Does Menopause Cause Enlightenment?

Originally Posted in 2010 at the Energetic Connection

The Voice

Being a spiritually oriented middle aged woman, I have a special interest in enlightenment as it pertains to my own gender, especially those in the various stages of menopause. About two years ago I began a book project, interviewing friends, and family, and even a few who answered my ads in the local newspaper on this topic. I found that my questions were too benign in some ways and had to prod a bit to get the real information.

So, I started going around confronting every woman I met with a somewhat surprising statement (you’ll know soon what that is) which invited a variety of responses and frequently, reactions. My friends went into resistance, people I didn’t know were uncomfortable and even horrified. One of my friends went home pouting one night!

In the upcoming months, I sincerely want to provoke more women, to encourage them to speak out, offering them a way to share their wisdom with a greater community. Sometimes it takes a wild notion to stimulate that level of spontaneity and purity of emotion and, while my book is still in the research stages, you will find the results of the interviews and stories each month on these pages.

Self-Inquiry
Will you self-reflect as many others did upon hearing this statement? Before we get to the other’s comments, take a moment to breathe and feel your own response to this statement. Notice where you sense it most; is it physical, mental, emotional? Where do you feel it in your body? What is the first thing you want to say? What thoughts does it elicit? Beware though, it is designed to provoke you in some way.

Middle aged women are poised and ready to become truly enlightened, more than anyone else on this planet, especially if they refrain from having sex.

After you sit with this for a while, consider the following ideas; they are my ideas, and you may see them as irrelevant, or, you might just agree with me. I invite you to interact with the information and send a response if you are so inclined…that’s the nature of this blog…to inspire, to provoke, to charge you up and even amuse you.

Ponder This
Okay. Let’s say that all humans are imprinted with ascension information; it’s in the DNA. The interesting part of this idea is that it’s often more easily accessed by middle aged women. Why? Well, because we are no longer compelled to procreate; we have pretty much already embraced our power, established ourselves in either a family unit, career and business, or all of the above. Simply put, we have more time and desire to explore our inner world, creating many possibilities and opportunities to grow. Historically, women are the guides for other women and men as well. In addition, no earlier modern generation en mass has had the combined physical stamina, emotional balance and presence, mental openness, spiritual intelligence and connection, as middle aged women do right now. Many cultures identify women in this cycle of life as crones: wise old women who are moving toward the end years. Now, we women are still physically vital, coupled with wisdom–years of experience, and can easily embrace who we are in the world. Simply put, we are vibrant Priestesses and Queens.

We are most likely part of a strong support network of conscientious women who are not only devoted to spiritual practices, we are also focused on embodying the information and enhancing practical consciousness along with spirituality.

In other words, we are in a constant state of developing our awareness as spirits in the body as opposed to being distanced or distracted from this very important part of ourselves. We very consciously set our endpoint intentions to create spiritual freedom in this lifetime, in our bodies, here on this planet.

Responses & Reactions
Back to the question and answers. What do you think? Are women poised for ascendancy and enlightenment more than anyone else on this planet? By the way, the original statement came from a male entity who wholly supports women moving in the direction of complete self-realization and actualization.

“C” from NM says: “Oh for God’s sake, I just came out of a 20 year sexual drought and there is no way I’m going to stop now just to attain enlightenment! I can’t believe anyone would agree with that, in all seriousness.”

“L” from England says: “This depends a great deal on the mental state of the individual…which depends a great deal on the early relationships with significant others–mothers…later on peers; a balance of positive and pleasant vs. negative and unpleasant experience should allow the individual to have a balanced view on life and relationship and therefore to possibly become enlightened and to recognize it.”

“L” from CA says: “More than elephants!? Okay seriously…I feel that anyone over the age of 40 has a better chance of becoming enlightened than someone under 40. It seems to me that the focus shifts from the completely me-centered universe to the bigger world around that age. I believe that if we choose to be humble about spiritual growth, we will come to know more and more, with each passing year, that we know NOTHING at all, really, so that by the time we reach old age, we will be completely open, completely humble, completely amused and maybe a little bit wise.”

“G” from NM says: “Live and learn. With age comes a certain wisdom, sensitivity, etc. That is easier to access as an older woman.”

“S” from NM says: “Well, I haven’t had sex in over a decade and I can live without it. I am not in least bit interested in sex right now and my inner work has flourished, as have my female friendships. For me, enlightenment and consciousness comes from my heart and it feels as though my heart is opening more and more as the years without sex go by…I’m looking for a relationship with heartfelt friendship first, then maybe the sex will follow….so I strongly resonate with the statement and could probably live without sex the rest of my life.

“K” from CA says: “It’s possibly true, only in that women in that stage of their lives are either free or becoming free of a lot of life’s constrictions…mostly to do with time and obligations. We also start looking at the time we have left on this earth as finite, so questions about why were are here in this life become more meaningful.”

“N” from NM says: “Oh, do I have to go the rest of my life without sex if I want to be enlightened?”

“M” from NM says: Even though that could give me a one up, I don’t think it’s true. Traveling has shown me an incredible range of surprising people making changes and growing out of places I would have never thought. However, we women over 50 are experiencing something revolutionary in that we’re living an unprecedented length of time after raising our children, not living conventional lives, in record numbers. And, we are in better health! This in itself is changing not only the demographics of society, but the way we will think of ourselves, aging, self-value and values, political constituency, the world etc. I wonder that the sheer numbers of us might bring a greater consciousness…so maybe I’ve talked myself into a possible agreement!”

“Y” from CA says: “This is a little difficult for me, but I do believe that maturity in years and experiences in life allow one to come to a place where these things seem to become more clear. This has been a time when I can more confidently evaluate and decide about spiritual matters for myself and not look to others for “truth.” I continually find truths that well up from within me. This a far cry from my days of organized religion telling me what is or is not.”

How do you feel?

Yin-Yang Oneness

Originally Posted in 2010 at the Energetic Connection

Matriarchy Pushing Patriarchy

My own pushing of the matriarchy came from a whole lot of Yang energy I used for survival in the world over the years. Too much Yang, moved me toward my subconscious need for Yin and the ultimate level of female companionship and working through feminime archetypes in myself and my friends. Being single for over a decade has added to this Yin experience and now I am looking for balance.

In the context of menopause, I believe it will assist me in alleviating symptoms of menopause and becoming more balanced hormonally. female creative energy knows what it’s made of without input from me…knows it’s cycles…back to the original question or statement: women in middle age are more likely to become enlightened than any other…because we are no longer making babies, being mothers or looking desperately for sexual contact, we can use our female energies to balance and become more aware of both our masculine and feminine energy channels. Like the high priestess, we become more androgynous…we are more of service, more alert, conscious and free…our attachments and our desires are fewer, different. The more free we are the more conscious we are; the more conscious we are, the more free. It’s all about awareness.

I’m currently involved in three different women’s groups: 1) a group in which I’m learning about being a Priestess; 2) a facilitated Shamanistic Journey group; and 3) a gathering of women who participate equally in seasonal ceremony based in the Celtic Wheel of the year. Each group is different, yet similar in that we want to honor the Divine Feminine. Early on with all of these groups, I began to realize we are not only cultivating our femaleness in sisterhood, we are also cultivating our maleness, becoming more aware of the qualities that create balance in our being-ness. We are not separating ourselves from men and maleness, we are learning to embrace our animas while studying feminine archetypes.

With this realization, I learned too that there is a difference between male and masculine; female and feminine…I offer no explanations! For purposes of our discussion and blog, male and female pertain to the biological, more specifically the physiological, parts that delineate male bodies from female bodies. Masculine and feminine are concepts or energies that pertain to a worldly, in fact Universal, balance of what is naturally present in all things.

In Chinese medicine, too much Yin, or feminine Moon, creates Yang, or masculine Sun, and too much Yang creates Yin. Some 27-30,000 years ago they say our world was ruled by the Matriarchy. I don’t know anyone personally who remembers what this was like at the time, yet I’ve heard many tales of how we evolved into a Patriarchy over the last 30 millennia. Even though some of us might be more comfortable in one realm or the other, neither a singularly matriarchal nor patriarchal society offers us any balance in or resolve to the oppositional world in which we now live.

We can all hang out in groups complaining about the opposite sex. Women can nag and try to control men; men can lust after and control women, both resisting the other, playing their evolutionary roles until the Earth stops spinning on its axis. Yes, even in this so-called conscious and politically correct stage of human growth, we still hold these programs in our cells, however covertly. Both sides are push the other.

Remember, Yin pushes Yang and vice versa.

Inside this paradox, we will never know an equalizing of the scales, instead experiencing a spinning of our wheels throughout eternity. Until each gender and every precedential or subsequent and related element honors their opposite, in fact until we recognize we are all both masculine and feminine, we will continue to slog around in the sea, rocking side to side, going nowhere because there is no wind in our sails.

Universal Law

Universal Law suggests there are really just two principles in existence which are, ultimately, the dichotomy of one principle: the Law of Oneness. Here are the Universal laws in simple form:

  1. Oneness: everything is connected and made of two different parts (like the Yin-Yang symbol).
  2. Correspondence: as above, so below; as within, so without
  3. Gender: everything has male (Yang) and female (Yin) properties
  4. Polarity: everything exists on a continuum and has equal and opposite forces
  5. Cause & Effect: every action has a reaction or consequence
  6. Attraction: like attracts like
  7. Vibration: everything has a frequency which resonates in the form of atomic structure
  8. Growth: reflection; higher vibrations transform lower vibrations ensuring the existence of both
  9. Abundance: receptivity and gifting
  10. Rhythm: everything vibrates to a larger and greater cycle
  11. Manifestation: action that supports co-creativity; inner and outer world match
  12. Relativity: everything is relative or related, noting exists in itself

When you look closely, you might see that each one of these laws is a hologram of Oneness, a fractal containing all the aspects of each one of these universal principles.

If we are balanced and responsible Females, we have both masculine and feminine energies operating inside us. In any given moment, we may utilize or call on more of the feminine properties, yet contain a balance of both. I’m sure you have experienced both parts separately in any given day or situation, yet are you aware of how it feels to be balanced, with equal masculine and equal feminine operating?

Last month we practiced two exercises: Fire & Water, and the Microcosmic Orbit. Both used the Female Creative Energy stored in our lower cauldron–ovaries or female anatomy. We cultivated our biological female energy using it to move masculine (Fire) and feminine (Water) elements through our bodies, meridian channels and chakras. I wonder if you felt more balanced, more able to sustain yourself in present time or if anything changed physiologically, please let me know!

Here’s another way to practice with Female Creative Energy and become more aware of how the masculine and feminine exist in tandem, how they blend, helping each to translate two parts into one, and create rhythm in your physical and energetic forms.

Balancing the Energies of Fire & Water, Sun & Moon:

Begin by sitting in a comfortable upright position, breathing in and out. Notice your spine, allowing the breath to move up and down deep inside your body along the spine as you gently inhale and exhale. This is Shushumna, the central channel which houses the chakras, endocrine glands and the nerve plexi. Notice how you feel as you become more aware of the central channel. Let your breath clear away any dross that has accumulated in the spinal area, energetic or physiological.

Bring your attention to your midbrain, into the Center of your Head. Keeping your eyes closed, watch as the breath moves through Shushumna from the pelvis to the midbrain. This is the River.

As you watch the currents of the breath in the River, notice two streams alongside the River. As the breath comes from the pelvis up the River into the Center of your Head, allow it to move back down to your pelvis via the streams. They are Ida and Pingala, Masculine and Feminine, Sun and Moon, Fire and Water. Physiologically they are the autonomic nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic.

Coming from different sides of the midbrain, each of these autonomic nerves carries information to the body. Sympathetic information is related to the stress response and hot masculine energies. Parasympathetic information is related to rest and relaxation, the cool feminine energies.

The left stream is the Feminine and connects to the right side of the mid-brain; the right stream is Masculine and connects to the left side of the mid-brain.

Continue inhaling up the River Shushumna and down the two Streams, Ida and Pingala. As they exit the sixth chakra (mid-brain or center of your head), they begin to spiral down through the spine and around each chakra until they meet again with Shushumna at the second chakra (navel & sacrum). Watch, or sense in some way, this flow and balance of energies moving though each chakra. Notice how you feel.

Practice this each day, noticing and even writing about your experiences. You may be most comfortable running only female energies right now, after all, there’s a lot of healing to be done in this vein. If you, like many other women, have pushed your Yin over the last several years or lifetimes, you might need to acknowledge the Divine Feminine, it’s power and archetypes in your life before merging the two energies. That’s great and eventually you will find the sweet spot and fluidity of masculine and feminine balance inside yourself.

Although I am currently in a state of similar growth, my ultimate intention is to balance the masculine and feminine inside myself to create balance in my little world and ultimately reaching out further and further, a step at a time.

Creative Energy

Originally Posted in 2010 at the Energetic Connection

Female Creative Energy                                            

“Courage in women is oftentimes mistaken for insanity,” a quote taken from the movie, “Iron- Jawed Maidens.”

When we were younger, this courage may have looked much different to each one of us. Whatever it was then, we are embracing something ever more extraordinary now, although hidden deeply and subtlety within us. During menopause we might occasionally find ourselves believing we are insane, especially as the heat rises, our emotions escalate and we feel truly incapacitated by this energy propelling us out of control! It may take a moment or an hour to regroup and remember that we are actually very courageous–enough to embrace, however consciously or subconsciously, a spiritual healing and rebirth through our physical forms during this part of our womanly life cycle. Sometimes our spiritual healings come to light through interesting thoughts or ideas, sometimes through unexplored emotions or through new and very physical demands on our bodies. However they appear, they are often misunderstood, even by we who give birth to them.

With that said, a few months ago, I went out on a limb with a statement, ” Middle aged women are poised and ready to become truly enlightened, more than anyone else on this planet, especially if they refrain from having sex.” It was something I heard that originated from a well-known spiritual teacher. Based on some of your reactions, it was a much more courageous statement than I’d initially imagined! I’d like to expand on that thought, bringing the concept of non-sexual spirituality into a more balanced and even palatable framework.

Background & Theory

Here’s something I learned about energy while studying Taoism: we have three types of Chi available to the human body: 1) the life force with which we are born; 2) that which we accumulate from food and breathing the air around us; and 3) the energy we call-in from the Cosmos through our practices of breathing, meditation and other methods of concentrated focus. What follows is my interpretation of what I’ve learned.

Mantak Chia brought his Taoist ideas to the West over 20 years ago in books about cultivating sexual or creative energies through precisely this type of concentrated focus and practice. Little did most people know then was the fact that sexual activity, although a big part of our culture and central to Chia’s theme in the books, was only a small part of his message.

In fact, sexual and primordial energies are considered the same in the practice of the one- thousand-year-old technique called the Microcosmic Orbit. It has links to traditional Yoga and has woven threads into and birthed practices in modern day modalities as well: Reiki, the Violet Flame Meditation and Breath, Kundalini practices, Running energy from Berkeley Psychic Institute and more.

“Human life begins with the union of an egg and a sperm cell…this is the original act of Kung Fu in the balancing of Yin and Yang,” says Chia who also states that sexual energy can be transmuted into spiritual transformation, especially for women. Instead of growing a fetus in the womb, this energy in non-reproductive women “mounts to higher energy centers inside the body and we give birth to ourselves on a spiritual level. This sexual, (creative) energy is drawn up with the Microcosmic Orbit where it literally gives rebirth and brings the confidence of controlling a powerful flow of creative energy as well as the satisfaction of a deep sense and higher balance of harmony with the world.”

According to Chia, this same energy can be cultivated and brought up during sexual orgasm, non-sexual breathing practices and visualization. The common thread: drawing the stored ovarian energies up the spinal column into the brain. Even though there are many other types of organ-related Chi, sexual energy is considered more versatile, easily digested, and can be transformed into many other functions.

In addition to its obvious benefits for hormonal balance and lovemaking, “the effects of the Microcosmic Orbit extend beyond facilitating the flow of sexual energy and include age prevention and the healing of many illnesses.”

The Microcosmic Orbit facilitates energy flows through the Governing (yang/male/fire) and Conception (yin/female/water) meridian channels, up the back from the tailbone area, over the head to the mouth and up the front of the body from the perineum area to the tongue. This circuit of healing energy which facilitates the elemental movement of Water Up, Fire Down, is complete when the tongue touches the hard palate behind the upper teeth.

Ilchi Lee’s Taoist teachings demonstrate the similarities: “The Governing meridian originates in the pelvic cavity and runs up through the spine, over the head to the middle of the upper lip. It promotes circulation and is the pathway through which the water energy of the kidneys rises. A healthy Governing meridian helps to cool and clear the head.

The Conception meridian passes through the neck and chest, connecting to the lower abdomen. When dysfunctional, the Conception meridian can cause stiffness in the lower abdomen resulting in many issues of the organs there. The heat from the heart travels down to the digestive organs through the Conception meridian. Blockages here can cause heat to rise into the head.”

Transformational Practice

Even if menopausal symptoms are not an issue for you, the practices below will help you balance your multi-layered human system: meridian channels; chakras; spiritual, mental and emotional, as well as physiological levels; digestive, endocrine, nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems; and more. The chart below defines general health based on the Water Up, Fire Down principle, taken from “Human Technology,” also by Ilchi Lee.

“Su-seung-hwa-gang in Korean means “Water Up, Fire Down.” This is a core principle for human health. When the body is in balance, the cool water energy travels upward toward the head along the back side of the body, while the hot fire energy flows down the front side of the body to the lower abdomen. This is the complete cycle of energy circulation. By repeating this circulation, life maintains its balance and continuity. ”

 

WATER UP, FIRE DOWN(Healthy State) FIRE UP, WATER DOWN(Unhealthy State)
Circulation, dynamic, liveliness Disconnection, static, lifelessness
Sweet, saliva in the mouth Dry mouth, bitter taste
Warm hands and feet Cold hands and feet
Cool and refreshed head Heat and pain in the head
Warm abdomen filled with energy Abdomen lacks warmth and energy
Regular bowel movements Constipation, digestive problems
One feels refreshed and energized One feels tired and uncomfortable

Although these channels exist without human intention, and the natural movement of the elements within them takes place without the mind, the body isn’t always in balance. Self-observation on any level is simply an act of awareness and awareness promotes health in many ways. One of the ways we can generate more Chi in the body, as mentioned before, is with a concentrated focus on the breath. We can create better health with a conscious practice of breathing and visualizing Water Up, Fire Down.

Abdominal Breathing stimulates warmth in the digestive organs and kidneys which in turn activates the water element, enhancing the natural flow of Water Up, Fire Down. Lie down on your back or sit upright in a comfortable position, place your hands on your lower abdomen; begin to breathe consciously and deeply into your belly, allowing the muscles to expand and contract. Visualize the breath flowing in and out through a gateway in the back of your spine just behind the navel. Your abdomen is filled and expands as the breath moves in and empties or contracts as you breathe out.

Transform sexual energy into creative Chi energy by Breathing into and focusing on the Ovaries. Begin by breathing into your ovaries, placing palms over your lower abdominal and ovarian areas, feeling the warmth created with the breath. Next, visualize an oval shape that connects the two ovaries and the cervix, completely encircling the uterus as well. Feel the energy moving through and circulating around the “Oval” shape. Ground the cervix at the First Chakra and into the center of the Earth, allowing anything foreign to release down this grounding connection. It will be transmuted by the Earth’s energy. Let the creative energy swirl around in the oval, pumping the perineum gently. Feel the energy created in the “Oval” moving up through the spine into the center of your head. Here it swirls around both clockwise and counterclockwise, eventually returning back down to the “Oval.” You can try stopping it along the way at the various chakras allowing it to swirl around there as well; do this both on the way up to collect energy and the way down to re-fill the space with a higher vibration. Now try the exercise again with your tongue touching the roof of your mouth behind your top teeth.

Experience Chi flow with the Microcosmic Orbit. Sit in a comfortable, meditative posture and visualize just the channel at first. It begins in the tongue and cycles down the front of the body through your throat, chest and navel and then up the tailbone through the spine into your head. Next, feel or see the energy of water moving up your back channels and the energy of fire moving down away from your head into your digestive organs. Sit with this and just notice your experience; you might even record it daily for a week or more. If you do have a sexual relationship, try it and learn about it while making love; just notice what is created!

Later try practicing the Microcosmic Orbit with your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind the top teeth, and do the “Oval” simultaneously! Each one of these exercises can potentially decrease stress levels and is capable of creating more balance and natural rhythm in your life.

Have fun with all this. Whether or not you have an active and regular sex life, you can cultivate spiritually transformative energies by being conscious about your breath, visualizing the channels through which it moves, and knowing it is simply, and yet magnificently, Chi in there! Remember too, sexual energy is primordial energy which is creative energy and is cultivated in the ovaries.

We are incredible self-sustaining and ever-evolving human forms.

Hot Facts & Remedies

This was originally posted in 2010 at the Energetic Connection

Just the Facts

Heat and energy surges are the most common symptoms identified by menopausal women–75% of those surveyed have hot flashes or heat-related issues. They are all willing to share their solutions and ideas, yet continue to look for reasons and additional remedies. Maybe you have a good one to share…let us know. It appears to be a time of great surrender, as the hot flashes are oftentimes considered uncontrollable, intense, electrical surges of overwhelming heat.

Women who are taking bio-identical hormones or are participating in traditional HRT methods continue to experience the same sensation of heat (it often strikes at night in bed, abruptly awakening them) rushing up from the mid and lower body sections into the head. Some of the practical solutions to this heat include remote control fans; raw and cooling foods; decrease or elimination of sugary foods, especially before bed; and anything that channels the energy down into the lower body, among others.

Most women are ‘toughing it out’ while looking for the deeper meaning or reason for this incredible heat to establish a positive ground of being for something that affects their lives up to 30 times a day in some cases. All participants (100%) stated interest in and practice of consciousness raising exercises and information.

Remedies and Responses

“S” from Santa Fe, NM: What has proven helpful to me (in curbing hot flashes): 1) sufficient amounts of water; 2) minimize carbs, especially refined sugar; 3) bio-identical hormones; 4) very small of these products from cow—meat, cheese, butter; 5) Yoga; 6) meditation and energy/breathing techniques. The only symptom that still remains and occurs very seldom is the exact same one that you described– heat-like surges that feel very nervous system oriented and are very uncomfortable physically and emotionally…like anxious, angry, irritating, nervy surges.”

“L” from Glastonbury, England: “Yes, I believe it (consciousness and enlightenment) is a gift.”

“J” from Albuquerque, NM: “You mean enough heat to light up NYC?” “I I feel my guides are waking me up to show me things. so you could call that re-wiring.

“K” from Santa Cruz, CA: “The funniest experience I had was my very first “hot flash.” I was at a Halloween party and was dressed as the Statue of Liberty. It was crowded and I sat on the front porch to get a breath of air…(when it happened) I became immediately drenched from my head to my toes. I looked at my husband and loudly exclaimed, “I’m having a hot flash!” Since I had been looking forward to starting menopause, I was very happy and it was quite ‘liberating.'”

“S” from Santa Fe, NM: What has proven helpful to me: 1) sufficient amounts of water; 2) minimize carbs, especially refined sugar; 3) bio-identical hormones; 4) very small of these products from cow—meat, cheese, butter; 5) Yoga; 6) meditation and energy/breathing techniques. The only symptom that still remains and occurs very seldom is the exact same one that you described– heat-like surges that feel very nervous system oriented and are very uncomfortable physically and emotionally…like anxious, angry, irritating, nervy surges.”

“S” from Carson City, NV: “Make sure you have a remote control for your ceiling fan over your bed.” I ‘m pretty good at rolling over, clicking it on and then clicking it off without waking up too much!”

“L” from Santa Barbara, CA: “I still have trouble sleeping; simple things like all organic bedding, a good mattress and fresh air seem really helpful, but as you know my favorite is Pilates!”

“N” from Nova Scotia, Canada: “My intuition is getting better. The quiet voice that says ‘do this or that’ in the form of a thought was likely always there, but now it is dawning on me that it is vital, (so) I listen to it. In the past I would have brushed it aside. Now I give it credence. I believe this is because my priorities have shifted; I’m less invested in the outcome of things and care more about being in flow, in process. I am not stuck on controlling the outcome of a situation, so when the voice pipes up, I am open enough to listen.

”K” from Santa Fe, NM: ”I believe that yoga has helped me mentally–probably has kept my mind sharper during menopause while helping soothe chronic pain from old injuries and old body image problems. I plan to keep at yoga, and be a powerful yogini by the time I’m 70!”

“L” from Seattle: “My surges are subsiding, but they still surprise me at times.  Here are some things I’ve done to increase my comfort: 1) avoid that dessert at a late meal – any sugar can make me really run hot and make for a fitful sleep; 2) layers in bedding so I can adjust my covers to my comfort at night, and the same approach to clothing, can help me gracefully handle a physical response to my surges; 3) there is no avoiding stressful situations, such as public speaking or the occasional embarrassing moment.  You are right that deep breathing to calm the nerves really helps in these situations!

“K” from Saratoga Springs, NY: “Absolutely! (When I am) thinking of an uncommon word, I hear it on the radio or television… thinking of a person for the first time in months, I get a call…”

“M” from Carmel, CA and Santa Fe, NM: “Hot flashes were the first symptom. First thing I did was cut out all dairy, wheat and especially sugar (I don’t drink coffee, but if I  did, I would have stopped that too).  The hot flashes went away as  long as I remained on this “diet.” Whenever I went off, they  returned.  So, the next step was trying homeopathic drops custom made  from a saliva sample.  It worked so well, that after about a year, I  forgot to take them for 4 days and NO symptoms at all! I never took  the drops again, and as long as I reduce my intake of those foods, I don’t get any symptoms.  At this time, I didn’t need to entirely eliminate the foods, just cut down on them.”

The Heat in My Life

When I first had hot flashes they were sweet, warm, cozy and inspiring little surges of energy running up my spine flushing my heart, chest, shoulders, neck and head. It was Winter time and I welcomed their presence. I loved these moments that started one January, about eight years ago, lasting only a month each time they visited. They were accompanied by amenorrhea each time they cycled through in consecutive months each year (i.e. year one: January; year two: February, etc.). There were six visits in all. Finally in 2006 the symptoms appeared in the heat of the Summer and lasted 4 months. They were no longer the sweet little surges, instead becoming angry, hot, unmanageable emotional waves of dizzying electrical energy. I didn’t sleep that entire Summer, nor did I go out in public much because I was always so incredibly pissed off…I was jumping out of my very sensitive skin!

One of my teeth zinged in agony to the degree I had it pulled to ease the stress of such incredible pain (as opposed to a root canal). By December I was a total wreck and decided to change my diet completely because the hot, spicy food I was eating made things much worse. Sugar–desserts and in the form of fruit, even bread and crackers–triggered hot flashes for me. I was lucky though; these were not the sweaty versions of heat I’ve heard many women experience. In addition, I began using liver support herbs and slowly eliminated animal products from my food plan as well, eventually turning to a raw vegan lifestyle in the Summer of 2008. It’s been a year now since I’ve had anything but raw-vegan foods, and it honestly changed my life in many ways above and beyond hot flash control.

In Summer 2007 I enrolled in a yoga class that focused on meridian balancing and grounding of the subtle energies. At the time, this physical practice saved me! My head and neck relaxed, I felt as though the rogue energies were in fact grounded and the overwhelming heat pretty much disappeared. Those hot flashes were then few and far between. I experienced heat rising only once or twice daily compared with one or more an hour the summer before.

More recently, Restorative Yoga is one of the remedies I’ve found really useful for both menopausal symptoms and life tools in general. It not only relaxes my mind, it works on a much deeper level with the autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic) nervous system by decreasing the (reactive) stress response and increasing the (response-able) rest response. This part of our nervous system correlates with the energies of Moon and Sun, Yin and Yang, hot and cold, right and left, male and female.. The blasts of heat in hot flashes are very male oriented, and just happen to come from the Sun side of the energetic equivalent to our sympathetic (active, male, stress response) nervous system.

I’ve since tried to go back to a more active (male) Yoga practice without much immediate benefit as this tends to trigger heat in my meridians and emotional angst. This may not be true for everyone, yet for me, I’m hooked on Restorative Yoga right now! I also practice several exercises from the meridian balancing yoga each day as well. Here’s a sampling which may help you too.

Try These

Toe Tapping: (Something from Dahn Yoga) Lie on your back in a comfortable position: prop up your head a little with a low blanket or pillow and under your lower thighs and knees if you want to relax even further, and especially to protect your low back. Feet are a few inches apart. Keeping your ankles relatively still, begin tapping your big toes together. Breath naturally and keep tapping. See if you can make the movement happen from the hip joints. Try to tap at least 100 times. When you are finished, feel the energy in your feet, legs and lower body. Just relax and breath. I do 500-1,000 toe taps each night before I turn out the lights to sleep. Once, during a workshop, I did toe taps for 30 minute straight! Wow, did it channel the energy in a very positive and healing way!

Cooling Breath: (From traditional yoga) Relax in that same comfortable position on your back. Begin by breathing naturally for a few rounds. Now, curl your tongue, making a tube through which the air funnels into your mouth. Breathe in through the tongue roll and out through your nose. Feel the cool air coming in to cool your brain. Feel the hot air going out through your nose and out of your head. Repeat this about 12 times any time of day or night. It’s especially good for anyone who has a hot head…like me!

Su-Seung-Hwa-Gang: Water Up, Fire Down (from Dahn Yoga). Breathe in, visualizing cool water moving up your spine into your head. Breathe out, visualizing hot Fire moving down away from your head into your abdomen, storing it for digestion. The abdomen (2nd & 3rd Chakras) is both a storage center and an energy generator. Don’t force it, just visualize the energy cycling in this way, allowing it to work naturally. This exercise is based on Taoist philosophy and relates to our most healthy states of being, physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s origins are in the rhythms of nature. Sun shines down onto the plants, and water is taken up through the roots from various sources.

Philosophically Speaking

In the next Fuel for the Fire blog I will further address the question posed last issue: “Middle aged women are poised and ready to become truly enlightened, more than anyone else on this planet, especially if they refrain from having sex.” I’d like to share some ideas about the origins of that statement and what it means to me as well as many others with whom I’ve spoken.

Here is a little peak at what’s to come: This comment is not really about celibacy or stopping sexual relations on any level, although that certainly could be the case if that is your choice. It’s more about the physical and energetic intentions and existence of our inner ability to cultivate and channel female sexual energy, using it to fuel our own creativity, our ability to manifest in this world and to nourish our bodies (meaning as always, mental, emotional and physical) so we are more open and connected to spirit.

The awareness and channeling of female creative energies will also help you with your menopausal symptoms, especially heat. While the medical world can certainly belittle these physical experiences we have during this major life transition, giving us the brush off or a drug of some sort,  we know there is something special about this energy and what we feel is actually a spiritual experience. Whether you see it as kundalini rising, meridian energy balancing, spiritual healing or some other related energetic phenomenon, we are watching our cells rapidly transform before us.

If you are interested in taking a look for yourselves and commenting for the next blog, there are two books I recommend: “The Magdalene Manuscript,” by Tom Kenyon and Judi Sion; “Healing Love through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy,” by Mantak Chia.

Northern Castle of Initiation

First Posted on December 17th, 2012. Links here may have been disconnected. If you’d like more information about the courses, programs and audios, please email us and we’ll be happy to fill you in!

In this Issue of “Quickening the Rhythms of Change” Scroll down to read your favorite parts.

Eight Spokes on the Celtic Wheel of LifeSimple Intentions
Muse of the SeasonWinter Solstice: Myths and Stories
ArianrhodQueen of the Upper World
Solstice Gift SpecialDiscounts on Sacred Body Oracle Readings
Mystical Conversations Between Body & Spirit
Correspondence CoursesRhythms of the Goddess & Inner Rhythms

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 Simple Intentions

Look into the wintry northeastern sky to the Corona Borealis;

There you will see the Crown of the Goddess.

Beyond this jeweled archway into the underworld is

The Northern Castle of Initiation, Caer Sidi.

Deep in a sea of brilliant lights lies the Aurora Borealis;

There you will find Arianrhod,

Queen of the moon, the sea and the stars.

As her Silver Wheel turns the middle world past the Solstice point,

Arianrhod guides our souls into the upper world.

In times of ascension information overload and outer world chaos, go within, into your sovereign center, invoking the energies of the Goddess through the eight spokes on the Celtic Wheel of the Year.

Like the eight limbs of yoga growing out of the rooted tree’s trunk, the Celtic wheel of life has eight seasonal spokes originating from a central hub or well of sovereignty. Often represented by triple goddess iconography, each turn of the wheel guides us through the seasons, their energies and symbolism. Whether that movement is gauged in the cycles of annual or daily time; by the inner rhythms of our relationship to known and unknown forces; or with the four winds of the galactic overlay; each cycle builds on the first, encouraging us to grow into our sense of spirit embodied. We are holograms for the divine and its elemental origins are imprinted in our cells; with intention and practice, we come to the spiritual threshold, a place of integrity with a view to autonomy and oneness with the divine inside. This what the yogis called samadhi and what the Celts embraced as the descending energy of the divine.

wheel-of-year

Simply light a large center candle and eight votives or tea lights around that center representing the four winds, their elemental symbolism and the four harvest celebrations in between.

Sit quietly, breathing in the energy of the Goddess. The feminine divine will heal your boy, your heart and soul. As the Goddess moves through you, the energy will heal the world.

Muse of the Season

Winter Solstice: Myths and Stories

During the season of Samhain, we began the long journey back to our origins, returning to a time beforeIMG_0220 birth where we curl up in the Mother’s womb. We celebrate this return to the Mother at midwinter, the time of longest dark and shortest light. Winter is a time for inner world magic, dreaming, healing, visioning, birth, death and rebirth. It is a time when the light is born again.

On this Solstice point, or Yule, we stop for a moment, basking in the last of the Sun’s waning light and the first of the expanding light. From here we move even further inward, gathering patience and courage to go deep into stillness for a timely respite.

Inside the great womb of all earthly life, we experience sensations of safety, the murmurings of those who lie sleeping, and scents of the dank and musty soil, our earthen bones. In this container we are enveloped by darkness, accompanied only by our inner vision and our desire to grow. This is the place and the time when we rest, restoring and healing for a while, before making our way back into the light, bit by bit, as inspiration beckons, awakening us again at Imbolc on Brighid’s Day.

Si an Bhru: Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland

On the shortest day of the year, a thin finger of dawn light passes into the aperture of Brugh na Boinne, otherwise kIreland 109nown as Newgrange in Ireland. This megalithic enclosure was erected long before the Celtic peoples arrived in Ireland. We can all experience the wonder of this day if we rise before dawn to trace the track of the sun’s turas (journey) on this, the shortest day of the year. “The Celtic Way of Seeing, “ by Frank MacEowen.

At Winter Solstice in Ireland, Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. There is a rooftop opening, which allows sunlight to penetrate the passage and chamber at sunrise around the Winter Solstice. Once it reaches the floor of the chamber, it gradually extends to the rear of the passage. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber, illuminating the whole room for approximately 15 minutes, and then it leaves, retreating back down the passage. Ancient Celts and their ancestors savored this very brief moment each year as the wheel slowly turned toward the light of Spring.

The Avalon Inside: Glastonbury, Somerset, England

In Avalon, the spiraling path (remains of a three dimensional seven circuit Labyrinth) leading up the slopes of the Tor takes us to Caer Sidi (also Caer Arianrhod). In the heavens, this castle is the Corona Borealis, or Crown of the North Wind. Araidne & Araianrhod are the same: Ariadne rules the inner worlds, Arianrhod the upper world. In the underworld of Annwn, their sister Nolava is the crone and keeper of the cauldron. The three worlds are joined by the world axis—envisioned as a holy mountain, which here in Avalon is the tor. “Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess,” by Kathy Jones.

Arianrhod: Goddess of the Season

arianrhod-emily-brunner

Image by Emily Brunner

Like Sophia, Arianrhod is a mother of god.

A Welsh Celtic Goddess of the moon, stars and the sky, her name means “Silver Wheel,” or “Silver Circle.” Arianrhod is the goddess of the wheel of the year, the full moon, destiny, fertility, feminine power, birth, death and reincarnation. She is the daughter of Don, whose Irish counterpart is Danu of the Tuatha De Danann. Known as a triple goddess, she has triune relationships with Blodeuwedd & Morrigu; Blodeuwedd & Cerridwen.

Some of her other identities are “virgin white goddess of birth, initiation, death & rebirth,” and the “silver wheel that descends into the sea.” Her’s is the “Castle of the Silver Wheel,” a northern revolving castle, which is sometimes referred to as the great turning island surrounded by the sea in the sky.

Astronomically speaking, Caer Arianrhod is sometimes known as the Pole Star, seen only and always in the northern skies of the Milky Way. It can be found off the tip of Ursa Major, the Big Dipper. Some say her castle is the Aurora Borealis or Milky Way and therefore, the heavens swirl around her castle. Others say that Caer Arianrhod is the constellation, Corona Borealis–her Greek counterpart Ariadne’s Crown.

She is also the mother of the Sun and Moon, the mother aspect of a goddess triad with maiden Blodeuwedd and crone Cerridwen, and is said to be one of the five goddesses originating from the Isle of Avalon. The other four are Blodeuwedd, Cerridwen, Branwen and Rhiannon. Arianrhod is one of the many goddesses whose stories, symbology and related invocational rituals have been lost through time. Much of what we know about her now originates from the Medieval Welsh myths of “The Mabinogion.”

As the Celtic goddess of time, her Silver Wheel represents life and karma as she embodies the turning of the year on the Celtic Wheel of Life. Some of her other symbols are the cauldron—a symbol of feminine power; the white sow—signifying connection to the underworld; the northern Pole Star and the upper world where she reigns at Caer Arianrhod which is also known as Caer Sidi. She is specifically associated with the winter season because she rebirths the Sun every year at the Solstice.

Caer Sidi is known as the otherworldly tower of initiation, a place between time, where souls reside after death before their next incarnation. In some myths, Arianrhod is said to ferry a boat known as the Oar Wheel, carrying the souls of dead warriors to Emania, or Moon-land, where they would then reside until they reincarnated. If you’d like to learn more about Arianrhod and the symbolism of Winter Solstice, you may want to consider our correspondence course: Rhythms of the Goddess.

Hail Ariahnrhod, we call on you now!

Your silver wheel of light is our pole star in the night. We know you are there, as we can see your crown of stars, even from our place in Earthly life.

Guide us to your castle of initiation, into the heavens to float like the moon and the stars of the upper world.

Make room for us, Mother, in the blessed warmth of your cauldron, as we stop for a season to restore and heal, to learn and resurrect ourselves alongside you, as you rebirth the Sun each year.

Hail Ariahrhod, we call on you now!

We wade through the fiery winds and the rains of time to find the portal for your castle in the sky.

Carry us in your boat, singing us home as we listen to the sounds of your oars skimming across the top of the waves.

You gracefully move the boat through the gentle seas that hover in the sky, back to the Moon Land where you reign strong.

Hail Ariahrhod we call on you now!

Your gifts are wings to fly, and silently we make our way through the darkness of the season, grateful as we welcome the expanding light once more.

We honor your knowing of the upper world, the underworld, and all other worlds.

Your purpose is clear and we follow you homeward, into the realms of Caer Sidi, Caer Arianrhod, the castle of initiation and rebirth.

Hail Ariahrhod we call on your now!

Hail Ariahrhod! We have found our way home!

Hail Arianrhod! We can rest now!

Hail Arianrhod! We lie in stillness until time comes to part the veils of winter!

Hail Arianrhod! We are restored!

Hail Arianrhod! We have remembered the magic of the Goddess inside ourselves!

Solstice Gift Special

Sacred Body Oracle readings are now $50 through the end of 2012. All you need do is pay and schedule your session for any future date. Email us for an invoice and to schedule an appointment. For more information about Sacred Body Oracle readings, see our new website!

The Mystical Conversation Between Body & Spirit

Every cell of your body is a divine hologram filled with wisdom waiting to be activated. The Sacred Bodyelements-earth Cards will guide you along the inner rivers–bringing light to the little known caverns, transmuting energy for healing. Like a fractal in the universal hologram, the cells in your natural body are created from energy patterns that spring from your Blueprint, which originates from the even subtler vibration of the Spiritual Template.

Sacred Body Cards will help you learn about and explore your blueprint, and the template, how they weave through your physiology and how to open yourself to your ”ascension information.”

Although these images are still in mock-up form, the Oracle is currently working with the energy of the cards.

New Correspondence Courses

Rhythms of the Goddess & Inner Rhythms

Rhythms of the Goddess

With each turn of the Wheel, we call in power by invoking the directions, elements and Goddess archetypes of the particular season. We honor all quarters & cross quarters: Samhain, Yule(Winter Solstice), Imbolc, Eostre (Spring Equinox), Beltane, Litha (Summer, Solstice), Lughnasadh, and Mabon (Fall Equinox). Beginning at the Center of the Wheel in Sovereignty, where pure masculine and feminine forces meet in your heart, the golden energy streams through us from above and below. It is from this center point that we experience all seasons, their Quarters and Cross Quarters, the Elements and Directions.

Inner Rhythms

The Inner Rhythms course will guide you in awakening and embracing your awareness of the divine within you, to establish body-to spirit communication, and to help you heal yourself through your very personal spiritual Blueprint. Also known as the Etheric Body, there are many other names for this subtle field—in Yogic philosophies it is called the Pranic Body, and the ancients Egyptian alchemists called it the KA Body.

Happy Solstice 2012 to All and a Blessed New Year!

Embrace Your Body as a Divine Hologram

Mapping the Inner Journey

First Posted on October 8th, 2012. Links and photos here may have been disconnected. If you’d like more information about the courses, programs and audios, please email us and we’ll be happy to fill you in! 

In this Issue of “Quickening the Rhythms of Change”
Please scroll down to read your favorite parts.

Mystic Columns-Reflections from the Galactic Core
Mayan Calendar-Mapping the Inner Journey
Into the West-Autumnal Equinox
Celtic New YearSamhain & All Hallows Eve
Sacred Body Oracle & Cards-The Mystical Conversation Between Body & Spirit

Mystic Columns

Reflections from the Galactic Core

 

On September 12th, we entered into the annual Mayan cycle of approximately 40-days during which we moved through 10 portals into a place called “time out of time.” Each portal is one day-long in our time. Once we’ve passed through the 10 portals, we sit for a few days at the entrance to the gateway that leads into the Mystic Columns which sit in the center of our Galactic Core.

For 20 days we continue to spiral even further into the deepest places of our super consciousness–our true core and human reflection of the Galactic Core vibration. After journeying in the land of Mystic Columns, we rest again for a few days on the other side of the gateway, and then spiral back out through the same 10 portals we entered on September 12th.

By the time we are finished this year, it will be October 30th, just in time to breathe for one day before All Hallows Eve and Samhain!

Samhain is the Celtic New Year, the time of our final harvest and a time during which we prepare for Winter. It is the beginning of our long journey inward, into the darkness of regeneration, seed germination and renewal. Various tribal cultures–Jewish, Mayan and Celtic–all understood what it meant to truly be in the flow, to honor the natural cycles of the Earth.

Their rhythms were a reflection of the planetary rhythms and there were inherent times for complete surrender. At least once a year, and more likely every month, or every day in the most traditional sense of their beliefs, they went inside to speak with the Gods and Goddesses of their hearts, the Divinity as it was reflected inside of them.

So on Monday, October 15, 2012, you too will be spiraling out of the Galactic Core–where you’ve been fully supported in your self-inquiry–out to rest and integrate what you’ve found, what you’ve learned. On Sunday, October 21, 2012, you will begin making your way back through the 10 portals, bringing the new higher vibration into your life in our currently changing 3-D/4-D world.

It is your internal shifts, along with everyone else that was conscious on this journey, that will take the rest of the world into the 5th dimension and beyond. So even though it’s almost over, pay attention to these last several days inside the Mystic Columns. Become conscious of what you are finding, learning & creating. Bring it forth with intention and be one of those who sustains your evolution for the betterment of humanity.

The Mayan Calendar

Mapping the Inner Journey

The inner journey is not very popular, even amongst those who might define themselves as existentialists, spiritually motivated, on the path to enlightenment, or any who simply feel they are open-hearted. Why? Because, it’s really dark in there! Besides, it’s really easy to fake being on a spiritual path.

One of the less popularized (not astrology & numerology) maps for growth indicates that we are in a time of deep internal reflection right now. Can you feel it?

Although the Mayan calendar–at least part of our recent interpretation of it–could be responsible for the mass increase in hyper-awareness and dramatic interpretations about “the Shift,” it also gives us a template to go within for our answers and our healing. Set up as a 260-day spiraling day keeper, the calendar outlines a constant state of spiraling into center and back out again through various portals into other dimensions.

And this year, it may not be co-incidental that the core of the annual Mayan calendar spiral falls in close alignment with both the Uranus-Pluto transit square in Aries on September 19-20; the seasonal appearance of the Dark Goddess in Celtic lore, and the Jewish High Holidays. The core of the Mayan calendar experience is September 11-October 30.

Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of creation–think back to the Biblical reference to the 7 days it took God to create Heaven and Earth, Adam and Eve–and falls on on September 16-18 this year; Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, falling on September 25-26. The astrological transit has been coined by my favorite local astrologer as “shocking transformation.” The Dark Goddess refers to the times of going within, at New Moon, during the wee hours of the night, and in the Fall as our days become progressively shorter.

Into the West

Elemental Energies of Autumn

As the wheel of the year turns westward toward the setting sun over the cosmic sea, our soul’s journey or “anam turas,” turns west as well, making its way toward TirNaNog, the magical place of youth that lies beyond our earthly sight, deep in the heather of another world.

Beginning at the western balance point of equal dark and equal light, we honor the Earth as she harvests apples, nuts and grains for the last quarter of our annual journey. Before our departure, we share our abundance with deep gratitude for the community, our soul friends and their wisdom. We sing our good-byes to the extroverted and transformational fires of summer while dancing together over a light speckled sea. And then we begin the slow turn inward, curling and cuddling into a place of our own, all alone.

Now, while we celebrate, the graying Mother empties her nest and gives way to the crone in perfect time with the green leaves making way for the deeper more mature colors of autumn. We no longer dance on the slick and shiny surfaces, instead allowing ourselves to be absorbed back into the hues of gold, orange, red and brown as the leaves fall quietly from their branches, soon crumbling beneath our feet. From our vantage point in the sunlight above we give way to the land below, burying ourselves in the soils of curiosity and courage.

Fall Equinox, the time starting at the end of September through Halloween, is the end, the final place on the Wheel before life’s re-inception. It is a visionary time during which we prepare for the final harvest, reigniting our commitment to the cosmic plan and our search for the mysteries of the Universe inside us.

In autumn we stand on the first steps, barely opening the gate to a temporary resting place after an abundant growing season, making our way inward and downward. Like Inanna, we will soon prepare and embrace the presence of our personal winter, relishing the darkness until the light shines bright again.

Here we dive, sliding into our earthly womb on the element of the water that cleanses as we surrender to its currents, its turns and flows. Water transports us toward our destination at the single point of oneness and global awareness. Water speaks to water across the horizon and we soak in the fluids of its essence, taking small bites of earthly knowledge from the apples to open our hearts and minds along the way. Apples and cool river waters guide us, alchemizing knowledge into wisdom as we move slowly into the shadows.

Celebrate! You have successfully turned the Wheel of the Year once again and are ready for the wisdom of your ancestors, returning to the womb for healing and rebirth. Honor the seeds you planted long ago; love the sproutlings that grew into flowers, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and grains; for now you are prepared and abundant as you give way to your evolution, turning yourself into ashes to fertilize the ground for the seeds of the new year.

Goddesses of the Autumnal Equinox

Each geographical region has its own elemental correspondences to the directions and seasons, though underlying all elements is that of the Earth at the harvest, abundant supplies, and gifts from the Mother. In the Isles of Brigid, autumn is symbolic of the earth element emerging from the water of summer, and the crone emerging from the Mother.

Ertha and Gaia are manifestations of the autumnal equinox, though the symbolic Triple-Mother Goddess, Eiru, is best known in the Isles as a real world representative and cosmic metaphor of fertility and sovereignty. She lives in the land of women; she is the Mother of matter and performs the cleansing of Earth each year for the next planting.

Eiru, along with Fodha and Banba, protects the land, evokes dedication, devotion and commitment in the people that walk on her surface. She gives us life and preserves us in the face of danger and destruction, famine and misfortune. She is the mother, coming from the maiden and giving way to the crone, who is at the root of all autumnal harvest festivals.

We call on you Eiru for guidance and balance, for clarity and resolve. We thank and honor you for lighting the way into ourselves and for lighting the way outward again. Blessed are we who know you; blessed are we who honor the cycles you create for us along the spiraling path to awaken our souls. It is a route well trodden, so we fear not for our lives, making way for learning, remembering, and true focus for our intentions as ever-evolving souls.

Without your benchmarks, our sovereignty is unanchored and we fly untethered into the abyss of the ethers. Instead we spend our time growing, realizing and expressing. Thank you for the arms of compassion you wrap around us, and for your elemental reflections that help to remind us of who we really are as spirits embodied.

Prayer of Gratitude

Manifesting abundance and havingness is our inherent human right and creative power. We often desire and yet cannot create what we want because we remain separate from our nature, avoiding responsibility and risk. By praying as if you already have what you want, focusing on the end point in gratitude, you will move yourself out of hopelessness toward full enlightenment.

-Stand or sit comfortably with your feet on the ground, your eyes are closed.

-Visualize a grounding connection from the root chakra into the center of the earth. Sit for a moment and breath, releasing stagnant energies into the earth’s core.

-Allow earth energy to enter the bottom of your feet, moving into your lower body. Breathe and circulate the earth energy.

-Feel the cosmic energy as it moves into your crown chakra through your body to meet and mix with the earth energies.

-Breathe in and breathe out. Feel the earth and cosmic energies flowing through your body, opening the doors of knowledge and awareness, eliciting conversations with the God and Goddess of your heart.

-Envision what you want in present time. Observe and ground this vision.

-Create a symbol that represents what you are already manifesting. Allow your vision to flow into the symbol.

-Breathe into your heart, filling it with gratitude for what you have, what you want and what you are creating. Breathe from your heart out into your symbol, into the world, into the Universal flows where your vision will manifest.

-Release your vision to the Cosmos; trust that sending it away will allow it to manifest in your personal dimension and reality.

The information here has been compiled from various personal experiences as well as teachings and information from Kathy Jones’ book “Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess,” Mara Freeman’s book, “Kindling the Celtic Spirit,” and Frank MacEowen’s book, “The Celtic Way of Seeing.”

Samhain: Celtic New Year

Energy of the Season

Summer’s end draws back the heavy curtain for a moment, thinning the veils between worlds and expanding our awareness of the Divine. As the Wheel of the Year turns to darkness on the eve of All Soul’s Day, dusk marks the beginning of Samhain or Hallowmas, celebrating harvest and slaughter, death and rebirth, our link to the past and the ancient ones who made us.

On Samhain eve we dance to the drums that pound out Earthly rhythms. We shake off old patterns, moving to the beat of our instincts, much faster than our minds are able to even think. Almost transfigured, we see into the past before it is time to go into hibernation.

Bodies undulate unabashedly all around as the bonfire roars, throwing bones into the scorching heat of transformation. Healing begins as we look into the reflections of change within the flames; we begin to see ourselves and consciously sink into our ancestral roots to guide and transmute us. We intuitively call upon the wise guardians of our lineage long past, looking into their eyes for wisdom, clarity and release.

As the pumpkins, squashes and gourds are harvested, their seeds naturally fall to the ground from the once bountiful stalks. Lying dormant through the dark cycle, they will gather life force to breakthrough the soil’s surface come spring. We also plant our personal seeds during this turn of the wheel with intentions to begin anew, shedding old skin and eventually rising stronger from the ashes of our outworn ways in spring’s first light.

The cycle gradually darkens; we navigate the steps downward even further into the safety of Mother’s womb, bidding farewell to the setting sun and welcoming the rebirth we know is to come. It’s all part of the cycle of life, birth, death and rebirth.

Like the harvested and browning vines, part of us dies and turns to ashes, protecting and fertilizing the ground for planting later in the cycle. And as the dying chaffs lie in the fields awaiting transport to the Otherworld, the veils lift, opening the gateway for our ancestors’ momentary return. They come back through the dimensions to celebrate with us one last time.

We honor them here, on our terms, on our human turf, before they journey beyond our reach, before they ascend into the next house of existence. The celebration of Samhain is a feast of thanksgiving; all are welcome!

Lighting our personal candles at last, from the courage of the community flame, we silently walk the labyrinth, spiraling inward step by step. When eve turns to night and night to dawn, food and energy is stored for the long, deep season of winter. Once inside the cave, our candle flame flickers, its beacon lighting the way as we begin the slow journey homeward. This tiny flame of recognition reminds us why we are here in this place of peaceful rest and healing, exploring our shadow worlds until the Wheel turns again.

Goddess of Samhain:

Ceridwen, the witch hag and crone, is the Celtic Goddess of Samhain who holds the powers of the darkening moon, transformation and rebirth. Each year at this time she guides us into the Underworld to meet our shadow, to employ patience, reminding us of what is hidden while supporting us on our inward journey toward self-knowledge.

To progress, we must embrace all potentialities of our beingness, especially that which lies lonely in the darkness, waiting for a light to shine into its dusty corners. Ceridwen shows us how to gather the energy from our shadow, bringing it to light, becoming strong through our vulnerabilities.

A Welsh grain Goddess, she is the also the feminine archetype of inspiration, Celtic mythology, and creativity. Ceridwen rules the cycles of life: birth, death and rebirth; human gestation; and the Wheel of the Year, as a chalice of both endings and beginnings in our seasonal cycles.

The dark goddess’ inherent symbolism supports transformation and is represented by the story of her son, Afagddu who was born hideously ugly and uninspired. In her desire to heal him of these ills, she creates a batch of wisdom and inspiration in her magical cauldron using fresh herbs grown during each of the eight seasons on the Wheel of the Year. In honoring and embracing each of the cycles, this transformational potion was brewed and stirred for a year and a day to be properly alchemized.

Ceridwen hired both a blind fire tender and a boy named Gwion to help stir the pot. While stirring, three drops of the potion dropped onto on Gwion’s thumb. Unfortunately, the first three drops contained magic and the remainder in the cauldron was poisonous. Like anyone else, Gwion licked off the steaming potion and instantly received the gifts of wisdom and universal knowledge, leaving Ceridwen without a solution.

Incredibly angry after loosing all her work to save her own son, she chased Gwion all over the countryside. He ran and he ran, along the way shape shifting into many forms. He became a rabbit, and she transformed into a greyhound. When he dove into the river, becoming a fish, she was suddenly an otter. Then he changed into a bird and she a hawk, somehow always knowing what was next. At last he shape shifted into a grain of corn, and just a quickly she was a hen and ate him. For nine months the grain grew in her pregnant belly and she swore to kill him upon his birth.

As Ceridwen gazed upon the baby boy, too beautiful to harm, she decided instead to wrap him in a sealskin bag, and threw him into the sea. Soon rescued by a Welsh prince who eventually named the baby Taliesin, he lived on to be one of the greatest Celtic bards of all time.

Hail to Ceridwen! We stand at the cross quarter of Samhain, at the precipice of our own personal darkness, calling on you Ceridwen for strength and guidance in our next step. We honor your expertise and courage in your constant embrace of the shadow in all things.

May we become, as you, a master of our human cycles, the harvest and the planting, both beginnings and endings. Like you we hold the potential to be a lover of our shadow and to fully embrace each facet of ourselves as they relate to the elements, the directions and the constant turn of the wheel.

Hail to the Northwest, the water as it moves from the surface into the depths of the underground aquifers. When it reaches our inner most cave, we thirstily drink in the unknown, that which is a blend of light and dark, water and soil. We taste the gritty clumps, yet when shaken and stirred in the cauldron of our inner waters and emotions, we are able to stomach the poison. Inherently we know how to transmute its killing effect, turning life to death, and then into rebirth.

Welcome dark goddess. It is time we welcome ourselves into the darkening moons of cool transformation.

The information here has been compiled from various personal experiences as well as teachings and information from Kathy Jones’ book “Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess,” Mara Freeman’s book, “Kindling the Celtic Spirit,” and Frank MacEowen’s book, “The Celtic Way of Seeing.”

Sacred Body Oracle Readings

The Mystical Conversation Between Body & Spirit

Every cell of your body is a divine hologram filled with wisdom waiting to be activated. The Sacred Body Cards will guide you along the inner rivers–bringing light to the little known caverns, transmuting energy for healing. Like a fractal in the universal hologram, the cells in your natural body are created from energy patterns that spring from your Blueprint, which originates from the even subtler vibration of the Spiritual Template. This new deck includes:

65 Diving Cards & Oracle
Body to Spirit Communication
Human Physiology, Meridians & Organs
Nerve Plexi & Subtle Body Connections
Endocrine Glands & Chakras
Elements and Directions
Intuitive Functions of the Brain
Breath, Movement, Visualization Practices

Sacred Body Cards will help you learn about and explore your blueprint, and the template, how they weave through your physiology and how to open yourself to your ”ascension information.”

 

Intrinsic Body Balance

This was first posted in 2012 as a Newsletter Sidebar to ElementalsLinks here may have been disconnected. If you’d like more information about the courses, programs and audios, please email us and we’ll be happy to fill you in!

The Autonomic Nervous System

We begin here with a some basic anatomy: both spiritual and physiological, as well as few simple audios to boost your practice, assisting your stress reduction and management.

One of the keys to integrating body and spirit lies in our autonomic nervous system. This is part of our body-spirit communication. Here are some nuts and bolts of this very important biological communication system and its energetic counterparts.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is broken into two parts: the sympathetic branch which triggers the fight or flight impulse and mobilizes resources to act under stress; and the parasympathetic branch which activates our natural capacity for relaxation, digestion, regulation of internal organs and anything that happens while the body is at rest.

Since the human body is equipped with two facets of the ANS, we utilize both in concert with one another, and need both to survive. In energetic terms, the ANS mirrors our masculine and feminine lines of connection between the upper and lower dantiens (Taoist term for primary energy centers), the root and navel with the brow chakras. These two facets are also represented in Hermes’ staff of Aesclepion entwined by two serpents.

The image of the autonomic nervous system comes from Wikipedia.

In yogic terms, these lines are called nadis, which are energetic rivers or channels through which subtle body energies flow. There are three main channels: Sushumna is the central channel and is reflected physically in the central nervous system; Ida and Pingala relate to the ANS, masculine and feminine energies. Feminine energy is lunar, cool, blue, receptive, shadowy and is associated with Ida; while Pingala, the masculine energy, is hot, red or white, light, active, and solar.

In Taoism, these same two lines are commonly known as Yin and Yang, along with all minor meridian channels designated as rivers of Yin or Yang. The corresponding elements in western medical science and anatomical drawings identify anything blue (nerves,veins) as afferent or inward, leading into the center; anything red (arteries, nerves) is efferent or outward, moving away from center to create an effect.

This image of Ida & Pingala originates at the Power of Kundalini.

In our bodies, afference and efference happen simultaneously as an integral, possibly crucial, piece of our body’s rhythms. Blood moves toward the heart and away from the heart; nerve impulses run toward the central nervous system and into the extremities; we operate in a constant active and receptive dance throughout our day. Everything is set up for perfect cyclical rhythms.

Until, of course we become stressed and then it all shifts.What actually triggers the systemic changeover into stress is often unconscious, though we know that the imbalance creates even more stress across the board.

If we were in a constant state of efference, our heart would not receive blood; our extremities would swell up, eventually depleting our life blood and energy, creating secondary stress and a state of greatly diminished life force. This is seen physiologically through adrenal burnout as well; emotionally and mentally through misinterpretation, mental and emotional disorders, brain chemistry imbalance and depletion of our essential minerals and brain food reserves.

Again, it’s a cycle, and because the body always seeks stasis, any form of disruption in our natural rhythms leads to excessive cycling and more stress. We can change our chemistry, our natural rhythms and our endocrine balance just by over thinking and or emotional indulgence.

On the other hand, if we’re in a constant state of afference, we could become overwhelmed by foreign energies, the heart would flood with blood, our limbs would loose sensation becoming weak, we’d get sluggish, lethargic and spend much of our time wallowing. Similar changes would happen metaphysically or energetically when we open ourselves up to an extreme, allowing others to plug into our auric fields. Ironically, too much receptivity can also create stress.

The key is balance and integration, and what Carl Jung refers to as individuation: the integration of masculine and feminine principles. While Jung was probably referring to this psycho-spiritually, we can apply his concepts across the board because the head bone’s connected to heart bone, and all facets of beingness influence one another. Imbalance on any level is stressful for the human physiology, the emotional and mental constitution, as well as spiritually.

Stress can be addressed from any level and create results on all others. For example, we can find a way to slow our minds and this will be an effective remedy for emotional distress, physical tension and spiritual or energetic integration. Or, you could engage in a restorative yoga practice to effect change in the emotional, mental and spiritual realms as well. With any immersion, there are always varying depths of exploration and need for fairly constant attention, especially if the stress is chronic and environmental.

There are many different methods for stress relief, management and reduction, though not so many ways to truly abate stress and balance the ANS. Here are some ideas for different levels of commitment or engagement; you can choose how and where you’d like to begin focus your energies and take your next step. The audios build on each other in this order: Grounding to Anchoring to Vitality.

Getting to the Cause: Audio Files for Destressing

Stress Relief: taking a break, swimming on a hot day, going for a walk in the woods, listening to calming music, taking a sea salt bath, deep breathing, an easy restorative yoga class.

You may temporally access the following audios at Energetic Connection Podcast Page. A new link will be posted in the next 30 days.

Stress Reduction: the ongoing result of stress relieving exercises. Listen to this audio on Grounding.

Stress Management: regular long term practice of stress relief and integration of stress reduction experiences; a clearer place of integration and ability to find stress relief on the fly; conscious intention and attention. Listen to this audio on Anchoring.

Stress Abatement: rewiring the nervous system completely, creating a new neural network for calm and relaxation; use of stress relief, reduction and management methods with a deeper focus and spiritual intention. Listen to this audio on Vitality.

For more information about stress, please see our newsletter post: Elementals