets on the psyche.

In an eclipse configuration, the Earth plays a different role in the monthly wax/wane dance on the celestial stage. She glides between the sun and full moon, casting her shadow across the face of our sacred feminine star, making it appear to wane dramatically in just minutes -- from full to crescent. Once her entire visage is veiled in shadowy orange, she hangs like a rare gem, a darkly luminous orb in the night sky.

Her aura was still infusing the early twilight as my guests arrived for meditation.  Many had seen and marveled at the moon. She was rising again as we checked in after our summer break.  Updates included news about our daughters:  Joan's was married over the weekend; Cindy's will marry shortly; Kathy's is engaged; mine has found her wedding dress.  Paula's daughter moved to Denver. Mary's back from cruising the Mediterranean, Carol's divorce is final; Jen's anniversaries of the heart are coming up this week. We welcome Maureen's friend Sarah.

Later, we settle.  Awareness of breathing ... long pauses ... letting tension melt.  We imagine ourselves on the side of a mountain, watching the moon rise, our bodies bridging earth and sky. It's not much of a stretch of the imagination because the moon feels as potent as last night.

I play the crystal bowl, a treasured gift, to help us access realms beyond the mind.  The sound healing reverberates through us and out the open windows, merging with  high-frequency lunar vibrations. When I stop, I place my hands on either side of the humming bowl, without touching.   The energy is tangible, charging my hands.  And that's when I realize how the moon felt the night before -- just like this shimmering crystal bowl, radiating fine, highly-charged particles of power.

As I place my hands on each woman, the dark-orange moon looms in my awareness. The energies run like myriad streams -- threads, fragments, and hints suggest something that wants to be known.   A message, veiled, just like she was.  Breathing, I sink in more deeply.

Finally the streams flow together in a confluence of understanding.  Fleeting energetic impressions coalesce into a pristine pool of clarity.

This is her message:

See how beautiful I am as I reflect your shadow passions.  Why hide them from yourselves and each other?  You've been taught to splinter yourselves into acceptable and unacceptable, when every aspect of your being is of inestimable value. Your feelings are meant to flow through you; they are not meant to be hidden.  By honoring the truth they express, you balance yourself in the same way day and night face one another as equals on the equinox.

Behold your shadow!  Gather up the lost and hidden fragments of your selves and bring them into fullness like mine.   I mirror your shadow consciously, to show you the dark face of the Goddess, brilliant and beautiful.  Embrace me and you embrace your whole self, poised as you are between the swirling forces of sun and moon -- ancient archetypes for the powers of creation.  Balance these within.  Revel in the new consciousness being born within you now.

We bring our sacred circle outside to close our evening under the silent stars.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Radiating Our Light

At a recent gathering of the Moon Goddess Circle, in honor of the Summer Solstice, we sat outside for our meditation. I thought it would be perfect, on this longest day of light, to radiate our light.

I read The Little Soul and the Sun, a children's story by Neale Donald Walsh, author of the Conversations with God series.  This profound story invites us to imagine ourselves as beings of light -- innocent, curious and adventurous little souls -- prior to being born into our lives.

As we settle onto cushions, stretch out on the grass, recline in Adirondack chairs and light candles, I share a passage from Walking in Light, by Sandra Ingerman:

You are spirit.  You are Light.  You are one with the power of the universe.... go within and experience a flame of light growing.  As you continue to breathe, this light grows, flows and radiates throughout your cells.  This is effortless, for your true nature is light....

Then we allow ourselves to shine like stars, radiating light in all directions.  I describe for the group how their energy fields are expanding and overlapping as the vibration rises.

One of our goddesses is preparing for surgery; so, as we had discussed earlier, we quietly move into the healing room.  She reclines on the healing table while the others encircle her.  I suggest where each may place her hands and guide us in maintaining our radiance and seeing, in our mind's eye, our receiving friend in all her light and strength.  I murmur pre-surgical intentions and support the circle of healers with my own light as it flows through my hands.

The energy in the room is electric with the power of these women.

Later, after everyone is gone and the house is quiet, I go outside to dismantle our solstice altar.  I find that the altar, now that it's dark, perfectly mirrors our experience!

 Each individual radiating her light....

And then merging with others to exponentially expand the power, the beauty, the healing grace.

The play of light and shadow illustrates just how our fields overlapped and merged.

I take a moment under the crescent moon to register my amazement.

These outward reflections of inward experiences affirm that I'm not making this all up!  What happened here tonight is true.

Namaste -- the divine light in me honors the divine light in you.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Three of us are spending the weekend at our friend's new home on the edge of a meadow that inclines toward a deep wood.  A sea of long grasses, wild daisies, and purple thistles wave in the soft breeze.

I have pictures of the woods, but they don't capture it's deep soul.  Rock walls weave and tumble alongside canopied trails.  Boulders hunch their massive shoulders.  Trees soar skyward.

It feels like a cathedral in here.  I wonder if architects of old-world churches  aspired to imitate places like these, where we naturally feel reverence.

Vaulting arches, graceful columns, and lofty domes can only hope to capture the energy of the deep forest.

We devise a simple ritual expressing our acceptance of something lost and welcoming infinite potential -- untold possibilities -- to flow into each one of us and our sisterhood. Papers feed flames until only ashes remain. We carry the ashes into our sacred environs, releasing them into the running waters.

The current whisks them away. As if their mission is urgent.

The waterways of the earth are her veins and arteries, carrying our offering across the body of the planet.  This stream -- infused with our intentions for wholeness and healing -- will join other tributaries on it's journey to the great oceans where our gift may be received by the world.

Thus the land receives our sacramental offering to the Spirit of All Life.  Our modest ceremony connects us to mysterious creative forces in ways we have yet to appreciate.


Something was initiated today, in communion with these treasured friends and and Mother Earth. Releasing ashes of something that once was, with full hearts and healing intentions for all, somehow quickens the phoenix waiting to be born.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Turtle Wisdom

A fish cannot drown in water.
A bird does not fall in air.
Each creature God made
must live in its own true nature.

Mechthild of Magdeburg

Early morning sun filters through the leafy canopy outside.  Myriad greens --  sunlit chartreuse and shadowed emerald -- float on the late-May breeze.

I toss the covers off and ten minutes later I'm out the door.  Cool air  exquisite on bare arms.

The moment I round the corner that opens onto the pond, my body viscerally relaxes.  My mind expands with the view.  My entire being knows -- this is the place I stop and sit. 

I approach the dock with soft steps.  Still,  a duck emerges from the rushes and glides away.  The birds put up a fuss, as if I'm a foreign invader.

You'd think they know me by now?

I'm greeted by a dozen turtles!  I've never seen so many at once, here in the water at my feet.

Several larger ones are embedded in the cloudy bottom.  Foraging? Pale lines criss-cross their backs like crooked tic-tac-toe boards. Suspended in the water, three babies stare at me with their tiny wizened faces. Their shells are about the size of a compact, ringed with bright orange markings. Their little paws hang motionless as they regard me with curiosity. 

I think.  I mean, who knows what they're thinking?

Several other triangular-shaped heads dot the smooth surface -- a constellation of turtles.

The ones on the bottom rise lazily and poke their heads up too.  There's a thin layer of dust on their shells.  Their movements are proverbially slow, until I raise my hand to lower my sunglasses so they can see my eyes (ridiculous).  But when I move, they scurry away. One of them slips into the recesses of the mucky bottom.  Later, she re-emerges; realizing, perhaps, that I'm no threat.

They look like a bunch of wizened old souls, ancient in their self-possession.  Navigating the borderline of earth and sky, heads pointed toward the sun, bodies in the watery realm.  They burrow in the cloudy depths and sun themselves on shoreline rocks.

I  know them because I'm born in the sign of Cancer -- the crab.  Like these turtles, I wear an energetic shell -- a persona, fraught with defenses -- a shield the world has taught me I need.

Lately though, everywhere I turn, there's a lesson on the power of defenselessness.

By this, I mean dropping habitual defenses and venturing into the mucky-bottomed shadows of the deep psyche.

It's like hauling buried treasure up from the bottom of the sea.  The chest's hinges are rusted; the lock is encrusted.  But despite whatever made us lock away some part of our soul, or  seal off a terrible affront to our being, the treasure -- our essence, our innocence -- remains. 

Because God created us in innocence, it cannot be destroyed.

Behold your Innocence

Feel it glowing within

like rainbow-hued gems glistening in the sun

sprawled on the deck

of the ship of your soul. 

These turtles teach us to plumb the depths and to accept the light.  When we plumb our own depths and accept our own light, we find that we are as alive and vital, ancient and new-born, wise and playful as these humble master teachers.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Imbolc: We're Half-Way There

...to spring, we're half-way to spring.  Although you'd never know it here in New England today.

Another snow day.

Yet Imbolc marks the half-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  It originated as a Celtic fire festival celebrating the first stirrings of spring.*  Although we have no outward signs of these, perhaps we can feel something sprouting within.

These blooms were wrapped tight within their papery shells just three weeks ago, dormant bulbs.  Although the earth is resting now, deep within, seeds of life are stirring.  

In winter, we look for solace from the cold and bluster.  We find it in our friendships -- our circles of support and laughter.  We find it also in circles that can hold our pain and doubt, reminding us always that we are larger than these.  We find it in winter rituals like planting bulbs and feeding the foraging birds.

So, although my medicine wheel lies buried under snow, we find medicine for our souls in the long winter.  How do you soothe yourself?  How do you extend yourself to others who may be hibernating like the Great Bear constellation not in our winter skies?

Now is the time for cleaning out closets, desks and drawers, purging the old and making room for what's waiting to be born.  It's a time for dreaming, envisioning, planning.  As long as you're snowed in, go within.

I'm brewing a cup of tea and eyeing my meditation cushion.  The hush of the day is perfect for an inner sojourn.

Attune to your inner landscape.  May it radiate with the bright light of your awareness as you traverse the inner realms to unearth your buried treasures.

* Imbolc -- Starting Clean and Clear, Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2015, Deborah Blake, p. 37