image, Mama Bones
by Tom Kuebler, at the IX International Celebration of Imaginitve Realism in Reading, PA
Random things I’m thinking on the start of Lunar Samhain (starts today is one way to see it because the moon becomes last quarter today): The academic field of dom culture professionals–I acknowledge I am part—talks about the swamplands as a collective place of painful, shamed feelings we like to, as humans, repress.
Thinking about the Baltimore basements and Clubs we used to party in. Early 90’s. Thinking about the low end of Maryland, Pocomoke, dark waters, cypress creeks and loblolly swamps. Thinking about how we don’t, we will never, own the Land.
We are benefactors, for but a slice of a millisecond. Make zero qualms about it, she will shake us off, come too much harm.
Thinking about the child that died. As the arguments begin over suicide or lynching. Thinking about the mass cultural trauma that exists indicative of our daily discourse. A GOD DAMN argument over suicide or lynching? Both epidemic of toxic proportions. Lynching a three hundred year old tradition that lives un-rectified in our blood. In our bones. In the LAND.
A child died: A mother’s son. Our desensitization to cultural violence is preposterous. It is the un-rectified wound of the masculine house.
Our desensitization to not acknowledging all individual’s rights to safety (I am speaking inherent civil or human, of the people for the people rights, as well as disavowing them the right to be heard and validated in their experiences, as well as one’s physical body not being guaranteed the right to safety because of opinions about their race, gender, heritage, sexuality, disability etc) is grotesque.
Cards come due. Everything in my moon tending tells me Judgment is here. I’d take heed y’all. The wheels of Fate spin deliberately onward and we each co-weave as we choose.
Learn your family of origin and the stories that make you. Go far back as you can in your ancestors and their stories.
Respect all stories. Do not tolerate unaccountable hate. This is a finely shifting line.
Remember, there is a relationship between grief and rage.
Choose mentors and elders, and know their stories, too. Be accountable to this work.
Help people voice their stories.
Love truly is all there is.
Begin with yourself. Begin every day, repeat several times a day, and follow this with behaviors of kindness and small regular routines of water, food, sleep, fresh air and other natural elements, humor, art, music, relations, and information. Be mindful of the information you consume and undertake to enjoy the work you do. Be gentle with yourself when you forget all of this. Sleep and don’t get out of bed if you can’t. Limit this to every so often. Cry when you need to, for as long as you can, but watch self-pity and blame because they will steal a day’s worth of energy a day at at time no matter what. Make still time to be quiet, or quiet time to be still, whichever you need. Make good use of forgiveness, open-mindedness, and willingness to understand. Also this won’t make sense to some but it’s helpful to be able to track time bc then you can track your intentions.
Cultivate the Sacred in whatever way is most meaningful and real to you. In this you are cultivating yourself. All is hallowed.
Swamplands can turn to like, oil, if you wanna hang metaphorically with me a minute. Like the kinda inner juice that optimizes your machine. Tap deep in to the deepest parts of you that you resist. Do the work to transform. Put your head down and do the work. Find the people who support you in this. Help them with their work, too.
This weekend is maybe the most vital dark moon period of the year to do this work. Lunar Samhain activates a week from today. Today begins all-is-sacred-week.
Keep your love light on~
Remember, the work is L O V E.
Remember, stories live in the land.
Remember, our stories are all we have~
What a year, no? Our first moon cycle in 2017 inaugurated a man as the leader of our metaphoric house who bragged about the exploitation and objectification of the female body. Our values supported this.
The normalization of exploitation in this house is unacceptable.
The female body. The female body. The female body.
How is your house? How are you tending your one true sacred space?
At home–here on earth, our first and most taken for granted body–what’s it been like for you? What level of your own shame stories, meaning your internal narratives about your worth, about being or not being good enough, about your rights, have you become more aware of this year?
How mindful of the stress you are carrying, its physicality, are you? The stories that your body is carrying about you and your experience?
How well have you been at declaring your own right to your own path of unique heart, spirit, soul?
From an earth-based perspective, the growing season of the year relies as much on what has decomposed being turned under, transforming to nutrients, as it does on the potentiality of wild starry fruits blossoming from a single seed. It is an endless continuum of stages and cycles, from dying and dark to birthing, blooming, fruiting, and harvesting, too.
When the moon is dark she is between the earth and the sun, and her other half sends the light of the sun back at itself. We here on earth fall still in her darkness, a holding, receptive gravity.
The moon holds all, receptive and active.
When she is active or full she is at the height of light, actually reflecting the light of the sun back on us here on earth.
Between these two polarities are the fluidity of transitions of dark and light. Metaphoric, yes. And also cyclic and specific. Both applications, and all their subtleties, are necessary. Again, the feminine holds all.
From a menstrual perspective, we track our personal moons. Chances are our personal moon doesn’t follow the actual moon. So we use the moon’s phases as a metaphor to understand both the biology and psychology of the feminine psyche.
The new moon as metaphor is day one, or when we first bleed. When we first bleed, we are dying and birthing at once, as now we re-engage the solar or ovulatory, fertile aspect of our selves. As the days of our cycle accumulate, we track where we are. We learn to re-embody the fluidity of the inter-lobal functioning of the female body, for again, the feminine holds all. For example, at stage four, the Gibbous moon, which can be anywhere from about day 7 through day 17 depending on your unique, beautiful and powerful body, we undergo an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). There is a rise in estrogen level and left hemisphere brain activity and simultaneous testosterone and right hemisphere activity and increase in libido. Read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom to learn more!
Our discharge is known at this time as E-type mucus, which is when small tubules are present in our discharge that hold sperm! This is us in our fertile, almost full cycle. At stage 5, our metaphoric full moon, G-type mucus immediately follows the release of our ovum, and this sort of mucus actually keeps us from getting pregnant. Like the moon at her peak active phase when she’s full, our bodies too lean from our full momentum back into ourselves. And so at peak fertility we start again towards the reflective, recycling, dark and dying phases.
The growing season on earth follows these 8 stages, too!
Lammas, again using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, can be understood as stage 6, the Disseminating Moon. Like for the year! Disseminating moon, according to Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon is the “first stirring of dark,” when the seed has become what it was meant and the “life impulse must fulfill, distribute energy and disseminate and share the value of the meaning.” From a menstrual perspective, it is “the luteal phase” when “we turn more inward, preparing to develop or give birth from something deep within ourselves.” (Northrup, 2010)
Disseminating moon is the fruiting phase, or harvest. Whether an ovum has been fertilized, or it was the fertility of a new idea that peaked, maybe a transformed inner narrative, or however it was that you lived out this growing cycle psychologically, biologically, spiritually and creatively, the disseminating moon phase from a menstrual perspective is the fruiting time, our first harvest. After peak fertility phase.
And so it is we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest of the earth’s natural growing year. People who tend these concepts, embodying them and staying close to nature, outside with feet grounded upon her and skin and blood and biology and body in one rhythmic inhalation exhalation of all that is, recognize this as connected to a variety of different anthropological rites. Traditions the world over acknowledge with celebration the bounty of fruit on the vine at summer’s height.
From a lunar perspective, which for me is the feminine-embodied perspective, we celebrate Lunar Lammas when the moon is in the sun sign of Leo and full.
So, ya with me? We learn to track the phases of the moon, and then to metaphorically apply these phases. They can inform the dark and light aspects of our biology, and of the seasons of the year. We too learn to hold all, to think quantum or multi-dimensionally, to hold our still point within, and All At Once at once!
Lunar Lammas is the full moon on Monday, August 7, this year. Already the sun-made shadows of heaping breathy green tree walls here are muddled, that certain angle of soupy dark I so love.
Mind what this moon cycle brings. It is your harvest. What will you reap? Mind what stories live, what experiences happen. Mind your light and your dark. Mind your experiences this month from a reflective viewpoint that holds the continuum of the year, all those spirals of moon around the far side of the earth and back to between the earth and sun, again and again.
What is illuminated under the active light of her reflecting back the height of the summer sun? For that is what happens on Lunar Lammas.
Unplug from your computer or other e-devices. Leave your phone in the car and get outside. Restore your natural circadian rhythm from all that electronic interference.
Give yourself back to yourself. Back to your body. Back to the earth. The natural perfect spheres of rhythm. Happy first harvest season friends~!!
To understand more, make some time and visit my Facebook page. We will spend this month learning more about the moon’s 8 phases.
Today’s New Moon, around 5:30pm in California, marks the end/start of a new cycle. In addition, this evening the sun reaches its furthest point from the earth’s Northern hemisphere, granting the shortest amount of daylight, the longest amount of darkness, and our entry in to winter. We know this as the Winter Solstice.
On the mystery path, we recognize Nature and inner nature as intrinsically connected. Inner nature I refer to here as soul. Outside, excess harvest has gone to rot, the rot turned under will cook and turn to nutrients and rich soil. Life energy wanes, appears still, happens mostly underground.
When the moon is dark, as in the past two days, deep tending of personal darkness happens naturally, rhythmically…Of course as we are human we resist this though! Which lends even more to that holiday feeling of restlessness and exhaust. Seek surrender, embodiment of emotions, of our up down waxes and wanes, soften unto you. With the apex of Night this evening, understand that we have walked hand in hand with our shadows, burrowed deep in the mire of our individual and collective unconscious, all week.
Last night was, literally, the Dark Night of the Soul.
Harried bones and souls seek solace right now, a soul-tired significant of the Sun’s long journey to the furthest axis of sky. Depending on your personal circadian cycle, maybe you do best in the dark! For some this becomes the most creative time of year. For others life energy wanes and increased rest is important. No matter what, the decrease of light has its effects.
Traditionally the Solstice was a time for the women to gather and ceremoniously mark the losses they experienced for the year. As the soul wanes, this is a traditional and normal aspect of the dark phase–acknowledgment of the areas where your inner self or soul is colored by its capacity to grow and integrate more wholly specifically because it has experienced pain. With loss comes the embodied experience of forgiveness, strength, compassion, hope. Ritual bathing, quiet honoring of the journey of this year and your own personal darkness, honoring of the power of death and dark as part of the sacred journey are all intrinsic to the Solstice. On the wisdom path we practice this dropping in and tending with every monthly aspect of the dark moon.
Take heart! Life is a continuum, a long spiral. The Winter Solstice, just as the moon in her new phase, marks the return of the light! Tonight we honor Hope, the return of life. In her darkest phase (the past two days) when life energy and light disappear, it is out of this momentum that the new spark of consciousness stirs. This most precious spark must be nurtured, held warm in hibernation now through the toil of the season of dark. Doing so is how the momentum for life will grow strong. Rest, tend quiet in an active way. The beingness of doing nothing, of activeness of waiting, yearning, and tending. The active embodiment of Hope.
My own embodiment of this path brought me in relation to a personal and ancestral archetype this year. Tending her has been difficult, painful, and deeply wholesome. She has helped me nurture Eros by bringing me to face my most fundamental wounds. This has helped me, most importantly, to understand that I judge and resist my own injured parts, and it is the judging and resistance that makes me most human. As always, wisdom begins here, with deep love, and gentle, unconditional acceptance for these hard, rigid judgy parts inside my own mind and heart. Unconditional love and acceptance for my own broken humanness. Right relations begin within.
To be in a harmonious way with these most shadowed, or disembodied parts of me that I seek to hate or judge, I made the top shelf of my alter an homage to my Ancestresses this week. These women, my grandmother on the side of my most familial wound specifically, became the living spirit of the dark goddess. Grammy is gone from this life, and in death I can recognize in an embodied way the wisdom of loss and how we grow and learn in perspective to this. This sort of dark tending makes the women’s work come alive for me in an incredibly sacred and day to day way.
Tending the sacred with personal sacraments like these extend into my daily life and all my relationships. This is what I mean by embodying and right relations.
Sleep now the dream of winter, hibernate as souls stir underground, in the void, and grow strong in their own essence by being held amid the winter still. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Love, accept, gentleness.
Rest well, honoring the rhythms of birth and growth and life and death and rest, until rebirth. Happy Solstice! Happy Sacred Return.
Valkyrie, at my alter. Norse Death Goddess; image by Susan Seddon Boulet
Dualistic, or Self Verses Other, Thinking
We got here to this beautiful earth handed down human from human, parent to parent, earth to foot to heart to head, and back again.
We suffer a single wound through which all else arises and which, for centuries, has been largely misunderstood and thus continually misrepresented. This wound is the wound to self or soul. Recognizing it as the blessing through which we are meant to evolve into our real, authentic self is a new way of seeing I encourage!
The psyche projects today its earliest understanding of dualistic thinking. Mom and dad, good and bad, right and wrong becomes internalized as the right worldview. Good behavior is behavior that gets positive feedback so all else is bad behavior. This becomes an unconscious way we relate to the world!
The number one symptom of an individual acting this out is do do do, keep going stay busy and there’s not enough time. To slow down, to live moment to moment, to embody soul feels wrong. Why is that? Because to slow down means sitting still with the internalized belief system that we are actually bad or wrong. Which is human nature. Christian mythology named it original sin.
“Fundamentalisms,” said depth and ecopsychologist Craig Chalquist, “flourish as eradigms end because people caught in and psychologically fused with familiar modes of thought and habit fight to avoid changing them.” He is speaking of the industrial-era, mechanistic belief system that esteems dualism. Dualism underlies what depth, eco-critical feminists like Christine Downing or Susan Rowland called antithetical thinking or binary thinking. This is the idea of self being separate from all other reality, rather than a point of reference amidst an autonomous sphere of which all of life is a part. It sets up all base conflicts in existence, for example: if this is right for me than when you do it differently it must be wrong. Which is the basic drama of childhood: reward for right behavior. Creating an unconscious association of what is wrong…
As societies we create entire social systems out of this misconception. It’s what happens when we cannot see life as a continuum of constant flow and creation, and our role as conscious creator inside of that.
Again, this sort of thinking arises out of our earliest internalizations of opposites, and concretizes around age 2 or 3 when we understand that I and my caregiver are separate, too. Now man against man, man against woman, black against white, rich against poor, man against self thinking sets up. Internalization of getting positive attention from the Other as confirmation for Self as Right sets up a lifelong tension, meant to be the doorway to the authentic self. Jung called this creation of the persona. Taking on the tension of the opposites, doing the work of self verses other, is how to individuate. He said that individuation is our true life’s work. To become who we really are.
Embodying the female menstrual cycle means seeking inward to the autonomous place from which Self arises for confirmation of our Life. The menstrual cycle teaches life embodiment in the series of different energies that rise and fall throughout the month. These phases of female biology move back and forth from being the subject, or in control during ovulation; to being receptive or the object, at the mercy of a larger biology (the right brain) during the second half or post-ovulation. The cycle embodies the deep knowing that we are life-givers, and too experience death or loss as part of the perpetual circle of life. This is supported chemically by the hormones that are released. It is proven that the hemisphere’s of the brain stimulate differently according to where a woman is–hence the energy moves between the lobes of thought driven or creatively intuitive. Women’s biology is equipped to learn inter-lobal being, or heal the damage of the split in the self.
The wound of soul is the wound of being split off from the autonomous, uncalculated depths of wholeness and endless continuum of life.
At ovulation, for women who suffer this soul-split within, it is likely that the old, internalized beliefs about what is right or wrong, what writer Julia Cameron called the Critic, will start to play through her head. This is because the psyche, at ovulation, prepares the body to create new life. So too new ideas are stimulated, new energies that draw us outward in a motivated, excited way…just as the cycle of growth in Nature or the phases of the moon teach. All is connected. But if the psyche, as most if not all do, has that split of internalized good and bad that is not being gently, daily tended and worked out, than ovulation can be a time of unnamed sadness or frustration. It is literally the wound of soul trying to create itself anew but being stopped by the old beliefs that our true inner life and instincts that arise from within are wrong.
I know I am living in an embodied way when what Jung called active imagination, or fresh thoughts, ideas, literal images in my head or energetic new thoughts or words or poems are pulsing during ovulation. I know I am honoring my truth, living my rich life in a present way from day to day. I identify with this knowing as a feeling of being rooted deeply in the relational: when I show up first to myself and it is a buoyant joy to do so. From this joy space I can then use me as witness to see what is going on in psyche. In this way I recognize that from within I am both subject and object. I see myself, and can see that I am doing the seeing. In doing so I have a choice as to how I relate to me, to the “otherness” that I label or experience as good or bad, from within. The choice is showing up with love and gentleness, compassion. Whatever the tapes that play, the feelings or beliefs or thoughts that flow from me and that I judge or repress by not looking at them, judge or repress according to old associations of good or bad. I show up to me and witness this inside, with love and acceptance. This keeps me present throughout the day. This softens the split. This heals. It’s quite simple. I am healing the wound of self/other thinking by choosing to honor and fuse both within. The heart is where this fusion lay.
Active Imagination at ovulation is a powerful archetypal tool. Work with this can open our life to deep psychic mysteries. In my experiences, the symbology at this time, and coming into relationship with it, can introduce us to generational and lineage themes that underlie our entire family pattern. This is a rich and in-depth way to approach our life, our play, our being, our work. Our true self.
Such amazing life this is. So many, many tools and riches. Begin, within!
And it is here: heart of summer, hearth of soul.
I am ovulating, or pre-ovulation, which as a woman I know means I am at the height of my vitality. I am sparkling, vivacious, full of energy and ideas and intuitive, big-eyed ideas that seem to naturally connect like a live line of fire sizzling through me. My body, my very being is readying to give life, and as I enter ovulation my whole being reflects this aspect of me. What is ripe in me, of me, prepares itself…these energies are real and whole with or without making an actual child. My being offers forward to the world the most fertile forms of me still yet to be.
Because I work consciously with these energies in me, in a way that has been explorative and mindful of the women’s work for many years now–I understand that there is no separating out the parts of me that are blind, repressed, or numb to this knowledge. That in fact, right along side the ovulation-power within me comes too the social, familial, and ancestral programs of my Psyche, the stories that tell me this true, authentic power and feminine strength is poison, bad, wrong. Such an important part of the women’s work is being mindful of these stories or tapes in my head, how and where they play in my body, and how I shut down or close my eyes to them. Meeting these shadows with love, gentleness, and true compassion for my self is such a deep and important part of my work.
This week also brings us to what I will call Full Growth moon. This is my name for the cycle that comes after Summer Solstice. Honoring the cyclical way in which our bodies, as women, follow the tide and chart of the larger ecological systems from which we come, and to which we will return grounds us in wisdom: rather than dominion over Nature, spiritual, psychological, and even scientific traditions teach that we as humans actually share an exact reflection of life’s larger, ecologically natural nature. When we enlarge our way of being and seeing to encompass this wider understanding, symbolism can inform us and help make real the wisdom work of our soul’s path.
So it is that we consider–the first moon cycle of summer makes its way towards full this weekend. Full Growth moon cycle–if we have been mindful of our cycles we know well what we are growing, and have worked to be in flux with the natural forward flowing, regressing ebbing of the tides of life. The moon is a symbol of our soul, for which our psyche is the vehicle of communication. Psyche speaks in voices, the many voices of which our Ego is only one. It also speaks in images–those mind pictures you see vividly, suddenly, OR an artistic image that stops your tracks out in the world. This might be in the form of a commercial which speaks to you, a line from a song that wont leave you. Maybe a tree or bird that grabs your attention on the way home from work.
This week, as the Full Growth moon shines brighter and brighter, all around we actually see this pure and potent physical growth in the natural world. The images are strong! What images come forth from you, your soul right now under this clear light? What images in the world around you are really alive and personal for you? If, like me, your are entering your pre and ovulation phase, it is such an exciting time to be open-eyed, mindful of the inter-connecting web, the mystery of how the inside life and outside life reflect each other. What a holy and sacred relationship, this creative dance! The women’s work reminds us that we get the choice to be mindful in how we show up to it.
This is the week of the year that your own growth–or in other words, what it is that is meaningful and real to you and wants to be, or maybe has just been manifested !!–and is prevalent and on display. Witness it! Take time to be reflective and remember you have a choice to do so. What life are you growing? How are you nurturing the fertility cycles of your own soul? If you are ovulating this week, the work you put in will really show itself in the world under the full moon of August–first Harvest Moon. By then, as the tide begins to change and the light of growth begins to wane, we will turn the discussion more towards how to nurture your bounty, harvest seeds from it, and plant them deep in the psyche in the unconscious darkness, to prepare for rest and nurturing in the year of growth to come….
Happy Full Growth this week, with love.
Moon tonight over Laguna Canyon
One of the roots for the term harvest moon comes from old european peasant ways. The season of agriculture and of grazing animals–who lived and feasted in the pastures–followed the growing cycles of the earth. Now is the time the final harvest is cut and hung, the last of the animals brought down.
Women’s mysteries have at the core these earth tides as well. It is said that the pineal gland, coined by Descartes as the seat of our soul or our third eye, is stimulated by moonlight. This gland regulates the endocrine system, which secretes melatonin (the happy chemical) and which dictates our hormonal and other rythmic cycles like sleep patterns. Dr. Christiane Northrup sites several scientific studies that draw links between the moons influence on these rhythms.
Depth psychology teaches that yin or anima energy, what some call the inner feminine, can be symbolized by the moon in our unconscious. Yang, or animus, is the sun. We learn from this resource of inner wisdom, the unconscious, by studying such symbols. The moon teaches us about nature as it passes through times of birth and death, light and dark. This is the inner anima function, what neuroscience tells us lives in the right hemisphere of the brain. It is a cyclical, process-oriented part of ourselves, like a web or a spiral instead of a checkerboard or bar graph. This right hemisphere dictates creativity, intuition, and other non-rational instincts, and when well-developed aids interhemishpere nueronal pathways. Basically, strengthening the creative, “inner” side of you contributes to a stronger, more-resourced logical function or left hemisphere, too! Picture a figure eight when you think of how you want your brain’s communication with itself to go.
The moon is also a sign of the Goddess or the divine feminine, and here we speak again of the women’s mysteries that value how life wisdom comes in cycles, the growing and dying of different versions of our selves again and again through out our life. The Goddess or divine feminine, the Holy Mother Mary for example, exemplifies the anima. We each need this function for full human development, to feel embodied and think in well-rounded, matured ways.
The Full Harvest Moon is especially active this week, and especially powerful in harnessing the depth of the dark anima, our inner soul or life power unmanifested in our unconscious. It draws this anima in to light, whatever shadow part or part of yourself you truly don’t want to look at (we all have these parts, it is a normal experience for all humans to hide pieces of themselves deep inside that they don’t want anyone to see). This is a truly transformative time, a time that can feel like your blood is cooking or bubbling up and it’s sort of true. The moon who regulates all fluids, like how she makes the ocean tides rise and fall, is cooking up your body rhythms too, right now. She’s cooking up your soul. Psyche is very active right now, that just means that in all of life there is a quickening. People are intrinsically connected to nature and the natural world, and the passing of this moon prepares us all now on our biological level for hibernation. There is a rush of life we can feel, like squirrels scattering for nuts, running just under our surface.
What part of you is aching to change? Let that big ol glory moon shine like a flash light in to the depths of who you are. Call those shadow parts that scare your psyche back to yourself while you can still see them as separate, prepare to transform them into assets as we near the darkest time of the year and winter. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of, hiding from, who your upset with, why? Ask yourself what’s going on. Take the time. Listen. Listen for the true response. The upcoming winter is a deep period meant for rejuvination and growth in our most unconscious but intimate levels, where the anima lives.
Our next new moon in the beginning of November is considered the lunar new year or Lunar Samhain in Celtic tradition, a time I hold as dear and holy. This tradition teaches that now is the time we honor the ancestors, and for me I have begun this with an ancestor candle on my alter tonight, in honor of the last peak of the growing or harvest season tomorrow night. I light it in reverence of the wisdom of life, which is what ancestors to me symbolize, the cyclical wisdom of all things moving on. I will keep these fires going, several candles with several meanings personal to just me, as signs of transformation in my own inner dark. Fire is light, the light of my own consciousness in my own dark. I will likely light them every night until the Lunar Samhain moon when those intentions, like seeds, are let go, cast into our deepest dark, in our psyche, where they will sleep and later take root, and grow.
This is the wisdom of the feminine. How all of life, from the deepest, darkest, most inner still-point and chaos, to the edge of the sun and the tops of the stars which will become someday grains of sand, it is all connected. What we do to one we do to the whole. We hold this awareness in gentle reverence and joy, and give homage all our moments by honoring life in all its forms, best we can.
We begin within.
I cried when Jon sang the words to the Traveling Song.
Just his voice, the snap-sounds of fire, the circle of ocean below us in a constant shhhhhushhhh.
One of those times noise actually makes you feel quiet. That’s how big it was, the silence in the night.
While you are away from your people
We do pray That balance you will find
In your heart and in your mind.
Cried isn’t right. Wept is more apt. I wept, the way tears are the only response when something is so right that there are no words. Or, perhaps, when something is so right because there are no words.
There are no words for where I have been. It has been a quiet, rounded, lonely place.
Summer Solstice was intense. My ritual intent was for Faith and Strength in my follow through as I sought to offer my gifts clearly to the world. Whale came, the second time she came this year and her presence was large, calm, singing, but in a way that I couldn’t hear her tune, only feel the resonance in my heart. Her message was clear: when you seek to dive deep and surface, I will protect. This happened during ritual in Maryland, when I was visiting Ocean Pines for my family reunion.
Within days of that I had the impulse to move home, and was offered a job at a homeless shelter doing circle or group work and women’s empowerment. Because of requirements for grad school and potential licensure for becoming a therapist, I have to put trainee hours in. This seemed in natural alignment.
Summer Solstice marks a change to Cancer, a cardinal water sign. Water is our emotions, the entry way to the depth of the soul. Cardinal means initiating, or starting. On an emotional level we are taking action when the end of June rolls around. It is also the time of the year that whatever we have been working on–inside us, or outward–comes to greatest fruit. My intent for the harvest year, which shows itself at the Solstice, had been to do the women’s work I am called to do–the very work that I believe brought me to California in the first place.
It is to the call of soul deep within that I have always listened, and always respond.
And so I quit my job in California, found buyers for my car and furniture, and a renter ready to take over my place. I left my writing group, said very painful goodbyes to the ones here in Socal that I’ve come to love, and arranged to fly back and forth to California for my second year of grad school. I would move home and concentrate on building a life in Maryland. With strong roots.
But it turned out there was a glitch in the state requirements for Maryland. It was a glitch that I had the potential to work around if I chose, it would take a lot of follow through, that is for sure. I found this out while away for seven days at school.
That glitch immobilized me. It brought to light my old issues around systemic wrongs in todays non-profit world, in business and institutions in general, the kind of issues that burnt me out when I worked in social services for a decade in my twenties. I suddenly wasn’t able to make a decision. Worse, I wasn’t able to stay strong. My energy left me. It was the oddest experience for a person like me. It was a false-start.
Women on the Wisdom Path must learn about these initiations, what happens when a false-start comes, and the power of Ritual and Intent. This is classic today: we have lost touch with the ways of the soul and so false-initiations often occur, and confuse and drain us. They can also cause an obstacle that might look like a dead-end.
My dead-end was a time of traction–which means when we are held still. Traction causes a necessary tension. Because in the work of the dying and rebirthing of our deep self, of our soul, it takes tension to bring the shit up to the surface. And make no doubts about it–that is what the soul requires, to toil, to acknowledge, to sit in the shit. That’s who whale is, one who comes from way down deep, to show how to rise. Soul work is not about overcoming challenges. Soul work isn’t transcendent. The embodied feminine nature isn’t about overcoming with force. It is about sitting still in it, letting the dark, the shit, the funk rise. It is about reclaiming the parts where we have lost what is vital. It is the lead we have to carry forth to work eventually in to gold.
I am in therapy. Gratefully my school requires it of those studying to become therapists themselves. Equally, I keep sacred time each day, and have amazing, empowered sisters to help me do the kind of depth ritual work I want so badly to bring back to the world. That was my intent: Strength and Faith in follow through. I couldn’t follow through. The seeming dead-end helped me see the roots down in the shit.
To build strong roots, sometimes the old ones–crippled, weak, embittered–must be dug out. I didn’t want to look at that but because of my Intent, was forced.
Wild women wisdom, the path of embodied soul and integration in the web of life–is just that: Wisdom. And with Wisdom comes responsibility. This is and always has been my first commitment: the soul path.
Tonight’s New Moon peaks in the morning near 4:30 on the Pacific coast. It ushers in a brand new cycle. The Fall Equinox comes during this moon cycle. It will bring initiating Air energy. This means there is a sense of taking action in the realm of our thoughts. This is the Wild Wisdom Path: Fall is West on the Medicine Wheel, when we consider what has past, when we use our thoughts for reflection. Fall (different from Libra) is the element of Water, which again is soul, depth. Libra’s Initiating Thought energy brings new inspiration in how we relate when we take the time to reflect on the depth of our life.
This, for you wise women and men out there, is the energy you feel beginning to settle from deep within.
As for me, I am not going to Maryland. I am staying put. To build strong roots, sometimes the old ones must be dug out…
That balance I will find, in my heart and in my mind.
Last Thursday I felt my body ushering me into my threshold time.
Threshold means at the edge. In this case, I use the word to mean being in-between two different ways of being.
One way is active, initiating, directed, this is called the follicular stage, the time of month when our sex energy is ovulatory and we are literally preparing to create or manifest. We bustle and burst with life energy (unless our psychosocial programs, or beliefs, block our power.)
The other way is receptive, reflective, when our FSH-LH or follicle stimulating hormones and lutenizing hormones which stimulate ovulation have decreased, and the body prepares to shed away what it no longer needs. This time, the luteal phase, lasts roughly two weeks. It is meant to be more contemplative and inward, in line with the biological harmony of the body.
Between the two is the threshold, a state of being that is only a day or two long but that, as a first-day of Spring, Equinox baby, is a power-time for my natural circadian cycle. Knowing these unique parts of our personal biology is a part of wild women wisdom, the women’s mysteries passed down for centuries in sacred circle, lodges, and red tents.
Working with Threshold energy is a special experience, for it’s not one way and not another. This means there is great momentum inside that space, a lot of contained energy with special messages inside. If we seek to be conscious of our own rhythms, and what the wisdom of our own deep messages from within are trying to say, it can be an incredibly intentive tool.
Many women lose their stride when threshold hits. They move away from new projects, directions, or feelings of esteem or wholeness. Many women I work with suddenly, at this time, become totally weighted down with tasks, responsibilities and often, an unconscious drive to need to clean the house. Seriously! This is a societal program they have adopted in order to keep them away from the naturally reflective and inner house-cleaning that occurs during the luteal phase, or second half.
I saw it in myself this past weekend…a crazed sense that there wasn’t enough time to get it all done.
I recognized it as the time to slow down, allow, and go within. It takes daily attention to our soul work in order to see to it that we don’t fall in to programs, and derail our power, month after month, again and again.