Saturday, November 28, 2009

~in the quiet time~

This is the quiet time of the day...when I am up by myself, mother having gone to bed, the cat perhaps with her, perhaps on my bed or (as is the case tonight) on the couch behind me.
A wee bit later than this is when I normally come home from work, and if I'm not totally blitzed, I'll do my yoga after my nocturnal ablutions are out of the way: changing into pajamas, hanging up those clothes that don't need washing, popping what does need washing into the hamper, and taking care of my teeth. With all the mixing, matching, and adding I've done, my practice lasts just under an hour now; my body never does the exact same thing twice, either.

In the deepening of Winter, I find that the "inertia" that settled around me in Autumn is not going away, not entirely. I kvetched about it at first - but I have so much work to do, so much that is on my to-do list, people to meet and projects to work on, and I need to get moving! I need to push through this and soldier on!
Then I received a very firm response: No. You. Don't.
So I stopped, and pondered, and checked in...and found that I'm very soul-weary, shall we say. Not body weary, gods no! The yoga and the dietary changes and the chiropractic and the massages are wonder*full! ~ and as it turns out, just the beginning.
Look, I was advised. You've done a LOT of shapeshifting this year. You said yourself, out of your very mouth, that you were grateful for the upcoming season of Winter to rest and allow time for the seeds that were planted to germinate! So it's time to REST now, darling one!

So I've gotten a very good lesson in Letting Go this past month. There are days when, yes indeed, I feel like moving mountains, and things do get crossed off at least one list...but I'm also allowing in more days where I do "nothing constructive," and just lie on the couch, listening to the rain and catching up with my newspaper reading - as I did today.
Of course, when it's raining cats and dogs outside, raining like some Divine CEO of Weather is making up for all of the dry days/weeks/months by dumping it all in one go, and it's a cold Winter front blowing down from way up in Alaska somewhere bringing all this much needed moisture...then it's really easy to say, "Meh, not today. Maybe tomorrow."
Add in working five and something of the previous six days straight, toss in the insanity that surrounds a major holiday the day before and after said holiday, and one really looks for an excuse to do Lots of Nothing during one's downtime! (lol)

Thus and So: in the quiet time, I'm balancing days of do-ing with days of be-ing. A bit of a new concept for me, as I alluded to in one of my recent Tweet-clouds. Seriously ~ the more I've reflected on this, the more I noticed more motion in this past decade, now just about to become decade-plus, than pausing and resting and allowing the Changes to really take root and marinate within me. High time to give myself marinating permission!
So...Permission Granted! *ping*

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Descent, redux.

Heading into twilight. Joshua Tree, 2009. Photo by moi.

As fun as the retreats are, transitioning back into "normal space" from them can be a bitch & a half.

Three retreats, three transitions:
The first transition was a physical one - I had eaten raw food for five days straight to start the New Year in January; I had been rather nicely vegetarian - nearly vegan - afterwards. When I got back, I needed a degree of stillness for my body to catch up to all of the Work I had done energetically...believe me, when you get struck by lightning, you find a LOT of Work is done upon you! Some of the changes you don't even realize have been wrought within you until you're days, weeks, even removed from the time you were catalyzed! (I know several people who are nodding their heads in vigorous agreement with this one...y'all know who you are...) ;-)

The second transition was a mental/emotional one - I found myself needing to do some very serious course correction in myself and my plans when Coyote came to me and showed me I was acting and reacting based on illusions I'd built up in my head. The Trickster's teachings may be harsh, but more often than not, "tough love" is exactly what's called for; it certainly was for me! So I did some Shadow-work, and shape-shifting, and succeeded in bringing about a LOT of healing for myself as summer ended and autumn began...Work that stood me in very good stead prior to the October retreat!

The third transition has been a emotional/spiritual one - I found myself in an "altered state" of consciousness for an entire week after the retreat...feeling "here," yet not completely "here." (Others reading this entry will know exactly what I'm talking about; for the rest, bear with me.) The first day of November, I came back fully into "normal space." Hard. It was like waking up in the center of the faerie ring and finding myself completely alone; more, finding myself in the middle of a land of ashes and dust. Let's just say the first few days going back to (muggle) work were rather challenging for me, to stay centered!
Part of the situation was that I had brought a lot of my integrative journey this year to a point of completion...part of it was that very deep, primal Shadows were finally moving to the center of my awareness; they would no longer be ignored. Judgment, Rejection, Mortality - these are the scars that are in my be*ing, that are needing very much to be healed before I can move on, move into Right Relationship, in an open and intimate way, with a Beloved.

Along with this Shadow comes the knowledge that I have reached the point where I can no longer do the Work I need to do by myself. I need others to help me. So I am reaching out, and getting responses, getting assistance. One of the things I will be guided to do in the near future is a session of Soul Retrieval...the Gateway through which I passed from girl to Maiden was wrought with much trauma and drama, and this is a point where I know there are missing pieces to my personal puzzle. It's high time I go find them!

This is the best time of year for me, or anyone else for that matter, to do this sort of deep, dark Work...for this is the time of Descent, when natural forces are going within, going underground, bedding down and entering the Dreamtime. This is the time to follow in the footsteps of Inanna and Persephone, early shamanic archetypes, as they journeyed to the Underworld in their own personal quests. This is not my first journey of Descent, either; the first time, I began in 2003 and would not "return above" for a bit more than a year (in 2004). This time, though, promises to be much briefer...after which, maybe I'll be a wee bit more talkative in cyberspace. ;-)
Maybe. (lol)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dancing in the Desert - the Big Glow in Joshua Tree

Be advised, this post will have its fair share of photos in it, most all taken by yours truly. So...

Two weeks ago, more or less, two of my besties in the whole universe flew out to SoCal to stay with me, as we prepared to visit our next retreat site: Joshua Tree Retreat Center, roughly two hours away from where I live. It's in the high desert, and it has the beauty of the high desert, along with its own special qualities...
Fountain over by the Friendship House complex, where we stayed for the weekend. As seen from the balcony.

At the main office building, they have a little metaphysical boutique adjacent to the "official" office. There's a case with crystals in it; the moment I walked in the door, my spidey sense went crazy. Somewhere in that case was a member of the Brun'gavoda, the collection of crystals that's re-forming at this time to help me with my healing work. I was able to return to the boutique later that day (Friday) to find the crystal, and purchase it. So here's the family now:
The Brun'gavoda, almost completely re-gathered. There's one space down below to be filled...

At the retreats, we consume fine organic vegetarian/vegan/raw cuisine, provided by a shopping trip at Trader Joe's. (Hollah!) This retreat was no different, and I bow to the culinary maven who generously and selflessly volunteered to prepare the meals for us, along with her inspired assistants who helped. (Lady-R., you are a jewel!) We shift for ourselves, you see, coming together to cook, to eat, and to clean. I place myself more in the "cleaning" position, at least until I have the opportunity to practice and expand my (admittedly) woefully under-utilized cooking talents. Though as Lady-R. will attest, I do make some mean scrambled eggs... ;-)

Saturday was a day of devotion for me, as I visited various sites:
A natural rock cairn, where I placed a rock upon the top of the pile on the lower right.

Statue of Mary, the Blessed Virgin~Mother, where I placed The Ambassador in the shrine at Her feet.

Dry fountain at the center of the labyrinth, with offerings. The double-green line encircling the round seed of the fountain is my offering, a strand of peridot. (Photo by OakKing-R.)

The Medicine Wheel, where I gave thanks at each of the Four directions. Note the Joshua Tree guardian at the far end, as you're looking straight on...

A natural power center to the right of Mary's space. The white spot in the middle is a gypsum stone from Jacumba that I placed there.

The day ended with a gorgeous sunset. One of several pics I took of it:

Then, during the night, I was blessed by a visit from an owl. She was gorgeous; her presence touched my in ways that words fail to express. Suffice to say it was a huge confirmation from the Universe, validating all the Work I had done - that day, this past season, this year-to-date, this entire journey I've been on!

Oh, and true to the title of this blog, I did dance in the desert...
Uber-cool action shot by OakKing-R.

Sunday we gathered together for one last meal, and deep farewells; not forever, just for a little while. Merry Meet, and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again, as the pagans say. Then it was me and my besties heading home after loading the car - and locking the keys in the trunk! - and retrieving them. (lol)

And who are my besties, you ask?
Well, you know about Brian already...

...and this is my succulent Pixie-friend...

This time around, I felt as though I was bringing parts of my journey to completion, along with holding space for others to be kick-started on their significant journeys.
Each of these retreats is better than the last one - looking very much forward to what happens next! :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Emerging from the Mystery on a Monday... I guess, technically, this would qualify as a Mysterious Mondays post. The banner is still on holiday until next week, though. ;-)

Great Mother, it was an October to remember! I was not disappointed, although I was surprised on several occasions...

I was surprised to find I had to do some more heavy lifting in my soul with Coyote. This led to a check-in with myself, to ask myself if my life was really headed in the direction I wanted it to go in, and who within was resisting, and why the resistance was there.
With answers in hand, I put out one more significant pulse of Work, and I was done. My "fallow fall" came to a graceful conclusion a little early, as it had started a little early, and I began to peek above the edges of my life again.

A conclusion that came to me during this pulse of Work, which I have reaffirmed several times since: I have done all the Work I can do on myself, with myself, by myself.
I have reached the point where I cannot do any more Work alone.
I need support. I need community. I need to love, and to be loved, deeply.
I need to "go home" and be with my home tribe, in actual physical space, at a specific and different geographic location.
I hear the call in my bones and begin to prepare myself to relocate, to move.
By myself, most likely.
Yup, this fledgling is thinking about leaving the nest! Shock and awe! (lol)

The Work was done, just in time for my birthday - which unfolded with me sleeping most of the day. I was truly in an altered state of consciousness, having attended a marvelous chanting and light show the night before...which apparently pushed the "reset" button in my system! Fortunately, I came out of it just in time to pull off my latest workshop at the Well Within on Saturday, the 17th. People showed up, so I was happy; now it's time to start dreaming a little bigger, to hold a vision of more people attending... :-)

Then there was Joshua Tree last weekend. Oh mah gawds. "Beyond Awesome" would be something of an understatement. The experience was so juicy and profound, I don't think one entry will be sufficient to contain it! So I'll have to prolong the mystery and spool things out over a small stretch of time. For the moment, though, here's a little taste:
High desert country. The complex as viewed looking west. Photo by moi.

Topped off everything with a pair of deep and spicy rituals this past Samhain weekend, which apparently kicked up a little detrius that had settled at the bottom of my soul. I'm working though the last bits of feeling disconnected right now, and working my way back into connection. Hence, the blog entry.

I've just skimmed the surface of all that has unfolded for me in October, so I promise I will go in depth more this week, and maybe into next as well. Winter has arrived in my neck of the woods, so there's absolutely no need to rush. This will allow for things to percolate and simmer, combining all the juices together to make an absolutely fabulous stew. I think this would be good spooned over some rice, with a small side salad to munch on, and some hot apple cider as a chaser... ;-)