Friday, March 30, 2012

Garden Planting Begins

Update my Garden:

Last night I put in the Sacred Square. The Devas asked for it to be filled with cosmos. They have also asked each time down there working that I burn incense. (A little out of my comfort zone – public space and a solo practitioner) I figure if my gardening neighbors G or the D ask me - my standard response: I’m using gardening as a mindful, spiritual practice. The incense helps me to remember this. This of course is true. I also was asked to put several amethyst points in the center – done.

I put in the 2 pea squares. I’d pre-soaked the peas while I was at work. T said he saw them on the kitchen counter and thought about using them in our pasta dish for dinner. Then thought again.

It rained last night.

Tonight I hope to get in the lettuce mix, radishes, carrots turnips, beets, and parsnips squares. Hmmm... I wonder if Z between the basketball shots will be willing to weed the raspberries and plant the extra peas behind them.

I found a cool idea for the potatoes from Sunset Magazine: Potato Towers. I’m game – The Deva’s like it. Looks like a cool sculpture in our garden. Sunset provides a step by step on constructing this.

Because of the weather – I am finding it difficult to get my onions in. Many of the gardening shops in town haven’t gotten any of the onion sets in. Why? We are 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I plan on trying my last garden shop tonight. Have to pick up “flower power” compost for the squares done so far and the potatoes.

Side note: I don’t know what is happening around the country – community gardeners in Central Ohio have been asked to consider giving their extras to a local pantry.

My food pantry just wrote a report. There is less federal and state money available to purchase food. Additionally, the food prices have gone up. This adds up to less food to help out people in needs.

One of the conversations with the Devas is that for every three I donate one to the food pantry.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grandparents and Teachers: the wise ones who shaped us - Part 1

Thank You Craft - Grandparents Day
“Everything you plant a seed and you don’t see it flourish or bloom, it’s there, and it grows.”  ~ Renee Thorton, teacher, NY, NY

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.  ~Lily Tomlin as "Edith Ann"

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.  ~Tracy Chapman

Friday's NPR Morning Edition National Public Radio’s Story Corps always makes my day.  It makes me feel good as a human being.  Since September 2011, they have been conducting a series called “Teacher’s Initiative.”  The stories have been very touching.  Former students have been thanking their teachers.  I believe these intimate stories “share humanity” and create a pool of “American voices and wisdom for future generations.”  Listeners have been encouraged to write a thank you to their teacher. 

There have been many teachers and wise ones in my life. They are the ones (blood and non-blood) who have helped me along my path.  Their spirits ride close to my heart encouraging me on when I have challenges.  They have guided my hands.  They have showed me how to make pie crust or a stiff whiskey and coke.  They have offered advice about marriage and how often to change the oil in my car.  Or they have pointed me into the right direction.  They have also been honest when I’ve not been up to their expectation – but readily forgive.  Their love and their stories have made me who I am. 

I recently read two blogs that seem to illustrate how special these relationships are in a spiritual practice.  One was done in a video cast by YesheRabbit of The Way of the Rabbit.  She stated: “To love my Grandmother is to love the whole human – the strengths and weakness, the love in between of her.” Elayne Lockhart of Stir the Cauldron wrote: “My Grandmother was a 5’ force to be reckoned with….. I learned many things from grandma about energy, nature, earth tides and the cycles of birth, life and death.” 

I began to wonder what others felt.  To shake things up:  I decided to ask several Facebook friend groups why it is important to honor our ancestors, teachers and grandparents in a spiritual practice.  I also asked how they did this.  Besides the abundance of “thumbs ups” on my question - below are some of the responses from those who gave me permission to reprint their quote. 


“They deserve the Respect as they have come before us. Guides for us, show us what we need to know, where to go as this is now our Spiritual Journey which then can help us along the way. Blessings ” Diane Brown

“In my practice I honor every one and all things..... I honor my ancestors because they take my hand and show me the way. They are family, I honor that. There is a connection with them. They are my teachers, my elders, they show me the way. They are my guides.”  Cay Collins

“For the gifts they have bestowed upon me. For the wisdom learned and ancestral power provided or bestowed….To draw upon their power in times of need (Time is not linear). You cannot call upon that which you have no relationship with FULLY (in my opinion), and which does not know you. Honoring them appropriately allows for this relationship to be forged.” Brian Edwards

“Ancestors are our foundation. They helped shape us to be who we are today. The good and the bad have taught us right from wrong and given us the knowledge we need to survive. I honor them daily for all they've given me... [I] light my ancestral candle every morning upon awakening without fail so I hope they know they are in my thoughts daily.  Mary Hitchcock, White Hat Society (One with the laughing ancestors)

“We honor the blood lines we come from to show us where we have been. We honor our chosen ancestors for the wisdom they have shared with us. The wisdom they have accesses to now if not in their life time here.” Nature Lightweaver

"I think just being aware of them, passing on their stories if you know any, keeping their memory alive. My grandfather is a guide for me and I love working with him. My grandmother's side is Italian so I will try to learn more about the culture and Italian witchcraft. I will light a candle for them at times to show respect and honor their memory, especially around Samhain. Oh! and recipes! LOL - something else simple. I try to make recipes that have been passed down. :))))”  Jasmeine Moonsong, White Hat Society, Author Wiccan Moonsong Blog

“Without them I would not be here. They are the wise ones. They offer us guidance. It is like "Been there done that" guidance. You learn from your elders.” Brenda Nelson, White Hat Society

“My approach to the Ancestors was I had none.  I was always the black shape in my biological family.   As I grew and as a witch I realized that the Ancestors are not blood connection but the teaching and wisdom they pass on.   I consider people that have touched me in profound ways.  To me, my Ancestors are people like the kind old lady that takes you in when you have no place to go.  The playground aid that talked to you all recess because you had no friends.  The old married couple that has been married for 50 years and counting. These are the kind of people I think of when I think of my Ancestors.   I also know that some personality traits are genetic and it is a good idea to know where these traits come from; but to me we are all connected all related.  So honoring the Ancestors is honoring the people that have written that past for us in order for us to learn and improve.”  Jay Tenenbaum

"My Grandfather showed my (used-to-be) non-believing Dad that there were connections beyond by calling him on the phone and talking to him for a half hour 4 hours after he died, but before we knew he was gone. Now he visits him in dreams. Thanks Gramp!!”  Linda Pickard Weir, White Hat Society


Activities 1
Write a thank you note to a former teacher, aunt, Grandparent, the older lady down the street who watched out for you.

Activity 2

Bake Aunt D’s Pound Cake and share

2 sticks of butter - room temperature
5 eggs - room temperature
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar

Beat butter and sugar together 4 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add flour and 1 tsp of vanilla and beat another 6 minutes.  Dump into a greased and floured tube pan.  Bake at 395 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

If you want to get fancy – make a rose water glaze.  1 cup powder sugar and add 2 Tbs of Rose Water. 

Adrienne Rich - Cool Feminist Poet - Voice will be missed.

"Unlike most American writers, Rich believed art and politics not only could co-exist, but must co-exist"

But when then-President Clinton awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1997, Rich refused to accept it, citing the administration's "cynical politics."

"The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate," she wrote to the administration. "A president cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored."

Read more:

We will miss you Adrienne. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fear of Not Having Enough

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” – Frederick Keonig

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.” ― Stephen Colbert

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” Mahatma Gandhi


Spring is here. The earth is balanced on its fulcrum. Balanced like Lady Justice’s scale of truth and fairness. But, what I observe going on around me is the opposite.

I listen to the news bytes of truths and lies; watch graphic fear grabbing images; and read my e-mail of another friend without a job. I conclude humanity is stumbling - losing their balance of reason. Okay, I’ll be frank I feel my country has lost its balance. We’re running in terror like characters in one of those zombie movies. We’re buying up and hunkering down with our hoards for some long term apocalypse of scarcity. Generosity and neighborliness has been thrown out the window. The reinforcement of the old rules of oppression, exploitation and taking away of rights are what’s vogue as a mechanism to get what you don’t have. It feels like a children’s game is regaining popularity. You remember it: “Like Hell I’ll Share – Now Give Me Yours or Else.” (The game involves a lot of pushing, shoving and bloody noses. Oh – and hurt feelings. And as long as you don’t get caught you won’t get punished.)

It’s hard not to be sucked into this cultural vortex of scarcity. It’s hard to swim against the current following what the great teachers taught about living peaceful in community:
  • Maat called the rich to help the less fortunate rather than exploit them, echoed in tomb declarations: "I have given bread to the hungry and clothed the naked" and "I was a husband to the widow and father to the orphan.”
  • Goddess Brigit was known for her generosity of feeding the birds, animals and the poor. 
  • Jesus: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." 
  • Bukhari Volume 7, Book 64, Number 265: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "The one who looks after a widow or a poor person is like a Mujahid (warrior) who fights for Allah's Cause, or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day."
All I can think of is Roberta Flack singing: “Where isthe love?” or the Black Eyed Peas: “Where is the love, the love, the love”


I’ve spent the better part of the week trying to figure out how to resolve this dilemma.  How as a spiritual person can I change this or at least transform this fear into something else?  It came to me while I was thinking about what type of cake I was going to bake: Paying it forward by showing the world some kindness.

I believe the only way we can turn this fear around is stop focusing on ourselves and what we don’t have.  We need to begin asking the question how can share what I’ve been blessed with - with you?  This concept of sharing should be about creating happiness in someone else’s life without the thought of “What am I going to get out of it?”

The cake isn’t for me or my family.  I’m donating it to my school system in support of the music and theater department.  My city schools have had a cake walk for over 63 years.  The community comes out in full support buying tickets in order to play musical chairs.   And, it’s all done on a volunteer basis including donations of many cakes.  People do it out of generosity or paying it forward.

As a CCWWW, I believe we all are connected through Motherfather Spirit.  Thus the statement: “what you do to others will be returned three fold” I try to keep it at the front and center of my actions.  If I don’t share, how can I eat without thinking of those who are hungry?  That cake I’m sharing?  In a small way, it’s a thank you to those who shared when I was in school.    My music program flourished under many parents freely giving.

The remainder of the week I tried an experiment of such.   It was sort of like that Liberty Mutual commercial.  Opening doors and smiling people on the street, but with a CCWWW twist.

I went to a Celtic women’s spiritual retreat several years ago.  We read about the spiritual practice of blessing and saying thank you to the land, plant and animals.  This practice was done before each a chore, hanging up your coat, milking a cow, or piecing together a quilt.  It was a natural way to see and experience Motherfather Spirit in everything and in the ordinary of life.    We spent the day doing this.  As the lunch lady served my meal, I said thank you and thought of it as a blessing.  This was the twist. 

I began carrying out my Liberty Mutual experiment.  When I made my cake – I thought of all the people who helped me.  I thought of just being able to play it forward. 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever does." - Margaret Mead

Pay it forward activities
  1. Go through outgrown children’s toys and leave them on the doorstep of another child’s house. 
  2. Bake some cookies and share them with your neighbor.
  3. Bring in a bag of chocolates to share at the water cooler area.
  4. Smile and a passing stranger on the street. 
  5. Thank someone for opening to door for you.
  6. Buy the person in line behind you a cup of coffee.  (This has happened to me)
  7. Share flowers with a co-worker.
  8. Collect the soap at the hotel and give it to a domestic violence shelter or men’s shelter.
  9. Go through your old towels and give them to an animal shelter.
  10. Buy 5 cans of vegies and give to a local food pantry.
  11. Earth Day is coming up – are you signed up to help pick up trash around your block?
  12. Have leftovers from a party or a big gathering?  Share it with a homeless shelter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eostre/Vernal Equinox – A Day of Hope

Community Garden March 2012 
Eostre is the midpoint between the winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice.   This was one of the first holidays I adopted for my spiritual journey as a CCWWW.  Eostre to me represents hope – the warm weather and sun's promised return.  I believe our world needs a lot of hope and healing.   The announcement of spring is a wonderful way to begin again.  It’s a chance to shed old ways and start again as the earth is centered, balanced on its axis between cold and hot.  Unlike Easter, this is a holiday that is all about the earth to me.  Its earth's way of showing me Motherfather is around saying: "Hey! Wake up and look."  It is a holiday that links me with the earth by honoring her cycles.  It puts the rabbit and the egg back to it's rightful holiday.

My family heritage is from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Germany.  I celebrate this day with my family on the weekend - because I have more time to cook this meal.  We have a spring into spring meal based on my family heritage.  The main color of the meal is green, because this is a time that the greens may be up in the Northern Countries.  The ritual for my garden is done on the calendar date.  I have included a working menu and my garden ritual that I do with my garden spirits.    

Irish Soda Bread:
Everyone knows by now, the Irish did not invent soda bread.  The bread became associated with the Irish in the mid-1800s due to the Great Irish Famine.  It is estimated that over 1 million people died during this time due to hunger, poverty and diseases associated with hunger and poverty.  What happened was a tragedy and we still could learn from our human mistakes as to what happened back then.  This tragedy is about planting one crop, the potato (not a native plant) and not caring for the land by rotating the fields.  It was about landowners and the rich not sharing what they had stored.  It was elevating one religion over the other through the use of discrimination and bigotry – a tragedy in my mind (as if one religion is "the only way").  To me, this bread is appropriate to eat as a symbol for starting over by learning from mistakes in our human past.

Irish Soda Bread was easy to prepare using at a minimum 4 ingredients: baking soda, flour, sour milk and salt.  It is a quick bread and baked in a cast iron pot over the fire.  It is bread or carbohydrate that could fill hungry bellies.

The bread traditionally has an X on the top.  Some say it is an X to ward off evil.  I believe it is the rune Gebo.  Gebo is the rune representing balance, hospitality, sharing gifts and having equilibrium – symbolic for the beginning of spring.   

Spring into Spring Menu:
Devilish eggs with dill (grown in my garden last year)
Green Salad with mustard herb dressing
Beef Brisket or Potato, Leek and Kale soup (this depends on my mood)
Mashed kale and potatoes (a variation of Colcannon - mashed cabbage and potatoes)
Steamed asparagus
Steamed peas
Irish Soda Bread
Rice pudding with strawberries

Music to cook by
Here comes the sun by George Harris
Warmth of the sun by the Beach Boys
Waiting for the sun by the Doors
Three sunrises by U2

Balance the Egg
Activity for children and adults - Balance an (not hard boiled) egg on the table.  This takes patience.  It is thought that because the earth is at center balanced on its axis – an egg can be balanced.  Truthfully Z and B are better than me in doing this.  Patience. 
Blessing of my garden ritual – this is what I do.  My ritual is based from Scott Cunningham’s work and the work done at Findhorn and Perelandra.  Also – my garden’s Spirits know that I am a square foot gardener when it comes to vegie planting.  I’ve been up front on this point and the Spirits of my garden knows the amount of time and energy I have.  It’s all about being a team player by working together and this includes open, honest communication and active listening.   

Materials needed:
Grid paper – on the side I list the vegies I would like to grow
Uncooked Egg
Rye seeds

At night – I go down to my space at the community garden.  I lay the grid paper on the ground and take a handful of dirt.  I put this on the paper.  I take the beer and toast to the devas/angels, spirits/fairies of the garden to bond our team for working together in creating the garden that will feed my family and help heal the earth.  I toast promising that I will help them with their work and that I’ll listen to where they’d like the vegies and flowers based on their needs.  I ask if they will help keep the vegies healthy and produce vegies.  I toast to the soil that it may have all the nutrients needed to grow the vegies and flowers.  I toast to the returning sun and the rain and the winds that will help the vegies and flowers grow.  I ask that the insects and animals be gentle on my vegies – like the beetles who like my beans and the deer and the rabbits who like the basil and greens. 

I ask the Spirits of the garden where to bury the egg, because it isn't all  about me (good team work example).   I usually use my pendulum or intuition – depends on the evening.  I bury the egg there.  Then in the 4 corners I dump some beer toasting thanking Motherfather Sprit for this coming planting season.  I then take a handful of rye seeds and thank Motherfather Spirit for allowing the Garden Spirits and myself to co-create.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Findhorn: a garden based on teamwork

March 15, 2012 Too Soon?
“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” Mia Hamm, US Soccer Player

“One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamites.” Master Jin Kwon, South Korean Martial Arts Master

“I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity... to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.” Paul McCarthy


I’m enjoying the 70 F weather in Central Ohio.  My daffodils are blooming and the fruit trees around town are bursting open their pink, white and magenta colored petals.  I’ve got my shorts out and riding my bike.  But, in the back of my heart there is a dark curtain with worry.

As a gardener, we are at the minimum 2-3 weeks ahead of planting schedule.  Our winter here was abnormal.  We missed having at least two weeks of deep freeze that helps decrease the insect population.  What does this all mean?
  • If we get a freezing rain now it will wipe out our apple, cherry and peach crops.  For consumers, this means an increase in prices.
  • Without the freeze over the winter we will have a larger insect population who like us humans, will be hungry for things that are green. 
  • If it is 70F now, what will this mean in July and August?  Will the temperatures be higher?
  • The fosthyia are blooming.  Will we still get 3 more snows? 
A gardener thinks of these things while planting their onions and peas.


I’ve been a gardener for many years (Refer to ‘Body’ article). Recapping, my Dad had my siblings out there in the garden planting, weeding and picking when I was in Elementary School. His type of gardening was organic square foot gardening. In a nutshell, I learned that tomato plants can grow in a 1’x1’ square and bean plants are grown 9 plants per 1’ square. All organic plant byproducts otherwise known as kitchen scraps went into a compost pile. The compost was spread out in the spring and rototilled in before we planted on Memorial Day Weekend (Northern Ohio). Dad didn’t use any white stuff on his plants to keep the bugs away. He used marigolds and nasturtiums and the slugs were controlled with pans of beer.

Diane, owner of Pearls of Wisdom (my favorite Columbus metaphysical bookstore), carries many books on gardening. Many of the books are centered on healthy nutrition by growing your own, the witches gardening by the moon, and on herbalism and native plants for healing. One book I pulled off the shelf in the late 1980s (To Hear the Angels Sing by Dorothy Maclean) was about Findhorn.
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Findhorn original garden
Findhorn is located in Northern Scotland. Briefly, the founders, Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean began communicating with the Garden Devas based on a message received by the Spirit of God to do so. This part Scotland isn’t the best area to grow with sandy soil, winds and the dry cool climate with limited waterfall. However, they followed through with God’s message and began communicating with the Devas daily. The first year they did this resulted in an abundance of food. What I remember from the book was their ability to grow a 40 lbs cabbage without the use of Miracle Grow. Findhorn is yearly visited by international visitors who all come to see the gardens. Findhorn is a member of IONESCO and is recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization, or NGO, by the United Nations. It is one of those ‘earthy wow sites’ I hope to get to in my lifetime.

Maclean named the spirits Devas from the Sanskrit name for light beings.   People have called them angels, fairies or spirits.  How do I picture them?  I think of them as unseen entities who've always been there.  We humans have either forgotten or have never learned about them.  What I do believe is that they should be treated with respect and not be thought of as “slaves to do our bidding.” 

This idea of working with the Devas intrigued me. Getting started was felt weird and uneasy. I was never taught to pray for garden spirits or honor the garden spirits. Praying after the harvest at suppertime yes, but never in the beginning.  Let alone, did my Dad ever ask where ‘they’ would like the tomatoes planted or what type of fertilizer they’d felt was necessary to grow the plant. My first hurdle was to overcome my fear that I’d be a subject of a family intervention to the state psych hospital because of my beliefs in unseen fairy tale ‘wee folks.’ (T shrugged and believes.)  The rest of the community gardeners?  Don't ask.  Everyone does their garden different.

Once I got over my fear, I’ve learned working with the Devas is very much like the skills needed to work in the office: team building skills. The skills I’ve easily used on many projects for my job have now been transferred into the garden setting. Basically, we (Devas and I) are pooling our areas of expertise and talents to create the garden beneficial to both. And, for the past 5 years I’ve moved from my beds around my house and started working with them in my community garden plot.

Shared mission and goals built on trust
First, you have to believe in Devas. How I would best describe Devas are elementals, spirits, fairies, angles of the garden. Believing they are there is an act of faith on your part. They don’t seem to have any problems. It’s us humans who rely too much on our sense of sight.

Second, you have to be up front as possible. I know that the Deva’s are concerned about creating the best energy for the health of the landscape. My goal is for growing the best vegies for my family. I do care about their cause, but growing vegies helps my family reduce our $$ at the groceries. I guess the bottom line is how we can help each other in this mission.

My communication with them starts on the Spring Equinox. During my ritual at the garden, I have a plan listing the types of vegies I plan on growing the upcoming season. I bless the soil and ask for their help back at my home for plant placement. I communicate via my pendulum by asking yes and no questions. Example: Should a tomato plant be planted in this square? How often I should water each week. How often to fertilize?

I’m very clear to the Devas that my family likes certain vegies and I’m open to growing different types of flowers to help their cause. I’m also clear that they get to drive where things are planted. And, I drive the format – square foot gardening. If they say put a tomato in every 9’x9’ square – okay I will put a tomato plant in every 9’x9’ square.

Collaboration with participation
My main collaboration effort has been around bugs. Specifically, our collaboration has been around the beetles that like my bean. They like my beans because I don’t use the white powdery stuff like other gardeners. Through my collaboration with the Devas I’ve been able negotiate one row being just for the beetles and I get the rest. This collaboration has made me see the beetles as just trying to survive too. In other words, we all have a place on the earth.

Start Asking Activity:

Materials Needed: Journal and pen
Sit alone next to your houseplants or outside next to your garden.  Ground yourself.  Ask:  Do need anything that could help out the garden?  Should a plant be moved?  Should there be any crystals?  Any type of fertilizer needed to help out?  Then listen.  Journal your response.

Maclean, Dorothy. To Hear the Angels Sing. Elgin, IL: Lorain Press, 1980.
Wright, Michaelle Small. Perelandra Garden Workbook.  Perelandra. 1987.

Youtube video on Findhorn  Interview with Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean
Miller, Danny. The Findhorn Film. Dannymillerfilm 29, Oct. 2009. Web. 17, March. 2012.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lenten Poem

I went to a women's spiritual retreat two weekends ago.  Rev C shared one of her favorite books from seminary:  Women's Uncommon Prayers. One of the prayers for Lent spoke to me - it seemed to describe my journey to a T.  

Lent: The Mind's Extremity
by Ms. Rosamond Rosenmeier (July 4, 1928 - Dec. 29, 2011)

Into this late winter time
Lent erupts its Wednesday ash;
black dust darkens our sky.
Return. Return.

Lent leads us down to buried time,
down the mountain
onto a fenceless plain,
a dry savanna where all demons wait.
Lent's unwilled free-fall
plummets us through remorse
and clotted dreams,
into the scarred haunts of hurt,
blame, damage, loss.
We are released into ourselves, alone.

Lent returns us into depths
deeper than the dead are deep
where we come into openness: two crows
on the branch of a single tree-
black carrion birds,
guardians of a slate gray sky.

A cold lightning arcs down
into silence and dim light.
Moment by fearless moment
its sharp pulse flashes
in terror and prayer to the breath's end-
in dust we are returned
to a place where no secrets are hid.

Here the Spirit's slow alchemy
melts every easy expectation,
and a final expanse opens
its felt presence
to the edge of visibility.
We are returned to the rim
to look ourward toward the cusp
of a new place.

Geitz, E.R., Burke. M.A., Smith, A., Bennett, D.Q., McCormick, K., Sukraw, T.J. Women's Book of Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated. Harrisburg, PA, Morehouse Publishing. 2000

Friday, March 9, 2012

Earthy Wow Sites

Apollo Moon Shot
"There is a language beyond human language, an elemental language, one that arises from the land itself."  Linda Hogan, Chickasaw Writer

“There are…places where one breathes in spirit, places where a man can steep himself in it, or if you prefer, where he quickens the sense of the divine in himself. This is the greatest gift of Earth and Heaven to man.” Louis Charpentier, The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral

“Earth’s crammed with heaven/ And every common bush afire with God: but only he who sees takes off his shoes.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I’ve been working for many years on developing my “wow factor.”  I’m well aware that I’ve not reached the adept level, but by practicing I have become aware of chi/life energy/Kether outside of my physical body.  Specifically, I’ve become aware of earthly places that feel good.  I classify these places as having the “wow factor” also. 

My experience with these places feels like working with an “energy ball.” (See last week’s Activity) When visiting these places, I’ve stuck my hands out and felt tingling and sometimes heat radiating the space.  And, I find that after returning home I’m able to immediately go back there in my mind’s eye.  And, if I am in the vicinity – I need to take a trip there.

The first time I became aware of these places was in Prague.  T and I went there with Volunteers for Peace project in 1997.  After finishing our two week work project,   we decided to tour Prague for a couple of days.  The city is magical reminding me of all my fairy tale books.  Many of the places we visited had college students working diligently to restore the city to its glory before WWII and the implications of Fascist and Communist rule.  I remember sitting in a front pew watching students carefully strip black paint away from a mural painting and the marble.  My hands began to tingle.  I thought this odd and opened my palms up on my lap.  I was hit with a “wow.”  T noticed it also.

Below are some of my favorite wow spots.  This list grows as I explore my world. 
Glastonbury Well

England, Glastonbury well - yes I drank the water and brought some home for a Reike master friend.  It was too cold and rainy to bath.  This energy was very gentle and pulsing. 

Avebury Stone Circle
England, Avebury Ring - Each stone vibrated.  My son was a toddler and he had a great time running around.  I couldn't get over it.  There were people out with their dowsing rods looking for the ley lines.  This is something I can't image happening in the USA.  A side note, the English were very nice about children.  They went out of there way to help me with my stroller and doting on him - something I find rare back in the states.

Cologne Cathedral
Germany, Cologne Cathedral - If you get off the train - look up you can't miss it.  This church is big.  One thing I noticed on my recent trip, there are ushers telling people to get off their cells and to "shhh."  The previous time I visited I found it rather distracting with everyone talking with "outdoor" voices.  Now you can concentrate on the nice energy here.  The Cathedral was built on a Pagan Site.  Hmmm that happened a lot.  I propose it had to do with the "wow factor." 

Dom St. Peter at Night
Germany, Trier:  Dom St. Peter – by the shrine to the holy robe.  This is a cool place.  King Charlie built this for his Mom at the same time he built the St. Peter's in Rome.  Cool story.  If you walk in the organ looks out of place being a dark grey black against rose pink.  Apparently, Rome wouldn't let the church clean the walls.  Over time people forgot the walls were pink due to the candle soot.  Well the walls were cleaned and it is pink inside.  I felt the best energy next to the shrine to the holy robe. 

Nara Buddha
Japan, Nara by the Buddha - there are actually 3 Buddhas here in Nara.  This Buddha was built in 752 - he is old.  All three give off great energy.  What's wild about this place is the deer.  The deer come up to you like you are their best friend.  At my family farm in Western PA - they run the other direction when the see a human.  Advice don't eat around the deer.  They are aggressive and you'll loose it. 

Ohio Serpant Mound
USA, Ohio: Serpent’s Mound - I am an Ohioan.  I live in the land of the ancient mounds.  Near my house there use to be two mounds.  One still remains the other houses a Wendy's.  This is a great spot.  Very peaceful.  It you are there at the Solstices, sometimes Native Americans are there doing ceremonies.  The energy is comforting and so is the scenary of gentle rolling hills.  If I'd had my say.  The Serpant Mound would be on Ohio's quarter not the Wright Brothers.

Cohokia Mounds
USA, Illinois: Cahokia Mounds - Mounds? This place is unreal.  Think Egypt in the midwest.  My parents never stopped here when we went to visit my Aunt in St. Louis.  My suggestion - to feel the best 'wow' effect don't park at the parking lot and walk up the stairs.  Approach the big mound from the field.  The energy builds as you finally reach the top 'WOW."

Mission San Xavier del Blanc
USA, Arizona: Mission San Xavier del Blanc - This was one of the first places I have felt both tingling and heat.  T and I realized the heat wasn't coming from the candles.  When I'm in the area - I have to go to this site.  I can't explain. 

Entering these earthy wow spaces.
I attended several lectures by Native American shaman regarding earthy wow sites.  All stated there was a need to maintain these spots because they’re important for the health of our earth.  They requested all who visit these spots to bring an offering that would bring about healing and helping our Mother.  The following offerings were recommended and are what I bring when visiting: copper (copper pennies), mica and tobacco.

Activities – Go and explore earthly wow places.
By no means is this site a complete listings but it’s a jumping off point.

Feel free to share your favorite spots in our wonderful world. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More on my Lenten Walk to find Peace as a Celtic Christian Wise Witchy Woman

“You cannot hope to create peace and harmony in the world until you have found peace and harmony within. You have to start with yourself. You have to start in a small way and let it grow and expand. A mighty oak tree has its beginnings in a tiny acorn, and yet within that tiny acorn it contains everything. You contain the peace of the world within you, so why not let it grow and expand within until it no longer can be contained and bursts forth, bringing peace and harmony into the world? It starts within you, so be consciously aware of the vitally important part which you have to play to help bring peace and harmony into the world. Never stand back and blame anyone else for the state of the world, but get into action and do something about it yourself. Now, be at perfect peace as you do My will and walk in My ways, glorifying Me.”  Eileen Cady – Findhorn

I was reflecting more about my Lenten walk.  What I came up with is the hero’s journey – when the hero faces his/her greatest fears and challenges.  Everything is exposed to the Motherfather Spirit – the good, bad and ugly of his life.  How will the hero resolve this?  Another thought, my Lenten journey could be comparable to a trip into the Underworld in Greek mythology and coming back changed for the good – Maybe a Persephone type of tale.   Or encounter with La Loba or Baba Yaga, told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes  in She Who Runs With Wolves – The wolf woman or Baba Yaga knows my soul and picks through the gunk to find the treasures I have lost or buried. 

Buddhist Prayer for Peace. 
“May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses.   May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses – the children, the aged, and the unprotected – be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.”  (Reproduced from Peace Abby)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

E=(mc2) wow factor squared

E=(mc2) wow
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." Einstein

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Einstein

"We rarely think of the air we breathe, yet it is in us and around us all the time. In similar fashion, the presence of God penetrates us, is all around us, is always embracing us, and it is delightful.” Eckhart Tolle.

When I look at this card I see someone who really knows how to use life energy/Chi/Qi/Kether.  It’s a person who understands both the science and sacredness of energy.   They know it’s the essential ingredient for creating a dream into a reality with substance. They treat and use this energy with respect and awe.  They have the courage learned in the card proceeding this one (The Fool) and are willing to take a risks in using this energy.  I see this person as having the wow factor.

Their foundation knowledge is the awareness that all matter is in constant vibration. That they, like everything else in this universe are made up of this life energy matter and that moves at different pulses and rhythms, but vibrating and somehow managing to stay together.  They grasp that this energy is free flowing, meaning it connects all matter making us interdependent beyond the Nitrogen cycle or the Carbon cycle that everyone learned in 7th grade science (Benchmark knowledge in Ohio’s School System).  They know that energy can’t be created or destroyed only transferred into another system. 

Looking back at the card, the tools on the table represented the 4 elements: earth, air, fire and water.  They understand that these are matter in different form.  And, they practice their craft by using these different vibrational forms of energy to create based on their gifts and talents (i.e., music, visual art, cooking, organizing to end poverty, teaching, farming, cancer treatment).

Another piece of the wow factor is that this person knows that they’re co-creators.  They know the life energy doesn’t come from them.  They’re a liaison between the life-energy source (Motherfather Spirit) and earth/physical plane.  I see them as the creative hands of Motherfather Spirit).  They’ve practiced using the different energy forms and make it manifest here on earth/physical plane. 


My life partner T asks: “What are the units of measurement for Chi?”  He’s thinking maybe Electron Volts or Joules.  He is being funny in an electrical engineering kind of way. 

I tell him that this might be something he can pursue when he retires.  He goes back to playing chess.


Reflecting back to the Magician image and the infinity sign, the wow factor person not only understands energy but also recognizes that our thoughts are potential energy too.  In studying tarot through the Builders of the Adytum I quickly realized this.  I also realized that the wow factor person just didn’t wave their wand and things happened.  It took awareness and practice in using their thoughts.  The 4 elements on the table took on a new meaning, a recipe for manifesting ideas into reality.
  • Wand: concentration
  • Cup: imagination
  • Sword: action
  • Coin: the finish product
(Ethical statement:  Not all thoughts should be brought into reality.) 


There may be some of you out there thinking: “Thoughts having energy – poppycock.  You’re feeding me a crock of hog wash.” 

Masaru Emoto’s a Japanese researcher has proven differently.  He has taken water crystal pictures of water around the world.  Specifically he was looking at their crystalline form.  Most startling to me were the photos of water crystals that had been exposed to thoughts of love and kindness vs. I hate you thoughts.  When I wrote in analyze about questioning – the scientific evidence of Emoto convinced me this was the case.


 Activities for building your awareness to your Chi

I studied meditation at Pearls of Wisdom in Columbus.  My instructor Diane was a firm believer that we needed to develop an awareness of how energy works within us.  If we wanted a path of peace we needed to identify what happens when we are exposed to negative energy (e.g., a driver cutting us off or being put down within the office setting).

Activity 1 – Diane's Creating a Chi ball.

Rub your hands together warming them up.  Pull your hands away about 1 foot.  Now bring them slowly in.  Concentrating (you can close your eyes if this helps) feel the space between your hands.  You may feel tingling.  You may feel like you have a stress ball between your hands.  Don’t worry if you feel nothing.  Try it again.  The object of this activity is to feel the ball there when you hold your hands away about 1 foot.  This will take time.

Activity 2 – Diane’s Meditation

The purpose of this activity is to become aware of how the energy works within you.  You will need 1 hour of music to meditate by.  My favorites are: Andreas Vollenveider, and Carlos Nakai.

Sit comfortably in a chair.  (Diane was all about being comfortable.)  Lower the lights and begin the music. 

Open with:  May this meditation benefit me and all creation.  May what I learn be gentle and healing.  May this meditation be not of my will but the will of the universe.

Diane had us take three deep breaths.  She would direct us to become aware of 1 foot away from our heart.  We were to imagine a gentle white light and bring this light through our hearts and behind our hearts about 1 foot.  We focused on this for about a minute.  We next brought the ball of light up the back of our heads resting about 6 inches above our head.  We then brought this down and into our third eye.  And there we meditated for about 60 minutes.

At the end of our session as we came back into “reality,” she had us brush off our arms and legs.  Wipe off our heads and ground.   She was a  very firm believer in grounding after meditation and having a glass of water or tea.