Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tricks or Treats, Samhain has come!

Halloween and Samhain are here -- how did the end of the year come so quick?  So much to reflect on, the day already feels like it's simply whizzing by.  Thankfully Samhain isn't simply celebrated on today, the 31st.  Each tradition is different; when I was in BFC we observed Samhain on November 7th; many traditional Pagans celebrate on October 31st, others continuing through to November 2nd, as well as getting the opportunity to celebrate once more when Lunar Samhain rolls around.  This many days of celebrations?  Jai Ma!!

I was going to go to my old covenmates tonight for ritual, but she has informed me that she was just exposed to H1N1.  She works as a nurse so I imagine being exposed to a variety of illnesses is fairly common, I trust she will be well but sending her light none the less.  So, tonight I plan to stay in and enjoy the evening after taking Nimue trick-or-treating.

Our town is one of the few in NH that actually has trick-or-treating ON Halloween.  Such a shame that days had to be specifically set aside for trick-or-treating.  What has this world come to?  Such a shame.

Nimue has requested to be a Princess this year.  She picked out her pink ballgown dress, has several wands at her disposal (though found a Disney Princess one at the store that I allowed myself to purchase despite the "Made in China" stamp... grrr), and a purple tiara.  When discussing this yesterday, about her outfit, she realized that she didn't have any "Princess shoes"... when I suggested sneakers (as they won't be seen due to the length of the dress) she simply scoffed at me, "No Mommy, that won't work"... to be the parent of a possible fashionista, oh my!  Clothes are clothes.  I want to make sure they weren't made in a sweat shop, that I'm not supporting a Communist China, and that the fibers haven't harmed... with that said I'm definitely not into fashion in the least.

However, we came to an agreement on the shoes, providing the rain holds off I suggested she wear her "flower girl" shoes that she wore to my sister's wedding this year.  "That's a GREAT idea Mommy!"  Whew, crisis averted!

She has requested that Mommy dress up as a Witch, which was her request last year and I imagine many more years to come, too cute; and she requested that Drac be a Prince... hm... a Princess and Prince, me the Witch?  Perhaps too many Disney movies at work here!

Tomorrow I am planning on doing ritual, honoring the elders who have passed this year and paying homage to my ancestors on the other side.  I'm also planning on doing a ritual that I posted on ADC (which reminds me that I must close the gates after today).  We've begun our HBWM studies and, in perfect time for Samhain, I want us to do a ritual to meet our Slothwoman. 

Z describes this in the beginning of Chapter 1, on page 8:

"My theory is that deep within ourselves, there lives a creature I call Slothwoman (or Slothman).  She is our ancestral brain that is the repository for all our racial memories, that controls healing; a sturdy creature, to be sure, but speechless.  She is into the elements, this brain: fire, water, and earth.  She controls our instinctive behavior.  Our sex life would be boring without her help, and generally she is what we deny in ourselves in this modern life.

In order to impress our Slothwoman, we have to do tricks, like making up little rhymes, easy ones she can rock to back and forth, and make a pretty little altar that would turn her on.  We can use candles and incense to fascinate her within -- use magic, which is her language, her form.

This sweet gentle giant is the key to our lives; she is body, health, sex, instinct, creativity, and love.  She wants securty from us.  She wants to be regarded.  She wants to be called forth.  Otherwise, she can sleep through our modern lives and do nothing.  She is Slothwoman, ancestor."


I think it's important for us to identify these ancestors, these guides, in our lives to be able to foster the next steps in spiritual journey.  I have decided to make this part of my Samhain ritual this year.

I have a lot on my plate this Samhain -- good thing I like to celebrate on the various days mentioned above!  A vision board is on the list, which is a different area of manifestation that I don't often utilize, relative to visualization, my manifestation comes more from the power of words and symbols, so this will be fun to explore and nurture the inner child who loves to paste!

And of course we must not forget the annual new year card reading for the year!  I will pull a card tonight, however I plan to do a full reading either later tonight or tomorrow after ritual.  Generally I tend to choose the deck I most resonate with in the moment, the one I have worked on the most, however last night in contemplating my approach to this my guides very clearly said that I would benefit from utilizing all of my decks for this reading.

This has been a big year, coming out of my first Saturn Return, the various changes I made in my professional life and the continued changes and shifts in my spiritual life, the cards and utilizing all of them is another layer of expansion.  I will choose one card from each deck, some will have focus for each month of the year, while the others will serve as further guidance.

Much to do in such a short amount of time, I'm looking forward to what the New Year will bring, reminding myself to pay closer attention to language and the power of speech, as well as what I am cultivating, but more importantly, how I am choosing to cultivate it.

Blessed Samhain wishes to all, may the wisdom of our ancestors bring a new dimension of growth!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

EPC

I don't know why, but in general I tend to get a little surprised by people who don't know what EPC is, more particularly spiritual people.  Really?  Most people have practiced this and have no idea, and in fact I would say that's true about 98% of the students I teach.  I suppose it's just the label of which we define it that might not make sense to people, I know I'm certainly one of them at times.

If you don't know what EPC is, it's Etheric Plane Communication.  The basic way I like to start discussing this with my students is that it's communicating with another being on the etheric plane.  Some will go as far as to describe the etheric plane as the dream plane, though I don't equate the two as being the same, but that's a discussion for another day. 

In this communication, you are able to speak with another being and begin the process of healing.  You are in a safe space of being able to vocalize what you want to say to another without possible consequences that you might have in person. 

Many people do this now, in their daily lives.  Have you ever wanted to say something to someone and imagined them as you looked into the mirror, or perhaps spoke to them while driving in your car, having this internal dialogue with them, saying what needed to be said?  That is a form of EPC.  We all do it.  Most people who do EPC tend to equate it with hypnotherapy, but I have been doing this work long before I became a clinical hypnotherapist.  Though many traditional hypnotherapists don't define it as such, it's taken on a common practice under alchemical hypnotherapy, which happens to be the type of hypnotherapy I studied and practice.

My practice in hypnotherapy has shifted from my initial training to include deeper aspects of spirituality and shamanism enfolded into the mix.  My practice in healing is a direct influence from my daily spiritual practice, my passion cultivating into spiritual rebirthing, all of which I practice in Her name.

Last night I processed through the dreamworld with EPC, and what has slowly morphed out of that has begun another layer of healing on the physical level that was needed, more relative to relationships that I haven't quite let go of in this life, but have simply left ignored, never really dealing with it.

The thing about EPC is that once this form of communication is complete, once you begin this process, there is, inevitably, a shift that not only occurs with you, but also tends to affect the relationship between you and this other person/being.  What that direct shift is is individual.  There are no case points to say it will be "better" or "worse" (words I choose to shift in my general vocabulary), but there is an energetic occurance that happens that is, to me, quite marvelous.  It's not about bending will, nothing in the least to do with that.  This is about you, YOUR healing, your perspective, your voice.

Let me be clear, the communication isn't a platform for you to spew out hate, this is about communication, it's done from the core of your spirit, releasing what needs to be released.  The object isn't to be hurtful and hateful, it's to find resolution.  You say what needs to be said, to their etheric self, while also being open to hearing what they, in turn, have to say.  Can you come to an agreement?  Do you feel at peace?  Has there been a resolution made?

The thing about the inevitable shift that occurs?  You must release your attachment to it being your way.  We exist in a multitude of planes, thus the results of how this unfolds will also exist in these planes as well.  Sometimes it's quite obvious in this waking realm, other times there is a knowing, there is healing that has occurred and it's beyond the need for us to understand it or experience it any further on this physical plane.

My approach to life is quite similar, if not entirely mirroring the way I teach and practice, in that I like things to be done in a permissive manner, and when in doubt, do my best to come from a place of loving kindness.  EPC is the same way.

I think we, as a human species, have sometimes lost sight of how to communicate with others.  We talk at each other, we don't tend to fully listen, and when we do listen, most of the time it's merely done with our physical ears, not "hearing" with the other senses, which is something I do focus on as an instructor.

Last night's EPC was healing.  It was letting go.  This morning I saw a physical shift with one of the participants, and with the other I have given myself the permission to walk away, at least for now.  The release was necessary, but more importantly I was ready for it.  The charge is no longer there.  It's another gift in liberation.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Passing thoughts

I've been waking up late the past several mornings, mostly due to the cloudy haze and darkness that it still feels like 4 or 5am, so needless to say I go back to sleep. Today I was up early, awoken from strange dreams, the rain has me wanting to curl up with several good books.  Or to study.  Or knit.  Clearly I can't make up my mind this week.

Christopher emailed this morning to say that Ted Andrews had crossed the veil on Saturday.  So sad.  I was just thinking of his work last week, how "Animal Speak" is quite essential in any Pagan/Witch library.  Such a year of loss, so terrible to lose people who have created some amazing and powerful works this year, such as Andrews, as well as Marion Weinstein, watching more and more of these authors cross to the other side.  It's inevitable in the cycle of life, still, quite sad to see them go, hoping that what gets left behind is not just the memory of their work, but inspiration in younger authors who will pioneer as well.  I'm not seeing much of that lately.  Much of what is being published is the same old same old.  It's been awhile since I have felt compelled to pick up anything a new author puts out.  Then again my tastes have changed considerable.

I think that most of what gets published now is still for the beginner.  Much of the gems for those wanting to explore beyond has been there, hidden in the dust, but I think more than that is this realization that when you get to a certain place in your practice no book is going to tell you how to expand further.  As a Witch we must go further within, traveling to the realms of our spirit guides and ancestors and studying with them.  These books, these marvelous gems that have greatly impacted my life and still hold value is the foundation.  How we create the rest of our journey is truly up to us.

Samhain is but a few days away -- planning on taking Nimue trick-or-treating, even if her cold isn't fully gone, it's once a year and she's quite looking forward to it, lots of layers, she'll be fine.  I had thought of attending the NH Witches Ball this year, but instead I may head over to my old covenmates for a ritual.  It's not exclusive to her coven and she has extended an invitation which is nice.  I believe, aside from ancestral honor, there will be focus on a Buddhist Chod practice -- a practice of cutting through the ego.

Aside from being a Witch/Pagan, I am also a Buddhist practitioner.  I took refuge vows back in 2004 and, for me, the combination of my Pagan, Shamanic and Buddhist practices and training has all tied together nicely.  One has directly influenced the other, and it has flowed.  My old covenmate is aware of this.  In fact we were both together for my refuge vows and did a White Tara Empowerment with His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche.  It was most enlightening, and it created a massive shift in consciousness for me.

I'm also doing a bit of house cleansing around here, preparing for the new year, clearing out the old, both physically and spiritually, and making way to allow for the new. 

Also, as Samhain approaches, I will be closing the gates to ADC for another season until Imbolg of next year.  I like this approach, allowing it to open at certain times, giving those who really want to be part of this group (and simply not just join for the sake of adding Dianic groups under their belts) a chance to really be part of something that I hold dear to my heart. Hard to imagine how long this group has been going.  I was still a girl without a voice, taking over because I didn't want to see it go, and now, it's intimate and safe, and it makes me hopeful for what can happen when you gather in the flesh, because we have allowed ourselves to strip away the layers, and we're each digging and sharing deep within.  It's not an easy task, and the atmosphere of permissive energy is quite needed in this oftentimes harsh, patriarchal world.  It gives me further hope for what comes next.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Coming to the Goddess

At ADC we've begun our book study with Z's HBWM, and upon reading through the intros and first chapter I felt that we needed to begin with sharing what brought us to the Goddess.  Z shares in the few first pages about coming to the Goddess, saying "falling in love seems to be the biggest recruiter for the Goddess."  It's not the same as our coming out of the broom closet stories, the identification of coming to the Goddess is a huge thing to vocalize, and it felt important for us to begin there.  My own story has many parts.  Here is what I shared with the systers there:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What brought me to the Goddess?

As I child I longed for some kind of spiritual direction.  My parents are non-practicing Catholics, I was baptized in the Catholic church and my religious education in that tradition ended there.  Years later my brother made attempts to teach me on his own, from his religious books from CCD, but even then I couldn't identify as God being masculine.

During my childhood years I can recall so distinctly this sense of being attuned to nature -- trees, the Weeping Willow was a guardian, my guardian, even then.  I equated Her with safety and familiarity, Her presence, then, wasn't something I identified as Goddess-embodiment.  I just knew that talking to Her, talking to, what I felt at the time was simply speaking to myself, was really speaking to Her, the Lady.  Nights spent under the moon sharing my soul to what I simply assumed was the void was connectivity in motion, and it wasn't until November of 1995 that I identified that the connectivity was the Goddess.

On Halloween night, 1995, I went out with some friends, attempting one last outing of trick-or-treating as 16 year old's, not dressed up at all, though, I recall the exact outfit I wore to this day.  Details that were foggy once before have become so clearer as the years go by. 

My best friend at the time was dating a boy who was less than kind.  He was verbally abusive, cheating on her, abusing her friends, and sadly she took it, not knowing any different.  That night on our way to finding our friend's house, we got lost on a few side streets, ending up in a dead end street that had a couple of abandon houses, near the highway.  We turned to leave and there was her boyfriend, along with 2 of his other friends.  3 of us, 3 of them.  He had been rude, calculating, playing a game knowing he had her, and essentially us, trapped.  One of them took our friend in a choke-hold, punching her, kicking her, suffocating her, while the other took me, proceeding to touch me in places I still cringe to think of in memory.  She, my best friend, was meant to watch, to stand there and watch while her boyfriend made crude remark after remark, describing in detail what was being done to us, and she stood, out of body, paralyzed and numb, as we took the abuse he had meant for her. 

The other girl, nearly purple at this point, managed to slip out of the grip one had on her, while I stood, paralyzed myself, being touched, being groped at, begging internally for this to stop, yet saying nothing.  I think had the abuse been physical, as with our friend, then maybe I would have fought.  I had grown up being physically abused at times, I would have fought back... this was new to me, to think that someone would willingly sexually abuse another, it wasn't something I had ever really known.

Her escape, our friend who had been choked, was really the saving grace for our exit, as her screams became louder and louder, all the intentions they had vanished, and their parting threats began what felt like a prison sentence.

I remember that night sitting in the corner of the tub, hot water pouring over me, feeling as though I'd never be clean again, feeling as though I would never ever be safe again... it was a scary place to be. 

My friend and I had no plans to sit back and do nothing, though my best friend urged us to forget about it, see it as the mistake that it was and let it go, our friendship soon ended after that incident, and our directions in life turned. Mine taking a leap of faith in the justice system, going to the police and determined to make as much noise out of this as I could, only to have the police turn me away, urging me to even move out of the city I was living in, for the boys who did this came from families that were in prison for things that I didn't know existed in human reality.

Girls in school who had found out what happened told me of their own stories of abuse by their hands, but wouldn't come forward, hoping I would be the one to do it.  The other friend, she left, left school, left the city, I never heard from her again. 

All of this was in the span of less than 2 weeks after the incident.  Less than 2 weeks where I began to fear the solitude and safety of the night I once held so dear, where I no longer slept, where I feared being anything at all. 

I don't recall the exact night this happened, but I recall all the details of the night where I had felt my final ounce of hopelessness.  I had received a threatening message from them, and I felt the end of everything.

The details of what happened next feels like a novel itself, but to shorten this lengthy post, I tried to take my life that night.  It saddens me to think of how desperate, how sad and lonely and scared a child could be to go to those extremes.  I share these details, details that were significant in every step of the way, because these steps, that moment of desperation, was the awakening I took in coming to the Goddess.

It was Her voice I heard, somewhere in the inner mindscape, that told me to call for help.  It was Her voice that kept whispering in my ear to not give up, to find strength, no matter how small it felt then, and to hold onto that.

I held onto that fear and that pain for quite some years.  Bit by bit shedding the layers, transforming and releasing, She was the one who sat with me during the years of depression I had, helping me to hold onto the light that was within, especially at my weakest, embracing the Goddess within.

This Samhain marks 14 years since that has happened.  A horrible memory embraced by the realization of how powerful a day the New Year can be. 

It's from that incident that so many other marvelous things began to unfold, such as the healing work that I facilitate, especially for the empowerment of womyn.  As Richard Bach says, "You teach best what you most need to learn", and it was a great deal of processing, with the safety and love of the Goddess by my side, that my own lessons of empowerment began to rebirth. 

This time of year I am always reminded of that time.  Of a 16 year old girl who retreated internally and sat enclosed in a web of fear, but emerged, from the fear, with the fear, without throwing any parts of myself away, all from coming home to the Goddess.

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Witch's Woods & Celebrate Samhain

It's Monday.  Somehow I'm not in October and the month isn't drawing to an end and Samhain isn't just right around the corner... I had so much planned for this month, however the energy of this month had other plans for me, which has proven to be necessary, but the return to commitments is more prominent than ever.

Friday my brother-in-law and his girlfriend took us out to Witch's Woods since she wanted to go on a haunted hayride, which I admit to have never experienced, and by the next day my throat was completely soar and stripped of any dignity from all the screaming I did.  Serious wimp!  But it was quite a blast and I think we all needed that.  We needed a day to laugh and be silly and ridiculous, and I'm pretty sure my general reaction to the haunted happenings surrounding me provided much comic relief more than the actual event itself.

I have this thing, this strange thing where if I go to something haunted like this (which hasn't been in a few years now), the characters there love to follow me.  LOVE to follow me.  I am a character's dream come true.  I scream at the right times, I laugh that nervous "please don't get me" kind of laugh, and, if I didn't think I would trip from my general clumsy nature, I'd probably run screaming in the other direction.  All in good fun, but I realize how dorky my presence really is, thus, providing wonderful comic relief for those who join me.

Friday night was no exception.  I screamed and screamed... Nimue, who was slightly frightened (though I had tried to show her some video of the place before hand to get her a general idea and her only response was "OH MY!"), she, however, did not scream.  No screaming.  Covered her face at the monsters, though was quite excited to see the witch who gave her a high five and told her she was now protected (how cute!), however, no screaming.  I told her it was all silly stuff, people putting on makeup to make us laugh and scare us because, in the end, it was funny... Drac said I might not have been a good example of how not to be scared, seeing as how scared I was.

The makeup job was great, and the volunteers really stayed in character, I was impressed.  Now, I'm not a horror aficionado, not by any means, so someone who is really into scary movies and horror might have a different opinion, I don't know, but it amused/frightened me, and it proved to be an awesome night!  We're hoping to make it an annual event with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend.

We got home late, only to rise quite early to head to Peterborough for Celebrate Samhain.  It was at the Peterborough UU, which was lovely, but the vendors were quite squeezed in together which made it a bit tight for browsing.  Nimue and Drac went into the kid's area for some crafting while I went upstairs for the spirit communication workshop.

Jeannie, my bil's girlfriend, wanted to attend the workshop but didn't want to go alone.  I'm interested in spirit communication, but wasn't feeling called to the workshop itself, but knowing she wanted to go I went with her, knowing it would still be worth attending.

The presenter was good and the information helpful to many in the audience, I could see that.  It wasn't new information for me, but then again in a 45 minute workshop you are needing to present the basics in hopes that it intrigues someone enough to want to explore further workshops and training with you.  Condensing material is hard.  But I appreciated his discussion about children and reclaiming those parts of ourselves that believed in this stuff -- I wanted to stand up and say "I teach Inner Child Empowerment, let's gather!"... self promotion much?  Ha, but that's a first for me, wanting to promote myself in such a manner, or promote at all.

The following workshop was what I wanted to attend, Chanting: The Ancient Art of Sound.  I enjoyed Karagan a lot, he was such a character and really presented the workshop quite well.  I love chanting, but this was a different perspective on invoking the Goddess and God through humming, which is not something I've done before.  I tone, I chant, but hum?  It was really amazing though, and the energy raised was powerful.  It hardly felt like 45 minutes at all!

I missed the Kitchen Witch workshop due to the fact that driving through Nashua proved to be the bane of my existence yet again.  Not very spiritual, no, but there is something about my relationship with Nashua that I can't ever seem to go through there without getting lost.  Never!  I was disappointed to have missed that, the womyn leading the workshop just gives off this amazing energy.

Christopher got a chance to see Nimue and Drac again, it's been years since he's last seen them and she was excited to meet Christopher.  Got to see the new brochures for his Temple, later attended the workshop.  He also commented on the shortness of the presentation, taking a 3-4 hour course into 45 minutes.  It's not easy.  I've been asked to shift a 16-hour weekend course into a one-day 8 hour course, it's a challenge!  In fact I have been asked recently to do that again with my Prosperity workshop.  Though I take the mentality that you get the information you most need, no matter the length of time, it's all trivial anyway.  It's in the moment and non-linear.

I ran into some old friends, met some new people.  My commitment to remain in NH and be part of the Temple, as well as cultivate a more cohesive practice for my work, is high on the mind right now.  I want to find a place that not only allows us to grow as a family and provides all of the things we want but feel we're lacking here, but I am hoping that it will also produce an area (a workshop area, even an in-law apartment) where I can create my own work place.  Drac is on board with this and excited, now it's just a matter of finding something within our price range.  I'd like to be able to offer private workshops that allow others to travel to me vs the opposite.

I don't mind the traveling, but I have grown tired of it, and I don't want to give everything to DoveStar.  They were a great place for me to gain my footing, but with the transitions that seem so up in the air, I don't want to focus all of my energy there.  That's their place, not mine.  My work there needs to be by their standards, which have both good and unnecessary functions, but I am also not able to cater the material the way I feel it is being called to.

I'm planning on creating a vision board for Samhain, though probably not directly on the 31st, I may consider doing it on the 1st or leading up to Lunar Samhain on the 16th.  It's right around the corner, all here moving forward...

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Happenings

I feel like a week has gone by, disconnected from the cyber world and anything else outside of my immediate bubble, I have held space for those who needed me to share my strength while finding my own renewal in the process of release.

The wake was yesterday, and I hadn't anticipated actually getting to physically see Joe there.  I was told he would be cremated.  And he will be, today, but I thought it was happening the day before, so I had images of seeing his urn and his picture there, not him, himself.  That took me back.  As I've said before, this is a new process for me, I have only been to 2 other wakes.  One was my stepfather's mother who, out of the 3 kids, I was the only one who met her a couple of times, so he asked me to go, and I did, to support him.  He asked me to go to the casket, and again I did, but I didn't stand too close, it was a strange notion being there. 

The second wake was for my husband's friend, essentially like a brother, who was cremated before the wake due to the severity of his injuries.  I didn't know him or ever had a chance to meet him, but I was there to support my husband.

Last night was different, having come to know Joe and have him be family, I was reminded of funny moments and shared them with the family, not to distract, but to share.  It was good for us all to laugh.  I was overcome by emotions going up to him, waiting, like a small child, for him to wake up.  His spirit was clearly there, many of us physically felt him, I know I did, and I held space in my heart with gratitude that he was in the arms of the Goddess, and that his renewal would be in perfection.  Though it was hard to watch my MIL, a very strong womyn, unsure of what would happen next.

I had overheard her (though I think she meant for me to overhear) talking to the people at the funeral home and making plans to come in next week to finalize her own services.  It's not surprising, but I just wish she didn't have to do this alone.  That's how she wants it though, and we all need to respect her process of life and grief and death, whether we agree with it or not.

I had class on Wednesday with Christopher, and while I wasn't feeling entirely grounded, I wanted to be there.  I felt like I wouldn't be a distraction in my flight, but that I needed to feel that sense of community around me, and I was glad I did.  The class itself was great, past life is a passion of mine and our journeys to these lifetimes was filled with much information that I am quite excited about delving further into the mysteries of that time and come away with the tools that are awaiting me.

I also had a very powerful journey earlier that day to my spirit guide and got some wonderful information relative to where we are now, information that has been on my mind and he made clarifications to the process.  Someone once made this joke that I don't have a sense of linear time because I am so in tune with the spirit realm, which is may or may not be true, but I feel ultimately connected to the Source, and to the guides and devas all around, and I am open to their guidance. 

I was reminded as I listened to everyone sharing their experiences that some are very new to this path.  It is, after all, Witchcraft I.  Christopher and I had spoken before I joined that it was unnecessary for me to come in at level 1, but the perpetual student in me likes to start from the beginning, something he and I share.  There are a few of us who are clearly not beginners, but returning to the beginner's mind is something we each seem to either want or need for this moment, and it's nice to have that mix within the group.

One of the students made this remark at how clearly I am experienced in this work, and I didn't really say anything relative to that statement, but rather continued speaking about the topic at hand about community.  It was a continuation of what he had brought up during class that I could completely relate to and it was nice to have a one-on-one conversation about community and how to foster it.  It was so in the moment it was perfect. 

I've heard remarks over the years at how "seasoned" I am.  I don't know about that.  I have worked hard to establish more than a spiritual practice, but a way of life, a way of being.  I have worked hard to reprogram that aspect of myself that falls prey to the dysfunctional ways of being and thinking in this world.  That's not to say I don't have plenty of moments of being completely connected to it, but I don't want to simply view things in life as being "better or worse".  I'm finding the magickal in the "mundane" and learning from each experience.

A friend once asked if I was simply looking for the good in everything because I didn't want to face the bad. 

No.

It's not about good and bad.  I don't identify with good and bad.  I'm not trying to make a "bad" outcome "good".  I'm trying to see more of the magick in the circumstances around me that I have convinced myself (or believed from others) were not magickal.  It's not replacing, it's all awareness.  And really, doesn't it always come down to the fundamental aspects of awareness anyway?

After class Christopher and I had a long conversation, which could have easily gone on longer had it not gotten so late and he had class the next day and I had the wake.  But it was a marvelous conversation, one that I needed to have with someone on this path.  We have said in the past that we have quite similar beliefs and ways of practice/teachings, etc, and after class I needed to be able to express this thought in my head that had been surfacing to get an opinion and viewpoint outside of myself but with someone who had a similar way of understanding my thought process as well as someone who I could trust.

The conversation proved to be perfect timing and exactly what I needed.  We spoke about what I had clumsily discussed as being "alien" and he had identified more as "the other", which I much prefer.  He understood, he got it, and I wasn't alone in that moment of being. 

He could see my sense of being different and feeling that in certain times more than others, and he, too, has those feelings.  Beyond the scope of "oh I'm so different', no, even further into being "the other" even within our own community.  It's hard to explain without starting from the beginning.

He spoke about the Wheel, and how most people identify with the notion of up = good, down = bad (and funny timing because I had blogged about that earlier that day, the synchronicity was nice and made me smile), and then there's the center.  He said I work from the center, so I don't always identify with the up and down realities that others express, thus the feeling of the "others".  It's not to say I don't step out of the center, because I do, but it's not my primary area of focus.  He shared a story that was quite helpful in his own experiences of stepping out of the center, and it was affirming to hear it, and warming to hold that space of trust between us to share these kinds of thoughts and feelings.

Tomorrow I'll be seeing him again for Celebrate Samhain.  Drac and Nimue will both be joining me which will be nice since they both have not seen Christopher since Nimue's baby blessing... quite some time!  Looking forward to celebrating and perhaps attending the Kitchen Witch Workshop, though I am really interested in attending the workshop on Chanting: The Art of Sound.  Another passion of mine, I'd love to see what new perspective I can gain from this!  Love chanting, love it!

Tonight, however, my brother in law is still in town with his girlfriend and they're treating us to an evening out for Halloween Haunted happenings!  We'll be bringing Nimue along, hoping not to frighten her too much, but there are other activities that she'll be able to enjoy and partake in, even if I have to sit out a few things and do it on my own afterward that is fine, I don't want her to be too scared, but I also would like her to see it's all in good fun and, ultimately, silly.  Though I'm not sure how convincing I will be in explaining that when I am so easily frightened!

)0(

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

...And the days go by

"The bright light is lying down
The earth and the sea and the sky
Is at rest with the ocean
And the days go by

They go into the seas that have no shores
Haunted by that same closed door
Looking up at skies on fire
Leaving nothing left of us
To discover"

I have this song in my head at the moment, singing over and over the line "and the days go by".  The days certainly have felt like they have gone by, quite fast, like months have been processed through in mere days.  Days.  Just days.  It's a strange place to be, but it's the moment, this moment.  It's now.

The wake is tomorrow.  While death itself isn't easy, and I'm certainly no authority on it since I haven't experienced it much around me (thankfully), it's a completely different field of energy than I can speak on.

Saturday night when I got the news I was tremendously sad.  Sad for all of us, this carried through to Sunday, where it began to shift to confusion.  I'm familiar with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), and in reflection I'm wondering if I have processed through them, if anyone actually processes through them in this transition of loss.  Perhaps, but I have this level of acceptance that I am judging. 

I had a long talk over the past few days with my spiritual mother.  She is one that I can share the essence of what is going on in my inner landscape and not be judged, because she, herself, actually gets it.  She gets it.  There's no need for clarification and explanation, and that's a comfort.  There's no judgment, just space.  Space to share and be without diagnosis.

While this isn't something that can simply be explained in a blog entry, my process through human emotions is something I have tried to dissect.  It goes back to the notion of "enough" and what is truly "enough". 

I am sad for what has happened, and in this reality I have mourned the loss, but in the spiritual realm I know he is being embraced by the Goddess, and the healing/resting process before the transition to the next life feels comforting.  Life, indeed, does go on, and I think the gift of this transition has been a quality reflection of self.  Reflection itself is key, my key, as it was presented to me yesterday, and tonight's class with Christopher will be delving into past life. 

It's one of my favorite subjects: past and parallel lives.  Love it!  It's something that makes sense to me.  The lessons, the tools, the lost parts of self, the integration and release... it's a beautiful and delicious process.  When you give yourself permission to release expectations and truly *BE* in the moment with the lifetime(s) presented to you, you become open to possibilities.  I love possibilities.

One of the systers in ADC was talking about where she is and the reflective questions of: where am I; what do I want; what really matters to me in my life is something that we come across in several portions of our lives, sometimes with a fuller awareness or more willingness to dissect our inner realm, these reflective questions seem almost more apparent at a time of death. 

Where am I?

I see the image of an escalator going up, no rails on the sides, and I step off on the 3rd or 4th step, not out of fear, but in movement.  Up is not up, down is not down.  That's just relative.  It's movement.  It's always about movement.  It has nothing to do with steps.  Steps are pure illusions... it's an excuse.  These steps are my excuse.  Steps forward are equated with a good action; taking a step backwards is considered, essentially, undesirable.  Why?  Programming.  You go up, it's good, irregardless of connection to what religions compare to up equaling Heaven, down Hell, blah blah.  It's just about movement.  Where am I?  I'm in motion.  Forward, yes, and backwards.  I need the backwards.  I'm not done with those lessons yet.  I'm not done learning what balance in this lifetime is really all about.

What do I want?

That is a manifestation in process... another lyric from the song that speaks to this question:

"No doubt, no pain
Come ever again, well
Let there be light in this lifetime
In the cool, silent moments of the nighttime"

What really matters to me in my life?

My spirit says: truth.  Like a banana, the peel is just the layer of what truth is all about.  The core is inside, the good... eh, the "good"... judgment again... the delicious layer of life.  Though I've only recently started liking bananas... but I digress...

It will be nice to be the student tonight.  Not that I don't love facilitating these style of classes, but it's also nice to be the student now and again.  My brother in law has arrived and I feel good about stepping out for a little while, and Drac seems to have processed through this well, though we both know that what's really got us concerned is Drac's biological mother.  She's dying herself, and it's more apparent now, and yesterday she told him she wasn't sure how much longer she had, and I can sense there is an essence of readiness and this want to leave, now that her husband of all these years has left.  I know that won't be an easy transition here, and my hope is that she will lay down the stubborn fence long enough to include us in transition, not for her sake, but for Drac's.

Right now I am just desperate for a nap, tired from the past couple of days, I'm hopeful tonight being in the energy of the class that I will feel a little more grounded.  I'm looking forward to tonight.  Hard to believe it's our last W1 class.  A year has gone by already?  Amazing.

)0(

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Processing through loss.

It's one of those days where whatever intention you had in mind seems to simply disappear without much thought.  I'm at a loss for words, and I'm processing through a loss that I'm not sure how to process through just yet.

I was supposed to be at Christopher's workshop/fundraiser today, was quite excited about it, looking forward to connecting with new people and just being able to be part of something so fun, but this morning about a half hour before I was set to go, unable to fight back tears, I called and pulled out.

Let me back up a moment...

Yesterday I was finalizing last minute details with my brother who was coming to babysit today while I went to this workshop.  After we hung up it was time to get Nimue ready for bed and after brushing her teeth my phone rang.  It was the default ring so I figured it was Drac calling from work, and I asked Nimue to get it while I getting a couple of things.  I missed the call and figured I'd check the message after I put her to bed, so I had her hop into bed and wait for me to come do storytime with her when I decided I might as well check the message now, to get it out of the way.

"Hi honey, it's Mom.  Joe died this morning."  Click.

I just sat there in shock.  Even typing this up, sitting here in this moment, I'm still in shock.  I burst into tears and could not stop crying, and the next thing I know Nimue has her little arms wrapped around me allowing me to just fall apart in her sweet arms saying tenderly to me, "it's ok Mommy, I'm right here, I'm not going anywhere"... it still brings tears to my eyes remembering that moment.

She asked what was wrong, what happened.  I explained that Nana's husband, Grampa Joe, had gone to the Goddess.  She only met him once, she doesn't remember him, but she knew this was a sad thing for me to process through, just as when K had died, wow, coming up to a year next month, she said "don't worry Mommy, we'll find him, I'll find him for you"... the innocence of children is so tender.

Joe is Drac's stepfather.  He's married to Drac's biological mother, the one who accepted me from the get-go of our relationship unlike the adopted MIL I have.  She accepted me into the family, without question, and our relationship was quite strong for many years.  Joe was always around, a sweet and playful man, we drank the same tea... I can still see myself in their kitchen running low and him pouring me a cup, then proceeding to head to the fridge to pour some milk into his glass, which always made me both shudder at the notion but secretly want to try it.

They moved out of their home and we didn't see them nearly as often as we once did.  They met Nimue once, and we kept in touch with my MIL over the phone, though Joe had always been at work when we phoned.

We knew his health was declining.  Diagnosed with lung cancer he seemed to be doing as well as could be expected, but then he started to have blackouts more and more frequently.  Still, this naive notion in my mind told me that he'd be ok, that everything would be ok.

Even last month I was told he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.  The day before my class with Christopher where we would be doing psychic diagnosis I was informed of this.  And even then, still, I thought he'd be fine.  I did.  I really, really did.

I never thought to go visit.  I never thought to hop in the car and see how he was doing, to really ask what I could do for them.  I didn't think to do this because I didn't think there was anything that needed to be done... I thought he'd be fine.

He had been moved to a facility during this time, trying to help him get better, but maybe instead they were there to help make his transition easy.  I don't know.  The thing about Drac's biological mother is that she's a very proud womyn.  She grew up and battled things that no womyn should have to battle, and giving up her children was no easy feat, I know.  But she's stubborn as hell, and she's the first to admit it!  She won't ask for help, she doesn't want help, and even when things are horrible she won't tell you until it's past the point of being awful and taking a turn for the better, or when it's headed south and there isn't much to be done.  She, herself, suffers a great deal of medical problems.  We've been surprised at how long she has managed to stay alive despite what the doctors have said.  And while I know western medicine isn't always definitive in its diagnosis, she has survived things that most people couldn't, or wouldn't.

When she told me about Joe's brain cancer and I told Drac he was concerned.  I wasn't.  Why wasn't I more concerned?  Why?  Why did I think something that advanced would be able to keep him alive indefinitely?  Because there's this childish notion inside that thinks good people won't die.  This is my first real process through death, and it's full of questions and confusion, as though I were a child asking the hard questions of her parents.

I'm a 30 year old womyn who has never been to a funeral.  To most this is an amazing feat.  It's not to say my relatives haven't passed, I have lived through 2 wonderful aunts who I have loved who are no longer here, but I was a child when it happened, living in the states while they were in Chile, so I didn't see them at their end.  I still only see them now, my Tia Meche teaching me to make homemade mayonnaise, going through dozens upon dozens of eggs, always patient, never scolding, until I got a batch right.  Or my Tia Connie, who was a very poor womyn but spent more money than we could imagine how valuable it was to them just to buy a silly girl a bottle of orange soda whenever she came to visit.

I have this naive notion whenever I return to Chile that they're simply not here during my visit.  It's childlike, yes, in a protective and secure way, but I kind of like it that way.  My mother had taken me to see Tia Meche's grave site when we were last there.  I didn't want to, but she asked, so I said yes.  I had silent tears there, because it wasn't her.  It may have been, what I said to my spiritual mother today on the phone, her "post office", but it wasn't her.  She was everywhere.

Even when K died, the funeral was for the family only.  There was a memorial for her DoveStar family, and I processed there, even though I didn't feel her gone.

My process through death is one where the spirit side of myself celebrates their growth, their expansion of self, their journey forward to their next life... I haven't yet figured out how to process through it from a human perspective, because it's so new to me.

You see the process around you: smiling means you're happy, so when others smile, you smile; crying means you're sad, so when others cry, you cry.  I'm crying, for Joe, for my MIL, for Drac, because it's a loss, it's sad, but I don't know what else, how else, I'm supposed to feel.

If the shoe were on the other foot, if this is what my students or clients were going through I would tell them to simply be, as much as they can, in that moment, just breathe and be.  The judging is inevitable.  What we could have done, what we should have done, what we'll do now.  That's the obvious next step.  Death makes us reevaluate our relationship with others, so we feel the importance and the need to express love and gratitude everywhere, until that becomes old and tedious, and we return to our ignorant and unconscious ways.

We didn't come by enough.  What's enough?  We didn't express our love enough.  What's enough?  These questions.  These fucking questions that play over and over, because you feel angry and you feel the need to be angry AT something... when it's all judgment towards yourself.  The mirror turns and you look at what you could have done.  It's a mind-fuck of a game.  I don't want to participate in it.

I don't know what happens now.  This is new to me, and it makes me nervous, like a small child, afraid of what will become lost next.  It's not to dwell, just awareness.  Joe was family.

Was.

It's not even a day and I'm already "was'ing" him.  He's no longer an "is".  I don't know what to make of that.  I don't know how to process through that.  And I know I keep saying that, but I really don't.  I feel like I should know.  I'm judging my level of processing here.  From the spiritual perspective I am saddened but hopeful for his spirit... and part of that translates to this realm of reality, while the other feels alien to process of grief.

I've grieved for lost parts of myself.  I've grieved for loss.  I've never really had to grieve for family.  And I have questions.  Questions like: was he in pain?  Was he alone when it happened?  Did he know he was dying?  Did he have regrets?  Was he at peace?

Just questions upon questions.

The veils are thinning day by day as Samhain approaches, and honoring his spirit will be appropriate, but I wish... I just wish...

I just wish for his happiness, beyond the realms, I just want him to be in peace.  And I hope that he is feeling fully embraced by the loving arms of the Goddess, who is comforting me and embracing me now as I learn the lessons of loss.

Joe, I am having a cup of tea with you, laughing at how many times you kicked my ass in Uno.

)0(

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The introvert, the extrovert

This week felt like it went by too fast.  October has felt like it's been going by too fast.  Halfway through the month, just too fast.  When did life really begin to "fly by" as adults and stand still for children?  Perhaps that's why the joke is that I don't live much in linear time due to my being in touch with my inner child.  I feel like I come in and out of reality as I balance the work and play.

Ventured out for some fun last night and really had a good time.  Ran into an old friend and it was strange to sit there playing catch up but not digging any deeper as our friendships once allowed.  The loss of this relationship was mostly my doing, as I decided our friendship wasn't healthy and I walked away.  It was nice to be civil with each other, and truly I hold no ill will whatsoever, but the reflection of our hours on the phone talking away the night seems like a fable more than fact now.  Reminds me much of the relationship I had with the former bff, though the one from last night we actually had things in common with, which made the friendship feel, at times, less forced.  Overall the night was successful and I felt much more extroverted than even my inner self is used to.  Surprising to most, as I have had more than several people tell me this past month that they wouldn't get the impression that I was an introvert at all.

We took stock during a break at class with others nearby and shared our introverted vs extroverted perceptions and each person thought I was an extrovert to the core.  Really?  I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised, I do tend to, at times, give off this vibe of just connecting with those around me.  I can connect on a front layer surface, getting along with various crowds and groups, cliques mean nothing to me.

A friend of mine called me a couple months back taking "inventory" of herself.  It was something that was quite extraordinary, I felt, to be able to open yourself to that kind of perception and judgment, and I envied her bravery in the moment to do it.

The concept was to contact a handful of people you trusted to be honest with you and either call or, preferably, see them in person, and ask them what they thought of you when they first met you and how has that perception shifted since getting to know you.  At this point I had only known her for just a few short months, but she trusted me to be authentic with her, and I knew I could.  It was rewarding for me to do this, not just for her, but to be in that moment of honesty and trust, it was a beautiful moment and I was honored to be part of her inventory of self.

I don't know if I'm there yet, to do that, plus, to be honest, I'm not sure who I would ask.  Who would feel in tune with the element of authenticity to be able to share this, without fear of hurting my feelings or being afraid of being judged themselves.  We're so afraid of our feelings, of the extension of which we express them and the lines of authenticity and truth become blurred, and thus a new programming begins.

I identify as an introvert.  I keep people at arm's lengths from my childhood years of constantly moving on a moments notice that I almost don't want to foster these connections for fear I'll just leave.  Seems silly in this wave of technology that didn't exist when I was a kid.  Connection is so much easier this way. 

However, the extroverted self is probably more of the inner rebel wanting to soar her wings and be wild and free and channel her inner Punky Brewster.  I so wanted to be her as a kid!

Yesterday was fun, and it was nice to be out and losing myself in Chad's lyrics as I always do.  I don't worship him, I simply adore his music, and all these years later it touches me deep in my soul as it ever has, and being there in the flesh to process through the vibrations is such a gift.  I would certainly miss that if we went to Florida!

Tomorrow I'm doing a day-long workshop with Christopher on the Mysteries of Merlin.  It's a fundraiser for his Temple of Witchcraft organization and I'm excited to be part of that tomorrow.  Then I get a couple of days to play catch-up on emails and studies before the last class on W1 on Wednesday, then next month begins W2.  Hard to believe a year has already gone by... it's that time thing again.

)0(

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A blog, not the.

I always seem to find a tough balance between blogging and actual physical journaling.  If I blog, I journal less, if I journal more, I blog less.  The stream of consciousness is completely different in both fields, despite that it's all introspective work, I'm more open there, in paper form, where it's not available for the world to see.  Thoughts are jumbled even more at times, but I'm also willing to admit my personal truths to myself, seemingly out loud, and process from there.

I like the notion of blogs relative to keeping connection with another, or perhaps meeting someone you haven't met before and connecting with their words.  It's much more personal than networking sites such as Facebook, though that has it's own superficial purpose that I enjoy, so I can't complain.

Blogs have always been a strange notion to me.  While LJ was what my preference was for years, it's still such a strange thing to connect with others because of some kind of connection they feel to you and your words.  After months of comments from strangers who read my blog and felt connected to it, felt a sense of knowing of who I was from my words, or even simply enjoyed my own personal journey through myself, it created this sort of freeze within.  I wouldn't identify it as "writer's block", but more like a revealer's block.

It's only recently that I've peeled away another layer of fear that allowed me to come back to this forum of thought.  Words have incredible power, yes, but I wasn't ready for the dissection of my words or the realization of the power of being able to express yourself outside of your own personal forum.  I can't say whether it's empowered me or not, but it's another layer in expansion.  I suppose that's its own level of empowerment, growth in functionality.

I read Lama Surya's tweet this morning that he had posted yesterday that immediately sent me into a momentary pause: "I love, accept, and honor you just as you are. But do you?"

Powerful.  The love aspect?  Yes, I love myself, believe that I am whole just the way that I am... singing it in my head now... beautiful song.

Accept?  Acceptance... it's not yet a full integration.  Almost, but not quite.  I want to be sure that my entire being is in alignment with the concept of acceptance in light vs acceptance being a form of settling.  That's not divine.

Honor?  I've come to fully accept (smiling at the notion) the inner dimension of thoughts.  I honor them, which is a huge thing for me to say, after years of reprogramming the dysfunctional patterns of not being OK with the thoughts that arise and judging them as good or bad, it has shifted.  It's much more freeing this way.  But does this honor of thought equate to fully honor of self?  That's a good question.

)0(

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Community

It started off as a cold and dark, rainy day.  It has shifted into still a chilly day, but the sun is out and the mysteries flowed in and out with the dew.  I got an interesting text today, along with several emails that still have me scratching my head.  It leads me to an interesting perspective of community, and the power of thought...

I've been craving this sense of community, in my mind I can see what it is, and while I'm not sure it entirely exists, yet, in this plane, I know it's there, somewhere, and I've been connecting to that desire, however, my sense of wanting a community and the ability to actually vocalize, completely, what that is is two different things, and I realized just moments ago that part of my desire and expression may be coming to some sort of fruition, just not in the capacity I had initially hoped or suspected.

It's time for me to let go of the New Moon group I started earlier in the year.  Concept great, execution decent, connectivity average, future essentially on hold.  I'm not committed to this group, and that may sound wishy washy and downright ridiculous since it was my initial idea to foster this, it became something else in the interim, and I also allowed it to shift in intention. 

I love the idea of working with this womyn for the Kirtan group, but I can't even commit to that when I may not be here in another year, less than if things go as planned.  That's not to say, though, that I can't participate and help to facilitate someone else's creation if I'm asked, because from that stand point I'd actually love the opportunity to be part of that process.  I'd like to look at it the same way from my perspective relative to the New Moon group; I'd like to foster a growth in the direction they feel they most need at this time so I am not simply stripping what this group could become, but leaving it so that it can grow.  If womyn really want this, they need to empower themselves and keep it growing.  I can't grow it for them.  They need to want this.  After tomorrow's visit with the family I'll start to address these issues and go from there.

I've been getting a lot of these comments and emails about how much I have helped people and gratitude over the work I have shared, whether it's from direct teaching or healing sessions or simply listening to another person's process, and it's somewhat shocking and surprising, in overwhelmingly humbling ways.

I'm not anyone's guru, there's no question there, but I am grateful for the opportunity and the privilege of doing this work, this soulful spirit-full work in Her name.  To see and hear others being affected by it in ways that inspires them to create change, I am honored.  It's helpful and rewarding to hear at times, because I think we all want to feel like we're doing our soul's purpose with integrity, and I'd like to think that this, these words and desire to seek out inspiration and guidance from me reflects the authentic ways in which I work hard at teaching/facilitating. 

There are several I know who would laugh at these thoughts and say "but of course, you were meant to do this, don't be surprised"... I am surprised, and I like that I'm surprised.  I want to be able to hold onto elements of that surprise to keep making the work I do better... it's humbling and surprising and truly I do this work in the service of gratitude and love. 

)0(

Monday Monday, only not.

Yesterday completely threw off my week with it being a Monday but feeling like a Sunday.  Most observed holidays don't affect me much, I'm one of those people who will go to the post office or library on observed days and wonder why it's not open.  Those who know me fairly well joke that it's because I don't live in linear time.  Still, not an excuse to not at least pay attention to what's going on in the now, even if my "now" tends to be without borders.

I had ample opportunity yesterday to tell at least my brother and mother our plans to move.  The Universe provided various openings but I didn't take it.  I'd rather address it once, essentially, for the family than to drop off bits and pieces here and there to everyone.  Once the family knows, everyone else is free to know.  It may not seem like a big deal, but when we moved here it may as well have been across the world for the drama it caused.  Meanwhile, we're merely 45 minutes away, an hour if there is severe traffic.  That's a nothing trip.  I tend to drive these days a minimum of an hour to get anywhere, because much of what I want to be around is that far away.  So why put ourselves in a situation to move even further away?

We're tired of it here.  The neighbors who have owned for years have mostly sold the place and moved south.  It's not a place to raise family, and the neighbors who come in now could care less about keeping the peace or the quiet, it's just a place to crash.  There's no respect, for themselves never mind the property, and I have grown tired of having virtually no privacy anymore.  We always knew we wouldn't be here forever, but in the time we've been here it's served us in many ways, but we want something more.  Privacy, for one, would be nice.  To not live in a condo anymore and have to be concerned with neighbors would be splendid.  And to actually pay the same amount (essentially) on property tax in a home with much more land makes more sense than what we're doing now.

I know there needs to be a true acceptance of gratitude here, for what this home and the home spirits who have helped protect us and comfort us.  Gratitude is something I work on daily, keeping it close to the forefront of my mind, because I don't want to be blind and not appreciate the gifts that have come my way.  This is/was one of them.  Being here allowed me opportunities that I won't soon forget, but we have been ready to leave for a number of years now, but this time around it's actually more possible than before. 

Planning on catching up with some ADC emails and preparing for our HBWM that begins this weekend, which means I'll need to gather things together for Saturday vs Sunday since I'll be attending the fundraising workshop that Christopher is doing on the Mysteries of Merlin.  Looking forward to it!  This is also the last month for W1 and then next month we begin W2.

It's also this time of year that I begin to feel so disconnected from socialization.  I think as I delve into my own inner mysteries around this time, the dialogue turns inward and I don't feel like my inner world makes sense with the outer world around me.  The world themselves aren't necessarily disconnected, because they're energetic components aren't the same, but my connection with others begins to bring newer awareness, and I am that much more acutely aware of the connections that really make no "sense" for me.

It may sound pretentious, with an air of superiority, and that's truly not my intention.  This time of year more than any other I long for that sense of community.  Community in its deep and enriched connection of sisterhood.  It's more than an acquaintanceship, it's connectivity that digs deeper past the roots, it's abundant.  There is, metaphysically, a reason why I haven't manifested this for myself, I have no doubts.  Why that is, I'm not sure.  I haven't dug deep enough to figure that aspect out yet.

The cold and rain today makes me long for a nap, especially considering the early hour my body decided to wake itself from a peaceful slumber.  Good day for reading, knitting and soup-making.

)0(

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cold delights

It's cold today.  Crispy, New England kind of cold today, fabulous!  Though I spent the morning sleeping in from a headache late last night and then tending to laundry and domestic things, there will be plenty of time to enjoy it outdoors.

I wanted to decorate for Halloween this year, had so many plans but never got around to it.  Between classes and other obligations that took me away from home I never sat down long enough to get it done before October began as my original plan was.  While there is still time, I won't be decorating since things must come down, not back up.  We're planning on packing away small items, taking things off the wall, the things you do when you've made the choice to move away, and this is, really, the first time I've ever moved where I've had more than a week to do it.  First time ever... I honestly don't know where to begin.  I'm used to throwing things in a box and going, boom, done.  Now?  Plenty of time, essentially.

It's not a seller's market, we're hearing that all over the news still, so we have a couple of ideas we're floating through in deciding the next step.  Plus, I don't tend to allow what the state of the economy will dictate relative to my personal prosperity.  I'm aware of it, yes, which is helpful, but I won't let myself drown in the energies of lack when there are more prosperous endeavors and purpose to follow.

In the meantime the holidays are not that far away and I'm looking at the gift-giving ideas that are slowly brewing.  I'm still planning on decorating for xmas and Yule, figuring by then that there will be enough missing that a month of decorations won't be too big of a deal, at the very least Nimue will have her Solstice tree up!

My brother and mother are coming for a visit tomorrow which means that my general plan to get things done and caught up will have to wait until Tuesday.  Even today I am in lazy Saturday mode (despite the fact that it's Sunday). 

I'm in denial at what week we're in.  Chad is playing a show at the end of the week and I haven't purchased my ticket yet, and Christopher is doing a workshop on Sunday as a fundraiser for the Temple organization he's starting which I have yet to register for.  Slacking.  Clearly my mind is still in September, not fully present, though I imagine that's partly due to the past 3 days of not being home.  I haven't had a chance to take care of those little things, and today while my attempts are to catch up, I'm just wanting some time to relax and prepare for the work that lays ahead, not from the house selling/buying/moving perspective, but rather my own personal work.

Time really does fly when you're having fun!

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That's not today

I've been listening to Chad's live CD a lot the past few days, loving the introspection his words always bring me, and the one song that's been playing over and over in my head, "Guarded", has this line that chokes me up every time I hear it, "There are days I swore I'd give up... but that's not today... that's not today..."  It hits home in so many ways, and makes me smile in reflection.

The past few days have been good ones.  I taught Inner Child Empowerment on Thursday and Friday and it reinforced my desire to want to teach more outside of the school.  The class was fun and they seemed to really enjoyed themselves and open themselves up to possibilities, which is really all I ask, that they be open.  There's so much fear associated with this work, and it's not a fear-based practice, it's a practice of transformation and empowerment.  Does that mean that fear can present itself in the process?  Sure.  For me that was a definite.  The fear kept rising to the surface until it got to the point where it could no longer be brushed aside (or flat out refused), but it's not about bringing out the fear, it's about the shifts and the process, and that varies from each person and what their spirit needs.

It was nice to be in that space that once felt like home, that was once so familiar and safe and remembering those emotions.  They're not the same now.  The land it different, somber even.  The school itself is different, colder somehow.  Many thought with the passing of K that things would change for the better, and I feel badly that we (myself included at times) felt that way.  She had her quirks, and in the end she did some things that weren't very authentic, and yet, the authenticity could have been true, for her, which is really all that matters to us, as individuals, isn't it?

I drive there, pull into the parking lot, and I can see myself on the steps, memories flooding about conversations with various souls who enlightened and challenged me, and the safety that existed within the doors and how the warmth of each person's embrace was a long awaited breath of fresh air. 

It's not there anymore.

It's not there anymore and that makes me sad.  But not surprised.  I'm there for a number of reasons, some more altruistic than others, but my decision to return in this moment is a desire to share this information once more with another generation of lightworkers.  I've missed that, in this format, in this in-person teaching/facilitating format.  And maybe I'm hoping, desperately searching, for that string of connection and light that magnified in a way that was familiar... but I can't tell if I'm desperate for it for these lightworkers who could benefit from that, or for me, for nostalgia. 

I've spent 3 days away from home, spending the day driving around like we used to, looking at the world around us, there's been a lot of thought and conversation and decisions have been made, more are to follow.  I haven't announced it to my family yet, perhaps another week or two, it's still new for us, but we're planning on moving.  It's been a long couple of months debating on where we'd go.  Maine quickly was removed from the list of choices with it's income tax, so the choice became stay in New Hampshire and move to Florida.  We have land in Florida.  I dislike Florida, though the actual area where we have land in is amazing, it's hard to pass up.

Last month we were ready for Florida.  I had done so much research right down to the schools and community, but finding a Pagan and Buddhist community in the area was pretty much non existent.  The nearest PPD was in Mississippi, everything else was hours and hours away.  I was feeling discouraged the more and more I thought about spiritual community in the direct area that we'd be in, and then I started to think about New England.  The things in New England that you can't get anywhere else, the way things are here, the inner mysteries of this land that makes it so magickal.

I hadn't shared this process much with anyone, we needed to make the decision on our own, and the idea of being so far away enticed me.  Starting new, picking up and going, I felt like there were so many opportunities there awaiting me, but I wasn't oblivious to what I'd be leaving behind, or what Nimue would be missing in way of family. 

My pro and con lists always came out dead even.  I suppose pro and con lists really make no difference, but they're there to get you thinking, about the important and superficial and silly and marvelous things all at once.

After much debate, and there is some partial debate still occurring now in my mind, we have officially nixed Florida from the list of choices.  We've decided to stay in New Hampshire, because there are a variety of opportunities here that I'm not ready to walk away from. 

We haven't decided where, yet.  We have a few places in mind that puts us farther away from this area, which is virtually like moving to another state for its distance, but I'm willing to sacrifice that kind of distance in order to keep us connected to New England.

It's a big step for us, in many areas, and I'm not sure my family will be all that happy when they realize the distance that we're looking at, because it'll put us even farther away from them.  My MIL, for instance, will not be the least bit happy about this, but the distance there will be, childishly, pleasing.

Perhaps next week official disclosure on our move to family and friends will occur, but for now we're still trying to figure out where to go with this and all those little steps that can make a person crazy.  The art of manifestation will need to be embraced in full balance, without expectation.  That will be a tricky one, but worth the exercise.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A day thrown off by a nap

While I love naps and only get to have them once in a blue moon, they completely throw off my day if I choose (or seem to fall easy prey) to take a nap during a busy day.  A day planned and planned well only to be mocked in the face of a nap.  It was a good nap, but still, throws me off my day.

I'm looking at the next 3 months and attempting to schedule everything in a an easy flow.  It looks good on paper, much of it seems to be spread out fairly well, I'm hoping that it'll translate well in execution.

We're a little over a week away before beginning our book study at ADC with Z's "Holy Book of Women's Mysteries".  Very excited for this and virtually all of the systers in the group are participating in this study which is quite exciting. It's not set up in the same format as AT was, so I will need to be a chapter ahead and really tap into the mysteries of the work to make everything flow in terms of study and practice.  We had a lot of personal success with AT and that was one incredibly awakening book for myself.  I can see myself studying through it again, perhaps in person for a womyn's group in the future.  It's quite powerful.  One of the overseas systers emailed me the other day asking for some tips for an in-person study of AT as she was getting ready to start with a group of womyn.  Very exciting.  While I love ADC and they're such a huge part of my life, it would be wonderful to have that same connection in the flesh.  Somehow the virtual/cyber/ether works well for me, because my sense of connection through energy and the written word is much more fluid than in person connection.  I don't always know why that is, and I haven't delved into that ocean quite yet to figure it out.

I'm in the midst of reading 3 books, 2 for reviews, one for ADC and have given up one for pleasure until the review material dwindles down a bit.  Not complaining, it's giving me opportunity to read things I might not otherwise choose to read as well as gets me out of my obsessive need to reread material instead of opening up something new.  What can I say, I enjoy revisiting old lessons and seeing what it'll bring me this time around.

A couple of events are coming up that I'm attempting to time perfectly, but I also know that this time of year can get quite expensive if not carefully watched.  Irregardless of the holiday season, there's so much in the way of workshops that call to me that I have to really pick and choose what I want and what is necessary, which starts to boil down to the fact that some of it isn't really necessary at all, just my desire to learn more, which isn't seemingly a bad quality, but it can be stagnant if I'm using this as an excuse to simply not push beyond my own inner limits, which admittedly I have done in the past.  More often than not it's my mind being a sponge, wanting to see what new techniques are out there, what new way of thinking is being talked about and worked through.  This time of year is tremendously perfect for that, but I am only one person and the reflection of not being able to be in two places at once is a thick reminder now!

I'm teaching Inner Child Empowerment on Thursday and I feel like it came up quick.  I don't think we'll be able to schedule the 3rd class in the series until January as the students are asking for weekend dates instead of the usual weekday dates that have been going on.  Weekends are harder to schedule, and I was firm that December is a no-go for me on the weekends.  Between the holidays and Nimue's birthday I want to be focused on family.  I do have 2 classes that month, one for myself and one that I'm teaching which I'm hoping students sign up because it's a great class.  I took it over from K before she passed but there was still a stigma attached to the way she had taught it that I know students are still unsure about.  Though, apparently, my reputation as an instructor has enticed students to want to try classes they may have not thought otherwise of taking, and that's a great compliment in and of itself.

Tonight I plan to veg and not think about work at all.  A night of catching up on whatever TiVo has in store for me and some knitting.  Tomorrow I'll need to make sure I'm all set with everything here before being away for 2 days.  I'm excited for this class.  I'm getting a really good feeling about the production of what we're going to do.  This round of students really seem to *get* this work, and it's making me more excited to share this information with them and help them open up beyond what they thought they were capable of.  It's the most gratifying work.  It's not lost on me.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Kirtan & the perpetual student

It went from the start of some fall chilly weather to muggy and warm... fall, where are you?  I feel it necessary this time of year to snuggle under my blanket, to drink hot chocolate and taste the chill in the air.  I want my chill!  I suppose it'll come soon enough, and for those who have complained and felt as though there was essentially "no summer" I guess I can wait.  I, myself, would rather be living in 3 seasons where summer is pretty non-existent... then again it does possess some wonderful things, but today I want my fall back.

October feels like it's going by too fast.  With my calendar filling up this month with things *I* want to do, I want to be able to enjoy them fully and not feel like they're swooshing past me in a whirl.  Though October always brings such fun invitations, until I master the art of being 2 places at once I am needing to make choices that suit me spiritually.  I'm not interested in all the mindless fun.  I'm eager for studies... oh the studying!  There's something quite enticing about being the perpetual student.

I've had several people tell me that it's more time for me to lead than to continue being the student, and while I see their point of view, aren't we all always students?  Perhaps an excuse and a delay in "taking the torch" as my friend would say.  I am delaying.  Waiting for what I'm not sure, and while I am doing much of the things that I do want, I know I'm not doing *all* of the things that I want.  It's a balancing act, but one that can certainly be juggled appropriately.  It's the fear.  Not the suffocating kind, but the one that urges you to push beyond your limits and trust in yourself that you're fully capable.  It's become a long-time companion, pushing me to the edge but instead of being directive it's been permissive.  I want the fear to be directive.  I want it to break it's own shackles and be my strength, but then that's not me empowering myself, now is it?

I've been given some major food for thought this month, and my spiritual mother spoke to my husband yesterday about my work, wanting me to come to her area and, essentially, lead.  As she put to him, I would be a "beacon of light" there.  But there's a lot here that's also calling me to create shifts and movements.  Some of that still speaks to the status of where the womyn's circle is going.  We are without space currently, which may be the final decision maker in and of itself.  I suppose I manifested this, though.  I went in with someone to create this and met a wonderful womyn there, but my friend's friend was someone who I feel I didn't vibrate with energetically, or even spiritually for that matter.  If this is meant to be my creation then it needs to be based on what my vision is, which at first I felt was somewhat selfish, but then realizing that we all have vision, the leaders of the various communities have led with a vision calling them.  Some successfully, when not being dogmatic or too governmental, while others not so much, because their vision seemed to translate to it being their way and only their way.  I'm not interested in that kind of approach.

I ran into this womyn at Walmart at the beginning of last month that pleasantly threw me off.  I was with a friend heading to a booze cruise and she needed something at the store so we made a quick detour.  I was in my sunglasses, thinking it would be a quick grab and go and we'd be on our way.  As I was walking up the aisle with my friend a womyn approached me and said "what are you doing for Kirtan now that Kailash is gone?"  At first I was thrown off, as I was in my own little world, but then I quickly realized what she was talking about and was surprised that, even in my sunglasses, she recognized me from the Kirtan events that I had attended a couple of years ago.  Kailash, a wonderful man who almost became my Guru, has since moved to NC and no longer holds events in this area.  I suppose it was a fun reminder from the Universe that even when I think I am invisible, clearly I am not.

She gave me her business card and I finally got around to contacting her (as I went on vacation the day after I met her) and she has space less than 10 minutes from my house.  She's been considering starting up a Kirtan group and would like to see if I'd be interested in it.

I am excited at the prospects but also laughed at myself thinking how I really do love to add things onto my plate.  I have missed the Kirtan events greatly, it was so inspirational, so transformative.  I am in love with chanting and prayer and this form is something that really appealed to me.  I had no idea what Kirtan was until I went to this event that I just knew I had to go to.  Meeting Kailash was a joy.  There was something about him that my soul resonated with, and we got to chatting.  We exchanged a great deal of emails and I was beginning my training in the Hindu tradition with him.  In fact, what I find most interesting, is that he and Lama Surya share their beginning lineage together.  Lama Surya's path is in Buddhism while Kailash's is in Hinduism.  Their "familial" connection is what drew me to Kailash.

The process of me deciding to train was a lengthy one, and Kailash stirred the darkness in my inner cauldron so I could bring it to the surface and deal with it.  It wasn't easy, it was probably one of the harder introspective times I can remember.  It was so valuable.  In the end when we were getting ready to finalize the Guru/student relationship he decided I needed to wait longer, to figure out my path, which was something I was feeling but at the time unable to vocalize.  His patience and friendship and presence was incredibly valuable to me.  I'm grateful I have had the chance to know him and express my gratitude for his teachings.  In the end me not finalizing the relationship in this ritualized manner was the best decision he/we made.  He knew I wasn't ready, and his patience and loving-kindness was effortless.  Check out his site: http://www.omkailash.com/  He inspired my devotional chanting even further from his teachings.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tarot movements

I had ritual last night after putting Nimue to bed and I focused on my journey to my inner temple to meet with my ancestral teacher and get some guidance relative to the cultivation of peace and compassion in all aspects of life.  It was extremely helpful, and I was enlightened with various information from 2 of my other guides.  Today I feel more productive, more movement flowing.  It feels like today Mercury went direct, for the smoothness of everything is just so perfectly aligned. 

I've been wanting to work with the various tarot decks that I own for quite some time, and I decided recently to start working through each deck I own once a month.  It's the only way I could see to start tapping into the ones that I've gotten for myself or my spiritual mother has gifted me.  I don't plan to "study" them in the ways that I have tried in the past.  My approach to tarot (and divination) has changed greatly from the days when I first began, and it suites me so much better to due away with the "little white booklet" and really tap into what my guides are channeling through me.  It's so much more permissive and authentic for me, not that that little white booklet doesn't have value, because it does, but it no longer appeals to me, or frankly makes sense to me.

So rather than the "study" approach I am working with the "practicing" approach.  Most likely I won't actually be working with each of the cards, but rather working daily through the deck and at the end of the month be at peace to move onto another deck, completely each one I own and, eventually, practicing reading for others beyond the 2 decks I've always used.  Not that I don't love them dearly, but I'd like to step out of my own comfort zone and practice with these others.

This month's deck: The Haindl.  My spiritual mother introduced me to this deck many many moons ago, early on in my journey in fact, well over 10 years (wow).  I have Pollack's books to go with them, but I am planning on working through them with the approach I am using and eventually may delve into the books (as I would, someday, like to read through my entire collection of books... but that's a post for another day).

I've also been contemplating offering a one-day workshop on tarot reading relative to healing sessions, not so much from the perspective of divination, that's an area of focus that has much value, but I've been told from clients and students how much they value the approach that I offer utilizing tarot in healing sessions for the empowerment of the client.  When I taught Inductions last week the students had asked if there was a class at the school that offers lessons in synergy card readings.  While K was still alive she used to include it in one of the inner classes, which I had taken over a couple of years prior to her death, but it wasn't from this perspective for healing sessions per se.  Plus the synergy cards were of K's development, not relative to any tarot deck, as the program was specific to the Four Forces application that she developed, so unless you took Four Forces and understood (as much as anyone could) about those states of consciousness, chances are you wouldn't be following along in the inner classes with as much ease.  Then again, the information on these classes can be quite transformative if the message isn't lost.

But I digress -- the tarot class, or more relative to the program I teach, the Synergy of Tarot... I'm considering mentioning it to my director to offer as a one-day workshop.  Various students throughout the years have asked me to teach them this process, which really is very simple, but the fact that many are accustomed to the "traditional" way of practice makes them feel like they don't have the "right" to practice the way they want and essentially need to practice this art.  It's an art.  It's not science.  There are no chemicals involved, it's individually based.  Yes, some practitioners/readers have a certain recipe they use, but there are many others that don't follow that same suit, what about them?  And the introduction to this relative to healing sessions advances the facilitiator's rapport (from my experience) with a client, but also empowers the client from the moment the session begins.

I am a little unsure of offering it there, at the school.  I won't hand over any notes or syllabus for the course, it would be mine and I entrust that to no one.  I've been too trusting with my material in the past and while I am offering to teach it there, it's still a product of my creation as an independent contractor.  It's not essential to graduation, it's an elective that I feel could be beneficial based on what the students have shared over the years.

I'm due to teach another class next week, so if I have time to have a chat with my director I'll pitch her the idea and see what she says.  I don't anticipate it being a problem.  Perhaps it's something I could offer next year.  I have a feeling those who take the Synergy of Prosperity class would be interested in this process as well, and that class isn't until December, plus I don't want to rush to create a class syllabus for myself.  Again, it's just an idea I'm toying with.  For now my focus is on my own practice and introduction to these other marvelous decks sitting on my bookcase awaiting play time.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Where the days go

It's raining today.  The gloomy sort of rain, which is perfect for introspection, which in the early hours of today I have done, and it brought an awareness that we're in October.  Not just the month, but the energy of what October brings in all its facets.

I'm excited for Samhain, as I am every year, but this month also brings the anniversary of one of the darkest moments of life, and while the older I get seems to lessen the impact of the memories, they're forever there, in a way that is not to be forgotten, but utilized, instead, as the reinforced empowerment of what has since transpired.  It was the awakening, or what fueled my desire and desperation to find more.  It was from that moment, from that incident and the subsequent weeks that followed that I first heard the Goddess' call.  That was... 14 years ago... funny that I couldn't remember the years straight off the bat, but I suppose that's good, I'm not dwelling.  The 11th year brought great change and an immense release that I won't forget.  Like I said, I don't dwell, but Samhain will always be remembered for the day that changed much of who I am.

I've recently reconnected with my old covenmates after PPD, and Winter, the one covenmate I had such a connection with, has been including me in emails to her BFC coven, which is both nice and strange.  I'm glad she has taken over where our old HP left, because her dedication is authentic, and her judgments aren't dysfunctional or plain bullying.  At PPD she expressed that when I left the group that Raven (while I don't want to put him down, he no longer warrants the title "Lord") didn't seem to know how to facilitate.  I felt sad hearing this in some ways, because a broken spirit is such a challenge to mend, but also sad for the rest of the group who clearly didn't know until PPD why I had left... such lies brewing all this time, the deception is quite a sad thing to process through.  This is where the uninformed or ignorant would say "well, karma's a bitch, he'll get his"... it's not about the karmic consequences, we create our own karma based on the choices we make, he's aware of this, whether he's willing to admit it even now or not, but it's more about the integrity of self that begins to chip away, leaving oneself less than whole that creates more trauma than the karmic consequences being faced in the moment.

I was also, sadistically, happy to hear this.  That inner brat/rebel/child within wanted to shout "HA", as though his deceptions could clearly only create such a dischord when his attempt to push me out was met with success... I'm not losing sight of my own role in this, I did choose to leave, as many probably would after the things that occurred, but it's such a sadness when someone in "authority" feels threatened instead of inspired.  Apparently that is what was left when I chose to walk away.  Ultimately a sad thing, which is probably why, in part, he felt it necessary to seek alternative religious practices.  It was nice, though, to catch up with Winter and Meadow and see that there was no ill will, clearly he had lied to them too.  It was a service within a disservice, because I have claimed calling to a deeper way of practice and learning.

It's back to routine next week, what that routine will entirely consist of I have yet to know.  As my favorite time of year I want to delve further into the inner mysteries of self and what the guides have to offer.  Samhain/Halloween decorating hasn't happened yet, between classes and then my cleansing this week (also known to some as simply "being sick"), I haven't had a chance to grab all the stuff to decorate, though the altar is done, not to reflect Samhain, it's reflecting the harvest season and come Samhain I will change my altar once more.  I don't tend to change it up much after Samhain, simply keeping the energy flowing, it doesn't change much to reflect Yule which I may do this year, we'll see.

Tomorrow is the Full Moon in Aries: I AM.  I am in need of embracing the true embodiment of the I AM consciousness.  The mantra that comes to mind for this cycle is: I AM Peace.  I am working on cultivating more peaceful ways of being and thinking.  My plan for the Esbat tomorrow is to journey to my inner temple and speak to my ancestors about the cultivation of peace.  I think this will also tie in with a decision I am in the process of making.

My moon has arrived in time with the Full Moon, and I feel the energies this time will be somewhat chaotic, just coming off the shadow of the retrograde, so I want to be particularly mindful during this Full Moon.

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