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Katrina

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She is the wisdom
We hide
On our dark side

The wisdom
Like the moon
That goes dead
Just to be reborn

At the library

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Amazing to me
How much joy
Out on a simple walk
And, for free~

Without suffering

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Without the suffering, which seems the requisite for psychological and spiritual maturation, one would remain unconscious, infantile and dependent.  Yet many of our addictions, ideological attachments and neuroses are flights from suffering.  James Hollis

I ask my self

fragment

the Unconscious aspects

in which        I

~between~

remain:

is he

toxic

or stimulating?

Both.

It is the island

around which

he swims.

 

Lunar Beltane, Depth Psychology, Sex and Fertility

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I study depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.

It’s fascinating.

Depth psychology was pioneered by Carl Jung.  It explores the unconscious aspects of the psyche.

Depth perspective considers the deeper levels of your unconscious as the primary factors that rule your life.  Also, much of the time, it is this very area of which we are, in fact, not conscious.

Since 1998 I have kept a morning practice.

I am not always consistent.  It does not always happen in the morning.  It often differs.  But the point is, I have fifteen years of cultivating consciousness of my inner life from day to day.

For anyone who knows me, this practice of meeting what I call the mystery, or Great Love, deep down inside my self is my means of accessing the sacred in an approachable, every day way.

LUNAR BELTANE

Carl Jung said we use the ego, which lives in the consciousness, to illuminate parts of our unconsciousness.  In this way we experience a tension of opposites.

Think about this the way you might a pressure cooker.  The pot itself is the container,  your ego.  The heat cooking it is more numinous, shapeless.  Your unconscious, rising closer to the surface of consciousness.  The transformation of cooked roast inside, that’s your new understanding.

In Jung speak, this is the transcendent function that other psychologists term human potentiality.

In Wild Wisdom speak, this happens in an up and down spiral way conducive to the patterns (of which we are an inherent part) of nature.  Like a never-ending helix, our consciousness and unconsciousness do this in a cohesive dance of flux and retreat.

Beltane, traditionally, celebrates the union of male and female.  In Jung speak, male is animus and female anima.

In soul or wild wisdom speak we are not talking about genders.  We are talking of active, and receptive, energies.

Recall the full moon is a symbol of bringing in to full consciousness a new energy from our own darkness, or unconsciousness.

So this full moon–Lunar Beltane–is the union of some part of our own shapeless dark, or unconsciousness, being contained by our awareness, or consciousness.

Think back on your own journey through winter’s dark this year.  This moon brings your first gifts of manifested transformation out of that struggle!

Meaning Beltane most importantly celebrates CONCEPTION!!  The transcendent function–the new birth–that arises might be happening in your life in a real, present way like a new friend or job or relationship or opportunity….or in a settled new aspect of self-understanding.

These are the Wild (meaning still connected to the larger earth and celestial tides,) or Wise, Woman Ways.  As within so without, and the other way around!!!

The old pagans would dance spirals around the Maypole and handfast with new lovers, celebrating sex and fertility.  Look outside, our earth is such a show off in all her fragrant decorations of pinks and yellows and purples and flowers and buds–it’s in the air!  This is the magic of Beltane.

It’s also happening in each of us, starting deep inside.

I’m heading inland to Monrovia to celebrate over a bonfire with Paul and Jill.  Happy Beltane kids!

Burning off what we no longer need

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I lived on the coast of Oregon in 2005.  Waited tables and tended bar at a roadside steakhouse run by a guy from Jersey.  My buddy Paul, satisfied with his girls being raised rightly, put on a backpack back then and took a bus to the coast from Eugene where he had been living.  He got a job at the steakhouse too and started his life over, just like me.

He called Sunday.  It made me so happy.

Bravery is something Paul lives.  The willingness to consider his life honestly and make choices in support of his truths.  That’s how synchronicity happens–those little magic doors that open when we didn’t even know one was there.

Paul counsels people up at Breitenbush where he works and lives as a full-time resident.

He called to astound over the great, painful passing we all just went through.

Ever since that time in Oregon, I feel like Life uses him to remind me that this moment is exactly as it ought to be.

Have you ever heard the song The View by Modest Mouse I asked him.  It’s been non-stop going through my head lately.  While we were on the phone I looked out the window to see a hummingbird dipping in and out of the big Tupperware that I use to turn my old food into soil.  This pretty little delicate bird, harbinger of joy according to indigenous belief, buzzing all around my compost.  If it takes shit to make bliss, I’m living pretty blissfully.  That’s the chorus for the song.  I laughed to tell him about life lately, and turning shit into bliss.

And that’s so true!  Mercury came out of retrograde, and the Spring Equinox (and SOOO many of us getting sick!!) happened.  That was our passing from the season of dark into light and it seems we all had so, so much to assimilate.

There was a full moon just days after the Equinox. Full moons are the center of a cycle–so all that fuuuunk stirred up by the retro still had momentum even after it passed because of where the moon was.  Paul’s call reminded me: this too passes.  

That passing brought about Spring.  

New Moon

So last week was the New Moon.  Old myths and stories used to say that the moon went to the underworld, or died, when it was new because it disappeared from the sky.   That’s good symbolism to remember.  Because the new moon does mark the end of a cycle.  

This past one  marked the end of a cycle with a retrograde that marked the end of winter, so it contained everything we all just lived through during our own personal seasons of dark.

New moon is also the beginning.   This moon finally ushered in the pure elemental experiences of Spring!

Spring is Fire.  Fire transforms, right?  Whatever it touches–whether cooking something on a slow simmer or burning something to ash.  It changes things.  Spring fire is Cardinal, all about potential!  Cooking up what’s new by burning off what we no longer need.  

With last weeks new moon, that is the cycle we’ve finally begun.

Our lives within follow the rhythms outside.  The natural world is transforming all the old shit into beautiful new growth.  Horay!

 

A Few Words on the Soul

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by Wislawa Szymborska

We have a soul at times.
No one’s got it non-stop,
for keeps.

Day after day,
year after year
may pass without it.

Sometimes
it will settle for awhile
only in childhood’s fears and raptures.
Sometimes only in astonishment
that we are old.

It rarely lends a hand
in uphill tasks,
like moving furniture,
or lifting luggage,
or going miles in shoes that pinch.

It usually steps out
whenever meat needs chopping
or forms have to be filled.

For every thousand conversations
it participates in one,
if even that,
since it prefers silence.

Just when our body goes from ache to pain,
it slips off-duty.

It’s picky:
it doesn’t like seeing us in crowds,
our hustling for a dubious advantage
and creaky machinations make it sick.

Joy and sorrow
aren’t two different feelings for it.
It attends us
only when the two are joined.

We can count on it
when we’re sure of nothing
and curious about everything.

Among the material objects
it favors clocks with pendulums
and mirrors, which keep on working
even when no one is looking.

It won’t say where it comes from
or when it’s taking off again,
though it’s clearly expecting such questions.

We need it
but apparently
it needs us
for some reason too.

Where I’ve Been, or How~

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Hello little love bugs!

Great apologies for the long absence!  Here is what I have been up to.

GRAD SCHOOL

Let me just tell you, I was unprepared for the giant clusterflug that this would become.  I love Pacifica.  I mean that, I love, love, love LOVE Pacifica.  

Joseph Campbell sat on the board and influenced all of the curriculum.

If you’ve never met his work, get his interview with Bill Moyers off of Netflix.

I listened to the cassettes of that series during the nineties and it changed the course of my life.

I am certain that listening to those cassettes on my drives between college and my mom’s back then, coupled with daily reading of the book Simple Abundance, are the reasons the seeds were planted for me to get clean and sober when the time came.

Pacifca houses his archives, and embodies his spirit.

Female contemporaries of his also influence the approach–Marija Gimbutas and Marion Woodman.

The school’s mission?  Animae mundi colandae gratia:  for the sake of tending the soul of the world.  The material is alive for me in ways that only quiet self-study has inspired me in the past.  Now, I have a whole community around it!  My cohort are some of the most incredible people I have ever known.  Why?

Because they are doing the real work–work on themselves–to be genuine, authentic individuals.  To not hide behind defenses, and at the same time not be apologetic about the messiness that living “real” causes.  It is the safest, most empowering environment (among them I mean) of my life.

BUT HOT DAMN IS DOING THAT KIND OF REAL WORK EVERY DAY ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTING!!!!!

We had a paper due for the end of winter term that knocked the wellness right out of me.  I mean that.  I chose to explore a very painful time in my life during which drug and alcohol abuse consumed me.  I was hospitalized for it.  

I wrote my paper from the perspective of a soul journey, instead of the classic medical box of illness-diagnosis.  The grief of re-living that time hit me at the same time as a gnarly cold in my lungs.

I also was trying to write the paper while with a man that I have a long emotional history with, and he and I are consciously working on the emotional defenses we use, and why.

The lungs are where we hold old grief.  Breathing shallow, or not being aware of how we breathe, protects us from our feelings!  Our feelings, and processing them, is the way to move into deeper experiences of our self.

So my lungs were thick and infected and I felt so, so sorry for me!  I really had to stop everything in my life and just take deep, nurturing care of my self.  No figuring anything out!  No work on my heart with my head, which is an old behavior I can slide into that always, always hurts me even more.

I took an incomplete on the paper.  I stopped writing: on here, at my guest site, with my partner and my writing circle.  I stopped surfing and bike riding. Twitter and FB.

I slept, for two straight weeks, and laughed at shows on Hulu, a lot.  Work was the only other place I gave energy.

Then my period came and I could let out the grief.  At school, this past weekend.

That’s the joyous part of working with my rhythms, not forcing the process, and knowing for sure that PMS is a far deeper indicator of where my emotions are stuck in my body.

I will write more and more about this!  But don’t want to overwhelm with information…

Just know I am well again, and happy to return!

Stay tuned this week.   I’ve got info about today’s New Moon…

Wise Women Ways: Biology of Cycles

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Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her book “Women Who Run With the Wolves”, writes about the Medial Woman.

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that the book, in its entirety, is instruction–no, reminder!–to me of how to be a medial woman.

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Women, and this is medically studied stuff here, (see Dr. Christiane Northrup’s “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”,) are biologically wired to have a time of the month that is outward, directed by right hemisphere action.  This is a logic-driven, linear, action-oriented way of being.  After ovulation, if there is not fertilization, our hormones slide us in to left-hemi.  This is dreamy, inner, reflective, emotional.  It’s not a PMS thing, its a hemisphere thing.  It becomes PMS only if that side of the brain, or experience, goes un-honored.

The two revolutionary next steps of practice, and understanding: women continue this rhythm even after menopause  AND studies confirm that men, too, have a rhythmic cycle of hemisphere orientation.

In soul work, we find the ego is crafted within the same field that creates the linear, right-brain way of being.  Ego is SO necessary,  it is the psychological construct that keeps us from drifting in to the boundlessness of the unconscious.  Psyche, on the other hand, is the vehicle that dips in and out of the unconscious.  It is of the whole region of the mind, its surface levels and deepest realms.  Unconscious is known also as the Soul realm, or the Self.

What the Medial Woman does is mediate between both these states.  She speaks for the soul, transmits little nuggets of deeper wisdom or knowing in a way that the ego can structure and make sense of.  She goes back and forth.  Between consciousness and the unconscious, between ego and soul.  She recognizes the value of how and when the Pysche is talking.  She weaves a tapestry with rich, bright threads between the lobes of left and right brain.

Monthly Rhythms

Today is day six in my monthly rhythm.  My period started Sunday.  Today I have the clear, driving energy of linear, logic-oriented thought.  It is a very practical get-stuff done energy, that is biological.  Hormonal.  This bio-rhythm can be clogged up by thought programs, or patterns.  That is because thought patterns become biological, too.

Here is the importance of meeting myself in the morning.  I have been turned UPSIDE DOWN by this retrograde.  But here today, right on time–is my day 6 clarity.  Always!  I practiced being with my inner-self today: I had a period of meditation this morning.  I cultivated a current between the hemisphere I am  biologically working from today, and my right-brain, my soul-oriented place, too.  That means I get to infuse my action, animus (or male) driven way of being today with lots of soul.

medial: 1. Relating to, situated in, or extending toward the middle; median. (the free dictionary)

That is the function of the Medial Woman.  Thanks, Clarissa, so, so, so much for the consistent reminder.