The wind blows here in Pennsylvania with a giant sweep like the angels have a push-broom going shhooshhh shoooshhhh shooooshhh because they’ve come to scrub slates clean. Another growth season passes, our internal clocks right now take pause, especially with this unique alignment of New Moon. Now more than ever your Psyche says gimmee Quiet, take A Moment! Give thanks for what you can see.
Right now you have light-touched eyes.
Take A Moment. Make it Holy. This is your choice, how to be Wise.
We enter now together the season of dark, when what has grown decreases and dies on the vine in order to become food that feeds next years seeds. What do we honor, cherish? What needs to be turned under and let go of? Learning to honor the natural cycles of birth, living and dying are the true lessons of the soul. this is how to understand rebirth, which every human experiences as we grow.
With the season of dark upon us with a New Moon(the restart/rebirth of every month!) too, here is an important question: From down, deep deep inside, from your own unique, regenerative essence within: What do I wish to grow?
In this quiet space, what are your wildest dreams? Or, perhaps more humbly, what subtle inward shifts do you need? This is the time to be still, take the time to see, to be honest with Self, meet those intentions deep within, and align your heart so they may grow.
From gratitude for this years bounty comes tomorrow, and especially next year’s, seeds.
We enter now the time of Sacred Rest. This is what our souls anciently know.
Honor this knowing today, tonight, tomorrow: Be Still: The Balance is Held. From here we see behind us and ahead with equal wisdom and grace…Bless this time and our eyes that can see. If we choose. Fill the space in between with Hope and great Thanks.
As within, so without.
It’s been a million days of this I think, and as I write such words I see the gray slant of my ceiling in the morning, the days leading up to, but especially following, Aunt Mary’s death. Grief, which sits like a bone in the air. Its smooth, cold, calcium-yearning. Always there, blocking the place in your throat where you draw oxygen. I would lay in bed morning after morning, awake but not really. Asleep, but not at all. Just clinging there, some place in-between, my eyes in a sorta dull stare.
Funny, what it means to come back to you again: oh words, oh sacred meaning-making, oh holy process–humbled understanding. It means I come back to me. I was reading an interview with Tony Morrison last night and was struck by an image of her, a working mother, up at dawn to find time to write before her kids, open-eyed, began to sigh and taunt out Mooom! What excuse have you, I thought. It’s simple, and clear as that. I felt a satisfaction that has been a long time missing. A triumph from the well of me, gold struck and electric, so body-strong I nodded my head. Yes, what excuse indeed.
I’ve been up between five and six for a solid two months of mornings. Restless. Tested by the ceiling’s gray slant, its oceanic pressing, its whale-back depths and want for air. I have told myself this is just June gloom. Diddled away on Facebook, even began running on the beach to break that terrible habit of mind-numbing waste. The skylight with the peek-show of flat clouds. The words, which would begin in strings of lit sentences that would trail off the moment I tried to set them down.
This life, said Poet-priestess diPrima, for which
…you can’t sign up as a conscientious objector
the war of the worlds hangs here, right now, in the balance/…a war for this world, to keep it/a vale of soul making
the taste in all our mouths is the taste of our power/…bitter as death
…the war…the war for the human imagination…
…to keep it/A vale of soul-making…
Yes indeed, for this is what I chose…AND MUST CHOOSE, again, again…lastly, devastatingly…AGAIN: That this soul-making, this commitment is what it would be, what it is. My very life a testament…Holy Poetry, maker of, liver of Psyche. Twelve short years ago, on a bouncy bed in a purple house, three months out of college, in the candle-lit magic I acknowledged destiny. I made a Decision. To this would I be subsumed…to this all else would fall into submission. Lead it where it would take me, take me where I’d follow–and so on and so on in the creatrix magic of such dance.
A vale of soul-making…
Thursday on the eve of New Moon I lit the charcoal, burnt the resins, a form of devotion I haven’t practiced in years. Kat brought them to me, a cherished gift. I prayed on my knees, open-hearted, kept a whole day of quiet yesterday to honor within. I tended my soul, peeked its mirror, stayed there with me to see myself when my reflection came back. This morning I woke in dreams and was awake long before I realized I’d been laying there, tending gray.
Oh reflection, here it is.
Here it is.
I am ready again–it’s been two straight months on the Bardo—to begin.
The story of Psyche tells of a mortal woman taken to a mysterious castle to be married to a fierce dragon. Her husband comes to her in the middle of the night, and she falls in love with him. Told that she must never look upon his face, she disobeys this injunction and finds that her husband is really Eros, the god of love; when he awakes, he flies away, leaving her forever.
Psyche roams far and wide trying to find Eros. She goes to his mother, Aphrodite, who gives her four tasks to complete, each seemingly impossible. The final task requires her to descend into Hades and retrieve a box of beauty.
Through the process of meeting the challenges of her tasks and integrating her experiences Psyche grows from an innocent young girl into a mature goddess. Psyche is a rich reminder of our imperative to grow; she reminds us that the process of life takes us into dark places as well as light, just as the butterfly emerges from the dark chrysalis into the light.
Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust
Something about September–
There’s something about September, that’s what’s in my head, in my body, what my experience is saying to me.
But wait Kel, it’s not September, it’s October, the second week in fact, so really that waft of sensual that grabs me from behind and muscles the back of my legs, that sturdiness of roots and wave of melancholy at once, that sharp plug in the air, it’s more apt to say–
There’s something about the fall.
I associate it with a tribe of mad-artist minds I know from college. I used to tell them we had K-necctions, the K stood for Karma. Not the Buddhist kind. Rather the Psyche-is-alive kind, an idea that comes to life when we dive deep into our own inner world to create. What we don’t work out we act out, and who knows this better than the artist in mid-creation? Psyche is psychic then, how what we don’t bring forth in creation we bring forth in our daily going ons. This is Carl Jung’s synchronicity, where Joe Campbell got “Follow your bliss.”
As a depth psychologist in training, one of the central philosophical tenants with which I continually experiment is, in the words of Joseph Coppin and Elizabeth Nelson, “the psyche is real.” Meaning I take as an approach to life the “reality of the unconscious and the whole psyche, which includes consciousness and the unconscious.”
It is the ancient wisdom then of gnothi seaton, Know Thyself, and continual experimentation with how I relate.
Mad artist minds–do they see themselves as this complex I wonder? Specifically as these days I believe them to be even madder still, of that divine-touched-by-madness-spark. Mad-eyed, with Image on the Mind. How psyche speaks in symbol, in image through sound or picture or sense or feeling. Artists friends that became musicians for the most part, but extend to people like K Russ on the soccer field with her girls in the daylight, at night her fingers full with paint. Or Chico, who still posts drawings on FB “just to draw.” Or Kate, with her anarchist leanings and class full of fifth grade. Or Erika, who enlivens psyche to extremes as raw and ruthless as actual visitations.
The mad ones get it’s a life thing, a way of life thing, the delving inward to express outward, the whole cyclical process of creating and how we create ourselves in the process, and struggle through. It’s a way of life, not an outcome. That’s something I associate with college because that’s where I first met others like me, in a myopic little east coast rural river-run place called Chestertown. And since that’s where I learned it was real, it’s somehow what I always find myself re-experiencing in the fall. You know, when the body remembers going back to school.
Thinking of fall there, east coast yellow–that dark-shadowed late afternoon picnic gold–smell of chimney smoke in the air, geese honks and marsh salt or sulfur smell high in the nose so it sits in your throat–it’s made me somehow more compassionate of chicken-headed California. Because I am more compassionate of my self. Of the artist in me. Psyche speaks and I answer now, I fall to my knees in awe and gratitude and trepidation and why me and why not? It seizes me, I give my all to it, I’ve always traded all for that call to finally understand that all is that call, psyche is everything. Being me, with a level of self-compassion and love and tolerance for my neurotic artist up/downs and passions and needs and funny flighty extremes, well it helps me just let all the others around me be them. Shallow or inconsiderate or whatever falsities I label them. Mad-eyed or not. California perfect blue sky and endless sun.
And that’s just the thing–psyche is real, so, aren’t we all an artist of our own life? In conversation with it, or else trying to busily ignore this Holy and Odd Sacred Within?
Who knows. Maybe most are asleep to their own life because no one ever told them: Psyche is alive, it’s true…
My tribe’s been with me like crazy these past two weeks, so much I feel them like bodies sleeping and sighing in my very own room. Up down motion of in and out chests.
Thank goodness for fall.
There was a full orchestra in my head when I woke up. String sections of notes that part of me was still dreaming on, a dancy grin in my chest and my eyes still closed and me off out of my body somewhere, traipsing on song chords just out of reach and above my pillow. I snuggled in with my covers around me like a cape and it took a full five minutes to realize I was actually awake. It was one of those rare mornings that feel like the world is commencing, upon just opening your eyes, commencing and already leading you forth in precision with your secretive inside parts.
I came into my life that morning with the decision to write, to journal as I try to do at least two or three times a week. This is rare because it was a jump up and head downstairs Football Sunday. I had slept until almost 10! This is because my creative cycles have returned in full blast and there were two nights last week that I was up until 2 am writing. I am living, these days, wrought full with a delicious creative tension that can border madness but feels so damn alive.
I journaled. And through out the twists and turns on those pages, my emotions jumped and bundled and I did what I could to bear witness to my process. The music that woke me was still strumming in that place the body holds somewhere between muscle and bone, a hearty, full-blooded experience of waking and living. I never wake with songs in my head. I never wake with songs in my head and this one was so potent that I finally succumbed, and, humming out loud realized it was Wilco that had drummed my psyche so positively pressing and awake.
Jesus, etc. I found it on Youtube and played it and read the lyrics on a separate tab. And cried, a melancholic, crying for no other reason than the fact that my deep soul woke me with a clarity so special it gave me a theme song for the day.
Our love is all we have.
It fit the messages in my own journal in ways that I could never purposefully try and manifest. Leave it to life, the great mystery, to give that kind of wink…
The moon is most truly herself tomorrow night, meaning she does not reflect the light of the sun but sits still in her own myth, darkness. The new moon wanes to completion of dark around 8:30 pm Friday night. This marks the beginning of the final moon cycle of the harvest season. A cycle runs from new to full to new again, death/birth (at once) to growth then wholeness, then diminishing to death/birth once again. Sleeplessness is common right now, as the psyche–through song, instinct, dream, elation, worry, insight or fear, among many other tools, will communicate to you what lay at the edge of the passing of another year of growth…what in your own depths yearns to grow.
Our next new moon, in November, will be the New Year, known as Lunar Samhain.
Note the new year commences with darkness, the season of winter, rest and reflection. Death and birth, as one.