Saturday, December 29, 2012

What’s In Spiritual Fashion for 2013

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/S.Kulkarni et al.;
Optical: NASA/STScI/UIUC/Y.H.Chu & R.Williams et al.;
IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R.Gehrz et al.
This is the year of natural beauty. Let go of anything pretentious, because it is out of date. 2013 is all about bringing forward your wholesome, natural splendor. What is born from nature is fabulous in its purity.

1. The Sacred Feminine makes her grand debut this year. To be clear, Sacred Feminine does not just mean fluffy and delicate. Though there is nothing wrong with soft if that’s your style, the Sacred Feminine has some depth if you choose to explore it.

Think dark and rich—something your diamond light will look striking against. Think serene—the kind of relaxed state you experience when you are wrapped in silk. Think all encompassing—because the Sacred Feminine is the foundation for every expression of color and mood you can possibly imagine. To experience greater depth in Sacred Feminine awareness:

2. To truly enjoy the Sacred Feminine in its fullness, embrace your compassion. One simply does not exist without the other. Compassion for yourself and others helps you feel comfortable in your own skin and is the primary source of inner beauty.

3. The true you is the one we want to know. As your compassion expands, your ability to be the honest, wonderful and unfettered you will expand right along with it. Natural beauty means nothing is hidden, and every seeming flaw is seen as what makes you experienced, interesting and unique.

4. This year open up to balance between your active Sacred Masculine energy and your still Sacred Feminine energy. You’ll look and feel stunning this year, if you slow down long enough to discover the depth of your love and your ability to creatively respond to whatever comes your way. And you’ll touch the world with awe if you create from the depths of your natural beauty.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Awakening the Sacred Feminine: Initiating the Age of Balance

Image by Laurel Stuart

With the Mayan long-count calendar having completed, we are now entering a new age of our creation.

Grandmother Floredemayo tells us that the last glyph of this calendar shows a staff being handed from a man to a woman, signifying a transfer of leadership.

Even if a Mayan long-count calendar had never been created, we see this shift occurring all around us in every area of our lives. It is part of natural cycle and we now sit on the cusp of a great change.

What does it mean to shift from the masculine to the feminine? Can we, in the age we are entering, find true balance between these two most sacred energies?

Masculine energy without its counterpart in the Sacred Feminine values motion, action and achievement above all, so much so that we achieve ourselves to death.

Feminine energy without its counterpart in the Sacred Masculine holds everything in compassionate love, but we wither away in a lack of inertia.

We have an opportunity at this auspicious time in human evolution to choose balance and it is entirely up to us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Release Holiday Stress in the Arms of the Sacred Feminine

Sacred feminine, holding, creation meditation
The Power of Holding for Inner and Outer Peace

We talk about gratitude and peace during our holiday season. And yet, for many of us it is the most stressful season.

Holidays have a way of bringing out the best and the worst in us. It is the one time of year we seem to have more to do and no more time in which to do it all.

Many of us gather with family members we might not ordinarily socialize with. For many of us, there is at least one family member we just don’t get. In fact, they might even drive us nuts.

When you are with this person, you might feel like you are being drained of your power. Perhaps your feelings of “not being good enough” really come up with this individual.

A part of you wants to withdraw from this person. A part of you might want to fight, while still another part of you wants to control him or her. Another part of you longs to experience peace with this person. If you don’t join the family for the holidays, a part of your soul is going to feel left out in the cold. So what do you do?

Sacred Feminine energy gives us a way to be with this conundrum. You are not going to change the other family member, so that leaves you with the only place in which you have any real control—within you.

Now, I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with you that you need to change. Yet, if the deeper longing for peace is going to become reality, it is your inspiration that is needed.

Consider taking your feelings about this person into a quiet meditation of compassion. Hold your sorrow, anger, hope—whatever feelings arise when you think of this person. You might now have a name for the feelings(s), and that is all right. What you are feeling, for this meditation is more important than its name.

Amazingly, we have the capacity to hold two or more feelings at one time, and that includes the angst you feel in regard to this person along with your loving compassion—for yourself. Hold your difficult feelings, until you are at peace.

Now, if and only if, this person’s spirit allows, offer to hold his or her feelings regarding your relationship. Hold his or her feelings in your compassion until all that remains is peace.

If this person’s spirit does not allow you to hold him or her, just holding your own feelings will make a difference, because the energetic current between the two of you shifts as a result of calm you experience.

When you engage this individual in person and you become triggered, try responding with your compassion. Quietly hold the feelings this person sets off in your heart and compassion, until you feel peaceful inside.

You might notice that the way you respond to this family member changes simply because you are connecting with them with a peaceful heart. As a result, you might see his or her responses to you change.

Of course, the more you practice this Holding before you encounter this individual, the more likely you will be to respond with compassion rather than your anger, need to control, or desire to withdraw.

The more you practice Holding, the greater your chance for experiencing a pleasant holiday.

You can also use the Holding Meditation when you begin to feel stressed out about everything you feel you have to get done over the Holidays. Before you rush out the door, or make your to-do-list, consider taking a few moments to hold your stressful feelings compassion.

It only takes about 10-20 minutes to feel a peaceful shift, particularly if you tell your busy mind to focus on compassion for just a few minutes. Stay in The Holding until you feel at peace. Here is a guided meditation for you. Just follow the first step of the Creation Meditation to experience The Holding: Version:

Then, when you make your list or head out the door, your state of peace will help you recognize what most needs to be done and in what order. You are more likely to see a stress-free way to get done what is most important and be able to let the rest go.

Perhaps this year, a few more of us will decide to make this year’s holiday season a peaceful one. And Holding in the Sacred Feminine arms of compassion can carry you into a state of inner peace that is reflected in your outer world.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Waste’s Affect on Prosperity

Lessons from SpiritQuest and the Women’s Retreat

Before you throw out the food left in the serving bowl or the refillable pen that has run out of ink, the pair of jeans that no longer fit, or that old piece of furniture that no longer works in your home, you might want to think about your prosperity.

My husband and I take a walk in our neighborhood nearly every morning and on garbage pick-up day we are frequently shocked by what we see sitting out on the curb to be picked up. While there are certainly items that are simply broken and can’t be repaired, there are also items that really should be heading to a store that recycles used goods.

After several walks where we wondered why so much was being thrown away, I asked myself, “Does it matter? Does is matter whether someone recycles or throws away something? Does it matter if we don’t repair or repurpose items that are broken? Should we be hanging on to things we no longer need or use? Does it make a difference, from a spiritual perspective, if we just let go of things by throwing them away?”

In essence, I was asking myself, “What is the ethical course of action, and how does my choice affect the balance of life?”

It took a quiet, uncluttered moment when I was refilling a pen that I received the insight I had been wanting.  And here is what I heard:

Waste tells the universe that you have more than enough. If you are affirming prosperity and throwing away useable items, your actions contradict your intentions.

The answer was clear and simple. Waste affects our prosperity.

Now, there is a difference between wasting something that is useful and recycling it. When you recycle, if you are doing it consciously, you are giving it to someone else in need of what you have stewarded. In other words, if you think about the things you use as temporary treasures in your stewarding, rather than things you own, when you are finished using them, you pass them along to their new steward.

This is a very different energy from giving it away because you no longer like it or you throwing it out because you don’t want it anymore. When you honor with gratitude the object that has served you and allow it to continue its life-cycle in the care of someone else, you maintain an spirit of gratitude. Gratitude combined with clear intention creates an energetic opening for more of what you want to come into your life.

When something is truly not repairable and no longer useable, of course it is appropriate to throw it away if it cannot be recycled in some way. Here again, the energy you hold as you release the object is significant.

If you toss it out as if it is a piece of junk, you are telling the universe that you don’t appreciate what you are given because it isn’t worthwhile. If on the other hand you let it go with gratitude for the joy or service it has provided you, you are telling the universe that you are grateful for the objects that come into your life to give you pleasure or service.

Stockpiling what you don’t need also stops the flow of energy. If you keep things that you don’t use and will probably never use again, you are telling the universe that what you have been given to steward doesn’t really matter to you. So on the one hand you might be praying for prosperity, but on the other you are sending out a message that you don’t truly appreciate the life-force of the items you receive—another contradictory message.

Your energy in these matters makes a difference in whether you are rejecting or receiving abundant help and delight from creation.

In ceremonial practice, you learn to become very attuned to energetic balance because if you make choices that are out of alignment with the prayers you have offered, those prayers are limited in their ability to come to fruition. 

At SpiritQuest at at the Women’s Retreat we have learned to attend very carefully to these energies. We make an offering and a prayer of gratitude at every evening meal.  Questers often discover there are physical items as well as beliefs or emotions that need to be released in preparation for the ceremonies, creating a spiritual opening within to receive new insights and blessings.

When ceremonies are over we offer meaningful gifts to those that have supported us in ceremony. If you have quested, your sleeping bag, sleeping mat—those items you used during your Quest—are given away to others. This is a way in which we recycle the items, the good energy and blessings of the sacred experience.

The next time you are getting ready to throw something in the garbage, you might want to pause and think about it first. By the act of throwing away or the energy that is in your heart, consider whether you are setting up an energy that furthers your spiritual development and your prosperity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Challenge of Creating Peace

My husband and I just left Budapest, a city of people, and land, that were deeply impacted by World War II. Now we are in Caen, France, a city in Normandy that is very close to where the Americans landed to turn the tide of World War II, bringing the war in Europe to its end.

We wondered how much Caen was affected by the war, so we talked to the hotel manager about it. Our hotel looks over a lovely little town square of green grass, trees and summer flowers. David, the manager, pulled out a picture for us to see of the town square in 1944. It was a pile of rubble due to bombing.

In fact, the hotel we are staying in was bombed, and rebuilt years later. Because we were asking questions, David pulled out a large ariel photo of the farm lands outside of Caen from 1944. There were huge pock marks all over, where bombs had landed.

He told us farmers were unable to till their own land for a long time because there were undetonated bombs in the ground. Two out of every 10 bombs did not explode on impact. In fact, they had to check for and remove bombs in order to rebuild their city.

Tomorrow we will visit the memorial museum and the beaches where our troops landed seventy-seven years ago.

Other than some scorched sides of old churches, it is difficult to tell that a vicious war was fought on this soil. Today, cafes and brasseries fill the air with tempting scents, the streets are filled with shoppers from all over the world, and people are generally cheerful.

We understand that most visitors to this area are French, Scandanavian, English or American. I asked if many visitors were German, and our proprietor told us that very few Germans come to this area of France.

I can’t help but wonder if in another generation, when the war is further behind us all, that the scars will be fully healed, and such events will be distant memories.

Perhaps, soon, we will all remember that we are brothers and sisters from the same Divine light and the same primordial womb, and we will wonder how we could ever intentionally hurt another.

That day will come as we heal the places within ourselves that have been at war—the part of ourselves that love who we are, and the parts that resent and regret who we are.

Peace occurs from the inside out, does it not? And it is not enough to have peaceful feelings and thoughts now and then is it?

Peace becomes a state of existence when we make it our priority, especially when we feel challenged and stressed. But most of us are not very well practiced in knowing how to make a stressful situation a peaceful one.

Inner peace is a skill that is learned. It is learned when we attend to our negative emotions with some means for shifting them. Will power is not enough. We need the skill, and the skill needs to be developed and practiced.

That is exactly what we will be doing at the Women’s Retreat in October. We will be learning how a woman finds inner peace—at any moment of any day—and especially in the face of her greatest fears, anxiety, and challenges.

Once a woman knows how to consistently do this for herself, she is ready to hold such space for others. When she knows how to consistently hold this space for other, she is ready to teach others how to do the same for themselves.

Imagine a world where compassion is the response to national tensions. Envision with me the possibility that when your country’s leaders are thinking about going to war with another country, before any bomb is dropped, the leaders bring their concerns to a council of people that quietly meditate and hold the leaders of both nations in love and compassion.

Can you envision the possibility that held in the arms of tremendous compassion, leaders might never opt to go to war?

Now, can you imagine that such potential lives inside of you?

It does. It lives inside all of us.

This kind of compassion is the power of the Sacred Feminine—the womb of unconditional love from which all life was born.

Bringing such compassion to our planet, begins in learning how to do it for ourselves and those that challenge our inner peace. Then perhaps, war will become the most distant of human memories.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mastery in the Sacred Feminine

Jeffrey and I spent today at the Louvre, and in the presence of so much masterful art, it is easy to feel humbled very quickly. In an age when we expect things to happen quickly, one can forget that true mastery comes with great dedication and long-term commitment.

Yesterday, we stood outside Notre Dame (meaning Our Lady), marveling at the architecture and sculptures that took 90 years to complete (1163-1250), and it is still standing in its glory in 2012, some 762 years later.

Ninety years of building represented two or three generations of craftsman building a church that would be a sacred space for thousands of people for generations of people they would never meet.

In our world of how quickly can we get it done and out the door, we can lose the gifts of mastery and legacy that our ancestors understood.

Consider the beauty of the Venus de Milo (believed to be a sculpture of Aphrodite, as Venus was called by the Greeks), sculpted by Melos during the Hellenistic period, 320’s BC – 140’s BC. This is one of the great works of art we viewed today at the Louvre.

Imagine creating a legacy, such as this, whose beauty has been witnessed by over 8 million people per year, over 2,000 years after it was created?

That is our opportunity right now as we awaken the world through our consciousness in the Sacred Feminine. The beautiful ceremonial bowl given to me for the continuation of ancient water ceremonies in the feminine is estimated to be over 1,000 years old.

The practices of the Creation Meditation, journey songs and ceremonies were perfected over time, as generation after generation of women and the pathway’s guardian gradually created their completed pathway for shedding the limited body to become the limitless self.

They were willing to reincarnate within the tribe, dedicating themselves for over 1,000 years, in order to create a pathway for women that would allow all of us to immerse into the womb of our own beings, and the primordial womb of all life, in order to re-emerge reborn and renewed as the women of our own choosing.

In October, I will be bringing this beautiful medicine bowl to Sedona, Arizona so that you can experience its life-force and the gifts of a Sacred Feminine pathway for women that has been created as a gift and legacy for all women.

This pathway teaches women how to reconnect to that limitless primordial womb from which we came and all life emerged. Once experienced, you may incorporate as much or as little from the tradition as feels appropriate for your own life.

And if you choose, it can become a doorway into your own mastery in the Sacred Feminine.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lay Your Burden Down

Some of us come into the world feeling that we are here to make some significant difference spiritually, but don’t know where or how to make that difference. That’s how it was for me when I met my first Native teacher.

She saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. She saw the healer in me that I was beginning to discover, and she saw the ceremonialist in me that I had not yet recognized. As I began studying in the medicine circle and she required me to fulfill certain responsibilities in ceremony, I discovered a part of me that I had not touched in many, many years.

As a young child, I used to put on my robes and play priest by holding a mass in the basement of our home for all the neighborhood kids. I always was a ceremonialist. I just had never found a way to live my true calling, so I abandoned it.

For many years, I looked for my purpose, mission, and service in the world. That search became a burden, especially as I refused to associate with any religion or spiritual path. Although in later years and prior to meeting my elder, I held ceremonies of my own creation and learned a great deal in doing so, what I didn’t realize I was missing was the strength of the ancestors that comes through any established path.

When I finally settled in on a path connected to my own Native roots, I could grow in the wisdom of those who had gone before me. I could rest a little bit in their wisdom as I developed my own inner knowing. I could become even more creative in my ceremonies as I learned to trust that my ancestors would help me attend to what had been learned through history that was most effective, and help me see the best ways to incorporate concepts that kept the ceremonies fresh and current.

I discovered depths of ceremonial experience that I had only read about or didn’t even know existed as my elder quested me under the watchful eyes of our ancestors on the other side of the veil.

Ceremonies that call upon the ancestors for their help and guidance have a way of helping us more effectively access the mysteries where we discover our true selves. In our world, most of us live in some stage of spiritual sleepiness and our task is to awaken. But the ancestors are often fully awake and so they beautifully hold space for our unfolding.

Over the next few weeks, you are going to have an opportunity to learn about our Keeper Apprenticeship for the Water Ceremonies in the Path of the Sacred Feminine, our elderhood initiations, a class on how to become a true ceremonialist, and to consider your own vision or song quest.

Why is it all happening now? The apprenticeship, initiations and quests require the better part of a year to prepare. So we begin our preparations in September for initiations and quests at SpiritQuest in June.

If you are thinking it is time to lay down the burden of your seeking, I’d like to offer you something for consideration. Such explorations are not for the faint of heart. Such explorations are not for dabbling. They are callings.

A calling means that something inside you knows you need this for your awakening, and that it requires dedication and commitment on your part. You might also find that your fears try to keep you from immersing yourself in your path of self-discovery.

Therefore, you must be ready to meet each of your fears, doubts, and judgments with love, as they arise throughout the process. You must be ready to meet all of who you are and willingly accept yourself with compassion.

I was blessed that my elder pulled me aside at a friend’s house and said, “I want you to study with me.” I had said a prayer asking to be taught in my Native tradition, and I knew she was my answer.

If you have wanted to go deeply into your own self-awareness and have been looking for a path through which to do it, and if what you have read here on this site speaks to your heart deeply, consider yourself called.  And consider yourself invited by me to explore with my and New Dream’s loving support. 

Here and now, if you choose, you can lay down the burden of seeking and enter into the depths of the mystery of your true nature.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gifts from SpiritQuest

SpiritQuest 2012 was brimming with gifts and insights. Each Quest has a way of showing us what it is truly about--a little before we arrive, more while we are there, and then even more when we arrive home.

Three circles of insight showed themselves to me as I meditated with Reverend Ariann at the Sacred Fire we still hold in our hearts. If SpiritQuest touched your heart, whether you were there in person or in Spirit, I invite you to join me in reflecting upon the experience of these circles in your own life.

 As creators of our own reality, and as observers of the ripples, waves and reflections we create, these circles of observation give us some beautiful places in which to bring our heartful attention.

Circle One--Within the Sacred Feminine, we experience tremendous ease and grace as we trust in the grand plan of creation, and the role of each being within it.

Circle Two--We experience peace, creativity and joy in the union of the Sacred Feminine and Masculine through the satisfying love that comes through brother-sister relationships.

Circle Three--The spirit of the child self within us leads us with loving abandon into the arms of the Divine.

These beautiful interlocking circles provide us with focus for the next 12 months as we unfold in the mysteries that this Quest offers and prepare for next year's ceremonies.  (Each year's ceremony is like a wave that builds energy for the next wave.)

Consider which of these three circles might be calling you the most right now. You might even want to take your reflection into the first step of the Creation Meditation as you hold its essence in your love.

It seems our collective conscious awakening is asking us to become ever more mindful that we influence life with our minds, hearts and action. What we see around us is the direct reflection of our own thoughts and choices.

I've noticed this theme emerging across the letters and postings on the web with a great frequency this week. Perhaps this supports us in our preparations for 2012. This post from Jeff Marziarek's Ponder Central e-mails calls us to consider our true potential for joy through personal responsibility:

Adopting the mindset that you do indeed cause/create all of the circumstances you experience in life, even if you don't recall doing so consciously, opens the door to the potential for greater joy by removing you from the backwards-focused paralysis of blame. It also transports you into the now moment of responsibility, where you can actually take action to resolve problems and issues.   

In that regard, I will never forget the following statement made during a presentation by a gifted motivational speaker named Brian Tracy: "Blame looks backward; responsibility is today." What a simple yet powerful concept! Either you accept responsibility, which is focused in the present moment where solutions can actually be identified and implemented, or you stay mired in the past by pointing the finger of blame at other people, at yourself, at God, etc.
    -- Jeff Maziarek, "Spirituality Simplified"

When the heart is truly open, there is no blame. When the heart leads the way, there are many opportunities for peace and joy. Let us explore the gifts of SpiritQuest and all this year has to offer with our hearts wide open to receive the wonders of creation!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In a Father’s Love

While it is true that New Dream and I are dedicated to the Sacred Feminine, our emphasis on the feminine nature is to ensure greater balance in the world.

The Sacred Masculine and today, Sacred Father, captivates our hearts. There is no balance, without loving relationship with Divine Father. When a man shows fatherly love to anyone, he embodies Sacred Father as a living and tangible experience of Divine Father. What child does not long for such love? Even as adults we may find ourselves longing for that kind of love?

Whether you are a father of your own children or show fatherly love to children and adults that need that kind of loving touch, I honor you.

Children are fabulous teachers about what fathers give to the world. My adopted daughter and her children have come to SpiritQuest for several years now.  The children’s fathers do not join them, but my husband is always there for them. He teases, appropriately, as good fathers and grandfathers tend to do. He stands with them proudly during their special moments.

He’ll rub the back of the littlest one when she is upset that her mom is away in ceremony. He gives one of those firm looks of—that’s a little much—when one of them is cutting up at an inappropriate time. He provides big hugs, laughs with them and praises them. He does what good grandpas do—he loves them as they are and encourages them to be their best.

A few years ago, a single mom brought her three-year old daughter to Quest. Her little girl latched on to one of the men and they became buddies. She rode on his shoulders, begged him to swing her around by her arms, sat in his lap during talking circle—and basically adopted him as her camp dad.

Children know when they are safe. If a father or farther figure feels safe to them, they will curl up in his arms and fall asleep to the rhythm of his heartbeat and breath once the playing and exploration is done.

Over the years I have noticed that fatherly love simply exudes itself when a man has healed the wounds of his childhood and is able to delight in the growth and wonder of the children, or adults, that come into his life—whether those children are his own or are adopting him into their lives in some way.

Fathers and men that share fatherly love seem to understand that life is a big game, meant to be played with zeal and joy. No wonder children will beg their dads, uncles, older brothers, cousins and friends to play with them. They seem to know that men take delight in investigating life and testing perceived limits, and when children are ready to challenge themselves through play, they often look for their father or a father figure.

Do women do this too? Sure they do, and some of us with the same physical and mental zeal as our male counterparts. That said, there is simply something wonderful, and truthfully—indescribable, about fatherly energy that men embody. Though I humbly attempt to capture that quality in words and images, I respect them deeply for that part of the Sacred they so beautifully embody and share, that I may never be able to adequately express in words.

In a father’s love a child discovers many things. And even as adults, we can welcome in the father’s love that we still need today:

In a father’s love, children know they are safe in the world.
In a father’s love, children know they are capable of reaching their potential.
In a father’s love, children know it feels great to be their very best.
In a father’s love, children know we are meant to play in life with great joy.
In a father’s love, children discover what it means to be special.
In a father’s love, children know that they are safe to stretch their limits and to rest.
In a father’s love, children become ready to explore and inspire the world.

To all fathers and those that show fatherly love, thank you for being you, being here and being the expression of Sacred Fatherly Love here on earth.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SpiritQuest—Living in Greater Ease

In just a couple of weeks, we'll be gathering at SpiritQuest for an annual Native Retreat. All of our ceremonies come from matriarchal tradition, or deepen our understanding of the Sacred Feminine and our most harmonious relationship to Mother Earth. And it has a powerful way of bringing life into focus so that we can discover how to live in greater ease.

Anything that is working well becomes apparent, as those blessings multiply exponentially. Whatever has not been working also becomes apparent and seeks to be brought into its proper alignment, right then and there, during ceremony.

For so much of my life, I ran away from myself, my gifts, my connection to the Mother, and my connection to the spiritual realms. Joy found me when I finally gave myself permission to see that I was running, and to plant my feet in the ground long enough to find peace with the nature of life itself.

It is difficult to know your true relationship with nature or notice your spiritual medicine gifts when you are moving so fast. It is difficult to hear your ancestors or notice the help you are receiving from the other realms when you are absorbed in your physical needs. Ceremony allows you to pause and focus on your spiritual self long enough to notice who you really are—to see your own divine nature within the great web of life.

In a world where, in minutes, we see and hear about devastation at the hands of Mother Earth occurring all around the globe, it can be easy to forget she is also our source of safety. She can also be our protector.

Years ago, an ice storm in the middle of the night cracked the branches of a tree under which I had parked my little trailer. Every branch broke and fell to the ground except the one directly over the trailer I was sleeping in. That branch stood strong, as if the tree had put all its energy into that single branch in order to protect me.

This kind of protection starting occurring when I chose to live in conscious relationship with her.  I blessed her with my medicine songs, did ceremony to honor her life force, and lived in nature with awareness and then she began to show me her greater nature. I heard her heart song, watched her animals bless our sacred spaces, and yes, saw how even the trees protect me.

We live so far removed from Mother Earth most of the time, that true relationship with her becomes obscured by buildings and roads. To experience our lives in their greatest harmony, we must consciously reconnect with her. She gently brings life into perspective, and lovingly holds space for each of us to adjust—to shift our consciousness just enough to enjoy her and live with greater ease.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Sacred Feminine at SpiritQuest

Sacred Feminine at SpiritQuestThough our ceremonies come from Native women’s traditions and matriarchal tribes, last year was the first year we dedicated SpiritQuest to the Sacred Feminine.  That dedication brought a sweetness to our time together that I could not have anticipated.

In one of our first ceremonies, a butterfly entered the sacred fire circle and landed on every single person in the circle at least once. That is how our week in the Sacred Feminine began.

As we approach the gateway of Winter Solstice 2012, we also approach a portal of consciousness that once again remembers and embraces the sacred state of the Divine Feminine (yin energy) that lives within each of us—men, women and children.

As the energy to this gateway builds some of us may find ourselves struggling to release our busy minds from their machinations. Others of us are seeking to find solace from the intensity of our emotions. And still others are longing to break through some unidentifiable barrier to our awakening.

There is rest in the arms of the Sacred Feminine, so that the mystery of our own true natures can be revealed to us—so that we can be fulfilled.

But it takes courage to accept her gifts.

The ancestors teach us it is too easy to become complacent, and sometimes we need to shake ourselves out of our familiar patterns and routines. We need to challenge ourselves to lovingly embrace our limitations and fears of the unknown so that we can ultimately experience our true freedom.

Sometimes our longing becomes so normal that we forget the purpose of life is to awaken and be satisfied. The longing itself becomes an addiction as we perpetuate the desire that someday we will know fulfillment if we just keep trying, yet keeping that fulfillment just out of arms reach.

What SpiritQuest creates for us is an opportunity to open to fulfillment—not someday—but now.

It takes courage to love and know yourself, other people and the creatures of the earth without judgment or fear. It takes great courage to fall in love with life as it is—just as the Sacred Feminine loves each of us, completely and without reservation.

If you come to SpiritQuest, you will not leave with all of your problems solved. But you will leave with a divine awareness of yourself, the people in your life and your unique relationship to Mother Earth.

You will discover more about your own sacred nature, your medicine gifts and how you as a divine agent can be the change you wish to see in the world.

Please accept this letter as your official invitation from my heart to yours to experience the sweet and powerful gifts of the Sacred Feminine at SpiritQuest.

June 16-22nd
Yreka, California

Thursday, May 03, 2012

10 Ways to Honor the Sacred Feminine on Mother’s Day

Whether you are doing something special for yourself, honoring your mother or partner, or acknowledging someone that has give you motherly love, the recognition is deep when we see the sacred in someone.

In addition to taking yourself or her out for a special meal and buying flowers, consider doing something that will touch deeply—maybe even for a lifetime.

Here are a few ideas to help you out. Most of these are suggestions for you to do for another, but if you are creative you can do them for yourself as well.
  1. Talk to her and tell her what you love most about her spirit.
  2. Invite her on a walk to a beautiful place to enjoy Mother Nature. Notice how she quickly finds her inner peace and inner glow as she connects to the earth. Women and the earth share a special bond in the Sacred Feminine.
  3. Take her to a creative event, such as a dance, theatre performance, or art gallery. The Sacred Feminine blossoms in creative expression. The more involved she gets to be the better.
  4. Write about the ways in which you are grateful for her presence in your life, especially the qualities you might take for granted.
  5. Create an experience that will delight her senses. In the Sacred Feminine, women love the subtleties of creation, and the senses open her to the wonders of life.
  6. Tell her what you have you learned from her that will last forever.
  7. Notice which of the sacred elements she loves the most. Is it earth, water, wind or fire that she gravitates toward when she seeks refuge? Create a special experience for her around that sacred element.
  8. Give her some time that is completely for herself. Relieve her of her responsibilities for a few hours or a day so that she can explore her inner silence or her creativity.
  9. Send her to SpiritQuest, or a similar sacred event, so that she can experience a whole week living in the Sacred Feminine with harmony with Mother Earth.
  10. Better yet, go with her so that she really knows you love and honor her precious and sacred nature.
Of course, most of all, let her know how much you love her as she is, with all of her frailties and strengths. For this is the greatest nature of the Sacred Feminine—to hold and love all in its suchness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Being Truly Recognized

Regularly, as I am doing readings or offering ceremonies, someone will share how they finally feel at home. You see, it is important for us to find places where we feel safe enough to share who we really are~to be recognized.

Sometimes we feel completely alone in the world because we don’t know other people that experience the world the way that we do. Perhaps you feel like that at times.

Perhaps you see spirits, know what people are thinking; have prophetic dreams; see what other people’s true paths before they see them; hear the plants, trees or stone people talking to you; sense the needs and thoughts of animals; really feel other people’s joy or pain right along with them; know how to change the weather with your thoughts…

At SpiritQuest you are with family because people at quest accept these abilities in each other. So we feel at home~seen and heard for who we truly are. We accept and appreciate the subtle, spiritual gifts that live within you. Here’s what happens when you are finally seen an accepted:

In fact, we nurture those gifts in each other. And we come alive in an environment where it is safe to become even more self-aware. Additionally, we see and hear how Mother Earth responds to our awareness. That is where the magic happens!

I remember the first time my elder invited me to participate in her medicine circle. I nearly wept, as I realized that I finally fit in somewhere.

 My spiritual awakening accelerated because we were taught to open to our unique medicine gifts within the sacred elements of earth, water, wind and fire. The Divine within me recognized itself as I recognized the Divine within the sacred elements.

I didn’t even know that could happen. But it did, because Mother Earth knew, and she became the space in which that awareness could unfold.

That is my job now at SpiritQuest's ceremonial retreat. I get to look at who has been called to participate, and who they really are. I get to facilitate the ceremonies that allow you to discover and use your medicine gifts; and to be witnessed by the sacred elements so that you can better know the Divinity of yourself.

Many of us come to quest because here we are truly seen and recognized by others in the camp, by the spirits that joins us for ceremony and by the sacred elements themselves. It is a rare and precious experience.

You can hear that in the voice and see it in the eyes of the beautiful people that participated in SpiritQuest last year. Hear and see for yourself what happens when this doorways expands even further for you

The door is open for you and we are looking forward to experiencing the true and profound you!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Sacred Union and the Rebirth of the Self

I owe you an apology. It seems I had a misunderstanding regarding the planets aligning with the black hole or Black Rift of the Milky Way on December 21, 2012, that I have mentioned in previous articles.
I recently read this report from NASA, which explains that the last planetary alignment was on May 5, 2000, and a usual alignment (though not including all the planets) takes place on winter solstice 2012, described by Francis Reddy, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence…Throughout the course of the year, our distance from the Milky Way's black hole changes by about one part in 900 million – not nearly enough to cause a real change in gravity's pull. Moreover, we're actually nearest to the galactic center in the summer, not at the winter solstice.

According to some astrologers, 2012 does mark a “Galactic” Alignment. Here is a description from John Major Jenkins,

The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator. This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes…This Galactic Alignment occurs only once every 26,000 years, and was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012 end-date of their Long Count calendar.

And here is another description I found helpful,

The winter solstice of 2012 will occur at 11:11 GMT on of course 21-12-2012 the same day the Long Count flips over. On that morning the sun will appear to rise into the patch of sky we refer to as the galactic centre or nuclear bulge. It is the location of the super-massive black hole at the centre of rotation for the Milky Way galaxy… The only interesting new aspect of this year will be the sun appearing to just touch one part of the Dark Rift (Great Rift) that snakes its way along the Galactic Equator. This is an area of the night sky considered important to Maya cosmology most notably with respect to spiritual rebirth mythologies.

Further the author explains:

Although commonly known as the ‘Galactic Alignment’ the correct term for the event should really be the ‘Galactic Conjunction’. Astronomical alignments refer to three celestial objects in shared orientation. Astronomical Conjunction is an alignment of two cosmic objects or bodies as seen from the Earth’s perspective.

All right, you probably have figured out that I’m neither an astronomer nor astrologer. I am however more accurately a mystic, and like many of us, sensitive to the movement of the spheres. Like me, you may be sensing we are living in a time when there is an opening (or opportunity) for us to enter through spiritually.
So what is the opening? Isn’t that what many of us are wondering about? I was deeply touched by this explanation of the energy of this current equinox in 2012 described by astrologer, Tom Lescher:

With every new breath I start a new life, within the Dark I discover the Light. Welcome the Equinox! Equal night and day, dark and light! As we emerge from the male (light) dominated patriarchy to honor the suppressed feminine (dark) principle within and without we must face the wounds that need healing. As the feminine feeling nature within each of us has been denied, the masculine too has suffered. As we evolve toward union may we come together through mutual understanding and compassion.

Though my understanding of the actual astronomy was incorrect, it seems my understanding of the energy may have meaning for us at this equinox time and as we prepare for the solstice energies of 2012.
Perhaps as the sun “appears” to touch the Dark Rift of the Milky Way, we can consider its mystical implications for us—the masculine light touching the feminine darkness. Perhaps we will feel the Galactic Conjunction within the cells of our bodies, opening to the next 26,000 year cycle of our evolution.
Perhaps we will allow ourselves to open to the spiritual union of the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine within ourselves and in so doing, welcome into our hearts 26,000 coming years of loving balance between these two fundamental creative energies. And then, perhaps we will allow ourselves to be reborn in expanded consciousness through that Sacred Union. (We hold a Sacred Union ceremony at SpiritQuset in 2012:
Whatever is happening in the heavens, perhaps during this equinox and Easter season of rebirth some of us will choose to open to the fertile energies of Sacred Union longing to be acknowledged, and emerge reborn in the love of our own awakening.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why We Need Connection to Mother Earth

Isn’t it easy to get caught up in our busy lives at work and home, and end up spending days without really connecting to Mother Earth? It is easy to do, but is that good for us?

Being connected and conscious about nature is our normal state. The disconnected way in which many of us live is abnormal. And the isolated way in which we live, disconnected from Mother Earth can literally make us ill.

In my book, The Root of All Healing: 7 Steps to Healing Anything, I share this perspective about our relationship with Mother Earth and its bearing on our health:

It is a common misunderstanding that the earth is a thing we live on to be used to serve our needs. Earth is as alive as we are and we live in symbiotic relationship with her. When we lose touch with that awareness, we begin living on top of her instead of with her. When this happens we can easily lose touch with our natural rhythms and cycles. Symptoms of being out of sync with our natural cycles, also known as circadian rhythms include stress, physical tension, emotional frustration, depression…and all of these can contribute to ongoing illness.

In fact, there is a medically recognized disorder caused by being out of balance with nature called Circadian Rhythm Disorder or CRD. Your hormones and neurotransmitters are affected when your circadian rhythms are out of balance, resulting in sleep disorders, appetite issues, hormonal imbalance, loss of sex drive, moods and more.

Emotional equilibrium can be very difficult to maintain when you have limited or little connection to the earth. Emotions naturally calm and you gain greater perspective when you spend time in nature. Notice what happens when you take a walk in a park or sit by the water. The negative ions help you feel calmer and in that calm, your intuition and spiritual insights have space in which to be noticed.

Physical and emotional healing progress in the presence of Mother Nature because you relax enough for healing to occur.

Animals can sense when we are at peace, and will feel safer to be near us. We witness this at SpiritQuest every year. Last year at the sacred fire, a butterfly flew into our circle and landed for a period of time on every single person. Three years ago, a deer came up behind one our elders, standing just feet behind her, and offered the elder a blessing. In the last ten years, more than one critter has found its way to my doorstep or backyard to receive healing energy. (Here are some SpiritQuest participants reflecting on how these experiences have changed their lives in beautiful ways:

Medicine plants will grow in your yard according to a medicine woman I respect. You might want to check out those weeds you are pulling out of your yard. They just might be medicinal plants that have found their way to you to assist you. If you know how to harvest them properly, then you can benefit from them with teas, tinctures and balms. If you don’t, you can sit quietly with them and open up your energy to their medicine properties.

I once experienced a tree in an ice storm that lost all its branches, except the one bending directly over my humble little trailer. That one stood strong as if to protect me in my home.

These are not unusual experiences when we are connected to Mother Earth. These are normal. This is your birthright as a human being. In order to receive that birthright, you may need to makes some extra effort to spend time in conscious relationship with Mother Earth. You may need to break the abnormal pattern of isolation from her and create opportunities to experience her precious gifts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Intuition Has Long Reach

Intuition just may have a longer reach through time than we think it does. In a world where there are so many opportunities for things to do, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the options. It is equally easy to assume that as you get closer to an event or opportunity your insights about participating in it will be clearer then than it is now.

I’ve lived in several large cities with all kinds of spiritual events to attend. Early on, I would wait until the last possible moment to make my decision, as if my intuition just couldn’t switch on until about an hour before an event.

Then I had an opportunity to go to Egypt. Even though the trip was months out, I knew I wanted to be on that tour. So I committed, even before I had the money to do so, and with my intense commitment, the money arrived in plenty of time. I had lots of time to make plans with my friends, including making flight arrangements that allowed us to be on the same plane sitting next to each other.

That’s when I had some realizations about my intuition. Telling myself that I didn’t know and refusing to commit to attending certain events wasn’t about my intuition at all. It was about waiting to see if something better was going to come along.

With that realization, I discovered that if an event was truly going to support me in my spiritual development, it remained the right event for me to attend whether I made my plans a month in advance or one hour ahead. If it was right, it was right, regardless of any other enticing events that might pop up in between.

In fact, waiting until the last minute sometimes created problems for me because I didn’t plan enough. I didn’t account for traffic or sold-out events. I didn’t allow enough time to invite a friend to join me, so I would end up going alone, when I would have enjoyed some company.

I also discovered that I got in my own way by deciding at the last minute that I’d rather not go out. Later, I would hear from someone I knew about how fabulous the event turned out to be and I had missed the opportunity.

If I had chosen not to attend because I needed a different kind of nourishment that privacy at home afforded me, I would have been very comfortable with my decision. But if I chose not to attend because I was ignoring my spirit of adventure in order to watch a movie, I found I had some regrets.

It took me a while to realize intuition has a long reach. It can reach out for days, months, and even years. All I needed to do was check inwardly.

I learned that if my intuition told me the event would be meaningful, I made plans, often with others. If my intuition was not strong about participating, I didn’t. If my intuition was strong about attending something and later I became nervous, I discovered there was something important at the event for me to uncover. My nervousness was simply indicating the significance of the discovery, yet to come.

Now, I don’t wait. I sense into the event and I make a decision. I don’t have two or three events in waiting on my calendar. I create time to include my friends. I’m more inclined to get to events early, without stress. Because I trust the long reach of my intuition, I get to enjoy the adventure of it all.

If you want to develop your intuition and psychic powers, take a look at Discovering Your Psychic Awareness and Intuitive Wisdom—Gifts of the Sacred Feminine Home Study Audio Seminar.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wisdom and the Sacred Feminine

What is wisdom?

Is it knowledge that results from our accumulated experiences, or is it something more?

If wisdom was only based on accumulated experiences, growing older and having learned or experienced a great deal would automatically make you wise. But even children can say things that are wise. So what is the difference between being knowledgeable or experienced and being wise?

When I hear someone speak words of wisdom, they might or might not have a breadth of experience behind them. They might or might not have a reservoir of knowledge they are drawing from, because wisdom isn’t calculated or even figured out. 

Wisdom seems to come from the depth of a person’s being. Wisdom comes from an inner stillness where the greater truths live.

Wisdom occurs in those moments when someone spontaneously says something they can’t believe they knew to say. It comes when someone pauses and reflects within before answering a question. We recognize it when someone knows the perfect question to ask us.

When we have listened into the stillness and unknown, wisdom arises. True wisdom guides us to speak about the insights that are coming to us or not to speak, to ask or not to ask, and if we do speak to say only what is necessary and no more. 

Wisdom comes out of the stillness, where we exist beyond the perceptions of our human egos and limited definitions.

This stillness is the essence of the Sacred Feminine. This is where we meet the unknown and open ourselves to its gifts. This is where we trust in insights far beyond what our rational minds might put together.

The Sacred Feminine or yin, the still pregnant womb of all potentials, is the source of some of the greatest wisdom that I have ever experienced. When a woman or man speaks from insights that have emerged from this stillness, their words tend to linger in your heart and mind. 

Wisdom has a way of touching your life for many years because the power of its truth continues to invite you to break through perceived limits and to explore your perspectives and beliefs more deeply.

When you give yourself permission to not know the answer, not be wise, not have any idea what you or anyone else should think or do, you have begun a journey into wisdom. Wisdom demands surrender. It demands not knowing.

How else can you enter the realm of limitless possibilities, and emerge with what exactly what you or another truly needs to hear (or not hear in that moment)?

It requires courage to allow wisdom to flow through from what you do not yet know, rather than control its output. This state in which you access what is not yet known, is the domain of the Sacred Feminine.

The next time you consider something you have heard that seems wise to you, may I suggest you see if you can sense its source? Did it come from experience? Or did it come from a well of truth far beyond everyday perceptions?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Live Each Day As If It Is Your First

Most of us have heard the expression, Live each day as if it is your last. Choosing to live your day with this in mind helps you recognize what it truly important in your life.

With this perspective, it is easier to remember to pause in the middle of some activity to acknowledge my husband and give him a kiss. It is easier to stop in the middle of my sentence to laugh at something funny happening around me, without attachment to what I felt was so significant about what I was saying.

However, I have noticed that living from this perspective also tends to motivate me to abandon anything that might be considered mundane, such as cleaning the house, paying the bills or going grocery shopping.

I do believe there is great wisdom in recognizing what is truly important each and every day. Indeed, there are days where it is far more important to listen to someone who is suffering or celebrate with someone in his or her joy than it is to clean the house. Then there are other days when giving some loving attention to my home is important. Knowing from moment to moment what is most important to attend to and doing so in love is a powerful way to live.

And so is living each day as if it is your first. Some call this beginners mind. This is when you recognize that each moment is a moment to begin again. Each moment offers the mystery of life to be discovered and explored.

For some time I kept a box of colored markers on my desk to remind me that everything that has been created can be recreated. Children know that they can create new worlds over and over with their colored pens and crayons, and so these child-like tools help me remember that everything I need to recreate my life is within my grasp.

Even if I have failed at something a dozen times, one moment of clear, pure and loving consciousness changes everything. When I am facing a task with a history of perceived failures, I challenge myself to sink into the moment and become present.

I remind myself about how enthusiastic children are in approaching life. Whatever they do, they do with the fullness of their little beings. In a restaurant the other day, I watched as two little kids played peek-a-boo with each other by pulling their shirts up over their heads. They were oblivious to the world around them, unaware of anything that had happened earlier in that day or anything that might be happening soon.

Later, my husband and I laughed as a little guy did a crazy little step as he walked down the street. He was completely present to the joy of the moment he was creating with his own unique way of walking. He wasn’t even aware that we were chuckling, caught up in his moment of abandonment.

Children are powerful teachers. They know how to be present to the moment. They will do something over and over again, until they have mastered it, and not necessarily because they feel they have to do it. Frequently, they seem to be entirely entertained as they practice.

Think about a child sliding down a snowy hill. The first time they might not get much momentum going down the hill because they are scared. The second time they slip off the edge of their sled, having gotten only half-way down. The next time they get to the bottom of the hill quite competently. But the fourth time they decide they want to go down with their buddy, and the two of them fall off before they get very far.

Each time, they are squealing with delight. They aren’t failing at anything. They are having a great time learning all the nuances of sliding down a snowy hill.

I expect I’ll continue in the practice of living as if this is my last day, and while I’m discovering what is truly important about each day, I’ll also be living each day as if it is my first—with all the enthusiasm of child experiencing each moment for the very first time.

Personally, this is one of the qualities I love about SpiritQuest, New Dream's week with Mother Earth. We seem to have a way of living as if each moment is our first: And if we forget, the kids attending help us remember!