Direction

A beautiful poem by Sue Vincent from her collection Life Lines:

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

 

I whisper you to the west,
The mist carried your name across the cloud-path,
Coursing through the life blood of rivers,
Washing far off shores as tides ebb and flow,
Drawn by the moonlight.

I whispered you to the south,
The sun shone for you, gilding your hair,
Sand devils danced with the serpents before you
Passionate abandon of summer
In a painted desert.

I whispered you to the east,
The breeze took you, caressing your skin
Kissing your face as you laughed in the sunrise
Filling your being with breath
In jealous intimacy.

I whispered you to the north,
Where the hills curve around you like a lover,
Undulating gently beneath your body
Pressed close to her green mantle
As the sky darkens for you.

I whispered you to my soul
Your name echoed in the star filled void
I found there. And every star was you
And…

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Recycling and Climate Change…11th May 2020…and Covid-19…

This week in Eco-News from CarolCooks2:

Retired? No one told me!

We are now into our second week of a new month already nearly half a year gone…A few months of sadness and grief for many but for all of us unprecedented times and restrictions which many of us haven’t experienced in our lifetimes…Curfews, working from home, only going out when necessary… obviously different restrictions wherever you hail from…some more stringent than others…Not much has been relaxed here a few internal flights but I went out briefly today…shopping and nothing has been lifted in the shops…Everyone is wearing face masks and some full-face masks..screens are in place for cashiers…no buses just tuk-tuks with the hand cleanser bottles taped to either side…in fact, it seems more screens are in place even in the small coffee shops there are screens across the middle of the tables…

However, we still need to be vigilant and carrying on with our recycling and waste less in…

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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.

 

 

Hope in the Shadowland #Causeway #writephoto

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Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

In the land filled with shadows hope slipped behind the clouds as the light receded. The great womb of the sea felt the hollow, pulsing the dull ache of emptiness. “What have we done?” the lonely souls called into the wind. Long ago they had given up a reply, but something was different about today. The breeze felt softer on their skin, like a mother’s caress, urging. It brought the scent of honey to their lips. “How can it be?” they wondered.

Resigned necks lifted tired heads, and eyes sought answers from the sky. How long had it been since they had looked beyond the horizon? Above, gray clouds morphed into shapes deformed and grotesque. Yet still the eyes gazed above, transfixed, for the eyes were seeing themselves. “Do not look away,” the voice whispered through their minds, “you must see who you are and who you can become.”

And so they looked, following one scene of horror as it passed into another. And as they watched, the earth below began to shift. Above, the gray of hatred gave way to pain. Bruised and battered, the clouds turned violet-blue until sadness released the heaviness and tears began to drop upon the lifted faces. They trickled down naked arms and fell, one drop upon another, into the womb below. Heavy with need, Her water’s broke in release and the causeway lifted their bodies to be reborn.

Together, they shuttered and sighed as their lungs released the effort of holding back. And the sky above continued to change. Pink bloomed around the edges of violet as their hearts softened into harmony. One hand reached for another, and then another, until fingers laced a pattern of unity. The wind blew away the final wisp of gray and the mirror broke into blue and gold. A warmth that felt like wonder filled the land as joy slid from the golden rays of a sun long forgotten. Cells felt the memory of truth and began to dance the feet back to life.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt challenge #causeway. 

Dream School Continues with a Puzzling Visit from a Wooden Dragon and a Red Panda

 

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It was yet another fitful night in the realm of dreams. Back to school I went. This time to a peculiar college with a new roommate/dream guide. She sat before me, on the opposite bed, after I had tried to parcel out the pieces of her enormous puzzle into boxes on the floor below. Each one containing a jigsaw assortment that somehow went with the one beside it. Three, I believe in total, of interconnected scenes.

She seemed amused by my earnestness. Although she wore the face of teenager, large brown eyes framed by blond tresses, she was clearly wise beyond the years she showed me. Around her neck wrapped a red panda. Her pet? I wasn’t entirely sure how it had gotten into our room and why it was around my roommate’s shoulders like a living scarf, but I was fascinated. It was as though an old friend had come to visit me.

Let me return, for a moment, to the realm of daytime, and set the clock back about four decades. Imagine a little girl with blue eyes and dirty blond hair staring up at a caged enclosure where two red pandas are on display in their zoo-home. The little girl is about seven years old and she has declared those two curious looking pandas her absolute favorite animals in the entire zoo. This zoo that she visits often each summer because her father works there as a landscaper.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

The red panda on the upper branch stares back at her, its brown eyes soft with understanding. The little girl is sure the animal can read her mind. She is sure a connection has been formed. Her love for the creature is sealed inside her heart. They share something beyond words. This soft, gentle being who looks more like a tiny bear crossed with a fox has become the girl’s chosen totem, at least for awhile.

The little girl never forgets her love for the red panda, but she moves onto other loves, and other beings fill her heart as she grows. The more visits she makes to the zoo over the summers she flies west to see her father, the more secrets she traps inside of her throat, which becomes wrapped in her growing confusion of truth.

Let’s leap ahead to last night and the return of my quiet and almost forgotten friend who is  wrapped around my roommate’s neck. Before I can inquire why it is there, the red panda is suddenly around my own neck. I unwind it carefully, and hold it before me in my hands where I start to examine its soft body. Although the soft animal appeared well and healthy before, it now seems ill. In particular, it’s throat. As I hold it, the red panda coughs and I can see the damage incurred to its throat.

What have I done? Has my own, damaged throat, somehow damaged my beloved childhood totem? 

I am filled with despair and worry, but before I try to solve this puzzle, let’s explore the nature of the red panda:

Red pandas are native to Asian countries such as Nepal and China. They make their home in high altitude forests where they are endangered due to human encroachment from deforestation and poaching. Quiet creatures by nature, red pandas are “soft spoken” and introverted creatures. They are closer to the size of a large cat than they are to a panda bear. Like their namesake, though, they depend upon bamboo for their survival. Red pandas are solitary creatures who are most active in the between times of dawn and dusk. They are, I am realizing, an awful lot like me.

Which brings me to the curious puzzle that was now before me on the floor of my dream. Where’s my water dragon? I wonder as I gaze at the head of the wooden dragon held together like a puzzle with interlocking pieces.

I am a water child born under an Earth sign. These two elements drive my nature, but as in all forms, they seek to be balanced. Wood is one of my weaker elements, so perhaps my dream self should not have been baffled by the head of the wooden dragon that now lay at my feet.

Often when we wake from the realm of dreams we must knit together the pieces of our night travels as best we can to make sense of the strange landscape of night. Before I fell into slumber last night, I had been thinking about Elan (often knows as Elan of the Leys or  Keeper of the Dragon Lines as she seems to have appeared for my story) and how she made her appearance on the pages of my book, but had left me hanging for weeks as to where she was going to lead me and my characters. As I

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Photo Credit: Pexels

drifted into sleep she came to me, finally stepping out of the shadows of the trees to stretch her antlers to the stars. She was showing me the way, if I chose to follow the path beyond the foothold of Earth…

 

A Review of Tasha Halpert’s Collections of Poems, Love Notes & Recipes for a Mindful and Joyful Life on “A Better World of Books” #inspiration #selfhelp

71-5ZakMn5L._US230_Tasha Halpert is a practical mystic, poet, and writer. She has been teaching the paths to inner peace and wellbeing for more than five decades. Tasha  lives in Massachusetts with her husband and writes a weekly column, “Good Earthkeeping,” for the local newspaper, and a weekly inspirational Internet column, “Heartwings.” She is staff poet and storyteller for The Unicorn.

It’s a genuine pleasure to feature two of Tasha Halpert’s books on “A Better World of Books.”  Although Tasha lives only one state over from me, and is a fellow yogi, we have only met through the virtual world of blogging. A few weeks ago she kindly sent me copies of her books Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life and Up to My Neck in Lemons: Love Notes, Poems, and Lemon Recipes for me to review for my blog feature.

Both of Tasha’s books offer an inspirational collection of poetry, anecdotes, and mindfulness exercises. Up to My Neck in Lemons also contains delightful recipes and medicinal uses for lemons interspersed throughout the pages. Perhaps this is why I particularly enjoyed this collection by Halpert.

41uEIP1BmoL._AC_UY218_Although Halpert’s two books are similar in nature, and are in the Self-Help/Inspiration genre, their content is unique. Tasha’s earlier book, Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is presented in eight parts, each of which focuses on a topic related to living a mindful and joyous life. Short, relatable poems flow into personal narratives and simple mindfulness exercises for readers to practice, if they choose to.

I particularly appreciated the author’s willingness to demonstrate growth through her own experiences as she shows the readers it is okay not to be perfect, and that imperfection is a seed for growth. Many of Tasha’s metaphors center around nature and the symbolism of the seasons.  Gardening is a central theme throughout, and is a healing, mindful practice central to Halpert’s own life.

One of my favorite poems of Tasha’s appears on page 32 of  Heartwings. It’s called “The Apple Tree,” and begins with these lines: “The bark of the old tree is dappled with lichen and shade/ Making a pattern like runes, like pebbles strewn for good or for ill,/ Leaves layer against blue sky, white clouds,/ Dapple them with green. / Thirsty to grow, small green apples drink the light.” The last line I find to be particularly lovely and illustrative of the interconnectedness of all life.

Pulled from a review on Amazon, J. White wrote this about Tasha’s collection, “Heartwings reads like liquid ambrosia, whether savored a few pages at a time or consumed all at once. Tasha’s writing style is comfortable and personal and her gardening metaphors resonate beautifully. Her perspective of mindful joy demonstrates that focusing on the simplest essentials can often provide the highest rewards.”

In her more recent book, Halpert takes a lighter tone, as illustrated by her title, Up To My415O+ebFhSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Neck in Lemons, using lemons as her metaphor for a mindful and joy-filled life. I really enjoyed the layout of this book and the way Tasha wove her more serious pieces between the more whimsical recipes. I found myself looking forward to the recipes and historical anecdotes about lemons.  As with her earlier book, Tasha uses her own life as an example to draw upon for life experience. She is both honest and gentle with herself, as she is with her readers.

One of my favorite passages appears on page nine of the book, which contains a personal narrative illustrating gratitude titled “Thanks to Give.” In her third paragraph, Halpert writes, “There are now many things in life I am grateful for that I did not receive when I wanted them. I am now glad that there were roads I was unable to take, though at the time I thought them desirable. There are things I had hoped to accomplish that I had to give up trying to do. I now recognize these experiences and others like them as true blessings.” It is a beautiful reminder of how life has a way of leading us in unexpected was, which may at first appear undesirable or even disappointing, but there are always gifts to be found in the journey.

An Amazon reviewer, Doreen, had this to say about Up To My Neck in Lemons: “I keep this book near my favorite chair. Open to any page and you’ll have a delightful poem, poignant story or special recipe to help with life’s “lemons.” You are sure to smile, reflect or ponder. Tasha opens her heart to all the emotions, and writes so honestly and wisely.”

Both of Tasha’s books could easily find a home nestled on one’s favorite chair, on a bed stand, or on the shelf of a meditation or yoga room. It is clear, through her writing, that the author has led a full and contemplative life. Halpert has the soul of a yogi, ever-searching for meaning, and the admirable ability to pull the sweetness from what life gives her. Her books are filled with inspiration and wisdom gleaned from her life experiences. I am not sure if I can recommend one over the other. For readers who are searching out ways to lead a more mindful life perhaps they would be best served beginning with Tasha’s book Heartwings. On the other hand, if you are already on a mindful path and are looking to add some flavor to your life, particularly with the taste of lemons, I recommend diving into Up To My Neck in Lemons. You’ll find yourself relating to Halpert’s stories and poems as well as running to the store to stock up on lemons to try some of her sweet recipes.

To follow Tasha’s writing and teachings, please visit her website, Heartwings and Friends. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

…A Month of Sundays: Lady’s Lamp.

Something to ponder on this Wednesday from France & Vincent:

France & Vincent

The faces of Britain's banknotes – in pictures | Business | The ...

Florence Nightingale 1820-1910

*

… Florence Nightingale’s spiritual life was graced by contact

with the last of the Esoteric Medical Orders.

The Sisters of Charity, was a religious order founded by St Vincent de Paul in 1634.

Such orders had truck with the Order of Hospitallers in Palestine

 which were originally established

to serve the Templars and the pilgrims they protected.

*

Make no mistake, these were all Hermetic Orders.

Reincarnation was one of the great secrets of the Hermetic Schools

which taught that, all things being equal, humans incarnate

from lifetime to lifetime in alternate sexes.

*

If true, this would suggest that todays

rampant gender confusion may well be inspired

by past life memories.

*

But what does the Hermetic Tradition tell us concerning the spiritual

origins of infectious diseases or, to phrase the

question in a slightly different way, what events in an earlier

lifetime are likely…

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