Happy All Hallow's Eve, Samhain as it is traditionally known comes from a time when people who worked the land were connected to the changes in the seasons and also to the subtle changes in our connection to the unseen world. Nature is the gateway to the other world, the quietness and potency of nature's energy makes it akin to the energies of the unseen or spirit world. Often people can 'feel' a presence in a shady grove of trees or a quiet meadow proclaiming they just kept feeling someone watching them. So why on this wonderful day is it permeated with fear and scary things that go bump in the night? Well, the people who were close to the land were also very superstitious and they felt that the Gods and Goddesses were often fickle in their bestowing benevolence through joy (a healthy bountiful crop)or malevolence through anger (crops failed through pestilence). This precipitated the sense of "other" as being possibly dangerous. They also felt very connected to the dead, their ancestors and also the fact that their fields were laying fallow getting ready for the winter months. So they were not unaware of the veil being quite thin this time of year. The veil between this world and the Spirit world of which there are many levels is evident to all those who 'feel' a sense of things beyond this world. The people who died were often kept in the memory of the villages people as a daily remembrance which actually connected them further to the Spirit world as the Spirit of the person was inclined to stick around or haunt them if the Spirit thought they died prematurely at the hands of the people.
So now we enter the modern age where horror movies have the theme of disquiet and an unbalanced view of this night of connection to the beyond. What is most disturbing is the accuracy of the movies in the truth of what is possible in the realm of this other world because as I said there are many levels to the Spirit world. Just like we have benevolent humans there are benevolent Spirits and there are also malevolent humans and also malevolent Spirits. But to focus on this is to portray this other world in a dark and scary light which is only half the story. The Spirit world is rich in diversity just like this one! So be careful what you fill your head and your eyes with. It is good to adjust our vision to the darkness as it will often tell us things that the light misses. But that does not mean evil and destructive energies are only of the dark. Many Spirits of the dark are actually benevolent as they teach us to be in balance with ourselves which is a combination of both the dark and the light. The seedling in the ground is in the dark and needs to feel the comfort of Mother earth close by to create and generate the strength to grow. So do we flourish when we take time out and go within to the quiet darkness of our inner temple. Peace, solitude and inaction is the realm of the dark and this is a necessary place to go during our lives. And sometimes when we access this darkness it can be somewhat scary and unpredictable but the more we make friends with our shadows we can become whole human beings that are in balance. So as we go out in our costumes as our alter egos and call out Trick or Treat remember that many people who have come before you were connected to the Spirit world in a way that was tangible and so can we!! Celebrate your ancestors and those who have past away from this world and know that you can create bonds with them and speak to them easier at this time of the year. Create a quiet time with yourself as well and begin to know all of your sides even the darker one!! Luke Skywalker had to find out what darkness lay inside of him to know that he did not want to embody it alone like his father. But ignoring it was not the answer either.......So my young padawans seek the truth in the in between of both dark and light. So enjoy your evvvening my darlings, and do watch out for roaming werewolves or vampires as they might come along and steal some candy at your front door. Or you might be visited by angels and princesses one can never tell what will show up on a night like this!!
Samhain Blessings to all of you!
This time of year I love to tell the story of Persephone and the Pomegranate seeds. Her story of abduction by Hades and being taken to the underworld as his future wife tells of the theme of the four seasons. It is a story of innocence growing to maturity and keeping vigilance over indulging too much. Persephone did not have a choice but to succumb to the forces that had more control over her life than she. But she was able to keep from falling into the trap of eating or drinking in the underworld which would have meant she was to stay there forever. She only ate 6 pomegranate seeds and when Zeus came down to find her and Hades announced she had eaten the 6 pomegranate seeds Zeus negotiated her return for 6 months out of the year and after she would return to the underworld for the other 6 months.. And when she is gone to the underworld the earth becomes fallow with cold and snow as her mother Demeter becomes full of despair and sadness and the earth dies in the cold and ice of her grief. When I hear this story or tell it it I always feel like I have had a rich meal full of spiritual sustenance. There are so many messages of metaphor within the story itself and yet to dissect the essence of the experience of hearing or telling the story takes away the very potency of it's magic. Listening to stories around a bon fire is a timeless human activity that has created a bonding with those who are present. Tonight at the Full Moon Gathering, which I lead every month, I told this story again and the magic it wove was as if the story were brand new. The women in circle became both Persephone and Demeter in their claiming of the story and how it touched different parts of them. When we give our power away we feel like Persephone, innocent and unprotected. When someone we love is having a difficult time and we are powerless to change it we become Demeter and wander the land in grief until that time when our loved ones are returned to us as whole and happy. We identify with the ideas within the story lines that illustrate to us human themes of emotional moments of revelation. The telling of this story at this time of year sets the theme of going inside of ourselves to explore the inner regions of our lives because nature is slowing down and the nights are colder and longer and we must find the shining light within us to warm us up when it is dark and also to encourage our loved ones to feel our own warmth and light as well. Hades is the winter and Persephone brought him her lovely light to shine for 6 months of the year in his world. Who is Hades in our life that needs our light? And how can give just the right amount of ourselves so that we do not lose sight of being available to take care of ourselves? When we emerge from the emotional underworld of those who need us into the light of self care and nurturing ourselves to stay healthy we are keeping the balance. Helping others is a human inclination but should not be in lieu of taking care of ourselves. Shining our light but also taking a break and being in the darkness of our own inner life is paramount to a healthy life, So when you are thinking of how many events to attend this coming season and how much activity to participate in and how much help to give to others make it exactly commensurate with how much time you spend taking care of yourself and enjoying time just for you! In this way you will continue to flourish and be available in a healthy way to those you love and who love you. Then the moments of activity and inward time will be in balance. You can become the Persephone who is actually benefiting from time spent in helping and in time spent just enjoying yourself. May you all have a beautiful evening and enjoy viewing the Moon Goddess in all her glory!! She is a sight to behold each month as she shines brightly on us sending us her light and love.
Warmest blessings to all!
Divine Inspiration through the Art of Alchemy
Gardens take time and effort to keep up. But I feel it is the most rewarding experience to pick your own vegetables and bring them into the kitchen and make a wonderful and tasty dish with them. The effort is well worth the reward! I feel this is no less the case with our inner garden. How are you tending the inner garden? Are you watering the plants of your imagination? Or mulching around the existing dreams you are involved with creating? How can we remember to tend the garden of our hearts and souls? Well I think a good beginning is to acknowledge the actual inner garden first. To see it as such, and treat it with the care you would a physical garden. I so enjoy watering my garden outside as in our climate here on the Central Coast of California it is quite arid and watering feels to me like I am bringing my poor thirsty plants a good long drink! When I think of watering my inner garden I think of allowing my emotions to flow and be expressed in a healthy way. Right now I am feeling a lot of emotions flowing in me. Some stress is bringing out the anxious and doubtful feelings which if not kept flowing out of my spirit will clog up the flow of allowing good things to enter via a clear channel. So acknowledging my "weeds" of negative emotions I am pulling them out of my garden roots and all! Also when I tell the truth to myself and say 'I don't know if I can do this, that or the other things?', I am having an inner dialogue with myself and this is like mulching and loosening the soil around my dreams because it helps my body relax into the truth, yep I have doubts and I am scared! So after admitting this to myself I can just let them sit there in a pile and wait for them to slowly decompose. Later in the day I find that the sunshine of my hope has returned and the weeds have now become the compost to support my inner process of letting go. And if you noticed I did not 'do' anything to correct the emotions just simply allowed them to be acknowledged. You do not need to fix emotions just simply watch them and admit they are there, this is more than enough to create ease. Another great gardening tip I find that works really well with my inner garden is positive affirmations. They are like amend to the soil of my mind. Every time I focus on a positive statement that is stating a positive direction my life is headed in I am sending out supporting nourishment to my dreams. This is a really easy way to continue to keep the foundation of your dreams in a healthy container of positivity. The combination of acknowledging your negative emotions and allowing them to just be and also to state positive affirmations in your mind daily is a great way to maintain the health of your inner garden but lets look at the daily practices that really get the garden looking lush and vibrant! I love singing and chanting mantras and find this is a powerful tonic to my physical as well as spiritual being. They are like medicine to the soul and correct any infestation of doubt or worry or even darker feelings of a lack of self worth. They heal the mind and the soul and bring light and harmony to your inner dreams as well as balance the vibrations of your spirit! I highly suggest that you try chanting a mantra daily to any tune you like and see if you have some beautiful experiences that come out of that effort. I also find that daily meditation is another way to support your mind and body connection to your soul and spirit as it creates a peaceful co-existence of the whole being with all it's parts. Meditation is allowing a peaceful state to come over you so you can allow the mind to relax and let go of old patterns and ways of thinking that do not contribute to the over health of your garden. Sometimes these are hidden deep underground and it may take awhile to surface but diligence to the process will also yield some amazingly healthy results. And meditation will also create the actual environment where your dreams can come to fruition because resistance is gone and what is left is a well tended beautifully thriving and lush garden of happiness! So as you go about your day and tend the physical parts of your life do not forget to tend your inner garden as well. It will give you hours of pleasure and joy if you begin to regularly pay attention to and take care of your inner self! Happy Gardening everyone!!
Blessings on your day!
Divine Inspiration through the Art of Personal Alchemy
I have a greeting card from Trader Joes with the saying "A ship in port, is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." This quote by author and poet John A. Shedd is from a book called Salt from My Attic, a collection of quotes and sayings that he loved. I think he must have understood a great deal about human nature and the need for metaphor to explain the obvious! The card is situated to the right of my computer sitting upright on the chair rail so whenever I am at my computer which is quite often it speaks to me; not unlike a certain cricket beloved by a wooden boy named Pinocchio. Reading or rather glancing at this card and recalling from memory the words (as I have read it millions of times) instantly reassures me that when I am going outside my comfort zone in my work and my own personal process that I am out to sea with my boat and that is exactly where I need to be. It gives me courage when I feel I can not get through another day and I am hopeless or even when I am on fire with a new idea. It reminds me that whenever I am sailing the high seas of my own imagination I am in the hands of the Sea Gods and Goddesses as all boats are when they set sail. It is when I am apathetic and out of sync with my own inner waters that I am reminded I am in the port of my own making and that all I need to do is set the sails make a heading and bear with the winds of fate and throw open the lines and see where the Divine wants to carry me.
Lately this seems to be a heading in a direction of dark stormy waters clearing out old patterns of thinking on abundance. Prosperity is something that is an interesting idea and can feel quite vague and slippery like a frog just out of water. But what I am learning is that my relationship with money is very much like a drug addict who is just always looking for the next fix! Upon this realization, I started a self prescribed 12 step program called The Abundance Book. It is just the type of reprogramming I needed to set myself on the right path with integrity and yes it is truly a day to day, moment by moment lesson on retraining the patterns set up in childhood. It is all so interesting to look in hindsight at how I got to be this addict instead of allowing a healthy helping of abundance to stick around all the time. I was raised by parents who grew up as kids during WWll. And their motto was that it took long, hard work, often doing jobs you didn't really like or working those jobs and carrying 24 college units and walking 4 miles up hill in the snow to school and then home, as the only way to create the new and ultra secure life you wanted. And yet my brother and I were given everything and we never had to lift a finger. Because for some reason hard work also meant you didn't require any effort from your offspring nor do you tell them about things like bills, mortgages and fiscal responsibility. This was tabu! It was the 80's and I was the ultimate "material girl" in every sense of the word! I mean when you were heading into the new school year of 1982 there were the endless hours in the various malls or small stores in town trying on millions of clothes and buying many things that I am sure I may not have even worn not to mention the hours and chunks of change to get those perms that lasted 6 months. But as the 80's faded, my hair straightened and my friends got married and racked up credit card debt in the 90's and lost houses and boats and jobs and with the introduction to meditation in my early 20's and learning that not everything was about me and my issues I grew up into the ascetic lifestyle of a single mom. Yes I worked my ass off, I mean 40+ hours of work, then come home, only to start the "home" job of grocery shopping, cooking, laundry and the list goes on and on. I became the mother, father, provider, house cleaner, personal chef along with school tutor and science project creator, psychologist and part time veterinarian. Life was truly a 180' turn from the crazy halcyon days of high school. And yet with my boat getting capsized at every turn I was beginning to think that I was reaping what I had sowed in my care free days of hedonistic buying frenzies and not having a care in the world of the environment or people not having water or food or roofs over their heads. I was suffering because of my ignorance no matter how blissful it may have felt at the time! And I suffered long and hard because that is what I thought I deserved. I was trained, indoctrinated into the guilt of a religious upbringing that said when you are experiencing something unpleasant it is most likely your fault because you did something wrong that you were being punished for. So now my consciousness of others and the bigger picture of how the world suffered became my reason for my own suffering. I mean I really didn't know why children suffered or why people were hungry but I knew why I was suffering, it was because when I was 16 I was a clueless materialistic money focused child. Or, maybe I was a product of over indulgent parents who lived through a time of devastation and fear and they wanted their children to be care free? Maybe......but the point is that even more important is all this mental shenanigans in my head about guilt and the care free days of spending all my parents money was in hind sight a mixing of some very complicated metaphors that at the moment are looking like an amazing miasma of some odd bouillabaisse. So, sigh, here we are in my head trying to make some sense of the mess and the good news is that shining the proverbial light on the situation is actually helping. I am seeing that not everything is related like I thought it was and some things are just outdated code that I need to dump and create new code like "The Divine Consciousness that is in me and in all things and all beings is forever expressing it's true nature as abundance." "My mind is aware of this truth therefore I am totally confident in letting go and allowing this Divine Consciousness to be my abundant all-sufficiency in my life and affairs." I know it is a mouth full and chewing on the meaning can take some time. But consider the alternative......"I am a money addict and I need my next fix to pay a bill that is long over due and perhaps my electricity is getting shut off as we speak." Really there is no contest! So lets talk money vs. abundant supple. Money isn't evil, it is not evasive or really anything but the effect of how you think about it. In other words according to John Randolph Price we need to shift our thinking from the effect to the actual supply which is the Divine Consciousness in all things which is always full of abundant supply. So here I am full circle and out at sea bobbing along in my boat which at the moment is calm and pleasant. I am watching the waves and feeling the light rocking of the boat as the sun shines and makes the ocean wink at me telling me that I have been making life much to complicated and serious. So now I think it just might be beer o' clock and time to relax and allow, to let the Universe provide me with all that I need and desire. So here's to letting go of too much seriousness and guilt and whatever else is in the way of my receiving abundance in a prosperous way. And the great thing is you can do it too! I mean cast off the lines of your little boat or your cruise liner and sail away into the sunset as you enjoy the amazing life that is waiting for you in your dream of dreams. Happy dreaming everyone!! And if you need a little push, some help getting your boat out of harbor let me know and I can help you figure it out! With a little Body, Mind & Soul Mentoring we can get you cruising along in the sunshine of a beautiful day at sea.
Divine Inspiration through the Art of Personal Alchemy
"Here I sit and wait for you 'neath the spreading branches. Cool the grass with shade and dew. Sunlight round me dances. Fall is in the air today, hear the wild geese crying. Don't delay come while you may. Snow will soon be flying." This Finnish folk song called Autumn Roundelay is one of my favorite songs to sing this time of year. It evokes the slowing down of the energy of nature by the very first words....'Here I sit and wait for you.....' Sitting and watching the golden sunlight touch each and every leaf and plant to tell it that the time has come to rest is one of the most beautiful seasonal moments in nature and my favorite time of the year. I feel a sense of permission to be more quiet and serene just like a beautiful fall afternoon. There is something about the light that angles and stretches the shadows and lengthens the light to a brilliant hue that I think is natures way of creating a brilliant kaleidoscope for us to see through before the darkness descends and winter is upon us.
What better time of year than this to start a meditation practice! If you have been wanting to learn meditation this is the best time of year to begin. The ability to focus and be quiet is inherent in the very essence of the energy of this time of year. Preparation for the winter months in nature is the process of shutting down the intense production of growth and creation of fruits and flowers that happens in the summer months. We can follow this pattern in our own lives to align us with the seasonal pace of nature and this will create a sense of belonging to the natural environment that comforts and soothes us decreasing stress. When we are constantly in a busy state or in an artificial indoor environment it creates a disconnection with what we are made of which is natural organic material. When we spend time in nature we become a part of the environment and an energetic exchange happens. In a scientific quantification it can look like the simple exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. But in a more soulful perspective it is the feeling of connection and reciprocity with nature that sustains not only our physical body but also our mental and emotional and spiritual bodies. This is not an invitation that needs to be complicated and time consuming. Taking a hike on a natural trail is wonderful but if you do not have the time, simply find trees in your neighborhood that change color and pay attention to them as you go about your day. I have one across the street from my house that I absolutely love! She is a lovely tree that changes to golden peachy pink colors that range in dark yellow and magenta at different times. I look forward to seeing her change every year. And she never disappoints me and I feel a connection to her and the seasonal change by watching her progress at each new season. It has become a meditation of slowing down because nature is never in a hurry but always seems to get everything done. How can we become more like nature and remember that we are also organic material and spiritual energy that needs to spend time quietly connecting to other organic material whether human, vegetable or animal? I suggest starting today to connect to balancing yourself and aligning with the season. You will feel more balanced and content with life and your part in it. After teaching meditation classes for the last 3 years I find that making simple changes is the way to make permanent changes. Begin to become familiar with the nature that is in your neighborhood and even your own yard. Planting flowers that flourish in different seasons is a wonderful way to stay connected to the changing of seasons. And when you want to feel balance go out and touch a tree, close your eyes and feel the slowness and perfect pace of the trees growth and trust that you are growing and changing at exactly the perfect pace as well.
Sending out love and Autumn blessings to all of you!!
Divine Inspiration through the Art of Personal Alchemy
My mission is to help people become more in tune with their own Soul Spirit plus Spirit Teachers and Angelic Guides resulting in clarity and awareness of the Divine that lives within!