Sunday, September 16, 2012

in between the rhythms

Woodpecker - Keeper of Rhythm (Kit Carson Park, 1/12)
Woodpecker has been accompanying me through 2012, starting a bit before January, with the opening of the Diamond Year on 11/11/11. When you hear the tok-tok-tok! on a tree and look up and see no less than three woodpeckers in an inverted triangle above your head, you know the rhythms of your life are going to change, Big Time. Yes they have, Big Time.

I had to leave my muggle job at the answering service in 2010 because the changing of the rhythms (at work, at home, in my life) was becoming too intense even for me to handle. For nearly two years, I floated along, in a sense, as I moved out of one set of rhythms (the "old" reality) and into a new set of rhythms (the "new" reality). The shifting of rhythms increased in tempo last November as I began my initiation and shed my old skins. Winter Solstice: power*full. Spring Equinox: intense. Summer Solstice: BOTH! I'm still amazed I made it through June and emerged relatively coherent!

Now I am arriving at the midpoint of Autumn, the Fall Equinox, very much aware of how much my rhythms have changed. What was once full in my life is now emptied; what was empty in my life has been filled. My rhythms these days are very simple: Work. Rest. Love. Rest. It hit me recently how simple my life, my rhythms, had now become. Where I would have cringed and railed and resisted this simplicity once upon a time - because of how different my desired world was from my real world - now I am seeing that this is but a moment in the Greater Shift of Rhythm. This, too, shall pass, and is passing.

I have a pair of Doreen Virtue's Goddess Guidance cards on my altar. The one for the Autumn season that I chose/was chosen for me is Kali - the Great Changer Her*Self! She is not quite as fierce in Doreen's deck as She is elsewhere, but Her message in this iteration is no less profound than anywhere else: The Old must be released so the New can enter. (She represents Endings and Beginnings in the deck.)

The Old must be released so the New can enter. I'm really feeling that right now...the woman writing this blog entry is SO completely different than the woman who started 2012! A little time, a little perspective, and I can see, now, what I took to be "blocks" or "obstacles" were really place-holders to delay me just a wee teeny bit so my True Destiny could be realized, in the form of my Beloved.

Sharing Rhythms (near Irvine, CA 9/12)
It's one thing to feel yourself shifting from one reality to another. It's another thing to observe the details of your New Reality taking shape around you, coalescing from the Void into solid forms and structures. Two years after my "anchoring" into the New Reality, I see it beginning to take substance around me. Outlines of these details are becoming more tangible, more real, in my life. Should I doubt or second-guess the process - which still happens, trust me! - I hear the chirrrrr! chirrrrr! chirrrrr! of the woodpecker at the top of a nearby tree, and I remember: oh yes. The new rhythms are becoming noticeable in the ground under my feet, in the whispering of the wind blowing past me, in the sight of the lightning dancing in the clouds. I just need to abide, and watch, and move gently, and love fully, and be loved fully. It was never a time to force; it's always been a time to allow...allowing the Great Unfolding.

My harvest from this unfolding has been a good one so far... :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August: Mut - Mother of Mothers

I have waited a lifetime to bloom. (@ Home, 8/12)
Mut...was honored (in Egypt) as the mother of mothers, since it was believed the cosmos sprang from Her. (She) was usually depicted as a vulture or in the form of a woman's body with a vulture's head...
~from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle guide~

It is no accident that this aspect of the Goddess came up for me in this time, for two reasons - first, I prayed a lot to "Mother Vulture" during the more intensive parts of my Eye of the Needle initiation, asking her to pick my bones clean of whatever garbage and detrius was remaining in my body and my spirit. (I have a dear sister at the Goddess Temple to thank for introducing me to this particular totem animal in the first place; she knows who she is.) Second, I entered August very much in need of some deep nurturing and mothering...though my body was feeling much better, my spirit was still raw and ragged 'round the edges. On the anniversary of my father's death, I found that nurturing, in the last place I expected to find it - in a man's gentle, adoring embrace.
Those of you who know me, online and IRL, know that although I am bisexual, haven't had a whole lot of experience in the game of love, with either gender. What you might not have known is that I've been a very lonely lone wolf as a result. Many times I found myself "outside looking in" at other couples in their relationships. Many times I've been able to keep my head above the raging waters, but have been desperately looking for some solid footing beneath the surface. And one of my greatest fears was that I would die alone, unloved, because the Path of Spirit I walked was too "woo-woo" for anyone else to understand, much less to walk with me.
I have been proven happily wrong. :-)

At the end of April, I stood in the middle of a circle of soul-siblings and declared that I was over being a single woman. "I want my Beloved, and I want my Beloved NOW!" I shouted, tears streaming down my face.
Thirty-three days later, Love came walking in the door I had left open, but unattended.
Everyone, I'd like you to meet my Beloved, Jonathan.
"Namaste." (La Mesa, 6/12)
I actually met him in June, just before I plunged headlong into Hekate's crucible to burn away the last of the dross in the final Big Push through the Needle's Eye. Choice and circumstance kept us at arm's length for a time, but I made the choice to be with him for a long weekend at the beginning of August. The fireworks are still going off. :-)
Those empty spaces that were hidden deep in the core of my being are now filled. I have found my sure footing beneath the surface and can flow much more easily with the current. I find myself opening up and calming down because of the love I am sharing with this man. The small stuff has become truly that - small stuff - that I'm no longer sweating. I am teacher and I am student; I am lover and I am loved...and I won't be lacking in rose petals for quite a while! ;-)
In entering this new and exciting co-creation, I have put other things on the back burner for the time being - namely, the growth of my Shamanic practice as a self-sustaining business. I am not hurting for money, though; I am well compensated as a "Supervisory Priestess" in my muggle job at the answering service. I am also getting little opportunities here and there to keep my shamanic skills honed. All the pieces of the puzzle are still there, abiding in the box I have put them in, simply waiting until everything has settled back into place before I take them out and assemble them into the configuration they belong in.

"Me" is now "We." (San Diego, 8/12)
The greatest miracle I am receiving is the gift of Changing-in-Place: at the beginning of the year, I believed that I would have to move across the country before I could be truly Authentic and truly Do What I Love. Now that I have met my Beloved, I am seeing the path form before me, step by step...and I'm not going to be leaving the state of California in order for it to happen; in fact, my stomping grounds will be relocating only slightly. I am receiving SO much Abundance in my life - I feel truly Blessed for the first time. Ever.
YES, all the Hard Work is Worth It! :-D

Saturday, August 18, 2012

July: Haltia - Goddess of the Home

Every house should have a World Tree, yes? (Gerton, NC 4/12)
 Haltia was believed to rule over houses among the Baltic Finns. This benevolent Goddess was considered an integral part of the actual structure of the home, bringing good luck to its inhabitants. She also acted as a guardian to the occupants of the house She had chosen to bless. 
(from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle guide)

Haltia's message on the card is, "Create harmony in your home. Then good luck will visit." This I chose to take on a fundamental level, as my ultimate home is my body. Yes, I was inspired to do a bit more decluttering last month, and will probably do some more decluttering in the months ahead, but I really needed to recenter my focus on my*self.
If there was a finish line at the end of June, I would have stumbled, if not crawled, across it. After being under Hekate's intense guidance for that entire month, I staggered my way into July completely exhausted. I survived my supervisory training, Goddess be praised, and I was adjusting to life without Princess Joey being beside me in material form. (Completely different story on the astral; her spirit is definitely here.) The only thing I really wanted to do, though, when I wasn't at work, was sleep...and work, though much easier as I settled into a regular schedule, was still not the freshest bed of roses.

I checked with myself and remembered when I had felt similarly before, several years ago. My chiropractor at the time did a quick muscle test and had diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue. (See, each kidney has a gland atop it that it wears like a little hat. This is the adrenal gland and it pumps out the familiar adrenaline. If it's on overdrive for very long periods of time, eventually it cries out, "No more!" and you feel exhausted all the time.) I did a muscle test on myself and...yup. Adrenal fatigue redux! So not only did I get the herbs that help with adrenal fatigue, I also read up on the acupressure points to use, and found that rose quartz, pressed into the reflexology points for the kidneys, works really well. That restored the physical harmony.

Emotionally, however, was a different story. It took a near-meltdown at work for me to realize, hey, I'm still emotionally shot! So I pulled back a bit, entering into fallow time, promising myself that I would be ambitious - later. Now was a time for me to rest. Resting at Glen Ivy was right lovely. :-) 
I also felt the need to have a retreat for myself, where I could get out of the routines of my life for a time and just be free-floating through the world. I plotted and planned - and then the Universe gave me an excellent opportunity. I had recently met someone new, who invited me to come and stay for a few days. So I took him up on the offer...and my life has pivoted in a new direction.

(The story is unfolding on Facebook; the summary is actually on my website now.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

June: Hekate - The Dark One

(wee notification: I am going to speak frankly about life passages and emotional states that may be very triggering for some. Feel free to read with discretion, or skip over altogether.)
Through the "Rebirth Canal" (Encinitas, 9/09)
At the beginning of this year, thanks to a suggestion from the lovely Leonie, I pulled a dozen cards from my Goddess Inspiration Oracle Deck to get an idea of what 2012 will hold for me. Hekate landed in June. I took one look at Her and thought to myself, Hm. Significant changes that month.

Can we say Understatement of the YEAR!

If April was about fully feeling the Loneliness, and May was about fully feeling the Blocks, in June I came to feel the Central Shadow at the core of all of my Shadows, the one Fatal Flaw that "doomed me to fail" in this lifetime: I was Too Negative.
As the story went, I was too sarcastic, too snarky, too scared to make the leap of faith - too damn comfortable and stuck in my sorry farce of a life to make any meaningful changes. All the positivity in the world turned to poison in my hands, for all I could see was how great and wonderful and miraculous everyone else was doing...but I was not doing that, because I couldn't find the Way Out. My pathetic little attempts to make Big Changes always fell flat, or just short, or were entirely stillborn. The shiny happy life I desired was there, but Just Out of My Reach - and there it would stay, forever.

Nasty little illusion, eh?

I knew it was an illusion, YET it kept getting stronger, more pervasive, and denser in my being. The fog got thicker and thicker as the moon waned from fullness into darkness.

To add to the growing despair, my familiar-cat, Princess Joey, was having greater and greater challenges just staying alive. Her movement slowed way down, and one could see that she was in great pain and discomfort. She quit jumping altogether. She drank a lot, and peed a lot - but was no longer making it into the litterbox. She would only eat two or three bites at a time. It became very apparent that this was her last life, and it was coming to an end. After a great deal of soul-searching and conferring, mom and I chose to help her over the Rainbow Bridge back to the Unseen World. With the assistance of a very compassionate veterinarian and her equally compassionate assistant, Joey shuffled off her mortal coil at the ripe old age of seventeen, just. In people years, she was 110. Ah, what a rich full life! what an utterly spoiled life too! ;-)

Vaya Con Diosa, Mi Amorcita. (@Home, 5/12)
Now, here's the wild-strange-miraculous part...
I said the majority of my goodbyes the night before she passed.
As that Friday became Saturday, I woke up in total bleakness and all-out despair. I was convinced that I was an utter failure at life and living, that there was no way for my dreams to become Real. I was convinced that I was stuck in this farce of a life forever - and I made a choice. I was going to drop offline completely, deleting all of my accounts and profiles. I was going to call my work when the alarm went off and quit my job. I was going to go into my room and wait, until death came for me, or the doctors came for me, to put me in the little windowless room. I entered into a state of Absolute Surrender; I even said three times, within myself, I am done. I Am Done. I AM DONE.

...and then Light filled up my brain.
...and then I took a deep breath.
...and then I wondered, have I done a soul exchange? Is this still me? Quick, test the memories!
All the memories were there. I knew it was still me when I realized I still loved hammerhead sharks. ;-)
In one swift stroke, I shed the skin of Negativity and all the characters stuck in that Negativity. In the space between heartbeats, I passed through the tiniest Eye of the Needle and emerged REBORN on the other side.
wow. Wow. WOW!!
When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt "inappropriately" giddy. I felt completely, fully and totally Alive. I wanted to roll down my windows and scream out to the still-slumbering world, I am right here, right now!  I am Made of Awesome!! I am a fucking MIRACLE!!!
I don't think the world would have appreciated it. ;-)

I finished off the Releasingway with a formal ceremony at my sister shamanka's fire circle...and Great Mother, did it feel GOOD to release all that schtuff at last! Not only have I reconnected with my Positivity, but I've also reconnected with my own Blessed Divinity - Oh Yes Indeedy I AM Goddess Incarnate! 'Bout time I started acting like it, eh! (lol)
So yes, I had a breakdown, but it was the necessary precursor to my break-through. I had to own and inhabit those illusory states completely before I could release them...the lesson of the Great Serpent Mother. Now that I have shed my skin, the question becomes, again, now what?
The answer came swiftly: now, you REST, for once!
Yes, Mama. :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

May: Gaia - Mother Earth

Envisioning by the River. (Gerton, NC 4/12)

Gaia's message for this month, according to my Oracle deck, was this: You can create your life. Envision what you desire it to be. Sounds easy, right? Not if one of your Core Shadows is working behind the scenes to sabotage you...

At the end of April I was doing a lot of Envisioning, specifically around how to return to Asheville, NC (and surrounding environs) for good. I think it's safe to say I got so caught up in the envisioning that I almost forgot to envision a way home post-retreat! Were it not for a most generous offer of transportation from some very good friends, I would have been in a most sticky wicket indeed - and therein I could spy the Shadow at work.

First off, this aspect believed she was trapped in "surviving" her life, allowed to do "only" the necessary and needful amount of work to keep her chin above water, thus being prevented from doing that which truly nourished her soul and fed her happiness. Second - and more importantly - she believed that the work that needed to be done was Too Much for her to do. I can't do it by myself, she would say, I need someone to do at least some of the work for me. In her/my darkest moments, I believed I needed someone else to do ALL the work for me. Can we talk about Giving Away the Power here?

Halfway through the month, I was shown a Vision, very simple, but very Power*full as well: I saw all of my perceived difficulties as a large dark pile of Stuff. These were all the limitations I saw standing between me and my desires. They towered above my head. Then came the words, Now, Watch...and the large pile of stuff began to shrink and grow transparent. In the next moment, I saw that I could step around the pile, over the pile, or - when the pile grew transparent enough - through it. The lesson? My perceptions were just those: Perceptions, not necessarily corresponding with reality! In that instant, without a whole lot of conscious thought, I Got It. Let me see past the supposed obstacles to the True Reality, and go from there!

In the meantime, my reality became more interesting: a new opportunity at my muggle work was practically dropped into my lap when I returned from the retreat. I thought about it, felt into it, and was a bit surprised when the answer that came back to me was a YES - seize this opportunity! So I did...and at the end of the month, I was informed that I would be promoted to supervisor, with my training starting on June 1st. Well and so! With clear Vision and a new path before me, I prepared to embark on the next phase of my journey.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

April: Huchi-Fuchi - Goddess of the Hearth

Barnabas Bear guards the Hearth. (Gerton, NC 4/12)
"She was believed to have been honored among the Ainu, a hunting-gathering people indigenous to Japan. (Her) nurturing fire is responsible for the creation of food and the warming of the home." (From the Goddess Inspiration Oracle Guide)

The message of this Goddess is, Surround yourself with warmth by creating an environment that nurtures others. In April, that took two forms for me. The first was a bit of decluttering in my home, where I helped my mother release some old stuff that was no longer being used. The second was a decluttering of my soul, and the beginning of the revelation of my Core Shadows.

In order to create an environment that nurtures others, first I have to make sure I'm able to nurture myself at my own hearth. In April, I found that the hearth-fire had gone out within me. I had run into a small inconvenience for an upcoming trip, and I was feeling way more upset about this inconvenience than was necessary. I found myself making it into something Huge and Devastating for me. When I asked why, the answer began to come out, because it's taking away time I'd like to spend with my Home Tribe... and that's as far as I managed to track that thought. In the next moment, I Lost It. Completely.

To borrow from the band Yes, My name is Victoria and I am the Owner of a Lonely Heart.

Now, Loneliness is not an alien concept to me. I'm an only child, and have never been in any significant sort of Deep Relationship outside of my own family, certainly nothing romantic. There are times when I prefer to be alone, content in my own company. But this was the first time, perhaps, that I really felt the depth and breadth of my Loneliness - and it was intense, and it was not comfortable in the least. I felt the soul-deep desire for Meaning*full Connection. I felt the intense need for a Beloved in my life: someone who could hold me when I felt weak, tired, and wanting to stop carrying the whole damn world on my shoulders for a few minutes. Someone who could sing the song of my soul back to me when I forgot the words, or even the melody. Someone who could be Totally There for me, when I was lost in the Land of Overwhelm, and shine the flashlight in the darkness when my fingers were too cold to hold it or turn it on, so I could find my way back.

More, and More Simply, I felt homesick. I was missing my Home Tribe, my Glowing soul family. Extremely ironic when I'm standing in my own shower in my own home, but there you are. I didn't want to be standing in my shower in California. In that moment, I wanted to be where I felt my Home Tribe is gathering: Asheville, North Carolina. Yup, there. I've said it. I planted the seed at the Equinox, and that's where I really want to take root. This is where I feel the pull, the whisper in my heart that's saying softly, Come Home. Come Home.

Once I acknowledged that, I began to pull myself back together. I acknowledged the Lonely Wolf and allowed her to sit with me, and tell me her story. Another note of irony: this part that wants to be A Part of something will hold herself Apart from something if she feels she's not receiving support - as if the cure to loneliness is solitude! Well, solitude in Nature, when I can feel my connections to All That Is, maybe. But it feels like there's a bit of faulty logic in there somewhere.

So I took my Lonely Wolf to North Carolina at the end of the month. There were times when I felt cursedly apart and there were times that I felt blessedly a part. I definitely allowed my Lonely Wolf to have her voice and full expression - as I shifted my way through my Lonliness, restoked my inner hearth-fire, and repaired the most essential House of Belonging: My Self.
At the end of the latest Big Glow retreat, I was assured and convinced: It was/is time to Come Home. Now all that's needed is to draw the map from Here to There...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

March: Abeona - Goddess of Departures

Walking the "Good Red Road." (Questhaven, 3/12)
 Originally worshiped in Rome as the Goddess of departures, Abeona protected children as they left their home to enter the great world. She watched over them as they took their first steps, helping them guide one foot in front of the other. (from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle)

It's funny, when I see the name of this Goddess, my thoughts always want to place Her in Africa instead of Rome. But enough digressing... ;-)

I've been a bit delayed in posting this entry because every time I think I have the words in place, something else happens, and the words all get jumbled up and need me to sort them out again. I think, however, I'm in a stable enough place now that I can get some words up here, and do a bit of catching up. Again. (LOL)

There was a departure last month in my neck of the woods, as Miss D. left with her animals for Parts Elsewhere. What was originally going to be a two- or three-week stay lasted for a smidge over five months. Not surprisingly, when you have three mature women and a bevy of cats and rabbits all sharing less than a thousand square feet of space, nerves can get a wee bit frayed even with the very best of intentions! The new breathing room is much appreciated by all parties, as far as I can determine! :-)

That's what happened in the world around me. What happened within me I want to delve into a bit more, since it helps explain the "tardiness" of this post. Along with the warming and lengthening of the lovely Spring days, there was also the Unfolding of Activation energy taking place for much of March. (The details can be found on my Wetware blog. Scroll down a tad and you'll see it.) I charged a crystal with my dreams and intentions and took it with me to one of my favorite natural places to do ceremony, Questhaven.

Towards the end of the longest trail there (the Deer Springs trail), there is a place that I call Hallowed Ground. There is Ancient Energy there that is off-the-charts Awesome. I performed my ceremony there, creating a "mini-despacho" and leaving offerings for the birds and ants. I also planted my crystal in sacred space.
My "toolkit" for Ceremony. (Questhaven, 3/12)
Center for Wish-Making. (Questhaven, 3/12)

After my ceremony, I thought I would find an activation of my Dreams. Instead, it seemed as though I took the proverbial "step backwards," as my Core Shadows rose up again for more review and revision! The Spring Equinox kicked off a second Eye of the Needle initiatory process - with a much smaller needle eye to pass through! Fortunately, there was much less that needed to be passed through it!

It is moving through this secondary process that delayed me. I have established deeper and more complete connections with those parts of myself that do not use language to speak. I have come to define what is really important to me - what I perceive as "missing" in my life, and what I need to do to shift that. I have also come to see the sources of dissonance and discord in my life, and what I am needing to do to shift that as well. What this basically means: I'm getting ready to make some Big Changes in my life. Some would say they were overdue; in this moment, I won't necessarily disagree. ;-)
After being tossed about by the currents, I find myself coming into alignment with them, and perhaps using them to my advantage, working with them instead of against them! More to come in the following seasons...

Nature Always Inspires! (Questhaven, 3/12)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Of work and Work

Moving with the new rhythms. (Encinitas, 1/11)
Nearly three months into this crazy year we're calling "2012," I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on the rhythms of Walking Between the Worlds.
The schedule change I'd been angling for at work came to pass earlier this month. Initially I was a mid-morning to early-evening girl, working the "swing shift" in this particular line of work. Yes, I'm gonna say it...I was a swinger, baby! (lol) While the "late" start was nice, the shift was plonked down smack-dab in the middle of my day, and I didn't have a lot of time on either side of the day to get stuff done outside of work. There were a few occasions I had some major challenges with Time Anxiety, my old familiar adversary, but I stared him down each time and he blinked first, sooner or later.
Now, however, I'm a part of the vanguard of the legion of Morning Commuters heading into work three of the five weekdays, and a fairly early riser on the weekends. Yes, the rumors you've heard are true: I'm mutating into a Morning Person! :-o Before the time change, I managed to add to my collection of sunrises that I've beheld, to go with my extensive collection of sunsets. Post time-change, though, I'm back to dancing in the dark, though Bella Luna has been keeping me company, cloud cover notwithstanding!
The tradeoff, though, is Well Worth It, as I have much of my afternoons and the entirety of my evenings free, just like the average working muggle! I'm still working out the nuances of this new rhythm, for the early hour I need to rise and shine at, much of the week, predisposes me towards turning into a pumpkin much earlier these days. ;-) I'll get it all sorted soon enough, though, no worries.

Just because I'm gainfully and conventionally employed, though, doesn't mean I've let up on any of the Work that I've been doing; a glimpse at my Wetware blog will show that I'm still a pretty busy bee in the mystical department. Two examples of what's cooking in the cauldron at the moment:
Getting Ready to Hatch. (Kit Carson Park, 1/12)

If you're keeping score at home, you'll remember that I mentioned doing some ceremonial work on 11/13/11, after I had to postpone it from 11/11/11. This is one of the end results of that ceremony, the first incarnation of a special juju bundle I'm calling Bach'aya Shumach'anya. I'm doing some prayer-work with the second incarnation now, and will be taking it with me to Questhaven for a special Equinox ceremony next week.

The Chosen Stone. (Home, 3/12)
Speaking of prayer-work...I met this lovely stone after a despacho ceremony in San Diego. I'm using it as a focal point in very special ritual work connected with the Mother of the New Time movement. (News to you? Click on the link above to be taken to the site.) This stone was anointed last new moon and went though its first full working on the full moon last week. I'll be co-creating with this stone up to the Winter Solstice, where I'll be parting ways with it in a special ceremony.

As I come into better alignment with these rhythms currently in my life, I see more and more things unfolding. The summer looks particularly promising and juicy at this moment; more to come as things manifest out of the cauldron! In the meantime, all is well - even during the most persnickety moments of Mercury Retrograde! ;-)

Friday, March 2, 2012

February: Athena - Goddess of Wisdom

The plant is called "Medusa's Head." (Balboa Park, 7/09)
Everybody knows this Goddess, even those who aren't particularly pagan in their worldview. Usually pictured with Her animal totem, the owl, She is universally known for being wise...and She is tied to Her "dark" sister Medusa in the various iterations of Her story. (Hence the above pic.)

Athena's message, on the card that I drew: Be independent. Listen to the wisdom within yourself.

This month, it was about honoring, and sometimes surrendering, to this Wisdom within.
During my journey I have discovered that long-term planning is no longer something that is going to work for me. Time and again, I would make plans to be somewhere or to do something, only to have a last-minute diversion or detour arise, and I would be forced to scuttle my plans. Fortunately for my sanity, I've come to a place where I can move more freely in the New Reality, and the plans that I make now stick...most of the time.  ;-)
Now I'm being guided to focus closer to home, upon the day-to-day details of my life. The lesson repeats: I think I have an idea of what I want to do, and my plans are forced to shift shape. I am forced to abandon the script that I've written for my life and seem to have little choice but to respond moment to moment, using intuition instead of intellect to make my way through the flow of life. Often times, this has meant certain aspects of my life, certain plans I would execute, have been forced to abide until the opportunity arises organically, instead of by my design.

It has been about listening to my Inner Wisdom: the wisdom within my body - now I move, now I rest. These days, I've been resting more than moving, with all of the heavy-duty shapeshifting I've been involved in. It's also been about listening to my spirit - the dreams I've been having that confirm my choice to return to North Carolina once more, the impulses to expand and play with others alternating with impulses to contract and seek solitude. More and more, I find that my rational mind is no longer my exclusive guide through life, and that my intuitive mind is taking point and showing the way. Athena acknowledges the presence of Medusa and it is revealed that they are two sides of the same coin of Wisdom.
For someone who has used her rational mind as a guide for much of her (adult) life, this "changing of the guard" has been disconcerting at times, but I've been walking the Path of Spirit long enough that I'm used to it. Mostly. ;-)

Sometimes I say things and act in ways that make others scratch their heads. Other times, it's the perceived lack of speaking or action that creates confusion. Whatever; other's opinions don't bother me anymore. The rhythm of my life is changing, and while there may be a mis-step or two as I adjust to the new beat, I will walk in complete confidence once more, soon enough. A-ho. :-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

January: Persephone - The Maiden

I'm doing a little catching up here, post shape-shifting. Bear with me for a bit... ;-)

Before this year began, I purchased a calendar and "activity book" from my very lovely friend, Goddess Leonie, to square away the old and make space for the new. One of the things she included for this 2012 edition was a section to do a divination for the year to come, so I broke out one of my oracle decks and pulled twelve cards, one for each month.
My intention is to share with you the lessons I've learned, and the insights that have come to me, at the end of each month. As January is the first month on ze calendar, the first Goddess was Persephone. Her message to me was: Find ways to use your innocence as a strength. Thus and so...

An innocent butterfly. (North Carolina, 7/10)
When I drop in to the innocent place within me, deep in my Center, I find emptiness. It's not a hollow or despairing emptiness; rather, it's a rich emptiness - the Void Before Creation, where all is possible, and simply abiding, waiting for the Voice to speak the Word that will make All Things manifest. I can come to this empty space and re-center myself when I'm feeling too full of clutter, too full of the ten thousand details of distraction, and I need to drop everything and reconnect with what is Really Important.
This innocent place, this innocent being within me...she does not judge anyone. She is open to loving and playing with all whom she meets. She runs outside when it's somewhere between rain and sun to look for rainbows. She stops to watch the crows fly across the sky and wonders if she can figure out where they're going. She is captivated by a hummingbird flitting by, a flower blooming, the colors of the sky at sunset. She feels herself expand when the scent of jasmine tickles her nostrils, or when she hears a woodpecker tapping in a tree far above her head. She knows she is a part of the Natural World and feels completely comfortable within it.

Following the Trail. (Kit Carson Park, 1/11)
When I go out into Nature, I drop into this place of Innocence and reconnect with the world around me, along with the gentle softness within me. I fill up the empty places with Authentic Energy and return home refreshed and renewed. As long as I see the Beauty in the "ordinary," I know the innocent one within me is happy and healthy, protected and loved...and I can take these energies and share them with those I meet, known and unknown.
I was grateful to have opportunities to rest in the Emptiness during my Eye of the Needle initiation process. I have emerged from the death/rebirth cycle still rather Empty, giving me the opportunity to be selective about what I want to fill this new space with. I begin to draw the new threads together...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

rebooted :-)

"Butterfly At Rest." (Home, 1/12)
 Now that the energies of Winter are yielding in the transitional time of Spring, I find myself landing once more on my feet. I recall, just as Winter was beginning, mentioning something about pushing a Great Cosmic Reset Button. Sometimes my words are more prophetic than I realize at the time I utter them, but isn't that usually how it works? ;-)

2011 was indeed about working with and through my Core Shadows, and the Eye of the Needle initiation I underwent over the Winter stripped away all the parts of Stuck Ego within me. It wasn't always the most pleasant experience; of all the seasons I've walked upon this Path of Spirit, this past Winter was THE most intense one, bar none...and I hear I'm not alone in feeling this. (That's always comforting.) Quite simply, I died unto myself so I could be born anew, which is very shamanic, yes? :-)
Along with the personal work came some Trans-Personal stuff as well: when I was initiated eleven years ago as a Wiccan Priestess (Imbolc 2001), I had NO idea of the baggage that this archetype carried with it. Holding significant Information within while carrying oneself "apart" from the rest of the world had its time and place, but now the time has come to re-merge with the world and share the Information, as widely as possible. A lot of what I call "removing the rod that was up my arse" was the Trans-Personal aspect of this latest round of shape-shifting. The Collective Shadow bound to the Personal Shadow and went poof! thanks to the process of Spiritual Alchemy. :-)

With the dust settling, I find myself, in a sense, back where I started: at the same answering service I left some 21 months ago. I have the same equation: the muggle job on the one hand, and the mystic dreams on the other hand. Having said that, I'm in a completely different place than I was back then (and so is the answering service, Praise the Goddess!) and have a rather different destiny track unfolding before me. There's a sense that I've been "rebooted," and this time, I'm going to Do It Right.
Not that I'm saying that I did it "wrong" previously...when you find that significant energies are rising into your awareness all at once, and some of these energies haven't seen the light of day, so to speak, for several millennia, yah, you're going to be hard-pressed to keep your equilibrium too! Many things were unlocked for me after my Soul Retrieval experience, some of which I'm only now beginning to comprehend!

I find myself looking at the Tabula Rasa, the Blank Slate, which was hiding beneath an unbelievable amount of spiritual clutter. The clutter has now been cleared away. I place my hands upon the smooth clean surface for a moment, close my eyes, and breathe deeply a time or three. Then I pick up the pen, dip it into the ink, and begin to sketch out a new map of Destiny, black lines beginning to criss-cross white paper...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Unlearning

"Flowers of Alienation" (Encinitas, CA 7/10)
  We divorce ourselves from process, even as we yearn for love, companionship, understanding, and communion. We constantly defeat ourselves by questioning, asserting ourselves at the wrong times, or letting hatred and pride cloud our perceptions. Our alienation is self-generated.
~Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao~

These words I read on Friday the 13th last month continue to resonate with me. I have been generating my own alienation for quite a while. It came to me recently: much of my spiritual growth has been motivated by fear and resistance...
Fear of being left behind, left out, or found out as a "fraud": How can I co-create healing and miracles for others when I can't do that for myself? How dare I call myself a Priestess! My inner critics and Judges have been harsh, especially of late, stirring up lots of self-hatred and loathing.
Resistance to what is unfolding in the Now moment before me: I don't like the story as it's being written, so I want to make up my own. I get lost in my head. I want to impose my story upon what is unfolding around me - and when they don't match (which they usually don't), I get angry and frustrated, wanting to scream in rage and sob hysterically, which I've done. Guilty, Your Honor! ;-)

A group of "Should-Be's" (Encinitas, CA 7/10)
All suffering is the space between what you think should be and what is.
~Brian Piergrossi, The Big Glow~

Ah, What I Think Should Be. I "should be" somewhere else than where I am, doing something else than what I'm doing, surrounded by people other than who I know now. Time and again I get caught up in What I Think Should Be, because I am a Priestess. I am "special." I have been "chosen." I am the child whose life was altered with one parent leaving, and changing radically - and then dying of AIDS, a disease transmitted by unprotected sex. I am scarred. I must hold myself apart from everyone, not let anyone get close. I must act and speak according to standards not necessary for "mere" mortals. I must walk a straight-and-narrow path, or nothing I wish for will come true. Ever.

Light at the end of the Tunnel. (Encinitas, CA 9/09)
You must Unlearn what you have learned.
~Jedi Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back~

So this is what the Eye of the Needle initiation process has shown me, and brought to the surface of my Awareness before stripping it away. In the beginning, I had "beginning" Shadows to Work with and through; now that I'm advanced, the Shadows get deeper, denser, and more persistent. Coyote sits before me and holds up a mirror. Here are your illusions, kiddo, he says to me. What are you going to do with them?

I move to rewrite the remaining agreements of stuckness. I move to remove the proverbial rod from my ass and release my delusions of "specialness." (Yah, Wayne Dyer has a point after all. Word.) I move to stare down those things that persist in blocking me - namely, feelings of Lack and Scarcity - the Scar City in the mind - and fix them with the Laser Eyes of Doom until they dissolve. I won't be the first to look away! Most importantly, I move to replace Fear*full Resistance with Faith*full Acceptance. I've done enough growing the "hard" way; I'd like to try the "easy" way for a while. :-)

Appears to be a LONG way up... (Encinitas, CA 11/09)
 If that which you seek you find not within yourself, you shall never find it without. For behold: I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which you shall find at the (heart) of Desire.
~Doreen Valiente, Charge of the Goddess (slightly reworded)~

With the way cleared, perhaps I can answer some questions that have been dogging me: Who am I, and What am I supposed to be doing, in this New Reality? Karen Bishop (and others) had it correct - trying to act in the "old" ways doesn't work in this "new" reality. So what IS my true purpose?
The answers promise to be interesting, at the very least... :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walking Down the Last Sun of 2011 (a picture story)

A note of explanation:
I have established a tradition where I live: I take my walk in the late afternoon, as the sun is setting. I call it "Walking Down the Sun." For the last day of 2011, I took my camera with me, just to see what would unfold before me.  So let me share with you this time... :-)

I've seen this new raptor at our complex for a while. I don't recognize him outside of being related to the hawks that fly around here. A falcon, perhaps? or an osprey?

I do recognize this beauty, Anna's Hummingbird, caught in a perfect moment! (I've been seeing a LOT of hummingbirds lately, btw.)

First quarter moon, posed artfully under a high branch.

A rock on the property. One of these days, his "mouth" will open and he will speak to me. ;-)

I liked the combo of light and shade for this tree... :-)

Another bird I've seen a lot of as of late: the red-crested woodpecker. I recognize them by their chirring song.

A pic of the feral parrots who come visit the complex every night. In this case, they're in a neighbor's tree. There's a fairly decent sized colony of them, about twenty or so. They are loud squawkers, too!

Close up of one of the parrots, with its red face.

This is my pic to show that we do have "fall" colors in Southern California. So there. ;-)

The final sunset of 2011. Good night to you. Thank you for your special high intensity transformations...and glad you're complete! (well, mostly - but I'll save that for another post.)