What really is magic and what does it mean to live a magical life? #magic #spirituality

The other day, I found myself chatting with a friend about our writing aspirations. While I was talking about my visions for the Warriors of Light book series, the conversation veered into the subject of magic. I mentioned how most books that use magical elements are placed into the category of fantasy because they are beyond the realms of the realistic. They entertain and enthrall us by encouraging our minds to play with the fantastic in the form of the impossible or unreachable. They stir our imaginations in a way that leaves us wishing for something we will never obtain. Fantasy, though, can also remind the imagination that there is more to life than we often allow ourselves to notice…

This photo was taken at Acadia National Park in Maine. To me the land looks like a sleeping giant. In the area of the heart, you can see an eye. The image embodies magic waiting to be seen. In book 2 of the Warriors of Light series, a giant much like this one appears.

How frustrating it can be to feel as though a magical life is illusive and always beyond the realm of possibility. When I mentioned that a few readers of The Labyrinth had compared my book to one of the most popular fantasy series written, our conversation began to explore the definition of magic and how much it differs in my series vs. the one it had been compared to. The young “warriors of light” protagonists are not wizards or witches, nor do they use wands or attend a school that teaches spells and potions. Instead, their teacher is the labyrinth, a magical maze they journey through individually and together to bring back the light where it has been broken by darkness. Sure there are somewhat fantastical elements. The six young protagonists learn how to shapeshift into their spirit animals. Some of them see ghosts and all of them converse with beings in other realms, but is there really so fantastic?

Magic Can Be Extraordinary

In The Labyrinth, the hexagram star is both an individual and a cooperative journey back to the center/heart of union.

Those how have traveled the shamanic journey will probably tell you that shapeshifting, or communing with spirit totems is not so fantastical. And, I’d wager most of us have had communications with spirits or beings from other realms, whether we realize it or not.

The hidden realms of life reveal their wonder as we open ourselves to the inherent magic that resides in all life. Like young children who have not yet lost their connection to inherent magic, our inner sight and senses re-expand beyond the ho-hum of the everyday routines. A mere walk in nature can stir the cells into a state of blissful union. Glimpses, or perhaps more, of the extraordinary become common, but no less magical. The more connected we feel, the more interconnected we feel as joy arises from our sense of being a part of an infinite web of light.

The Magical Inner Journey

When I journey into the ancient landscapes that still hold the imprint of magic, my cells hum with joy and time seems to collapse and open.

While adding truly fantastical elements to a book of fiction can be fun, the magic of a hero’s journey arises out of self-discovery. It is an inner journey as well as outer journey. This is magic that is not only sustainable, but grows with awareness. The state of joy becomes accessible, achievable, and sustainable unlike a material treasure that is not easily found and can be lost, or stolen away. The gift of inherent magic can only be robbed by the self as it resides within the self.

Magic is an opening to and not a manipulation of energy

True magic arises out of the very essence of life. It does not manipulate the forces of the elements, but opens to the inherent magic that already exists. Herein lies true wonder. The state of joy is accessible through the opening. When we allow ourselves to open to life’s mysteries we find connection, truth, and re-union. Although most of us are not trained in shamanism, or have the ability to shapeshift into our spirit animals like the protagonists in the Warriors of Light series, we do have the ability to connect with and glean wisdom, inspiration, and a sense of union with the animal and plant communities around us. Many of us experience an aspect of this connection with the animal companions that live in our homes, but we can also open ourselves to connecting with the wildlife outside of our homes. Sitting in the presence of a tree and bearing witness to its enduring strength and flexibility, or watching the transformation of an earth-bound caterpillar into a near-weightless butterfly can bring profound insight, peac,e and awe to the observer.

Magic is Living in Wonder

Often the closer we look at life the more wondrous it becomes

This is magic. It is opening to life and all of its wonders that exists and unfold in each moment all around us. It is the knowing that not everything can, or will be known, in one’s lifetime, because life is filled with such complex and intricately balanced beauty that no mind can truly understand creation.

Seeding the stones: Keeping A Promise to a Dragon and a Stone Part 4 #vthikes #dragonlines #dragonstones

We left the eye with more questions than answers. Inside my mind’s eye I could still see the figure of white light standing over the pyramid stone. Waiting for our arrival. Waiting for the white pillar of crystal I had promised to seed at its base.

So much to see and discover off the beaten path.

It was a short walk, through the tangle of roots and moss, to get back to the stone that had filled my thoughts for two months. I dropped my backpack nearby, and began digging through the contents for the wrapped selenite and Sophia’s small pyramid of rose quartz. As I searched for the pink stone, a noise rustled the forest into alert and we knew hikers were approaching.

Worry set in a bit as I wondered if we would be interrupted when it really matter most, but I soon discovered that our visitors were, in essence, just what we needed. A heaviness had set in after leaving the guardians and the white boulder. I, personally, felt a bit of an unease as to whether we were really meant to be near the “eye,” or had tried to “look” too closely at what was not meant to be observed. But there had been the wren, and I had to believe there was a purpose to our visit, even it if was not wholly revealed.

Ari the wolf-like rescue dog. Eager to make new friends.

The wolf-dog appeared before his human companion. Later, Deb would remark about how even her appearance seemed more than accidental. A tall blond with blue eyes filled with an ethereal light. She and her rescued husky brought a joy that was much needed. That had somehow dissipated after our climb.

Ari and his caretaker had lightened our collective mood, and after their departure we decided to take a few moments to ground ourselves with some food and water. It was clear, through our visitors, that we were not meant to rush.

Trusting the inner guidance I was receiving, I suggested we form our own pyramid to seed our offerings and then join our energy with the energies surrounding us.

It was a natural unfolding, the white pillar slid into darkness, settling well below the base of the mighty stone above it, while Sophia and Deb seeded their stones at the points of their calling. No one else appeared from the trails as we gathered together again to extend our arms into three sides. Each voice, in turn, opening to words of gratitude for our presence being allowed. And, our offerings being received.

Our work soon felt complete, and a quiet fatigue settled in as we began to make our descent down the mountain. Although we shared words, we were also individually wrapped in the processing of our experiences. I, wondering if the lines might shine a little brighter than when I had first arrived on the serpent mountain two months prior. And, perhaps, a little more opened. Lines rejoining as the crystals settled back into the body of the Mother.

“It’s a snake!” Deb announced, as I shrieked and jumped back into the arms of Sophia.

“Oh gosh,” I apologized. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to scare it away.”

Not the snake from that day, but similar.

A garter snake, well into adulthood, its brown and tawny body blending with the earth, slithered away from our path and into the underbrush of the forest.

I thought of Shesha, the snake-boy from my book. The fourth character in the six to appear that day. And we all thought of Isis. It seemed a fitting guide for the end of our journey.

The small blue car coasted down the mountain with more ease than it had ascended. As we turned the corner to join the main road, a bear arose from the wooden face of a store placard. There, before me, was my sign from Sula, the bear-girl. All that was left was Dell. The otter girl. I realized the chances of seeing an otter that day were slim, but still I wondered if the hexagram would complete itself.

Less than twenty-four hours it would. Opening the screen of my computer, an otter would appear. It was time to await the next journey. Wherever and whenever that might be.

The Path of the Pyramids: Keeping a Promise to a Dragon and a Stone Part 2 #VThikes #dragonlines #pyramidstones #sacredsites

A little pyramidal cave in the rocks

There were at least as many pyramids as there were hearts along the journey that led us to one particular stone pyramid at the crown of the dragon. Too many to count, and probably a lot that were missed by our eyes. It seemed, though, like the hearts, more than a coincidence… Pyramids carved into the faces of stones, stones opening to their portals such as the one above, and rocks that had somehow fallen from Earth’s openings into perfect pyramidal shapes.

A “portal” pyramid in the boulders

Guides continued to appear as we ascended the mountain. Soon after the chipmunk, a call rang through the canopy above. “It sounds like an eagle,” Sophia remarked, “I was told an eagle would be here today.”

We did not see the eagle, but days before I had seen an eagle twice in my travels. Three times in total this summer.

Followed by the eagle, was a yellow butterfly spotted by Deb. It was becoming a little uncanny. Not only were these common guides in my personal life, the eagle and butterfly are two of the totems in my Warriors of Light series. And it would get stranger from there…

This beautiful wolf-like dog appeared at an uncanny moment for us. His name was Ari, the eagle-boy in my book series, yet he resembled Lupe, the wolf-boy.

Worlds started to collapse as the mountain watched us walk its body. So many watchers, I would later remark that I was grateful I did not take this journey alone.

So many guardians in the trees

After that rather shocking encounter with the rock face that looked like the head of a galactic being, we were constantly aware of being observed. Ents appeared in the taller trees and trolls below them. Some seemed happier than others about our presence and it was clear we were walking in a land that did not really belong to humans.

Dragon wing?

A land, we would feel every-increasingly, that was guarded with a purpose. And, was alive with forces that, well, seemed other-worldly. Unlike in many of the places I have visited in England, where the magic of the land was enhanced by an ancient sophisticated society that moved and placed stones with deliberation, here mighty stones formed uncanny alignments by the forces of Earth.

We couldn’t help but feel the body of the dragon as we neared the summit

Yet there were so many similarities. The feeling of dimensions collapsing and realms mixing. The feeling of forces dormant and waiting to be reawakened…it was more than obvious a dragon lines ran through this land, and the three of us could not help feeling and seeing that the stars also had a special alignment with this serpent mountain.

Although this may not be the best depiction, there are curious carvings in the rocks of this mountain that made each of us think of the stars.

And, even though we had not chosen to walk the path of the water lines, the feeling of the element was present. It was held in the body of the stones with whale beings seemingly embedded into the body of the dragon. Fire and water. Alchemy. I couldn’t help but think of how the magical hexagram was here. And I could only hope that the lines were still alive here, even though there were obvious disruptions. Most notably, the towers of metal we could not bring ourselves to linger near for too long (much less photograph) that several feet (thankfully) away from the crown.

One of the whale stones we encountered

Memory and intuition brought us to the crown even though we were walking an unfamiliar path to get there. The increasing pulse, pulling us to our destination to place our offerings and heed the land’s calling, whatever it may be. And if it were not for the wren, we may never have seen the eye…

To be continued…

Introducing Dancing Jaguar’s Book Club Featuring The Labyrinth! #bookclub #kidsbookclub #spiritcamp #dancingjaguar #middlegrade

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May Selection for Dancing Jaguar’s Book Club 

I’m excited and honored to announce my middle-grade metaphysical fantasy book, The Labyrinthwill be featured this month in Dancing Jaguar’s Kids’ Book Club!

Eva Goulette, the vision behind Dancing Jaguar Inspirations and Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camps, will be hosting this virtual book club via Zoom. It is free and open to all, but recommended for ages 8-13. th

During the May series, when Eva and the kids will be exploring the magical world of The Labyrinth, I will be making special author appearances.

There is no purchase necessary to join the Book Club. Kids and their parents are encouraged to explore the book’s companion site, Warriors Of Light Club, for an introduction to its metaphysical teachings and the six young protagonists, Aponi, Shesha, Lupe, Dell, Ari, and Sula. While exploring, visitors who have not yet read The Labyrinth can try to guess what each character’s power animal is.

The hints are in the names…

The thirteen-year-old protagonists in The Labyrinth have a lot in common with the children and teens who attend Dancing Jaguar’s camps and events. Although the six teens do their best to blend into their outer world, each harbors gifts that are not easily embraced or understood by those around them. In the magical world of the labyrinth, though, the rules of the outer world break down and the teens learn to become empowered warriors of light.  Here in this strange and mysterious realm, the nature of their true selves are revealed, as the warriors learn to embrace the strengths of their power animals, work together to repair the broken lines of light in Earth, and save Aponi’s mother who is trapped inside the shadows of her mind.  But first they must save each other…

To learn more about the book club, or Dancing Jaguar Inspirations, and Dancing Jaguar Spirit Camps and events for kids, please visit Eva’s website. Here you can explore the wonderful and nurturing environment Eva has created for kids and teens who are seeking to understand and embrace their true selves. I’m including a brief description from her site, which describes the essence of Eva’s mission and the wonderful opportunity for enrichment she has created for youth through her camps:

“With a holistic approach to integrating mind, body, and spir­it, this camp teaches children how to nurture their inner world.  We live in a modern society that places value on nurturing the mind and body.  Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camp teaches children how to nurture their heart and spirit. When children are encouraged to trust their intuition, honor their truth, and speak from the heart, they can develop their inner compass and trust themselves to make choices in high school and beyond that will sustain them.”

I have known Eva for years, although we only met in-person last summer, and have had the honor of following her vision and see it grow and flourish. She is a kindred spirit, with a strong passion for empowering and nurturing young minds and bodies so that they can grow with confidence in a world that can sometimes seen harsh and insensitive. I could not be more grateful that she has chosen to share her wisdom and the beauty of her light while she offers to explore the magical world of The Labyrinth with young seekers.

If you know a child who might be interested in the book club, or in Eva’s spirit camps, which have expanded into the virtual world at this time of social distancing, please share.

 

 

Entrance #writephoto #WIP

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Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

 

“Where am I?”

“Dear boy you are inside a crypt. Or, to be more precise, you are inside what once was a tomb. But, before it was that, it was something more.”

As Lupe’s eyes adjusted to the absence of sunlight, he realized the earth around him was glowing. He no longer felt fear, only awe. Tiny orbs of silvery gold speckled the ceiling and walls, and for a moment Lupe thought he was gazing up at the stars.

“They brought the above into the below, as you can see.”

“It’s so cool. But why? And what is it made of, a special paint?” Lupe reached out his fingers.

“Don’t touch it. Don’t touch anything unless I tell you to. You’re walking on sacred ground. Remember that. Those stars you see are made from pyrite and quartz. They’ve been there for thousands of yearsOn.”

Lupe let out a low whistle of air, “Geez, that’s kind of amazing.”

“Yes, it is, isn’t it? No other human now living, aside from you, knows about this place, as far as we know. They’ve found some of the others, but not this one.”

“What’s special about it? The dead bodies? You said this was a crypt, right?”

“Yes, and no, but you won’t see any bodies here. The tombs are still preserved. Untouched by man. We’d like to keep it that way.”

“Fine by me. I’d rather not trip over some dude’s femur if you know what I mean,” Lupe paused. “You said they are untouched by man. Do you men just men, or women too?” He wasn’t why he asked the question, but it suddenly seemed important.

“Ah, they did say you would be bright. I meant men. Women, you see, once held a place of honor. As the sacred bearers of life they were revered as holy beings. Only women  touched the bones that lie here. We are inside a woman’s chamber built to symbolize her womb. It is a place where only women walked.”

“Oh, wow! I thought you had said tomb,” Lupe felt his body fill with the weight of the truth. “Are you sure we should be here now? I mean you’re a ghost, so I suppose you are okay. But I’m a dude.”

“Dude?”

“It’s just an expression. You know, for a person. Anyway, why have you brought me here and not Aponi, Dell, or Sula? I mean, they’re, uh, women, or almost women.”

“Those must be the three females who have been chosen for other tasks. Your friends. Well, you see. There are rules that are now allowed to be broken. But, not just by anyone. You, alone, were chosen to come here, Lupe, because you have proven your love for Earth. Your roots are here, and it’s important that you are not female.”

Lupe felt the weight of these words sink into his mind. Have I really proven myself, though? he wondered.

“You have honored Her with your actions and the reverence you hold inside of your heart. You understand the need for balance, both of the inner and the outer, although you have not yet wholly discovered it. This is why you are allowed to enter this sacred place. There is no force striving to control within you. You do not seek to dominate, but to balance.”

“I see…” Lupe replied, even though he was not sure he did. He let his eyes wander back to the walls of the cave, “Why’d they paint the ceiling like this if it’s a graveyard. I mean, why go through all the work?”

“Ah, but it is not a graveyard, it is a place where life begins and moves on. Look closer at it, perhaps you will be able to figure out why.”

“Hey, is that the Milky Way?” Lupe pointed to a wavy band that held more densely packed crystals of light than its surroundings.”

“I believe that’s what you call it now.”

“Now? You mean it used to have another name?”

“Oh, it’s had several.”

“Like what?”

“The River of Creation. The Great Mother. Plumed Serpent…Your ancestors believed that it was the gateway to where the light of the individual souls are formed, and to where they returned after death.”

“Oh, you mean like the rainbow bridge?”

“Some called it such.”

“Well is it?”

“Is it what?”

“The place where we all come from and where we return when we die?”

“That is not for me to reveal. You are here to observe and discover for yourself. You are here to walk the path of darkness back into the light. Just as your friends are doing.”

Lupe felt himself weighed down by his ancestor’s words. He let his body fall against the cave wall then lower to the ground. Instead of landing on the floor, though, Lupe came to a seat upon a bench he had failed to notice before. It was not large, and appeared to be part of the rock itself. Jutting out about half a foot, the stone seat looked like it was a part of the wall and could comfortably hold three people, side-by-side.

“I see you found the waiting place.”

“Waiting place?”

“Yes. Where those who were chosen would wait to be called.”

“Called for what?”

“To do the work of the Great Mother.”

“But why would they wait here?”

“Because this is where they were tested. The initiates. Here, where the dead lie in wait to be reborn is where the chosen ones from the living come to birth their true selves. It is a place of power and of self-discovery. Some  found they were called here only to return to what they were doing before they came. Others awakened to gifts that had been hidden inside of them. Many healers, prophets, and seers emerged from here. Many Earth Keepers like yourself.”

Lupe felt a rush of energy descend from the crown of his head. The heat flowing inside of him ignited each of Lupe’ cells with a knowing that felt like truth.

“You are not so very surprised, are you?”

“No. I guess I’m not. I mean, somehow I’ve always known I was here, in this life, to help protect Earth. This place,” Lupe paused, “in a weird sort-of way, feels like home.”

“Well, my boy, it should. Come. Let me show you the rest.”

“There’s more?”

“There’s always more.”

 

This is a chapter from my WIP, book two of the Warriors of Light series. When I saw Sue’s photo for this week’s writing prompt I immediately thought of my characters, some of whom find themselves in similar looking places to what we see here. Lupe is one of them, a young teen tasked with a mission to repair the lines of light inside Earth and save the life of his friend’s mother. To participate in Sue’s #writephoto challenge this week, click here

The Upside of Hate #towertarot #thetower #tarot #thechariot #thestar #thedevil #themagician #thelovers

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I got discouraged for a moment. Perhaps it was a long moment, but I didn’t count the seconds.  Fear resided inside the words I read, and festering with that fear was hatred. It has become easy to hate these days in a world that appears to be ripping into shreds of immorality. That’s what we’re shown on the surface where we linger with sensationalism. The media prefers to grasp the hand of the monster that lives both inside and outside of us, holding it like it never wants to let go.

I had been scrolling through Facebook, that skewed version of reality where the darker side of humanity is allowed to run amuck with gleeful abandon. A friend was bemoaning a poll forecasting possible results for the next presidential election here in the U.S. The screen was awash with red. I could have pulled myself into her fear, but I decided I’d be better served to let go the hand that would hold me into the netherworld.

I believe there’s an upside to hatred, if we choose to find it. At the core of hatred is an insidious fear that thrives in its deoxygenated environment. It’s a terrible existence. This choosing to “live” in hatred. The fear of the “other,” and the “unknown,” deprives us of life and the soul withers inside its troubled shell. But hatred tells a story, as does the fear behind it. It tells the story of a history that is ours, but one we don’t have to hold onto.

Hatred is a ruse to lure us backwards into the spiral of the abyss. We can stay stuck there, or we can dig through the ruins and discover why the tower keeps collapsing upon itself.  It is a vulnerable journey, which is why we often choose to linger with the discomfort of fear. It yells a power that has no basis in truth, yet we listen to its words thinking that if we heed them we will survive, forgetting about the countless others that will perish. Forgetting that we too will starve for want of light.

But if we listen, really listen past fear to its origins, we get ever-closer to the true self. The self that wants to be healed. The self that wants to be held. The self that desires love. And, our tower begins to crumble its mighty fortress. The walls that would contain collapse. Smoke billows and the fires rage, until the flames abate. It may take a long time to put them out, but herein lies the beauty of creation. The alchemy of self exists inside ourselves. Collectively and individually.

Beneath the angry red screen that tried predict more hatred across the land, I felt the pulse of the vein of life. Life searching to be reborn. It’s been a long time. A really, really long time, since we’ve known how to live in harmony with the life around us, and that inner life that is the self as a part of the whole. Perhaps we need to give ourselves a little more compassion. When we look at the vast and complex journey of our existence in human form, we see the struggle to survive, but also to thrive. And in the searching and breaking down, we can relearn how to balance upon the thread of light that is joy.

Humanity has reached the stage of existence marked by The Tower card in Tarot. Its number is 16 in the major arcana cycle. Balanced on one side by The Devil, and the other, by The Star, The Tower card is the epitome of upheaval. To get to the light of the star, that inner, true light of the self, the devil within and without must be reckoned with. As much as we may fear the devil outside of us, we must come to realize that he only exits because of what is inside. The chains, as the card reveals, are self-imposed. We can choose to live chained to fear, or we can break the fortress and let the light shine through.

Becoming, in essence, naked to the true self, is a vulnerable act. It takes trust, courage, and a surrender in the knowing that love is the truth of the self and of Life.  If we reduce The Tower card down to its integral parts, we arrive at card 1, The Magician and card 6, The Lovers, in the major arcana. The Magician possesses the alchemical magic of the self, The Lovers, of the union of the opposing energies; the yin and the yang that exist in the individual self, as well as the self searching for union with another. If we join the 1 to the 6, to complete the reduction, we arrive at the number 7. Card 7 in the Tarot tradition is The Chariot. Here we see the individual reigning over polarity. The yin energies sit one side of the chariot, the yang on the other. The sun and the moon are in balance both within and without. Over the breastplate of the figure that is self, is a square through which the light of the heart is shining through. The light of the star shines on the crown of the head.

 

The Chariot card is card 7, though. It precedes The Devil, The Tower, and The Star in the cycle of life represented in the Tarot. The choice to reign with the force of the ego or with the peace of inner light is still subject to personal will. The number 7 is that magical number that speaks of transformation. Everything is possible, and so there is the promise of union through alchemy.

This breaking down and collapsing that is so prevalent in our time often feels fueled by hatred and the ego’s need for self-preservation at all costs, but when we look closer, as symbolized in the card, we can also find the light of origin. Lightning strikes the crown of power from the top of the tower and opens the pathway to the divine self. Enlightenment can occur through the upheaval, if the self allows it.

Through the rubble of fear and hatred, there exists around us and within us, so many seeds of this light. Stories of courage and truth abound as voices gain strength with the conviction that love is the essence of life. Young women are stepping into the light of the divine feminine energy in a manner the world has not witnessed for a long time. They bring to us the promise of balance as they break fearlessly the barriers of fear. There is a feeling of warrior energy, a warrior energy fed by the light of truth. Their voices are strong and clear, and the are joined by many others, both male and female, in a dance of union.  It’s our choice, collectively, how to collapse the tower and find the balance of life, but it all begins with the self. The self that stays mired in fear, or breaks the fortress to find the light.

 

Greta Thunberg Standing on the Fulcrum of Fear & Love #IChooseLove #kidyoga #dremoto #watercrystals

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It has felt, for many months, or maybe even many years, as though we are collectively teetering on the fulcrum between fear and love. Some days there is a slight tipping toward love, on others I feel fear pushing its heavy weight into our hearts and there is a slipping towards an abyss that I care not to imagine. Yet, how can we not face our darkness? There are nights when I dream of the Earth caving in upon us, her mighty tongue lapping us back into her dying body.

Two days ago, I sat in a circle of 22 children and talked about love and fear. Although they were no older than 10 yrs. old, some of them already knew of the science behind our emotions. Before I pulled Dr. Emoto’s book The Secret Life of Water out of my bag, one child offered her scientific observations on two apples. One was spoken words of hate, the other words of love. There was an unease to her giggle when I asked her which one had decayed first. Although there is a knowing deep inside each of us, it is sometimes difficult to allow ourselves to understand the effects of our emotions.

We don’t always want to own our energy, or the fact that our energy is intricately woven with all life. If we talk love to water outside of us, it forms into a beautifully exquisite crystal. If we talk hate to water outside of us, the water separates into an ugly mass striving for cohesion. To me it resembles a bacteria smear on a petri dish. Each day it is fed fear, more toxic colonies grow.  It’s worth thinking about what the water inside of you is doing, as I discussed with the children while they gazed at the photos of proof.

Everything, in essence, is energy. Somehow, over the course of thousands of years, we have learned to crave density. We amass wealth in the form of condensed energy thinking it will bring us joy, but we should all know that the tighter the wrap, the more difficult it is for the light to get shine through.

The scientific proof is there, yet many of us care not to see it. Just like the scientific proof exists, and has for many decades, that our climate is indeed in a state of crisis. A crisis brought upon by our individual and collective choices to push the lever towards greed. We care not, for the most part, to see what is going on outside of us or inside of us through the lens of science and truth.

This morning, I decided to scroll through a few comments on Greta Thunberg’s Twitter feed. I have been thinking about this courageous and brilliant young woman a lot lately, and how she has chosen to weather our collective storm valiantly without fear of personal attacks. Of which there have been numerous. One needs only spend about thirty seconds on Twitter to see there are nearly equal tweets on the spectrum of fear/hate as there are on the spectrum of love/reference for this truth seeker and speaker. I found myself amazed, yet not really surprised, by how many people self-righteously send out the energy of hate towards a young woman whose only motivation is to save them, and in the process herself and the planet we all share. It’s mind boggling in its essence. Yet, it’s not. Some of us really like our fear and hate. It makes us feel powerful with all its lies and self-loathing so that we forget that we are harboring and feeding a cancerous mass inside of us.

It would be amusing how much we fear the truth if it were not so disturbing. I have realized, over these past several days while thinking of Greta and all the courageous youth who are standing and speaking up with her, that somehow, quite miraculously it seems, we have birthed new generations who do not hold onto fear the way most of us do. Perhaps it is because they have not yet lived long enough for fear’s weight to grow into a cancerous mass inside of them. I like to believe, though, that somehow they were born with an immunity to it.  That finally, we are moving toward the light as we push fear’s weight into the abyss from which it came. If I don’t believe it, the alternative is unimaginable.

 

Another Morning Has Broken: Grow the Light #GivePraise #Gratitude

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I woke with the lyrics of the hymn playing  inside of my head in the voice of Judy Collins, even though I grew up listening to Cat Stevens singing “Morning has Broken.” I have not heard the song in years, but there it was, singing inside a mind that refused to fall back to sleep. In my dream, I had been writing this blog post while the beauty of the song played on repeat.

Before I went to sleep last night, I watched most of the U.S. democratic presidential debates. “Are they still on?” my son asked when he came downstairs in preparation for bed. He had suggested we watch them, and together we had for about an hour.

“Yeah, I told him, but they haven’t even gotten to the environment yet.”

“Maybe it’s not on the agenda topics,” my husband replied.

Instead, the focus was on healthcare and gun control. Two topics I will not deny are essential to individual wellbeing. But, if we don’t tend to the home we all share, we won’t have individual selves to care for. Eventually, the morning light will not break into a new day on Earth.

16-yr. old  Greta Thunberg is now famous for telling us, “Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”

The truth is, most of us are more concerned with our own houses, than the home we share. Neglecting to realize that our individual houses are irrelevant if we don’t take care of the planet. Simply put, our house will burn if we continue to ignore the fact that our collective home is literally on fire. Immense forests, the lungs of our Earth, are burning because of climate change. While the land burns, the waters are rising. In attempt to shake us awake, our home is self-destructing with our help.

I realized as I was waking this morning that the song playing on repeat through my dreams was not a song, literally, of mourning, but a hymn of praise to the new day. It is also, though, a praise for union and the truth that we are “born of one light.” The song is incredibly beautiful, and it is no wonder it has been sung by various artists throughout the years. It may have originated as a Christian hymn, but it has a universal appeal, as Cat Stevens, also known as Yusuf Islam, has shown us.

Although I don’t adhere to a religion, I believe that we are all birthed from the same light. A light that weaves through all life, including this living planet we call home. We have, collectively, over many years, but more so in the more recent past, worked more to break this light than to honor it and nurture it.

Science says we are creatures of habit. It can take an individual two weeks to a year to break an old habit and form a new one.  Sadly,  we have made a global habit of looking out more for the individual self than our selves as an integral part of the web-of-light/life that we are all a part of.

The other day, I watched a brief clip of Greta being interviewed by a morning show on a major network here in the U.S. She had just traveled to the states via a zero-emissions boat. As her visibly uncomfortable interviewers also pointed out, she has also walked to their studio.

It takes a fair amount of discomfort to welcome in a “new morning” in favor of the one we are used to greeting. It takes a stretching of the eyes and mind a little wider to really see what exists beyond our myopic field of perception. But, the rewards are infinite. Imagine, for a moment, a new morning breaking into day. Imagine your beautiful light weaving into the light around you. Imagine what you can bring to this new day.

Admittedly, most of us will not change all of our habits, and certainly not at once. I know I am not ready to give up travel by plane to sail across the ocean, but there are choices I can make in each moment to dim the light, or to grow it. Here are a few that we can all consider each morning after we wake:

  • Skip the K-cups or the Dunkins run and brew a cup of fair trade, organic coffee or tea. (If you really want that Dunkins or Starbucks, bring your own reusable mug.
  • Gather a full load of laundry before starting the washer, and use warm (not hot) or cold water to wash. The next time you buy detergent, choose one free of harsh chemicals and dyes in the most environmentally friendly packaging you can find. Just say no to those hard plastic containers! If your washer kicks the bucket and can’t be fixed, buy an energy efficient one. When your load is done, hang it outside in the sunshine and save some money by using free, fossil-free energy! If you must dry it in the dryer, use an eco setting and wool dryer balls in favor of toxic non-reusable dryer sheets.
  • Likewise, run your dishwasher only when it is full on the energy-saver setting with eco-friendly detergent in eco-friendly packaging.
  • Make the choice to eat low on the food chain, and finish what is on your plate. If you can’t eat it all, save it for another meal. Compost what you must discard. Grow what you can, or buy it locally and organic.
  • Water the lawn only if you really need to, and tend to it with organic lawn care. Better yet, grow more plants and trees that don’t require maintenance and nourish your body, wildlife, and the lungs of Earth in the process.
  • Carpool to work or school in the most low-emissions vehicle available. Or, better yet, walk or ride a bike when the weather permits it.
  • Skip the hair dryer, iron, and curler, even if it’s just only weekends.
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use.
  • Turn off lights and heat in unoccupied rooms. (And when they are in use, make sure your using the most eco-friendly options available to you).
  • Support local business and farmers who are working on, or using, sustainable practices for the planet.
  • Invest your money in the future rather than the immediate pleasure of instant gratification.
  • Teach your children that caring for their planet will ensure they have a planet to care for them.
  • If you want to add a child or a pet to your home, consider rescuing one from a life of poverty and homelessness.
  • Wear your clothes until you can wear them no more, then use them as rages, make something new out of them, or donate them to someone who can use them.
  • Buy local. Buy eco-friendly. Buy used. Buy only what you need. Use a reusable bag to put your purchases in.
  • Support zero-emissions energy sources whenever you are able to.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Turn down the water when you shower.
  • Skip the plastic whenever possible. Use refillable containers. Buy zero-waste products. Remember most of our waste is no longer recycled, and when it is, it takes large amounts of energy to do so.

And, most of all, breathe in the beauty of each morning. Breathe in joy and gratitude for the new day. Breathe in light and Breathe it back out. Imagine a new day where devastation is replaced with joy. Take at least one action each day to co-create another morning for all.

 

The Chalice & The Sun #yearning #writephoto #queenofcups

I had been intending to write a blog post about some recent explorations I’ve had with the chalice as a symbol when I opened Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt this morning. There before me was a photograph of water in the shape of a chalice illuminated by the light of the sun. The title, “yearning.” I realized that perhaps I had just been provided with the image I needed to explore this ancient symbol in the way it has come to me recently…

yearning
Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

Years ago, when I first began exploring Tarot, I bought myself the Rider-Wait deck. I  often shuffled the cards to find guidance for my life and writing journey. As frequently happens with Tarot, a card will repeatedly show itself. The Queen of Cups was that card for me.

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The Queen of Cups in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The archetype of The Queen sat before me on her throne contemplating a capped golden chalice in her hands bearing a cross at its top. The card is filled with archetypal symbolism, which is up to the individual to explore in relation to his or her own inner journey.

 

 

 

#Threshold #WritePhoto #SueVincent #Poetry #yogapoetry

looking-out.jpg
Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

You stand upon the threshold of self

when the eyes outside look inward

past the outer and all its beauty and decay

Light plays tricks with shadows until

they are explored through the pathways

of your own labyrinth, discovering you

are not a cave of darkness, hiding

You are light itself. One golden strand

without an end or a beginning weaves you whole

You

may begin outside, but you will always come back

to the center, pulsing the light that is you

through the body that would hold

Close your eyes and forget this shell

See the labyrinth of light inside

breathing into open space

forming tensile strands weaving

expansion into boundless essence

until there is no you held inside darkness

only joy, threading its golden breath

through all life

 

Written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge, “Threshold.” 

writephoto