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Aries New Moon Mandala
April 3, 2011
Shows the Way - So what's New with you?
ice melts... water flows and the dream-seeds that we planted last
fall like winter wheat prepare to be birthed. These dream-seeds
have now, in this mandala, become eggs encasing the dreams yet to
be born - the possibilities of new life or a new way of being. The
only egg for me at this time of year is the egg of the Robin, the
harbinger of spring. Robin eggs are a speckled, powder blue. This
powder blue associated with the Throat Chakra teaches us to express
ourselves positively in all we do. We are lead to new beginnings
without fear by restoring trust in ourselves and our soul. In addition,
as the water flows nature is nurtured... grass becomes green, once
dead-looking, naked trees are clothed in life and flowers bloom.
Can you smell the fragrance of the lily at the center - a symbol
of purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life? This mandala resonates
with the ever-expanding, hope-filled joy of possibility. A new and
and more life affirming way is ahead if we but root ourselves at
the center, allow the ever-expanding growth, go with the flow and
trust the natural process of birthing our dreams and ourselves into
Note: We thank Lynn for sharing her colored mandalas and meditative
process. She tells us that she takes her finished mandalas to the
Qi Gong class she attends and they all meditate on them, trying to
see them with their 3rd eye. She said the Aries mandala brought lots
of smiles because, "... it felt so expansive and accompanied
with a feeling of joy - like hope-filled expectation and excitement."
Thanks again Lynn; your mandala brings us smiles too.
Taurus New Moon Mandala
May 3, 2011
Here I AM!
exhausting work of birthing is completed. The eggs have hatched and
new life abounds. No longer are thoughts and dreams hidden in the
secret recesses of the M/mind, but rather they are tangible manifestations
present here in the physical realm for all to see and experience.
am struck by the petals (or in this case, feathers) in
this Taurus New Moon Mandala as they extend beyond the circle. In
Mandala work, the circle contains a snap shot of the psyche. So the
physical manifestation of a thought or dream is represented here not
only by the number 8 (matter, incarnation) but also by the extension
of the petals/feathers beyond the rim of the circle. That which extends
beyond the circle expresses its birthing into the physical realm.
So what are we birthing? What am I birthing?
As mentioned above, birthing is exhausting work and to represent its
challenges I selected the symbolism of peacock feathers. I recently
learned that the food of one of the most beautiful birds in the world
is thorns. Thorns, then, suggest that suffering or struggle is part
and parcel of the birthing process. The feathers themselves represent
the glory that awaits us by "digesting" our suffering. By
going through the pain instead of trying to bypass or avoid it, we
are changed. The pain is transmuted - compassion grows and our connection
to one another is elevated because that process has birthed a greater
Love within us.
the center of the flower, I chose the color red the color of
the Cosmic Christ which is also represented by the number 8. St. Irenaeus
states, The Glory of God is a man fully alive. It is interesting
to note how during this cycle I have been asked to Exit the
Alone Zone (Marianne Williamson), to show up - to
put myself out there for all to see and experience. To
watch doors as they close and others as they are opened to me, to
witness especially the new connections being made. For when
we connect, commune, bond and build bridges our lives glorify God.
When we separate, hate, fear, enclose ourselves, we back track on
the glory of God. - Fr. Richard Rohr.
how do we connect? And with whom? We connect to the Cosmic Christ
in our encounters with nature and through our participation in spiritual
practices (also 8.) Through our struggle and suffering
we are purified (gold) and our suffering gives way to compassion (pink.)
Through this compassion, we reconnect to our own purity, innocence
(white) and humility (grey) and are then able to see those traits
in others. We connect to others through the heart (green,) and through
(purple) knowing that we are all heirs of the kingdom - children of
the great I AM.
Gemini New Moon Mandala
June 1, 2011
Together Now! Or for the younger set: Were all in this together!
was really excited when I first saw this template
it started talking
to me right off (symbolically of course.) If last months Mandala
is Ta-Dah! Here I AM this one answers the question, So
Now What? This Gemini New Moon Mandala answers that with connections,
relationships and communication. Theres a lot here so lets
are Three groupings in this Mandala, 1x12, 2x6 and 3x4:
twelve symbolizing the number of what is completed, which forms
a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit. Like the 12 Tribes, the 12 apostles
or the 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 in this Mandala represent all people.
Were all in here symbolically speaking - the full spectrum of
color symbolizing the great diversity of humanity. There are no islands.
No one stands alone. We are a unified whole
and woven into the web of life.
groups of 6 (= 12.) Two is Yin (feminine, receptive, dark) and Yang
(masculine, projective, light) - two sides of the same coin. One cannot
exist without the other. The spiritual meaning of the number Two deals
with exchanges made with others, partnerships (both in harmony and rivalry),
and communication. Two urges us out of our indecision, calls us to unite
with like minds, and like ideals. Two asks us to exert our natural flow
of judgment to do what is best for our souls. Six represents harmony,
balance, sincerity, love, and truth. Six naturally reveals solutions
for us in a calm, unfolding manner.
in the combination of 3x4 represents the manifestation of the Trinity
to the four corners of the horizon suggesting that each triad in and
of itself is incomplete. Each of the four sets of 3 is grouped by element:
Fire (red,) Earth (green,) Air (yellow) and Water (blue) which suggests
that we get along easiest with those in our group. The others
in our triad compliment us, make us feel at home and are easiest for
us to love. People outside of our group those in
the other triads - are less like us and are more challenging for us
a musician I was curious to play these triads and hear what kind of
a sound they made. Musically speaking C is linked with the
color red at 1:00 on the face of this Mandala clock. Every
color clockwise raises the pitch one half step. In musical terms, each
triad plays an augmented chord, meaning that the 5th of the chord is
raised. This sound is unsettling to our ears. We naturally want to resolve
the 5th - to lower it and settle in. If I were to suggest a feeling
that sounds like an augmented chord, it would have to be anticipation
sound just leaves you hanging out there
waiting. It literally
and naturally wants to move but without changing one of the players
or adding something new or different, it is stuck waiting
suggesting that the other two in the group are not enough. We long for
the missing element that helps us get moving or resolves our lack of
inertia in some way. I asked Sandra about the energy of these trine
energy of a trine (120 degrees) flows easily, generally too easily.
As you suggest, they are missing the impetus for action. Things flow
so easily the energy becomes lazy. "Why bother, it'll happen
on its own", but it usually doesn't. It needs some friction or
challenge to get it going and that comes from having another element
introduced. To develop to our full potential we need the others.
- Sandra Mosley
addition to the groupings listed above there is a single set of six
at the center. The spiritual meaning of the number Six also deals with
enlightenment; specifically "lighting" our path in areas we
require spiritual and mental balance. Six beckons us to administer compassion
and consciously choose forgiveness in a situation.
this Mandala suggests, we are connected to one another by the One who
weaves the web of life that binds us all together. He who lives within
us but is not of us - Whose light burns within us - teaches us the Way
of Love, forgiveness and compassion through our interaction with one
another. As Sandra mentioned, to develop to our full potential we need
the others. We are truly all in this together!
Cancer New Moon Mandala
June 30, 2011
I first looked that this Mandala I couldn't help but notice the frenetic,
helter-skelter lines which to me represent our crazy, busy, modern day
lives. And yet underneath this craziness there is an underlying calm,
a stability (represented by the number 4) that grounds and centers us,
makes us feel safe, secure, connected at peace . There is only
one word that describes these feelings :
I think of home I think of a place where there's love overflowing."
Home from The Wiz
blessed with two grandparents who were born under the sign of the crab.
Neither of them, however, were remotely crabby. Both were very sweet
individuals that had a way of making people feel at home. My paternal
grandfather had such an easy smile and was a carpenter by trade. He
built many homes, schools, bookcases, cabinets and other things of the
home. My maternal Grandmother got hospitality better than anyone I've
ever known! If company were coming, she cooked. If a handyman was coming
to fix something, she cooked. Cooking was inherent in her caring about
and for someone. Interesting that the color associated with the sign
of Cancer is yellow-orange. If we look at the color from a chakra perspective
and where it might lie in the body, we find orange at the womb and yellow
at the solar-plexus. What lies in between them? The stomach. Grandma
was a very creative cook. I call her a kitchen-cupboard cook. She didn't
necessarily rely on proven, written recipes. She would often just open
the doors of her kitchen cabinets, take stock of what was there and
then make something magical! My favorite childhood meal was most probably
nothing more than sliced hot dogs in vegetable soup. But because she
called it Pennies from Heaven it was amazing! And to this day, quite
memorable. The very thought of it gives me such a warm feeling.
I worked on this mandala expressing "home," I was preparing
to travel home to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents.
50 years of this faithful, loving relationship have yielded four children,
8 grandchildren, a bountiful bouquet of many and varied colorful friends,
many life experiences and memories. My parents LIVE life to the full!
In their 70's they are constantly on the move - traveling, hiking, dancing,
and socializing. Their life together has not been all sweetness and
light, however. They worked very hard to provide for their family and
prevailed through many challenging times together. Even though they
may have disagreed about something behind closed doors, they always
stood together in front of us kids. Their fidelity and unity fostered
stability in our home.
thought of home invokes happy memories for many. For others home is
not remembered as a place of safety, security or love. For others still,
there may be a mix of both. Let's take a look at the word "home"
and some words used to describe it:
a place where one lives
Family Group a family or any other group that lives
together a place of belonging
Birthplace - the place where somebody was born or raised or
feels that he or she belongs
Native Habitat - the place where an animal is most common
Place of Origin the place where something originated
or is based
Headquarters main place of operations of an organization
Safe Place a place where a person or animal can find
refuge and safety or live in security
Place of Assistance as in a nursing home
where somebody who is in need of care, rest or medical attention can
stay or find help
Goal - In many sports, it is the place or point that must be
hit in order to score or must be reached in order to be safe from
to all of these definitions is "place" and in many cases "a
place of belonging."
years ago I dreamed that I was driving down a street looking for "home."
I searched and searched but could not find the address. I woke up feeling
distressed and needed to orient myself. I needed to find my address.
I needed to find "home." What did this mean? I knew where
I was born
I knew where I lived, I had a family of my own, and
yet, I felt disconnected - lost. I visited a wise and wonderful woman
and through our time together the image that came to me was a person
with hands raised to the heavens. In that moment I knew that there was
more to "home" than my current understanding of home. It was
apparent that the home I was seeking was not to be found on this earth.
"Home," THE place of safety, security, peace, and unconditional
love, was to be found in the presence of God.
have made us and have directed us toward Yourself,
and our heart is restless until we rest in You. "
- St. Augustine of Hippo Conf. 1.1
often speak of longing to go "home" to the Lord perhaps because
they grow weary of this existence. Someone once said to me, "Your
home is where your spirit dwells." So 'Whether we live or die we
belong to the Lord.' - Romans 14:8 So whether here - spiritual beings
physically manifested on this earthly plane; or there having
shed these mortal "clothes" dwelling in spirit only - we belong
is our "point of origin," from Whom we come and to Whom we
return - where everyone and every created thing belongs. With God we
are safe and secure because we come to know that we are so much more
than our bodies. Divine assistance is but a request away. Cultivate
a right relationship with God and everything else falls into place.
No matter how frenetic and crazy my life, my Centering Prayer practice
consenting to the presence and action of God within, or in other
words, one of the ways I spend time cultivating my personal relationship
with God - is the foundation of my day and the reason for my peace and
sense of calm - the feeling I have that all is well no matter what is
going on in my life. Being grounded in God helps me navigate the events
of my life in more loving ways.
in the presence of God we know peace. We live in complete safety. We
are secure. We are never alone, and we are loved and cared for beyond
words. In God - we are home.
Leo New Moon Mandala
July 30, 2011
mandala represents the full expression of summer! It radiates such JOY!
An over the top kind of JOY which cannot be generated by a single heart
alone. The interlocking of these hearts suggests community a
close, tight-knit community. The similar shape and size of the hearts
suggests a joining of equals - a gathering of friends.
friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of
and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
~ Thomas Jefferson
by its very nature is expansive and we are more outward bound
by getting out of the house and connecting more to others during the
summer months. Family reunions, picnics, and social gatherings with
friends are more prevalent in the summer. In the New Moon phase of this
cycle, my parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. What a
party!!! 300 people from all over the country and Canada attended this
event. As I mentioned last month, my parents are avid travelers, hikers
and dancers old time and polka to be specific - and it is through
these venues that they have met and befriended such a great gathering
of people. I entered the celebration knowing maybe 50 people comprised
of relatives and family friends from my childhood hometown. By the end
of the event I had met and danced with many new friends and had come
to know and appreciate why my parents like to spend so much time with
these lovely people. What a joy-filled, fun-loving group! They dance,
they sing, they laugh... what joy! They have a good time and it keeps
we near the end of this cycle, I am preparing to send my first born
off to college for the first time - certainly a bittersweet time. This
event, though natural and organic, is both joy-filled and sad at the
same time. I am excited for him, certainly proud of him and happy with
where he has chosen to attend college as it is truly the manifestation
of his hearts desire. It also means that we will not be able to
enjoy each others company as often. Our family tree is transitioning
into something different and life will be forever changed. Gratefully
I have had the company of many friends some of whom are also
sending their first (and in some cases only) child off to college. And
while our hearts do not perhaps exude the joy of this mandala at this
time, they are certainly lighter for having joined together to share
the experience and be supported by the loving and compassionate company
you to join me with open and joy-filled hearts to give thanks for the
blessing friends both new and well seasoned - who are woven into
the fabric of our lives. They comfort, support and listen as well as
celebrate with us and bring with them the songs of joy and laughter.
They journey the roads of life with us through the ups and downs giving
us also the opportunity to be great friends. They let us know that we
are not alone. Encircled hearts... joined in the company of good friends.
Virgo New Moon Mandala
August 28, 2011
The reoccurring symbol used in this mandala reminds me of a Nautilus
shell. This modern day sea creatures fossil records indicate that
it has not virtually changed for a mind boggling 550 million years
having survived five massive animal extinctions. It is one of the few
species in its class to have a shell. Nautili are born with seven chambers
to their shells and will mature with 30.
live for 20 years and as they grow move forward in their shells, sealing
off the chamber they have outgrown. These empty chambers are then used
for buoyancy allowing the Nautili to more easily remain at comfortable
depths and upright in the water. Their eyes do not have a lens or cornea
and so view the world with pin-hole vision. Because of this
limited vision, they find safety by residing in darker depths near the
ocean floor or the dark slopes of coral reefs, coming to the shallows
only at night to feed and once a year to breed. If
they spend too much time at very deep depths, the pressure will cause
the shell to fill with water and they will have to actively to swim
to a depth more suitable for them. Should a Nautilus venture too deeply,
it runs the risk of imploding its shell.
shape and form of the Nautilus shell have inspired many artists and
architects (think of a spiral staircase or the Guggenheim Museum in
New York) and its geometry is widely found in nature pine cones,
a head of cauliflower, and placement of leaves on plants. Its ratios
are found in our DNA and in the measurement of distant galaxies. The
geometry of the shell is the blueprint of the sacred foundation of all
things and is symbolic of the interconnectedness of all the various
parts of the whole. There are seven overlapping shells in this mandala
- seven being the number of completion, entirety and perfection.
You are a Divine creation
a being of light who showed up here as a human being at the exact moment
you were supposed to.
You are the beloved,
a part of the eternal perfection.
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Time marches on
ever forward moving...fleeting
spent cannot return. I have just returned from taking my firstborn to
college for his freshman year, 1200 miles away, as I begin to contemplate
the meaning of this mandala. And it occurs to me that there are landmark
times in life when we have outgrown the space in which we live. Though
often emotional and perhaps even painful for us and those who love us,
change is necessary to continue the evolution of our being. Birth, weaning,
leaving the home of our parents, taking a job, midlife, and passing
from this life are certainly among these universal landmark times. Other,
not so universal, landmark times might be going to school for the first
time and learning to drive.
cycle continues forward with each generation
children are born
and on it goes. At each landmark time a little
more space is created for something new something different.
In many of the early landmark times we are given the gift of a little
more freedom and are encouraged to be a little more self sufficient
and responsible for our own well being. The
older generations become mentors and witnesses of the sacred dance of
life around them even if they dont have children of their own.
In the years of mentoring, parenting and grand-parenting it seems to
me that the lessons are more about learning to detach from outcomes...
learning to open our hands and let go, allowing the young-lings to connect
to their own inner wisdom and find their own path.
each phase we hopefully become a little more authentic, more ourselves,
with a little more understanding of the ways of life. We
come to know our limits and make adjustments when we feel we are in
over our head. Too
much time spent living at overly stressful levels can cause life threatening
health concerns and dis-ease within the body and the mind. We live in
the dark not knowing what lies ahead. With our limited sight, or knowing,
we can only guess at what might come next and trust through grace that
we have chosen well the path that lies ahead. Each chamber of life sealed
behind holds lessons learned to help us remain upright.
what Im hearing in this cycle is any indication, certainly love
and forgiveness are a major part of those lessons. In Matthew 18 this
question was posed: How many times must I forgive? Seven times?
As if to say, Must I forgive completely? Entirely? The
answer Jesus gives is 77 times, or 7x11. One possible symbolic meaning
might be: Forgive as many times as is necessary to take the relationship
back into balance
back to when it was new or pure
its perfection back to love.
continue the journey forward until we have completed the purpose for
which we have been sent and are released from the container (or body)
we inhabit into the loving arms of the One from whom we came - back
into the Eternal Perfection.
Libra New Moon Mandala
September 27, 2011
Happy Birthday to me! I’m 103! Well… not really… but I did celebrate
my 50th birthday during this cycle. Though my husband has said many a
time that I will live to be well over 100 and look like an apple head
doll. You know, those shrunken, dried up, wrinkly, apples sculpted to
look like a face? Actually, I can see it. ;-)
As I began to contemplate this mandala, this question came to me from
Dr. Wayne Dyer:
Are you aging? Or Sage-ing?
In this cycle I also heard 59 year old, X Factor contestant, Leroy
Bell ask: “Am I growing old and bitter because I’m not following my
heart?“ Hmmm….aging? Or Sage-ing?
I have to say, this is an excellent question for this landmark year
in my life. As I walk through the threshold of the “golden years,” my
body is certainly aging and changing. There are more things to “watch”
and “keep tabs on” - nothing to worry about, just a “pat on the head”
from my doctors followed by “we’ll see you next year.” My vision is
changing and reading glasses are becoming necessary. Snow is starting
to come in on the roof to which I respond: “BRING - IT - ON!” I had
a hair stylist once say to me, “Ya know Lynn…we’re gonna need to start
coloring pretty soon.” My response? “If color touches my hair – and
that’s a big “IF” – we’ll match the grey! ;-)
As I wrote about in last month’s reflection, I am definitely entering
the stage of learning to open my hands and let go – let go and let be.
Let go of outcomes, of things that no longer serve me, of not having
to be everything to everybody. There is a tangible and welcomed gentleness
to my life right now. I’m learning how to say “no” because what is being
asked of me doesn’t resonate with me or the burden of adding yet another
thing to my schedule will stretch me too thin. (I can get pretty ugly
when I’m stretched too thin and so does my house!) I am no longer willing
to “fill a space” because it needs filling. I say “yes” because what
is being asked of me is important to me and I can support it with every
fiber of my being. In essence, I can authentically embrace it. I am
learning about what I stand for – and against - without apology.
I have always loved the 3 stages of womanhood: Maiden, Mother, Crone.
I have to say, I have a special place in my heart for the Crone. LOVE
Her! When I read about her as a young woman, I could hardly wait
to become her! There is such a wealth and depth of wisdom in her - a
quiet knowing in those twinkling eyes and gentle smile. A beauty and
loveliness in those lines and wrinkles that have come from having truly
lived life – her life - in her way, giving and sharing the gifts that
are truly and uniquely her own. There is a confident presence, a grounded-ness,
and a genuine goodness about her that says she knows she is more than
her body…SO much more. She is appreciated not so much for what she does
or is able to do, but for the love she brings to everything she does.
Not to say that she doesn’t have a little spunk. She can mean business!
But, having quieted the ego, she speaks genuinely and sincerely from
her heart and her words are truth - unbounded but spoken with love and
having quieted the ego, they are unaffected.
This mandala holds a 5-pointed star and as I have shared before, my
personal symbolic understanding of the 5 pointed star “announces to
the world that Love has arrived in physical form and that when we seek
Love we will find Love.” In this cycle of celebrating my 50th year,
I wonder… How well am I manifesting Love to my family? To my community?
My world? What is getting in the way of manifesting that Love? Where
do I need to open my hands and let go? Am I, indeed, aging – growing
old, stiff, dry and brittle, closed and unyielding, unwilling to embrace
the changes necessary to truly live a life well loved? Or am I Sage/Crone-ing?
Becoming wise – the kind of wisdom that accompanies a well tended and
well cultivated soul – a kind, caring, and open heart that radiates
an unconditional Love without limits, strong in the knowledge of who
I am and yet yielding to the music of The Maker, embracing the fluid
continuation of this sacred dance?
The ribbon in this mandala, also in the shape of a star, speaks to
me of “gift.” Each of us bears a gift within to be given and shared
as God’s gift of love to this world. You are a gift of love. Know it.
Own it. Be it. Like the X-Factor contestant, can we be courageous enough
to listen to the song in our hearts and dare to dance to its tune? Dare
to unwrap the package within and share our gift without judgment to
its quality or value? Can we dare to make a difference? Or will we deny
our true self and just grow old and bitter?
are always a valuable, worthwhile human being-
not because anybody else says so,
not because you're making lots of money,
but because you decide to know it.
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
Our society, regrettably, devalues the wise ones. Knowing, at any
age, that we are worthwhile human beings regardless of what society
thinks and not because of what we do but because we decide to know it
is in and, of itself, quite powerful. How do we come to that decision?
To that knowing? It is helpful to know, in the words of 1 John 4:19,
that God loved us first. We find our value by tuning in…into
our hearts - the place where heaven meets earth - into that stillness
where the small, quiet voice sings His song of love to us. And, through
the relationships and the events of our lives God invites us to the
way of love. Certainly many of these relationships and events have tested
our metal – and like a refiner’s fire have given us the opportunity
to remove unloving ways from our hearts and to soften our wills so as
to take on the image and likeness of the Maker. It’s not about what
we do or something we have attained – it’s not about the ego - but rather,
who we are - and in knowing Whose we are - that we find our value. We
are loved. We are love. And we belong to Love. This is truly a gift
that can never be taken away by anyone. Accept it with humble gratitude.
Treasure it. Embody it. Embrace the wise one within, dance to the song
in your heart and you shall surely cultivate your heart of gold.
Scorpio New Moon Mandala
October 26, 2011
Infinity and Beyond
this time of year in my faith tradition we celebrate the feasts of All
Saints and All Souls and we remember, in a special way, all those who
have passed from this world into the next. As a cantor I have had the
privilege to sing for a great many funerals through the years for people
of all ages
from tiny infants, to children, and adults of all ages.
Some of these souls I have known quite personally like my grandparents.
Many I had no knowledge of prior to their funeral. And as a cantor,
I have often been witness to the grief of those left behind. Interestingly
enough, the day I first laid eyes on this mandala was a cloudy, rainy
day. Just looking at it reminded me of grief. No sun, just grey clouds
and drizzly rain. No joy
just sadness and tears.
life unfolds in the typical way or the way that nature
intends, it is interesting to see how, in retrospect, the events
of our lives prepare us for the big event of leaving this physical plane.
From my own life experience, I can say that I have moved many times
in my married life and every move has been a death of sorts a
small death if you will. Each time I moved from one place to another,
those I had come to know and love were no longer physically present
to me. I know on a spiritual level we are always connected and never
parted and although I could certainly contact them in any number of
ways especially in this day and age by phone, e-mail, text, Twitter
or Skype to mention a few there is something about being in the
physical presence of someone
to see the light in their eyes. This
sense of loss of the physical presence had often been a
cause of sadness, sometimes grief and was often accompanied by a disinterest
in life, at least for a short period of time. Regardless of what I think
or believe, the heart feels what the heart feels. The more emotionally
connected I was the more challenging and difficult the move. As I worked
through this mandala it occurred to me that it is through these times
in my life that I can understand the loss that one might feel when a
loved one dies. And I have to say that being connected to
a faith community was a great source of support to me as I tried to
find my way in each new space
meeting new people, making new friends,
finding where I fit in in essence starting all over again. Truly
any life event that challenges us to let go of something, someone, or
someplace can also prepare us for the big event the transition
into the next chapter of LIFE.
are not human beings having a spiritual experience,
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
words we use say a lot about what we think and believe. The Latin word
for soul is anima which is also the root word for the verb
to animate. The soul then animates, or gives life to, the
body. And conversely, when the soul leaves the body, the body dies.
In my faith tradition we believe that life continues after physical
death, and yet our words and our emotions quite often paint a very different
picture. We say, He died. These words show our preoccupation
with that which can be seen and felt the body. Yet, my faith
tradition tells us that he lives - eternally. Think about that
We do not die. Our bodies die. We live
forever! So to say that someone is dead is truly
refer to ourselves as homo sapiens which translates to wise
man further connecting us to the body. If we take into consideration
that we are indeed spiritual beings having a human experience then perhaps
Homo spiritus, the term coined by David Hawkins MD Ph. D., or
Alberto Villoldos Homo luminous, better describes us.
come to the place where we believe that we are not our bodies is quite
a journey for many. It is really quite easy to over identify with our
physical life. Every sense is involved. We see. We hear. We smell. We
taste and we touch and Ill add: we feel. It is all very
tangible all very real to us. And certainly how we
view the spirits of those who have passed is colored by any number of
the spooky movies weve watched. There may be an inherent fear
in communicating with something that is not tangible. How
do we know who were talking to after all? ;-) Knowing that it
is easier to connect to the physical, how do we endeavor to make a consistent,
conscious connection to our deepest, truest self - the spirit
and the spirits of others no longer embodied? This kind of communication
requires a different lens with which to see, and a different sense to
feel or sense it - and a different language or way of communicating.
We can certainly ease into that connection through any number of spiritual
practices: meditation, contemplation, reading spiritual literature,
regularly connecting with a faith community in shared worship, and participating
in creative work in its many forms are some examples. I also love connecting
to spirit through nature.
language of spirit is symbolic in nature and, while each symbol has
cultural, universal and/or archetypical meaning, symbols can also have
another meaning based on our own history and personal, earthly experience.
Everything every creature, every plant, every season through
their very nature, expresses a symbolic meaning. Even events in our
daily lives can be a channel of communication. Say what you need to
say. Ask your questions and then be still and wait for the answer. It
is considered rude in most circles to completely dominate a conversation
spirit is no different. Be willing to be still and silent and
allow the other to speak. With eyes, ears and hearts in the ready, be
open to the conversation that is unfolding around you.
passing of my maternal grandmother in December of 09 was one of
the most mystical experiences I have encountered. Her funeral was one
of the most joyous I have ever attended. It was truly a celebration
of her earthly life and her continuing life. From the day of her passing
through the day of her funeral celebration, the whole of creation rose
up to tell us that she was very much alive
if only we had the eyes
to see the story being told. From the overwhelming number of robins
on the lawn the morning of her passing - truly too many to count (yes,
a huge flock of spring birds on the morning of December 26
thats winter! Can you imagine?) - to the beautifully hoar frost-flocked
trees on the day of her funeral (which reminded us all of the beautiful
lace crochet work she made) to the many and wondrous signs around us
- too many to mention - everything spoke of her, that she was very much
alive and present, and that this was a new beginning for her
a new springtime - a re-birth if you will. Through everything around
us she was saying, Today, I am made new. Come celebrate my joy!
It was glorious! And the nature that surrounded us was absolutely stunning
- resounding in that joy!
addition to my own experiences, I have heard a great many stories from
people whose loved ones have passed - stories of electrical malfunctions
and ringing phones with no one on the other end often occurring at the
same time each day or night - and stories of birds, butterflies, balloons
and lady bugs. The signs are everywhere. The conversation is never ending.
The message is the same: I am here. I am very much aware of whats
going on in your life. I love you!
so, this month, I invite you to connect frequently to spirit. Stop.
Be Still. Be open and watching - aware of the loving conversation going
on around you. Know that you are a being of spirit and light which extends
beyond the life of your body into Infinity
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
November 24, 2011
unlike the Gemini mandala earlier this year, this is a mandala that
speaks to me through layers and numbers and is supported by the conversation
unfolding around me. This cycle started out with gray clouds dissolving
to reveal amazing pink clouds! As I was out walking the dog that marvelous
morning viewing those amazing clouds, I was told
away the stuff in the shadows, Honey (grey) all you need is Love!
(pink) From the get go, all I heard was:
from the outside in, the number 24 in the outer ring announces the theme
of Rebirth. Connected to this Ring of Rebirth is a set of 12, symbolically
stating that all of humanity is being called to this rebirth. Unlike
the Gemini mandala that divides and categorizes, this mandala puts all
of humanity in the same basket a level playing field, no one
stands out, no one life or group of people are more important than any
another. Here, humanity is a single, unified whole Children of
Light wearing royal robes of blue-hued purple as we are all heirs
of the kingdom and children of the Most High. Now, we may stray
from this birthright, but it is our spiritual heritage our true
identity and yes, all of us.
next single ring tells us Who calls us to rebirth. Symbolized by the
purity of white and the pink of unconditional love, this Being goes
by many names. My original thought was to list a number of names given
to this divine entity by the many and various religions and peoples
on earth its quite the list! But, out of respect for those
for whom The Name is so sacred and is held with such reverence so as
not to be spoken aloud or even printed, but invoked only in prayer,
I decided against it. It also occurred to me that any name we use is
not only greatly limiting and inadequate but also begins the process
of separating us into groups which is counter to the message of this
mandala. Regardless of the many and various names we use to address
and describe this - our Source and End This Divine Being is,
none the less, the One and the same for us all. As I am fond of saying:
there are many paths to The One. This circle tells us we are not alone
on this journey. The Divine One is with us, intimately connected to
us, communicating, nudging and nurturing us to rebirth
next circle of Six speaks of the human condition. There are a few colors
I could have chosen for this ring
drawing to ourselves green for
growth, pink for unconditional love, or possibly the soft yellow of
light. As you can see, I decided to go with grey the grey of
the shadow lands (not unlike the grey clouds I saw earlier this cycle.)
This ring represents those places in our lives where we need to go into
the shadows into our darkness - and shed some light. Grey is
also the color of a mature selflessness - of (in the words of Marianne
Williamson) How can I be of help instead of What can
I get out of this? Six is where we look to where we fall short
To people or situations that push our buttons
. make us go into
orbit, off the edge, or become destructive to self, others or our environment.
Can we take a step back and witness our inner life through the lens
of love and see the unloving choices we continually make? Can we see
a better way? Can we dare to ask for the help we need to make the changes
necessary to become the people were called to be? We long to be?
The people our spiritual heritage tells us we are. The work that Six
speaks of, then, is love, compassion and forgiveness.
can be a difficult thing
often challenging at best. So much can
be learned in the history of an individual or a people as to why they
(or we for that matter) behave as we do not that any amount of
understanding forgives an unloving act, but it can help soften our hearts
to see the brokenness of the one(s) needing our compassion and mercy.
If the history is not available or is not enough to soften my heart,
I try to think of the person as a very young child or an infant. Have
you looked at a six month old lately? I had the pleasure of meeting
little six month old Ethan and his lovely mother on a plane trip earlier
this year. Such a de-light was he! So much light in him
an easy smile. Little ones, like Ethan, just light up a room and elevate
everyone around them. So, if youre having trouble forgiving someone,
take them back in your minds eye to a time when the light in them
was bright. A time before the world got to them and they felt that they
needed to make changes to themselves to feel safe, to belong, to feel
loved or to be in control
. and in that bright and fragile light
find forgiveness. Forgive - yes. Allow them to continue to harm us
no. Sometimes the work of Six includes risk
a movement away from
or a moving on as painful and as uncertain as that might be. Failing
all that, pray and ask for help - and the way will be shown. And again,
sometimes it is our very selves that we hold in that light.
next ring of three says Spirit to me. Spirit inspires, ignites, renews,
gives life, strengthens, and sanctifies
yes, makes holy. The Holy
Spirit accompanies us on our journey and, again, no matter how daunting
we think the road ahead, we are never alone unless we choose
to be. We have the option of closing the door
of hanging up the
but we are not alone unless we choose to be alone.
the work of Six and the grace of Three and The One, we are brought,
then, to the perfection of Seven. Be perfect as your heavenly
Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 And, what is perfection? But love!
What does love look like? Lets start with ourselves. What do you
love to do? Not what does so and so think you should be doing,
but what do YOU LOVE TO DO? What makes time fly by when youre
doing it? What brings joy to your heart and a smile to your face? Whatever
that is, integrate more of it into your life. Cultivate it. Nurture
it. When we do what we love, we are more content and we bring our authentic
selves to the world. CULTIVATE WHAT YOU LOVE!
love is uplifting. Not only does love lift us up, but it lifts up everyone
around us. Short story: I was at a mothers day retreat a number
of years ago. After the morning session as I typically would do, I sat
down to draw - a mandala of course! ;-) I began to draw four orbs, one
for The Eye that beholds all things in Love, then, a fiery
red to represent my daughter, a peaceful blue for my son and for myself,
a white and pink orb because I wanted to draw to myself a more God-like
love an unconditional love unaffected no attachments.
children were much younger then and as I was drawing I was thinking
a mother gathers her children around her. You know, holds
keeps them safe
but, when I had finished the mandala
I realized that the book that I was drawing in was upside down. In effect,
I was being told a mother does not gather her children around
She LIFTS THEM UP!
Love lifts up the people in our lives the stranger and the well
known alike. It can be as simple as a smile, a compliment, or a kind
or patient gesture to those we come in contact with throughout our day.
I saw a wonderful video this month about paying it forward.
The first person in the video helped out a young man who did something
nice for someone else and on and on it went, each receiving an unexpected
gift of help or kindness and then passed it on to another until at the
end of the video, the original man received a kindness from someone
that could be linked back to his original act of kindness. Like the
domino effect, one act of loving kindness has to power to encourage
others to do the same!
blue for this ring of Seven, the color most often associated with Mary,
the preeminent Mother. I had heard this past month that Mary is often
shown reading a book when depicted in artwork of The Annunciation. Some
symbolically regard this image as Mary contemplating the prophecies
written about her Child yet to be born. Others regard the book she holds
as a symbol of her open, willing spirit
open to the will of her
Creator to her divine purpose, whose blank pages wait for the
Creator to write her story and in essence, direct her life. To
be perfect is to be open and receptive to the will of God and
our divine purpose to bring our unique gift of love to the world.
No one else can know it for us. It is a truth spoken deep within the
heart that only the silence of dreams can hear. No one else can offer
our gift because it is uniquely ours to give. It is never too late to
give it. And yes, what is being asked can sometimes be terrifying -
often because we dont know what others will think. With Mary,
may we have the courage to say, Let it be done to me according
to Your will. The gift of Free Will tells us that we can always
say no, but I have found that my life is greatly blessed in so many
ways when I say yes and follow the path laid out before
inner two circles are connected. The answer to What is being reborn?
is found here. Together they remind me of the ancient Icons that celebrate
the lives of saints and Holy Ones. More specifically, these two circles
remind me of Jesus, The Christ, whose icons often have the image of
a cross within the halo and whose birth will soon be celebrated by many.
He is, for me, the truest expression of Love that has ever walked the
face of the earth consubstantial - One with God. Whether one
believes in Him or not, whether one knows of the historical Jesus or
if you live your life in love
you know Him. Through
The Christ, in Love we are called to be saints... called to be holy
- to let the light of Love shine through us and lift up those around
during this cycle, this article came across my path: The Dharma-Driven
Life by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PHD, the spiritual leader at
the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. In it he states,
Hindus have been waiting for Lord Vishnu to incarnate as Kalki
to fix the world in their favor. Buddhists are waiting for the pending
incarnation of Maitreya, the next Buddha. Christians are waiting for
the second coming of Jesus. Yet if we create a virtuous mind and fill
this world with the virtues of love and compassion, these great incarnations
will walk into our lives while we are here on earth, and we will be
the recipients of their loving grace. Mere waiting wont do. What
is re-quired is a sincere commitment to personal transformation. It
all begins with the recognition of our personal dharma and the determination
to practice it in our daily life.
A sincere commitment to personal transformation
yes, mere waiting will not do. Seems that many of us are
waiting and while were doing all of this waiting, can we, each
one of us, be courageous and dare to open our hearts and say yes
- to do the next right thing
the next loving thing regardless
of the cost to us personally? To clear out the cobwebs and shadows and
let the light of love we knew as young children be born again in us
a generous love that knows no stranger - to be in every situation,
place and circumstance nothing but Love
has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes,
you are His body
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
~ St. Teresa of Avila
your celebrations be joyful and filled to overflowing with love! And,
may every grace and blessing be upon you and those you love throughout
the coming New Year!
Capricorn New Moon Mandala
December 24, 2011
There be Light!
I was out walking our dog, Maggie, just slightly prior to dusk on Christmas
Eve which, by the way, was also the day of the Capricorn New Moon. As
I walked, I heard the song of geese as they flew overhead. I looked
to the sky expecting to see the dark shadows of geese flying in their
typical V formation. But, to my surprise the geese were
not dark at all, but are were all lit up, reflecting the light from
below, ebbing and flowing in a gentle arc like smoke or spirit against
the darkness of the night sky. As they passed, two of the geese broke
away from the arc creating the appearance of two gentle eyes and a lovely
smile on that crisp, calm, clear, winters night and I couldnt
help but wonder: Am I living a life that makes God smile?
his book, Jesus of Nazareth, Karl Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict
the XVI, writes, God speaks to us through scripture and through
the events of our lives. This has truly been the case in my life.
God does indeed speak to us in a variety of ways if only we have the
ears and yes, sometimes the eyes, to hear what is being
communicated. I also believe that God wants so desperately to communicate
with us that He will use whatever medium we are open to, to communicate
with us. Personally, I love nature. Love being in it! And have found
the language of God to be symbolic. Every created thing says something...
means something. And the meaning is determined by contemplating how
a living thing is born, how it lives and how it dies. One can find many
a book on the subject, but personally I like researching and being with
it. Thinking about it and what it says... what it means. So at the beginning
of each cycle, I keep my eyes open and pay attention to what is coming
across my path, what catches my attention, what strikes me as unusual,
something that makes me wonder
and then watch throughout
the month to confirm what I understand the message to be through a variety
of ways like quotes coming across my facebook page, interactions
I have with people, songs on the radio
any number of things. Sometimes,
these things are the impetus of the contemplation for the month and
they are confirmed in nature. It varies so I just stay open to what
comes. This month geese kept coming to me in a variety of ways. In addition
to the first encounter, three groups of geese flew so close over me
one morning that I could hear the sound of their wings. I have never
been so close before so as to actually hear the wings against the air.
It is not unlike the sound of the wind blowing gently through the needles
of a fir tree. Its a shushing kind of sound
so gentle, so soft. And, I imagine that angels wings might make
such a sound. During this cycle, I also became aware of a 40 day, online,
meditation practice called Winter Feast for the Soul which
began on January 15th. Winter Feast is an interdenominational, world-wide
event to promote peace through mediation. This year they added acts
of kindness. On the cover of the 2012 brochure, is a white goose in
flight as viewed from below. What are the odds? Did I join it? Heck
yes! How could I not? ;-) So, whats up with the geese? Inquiring
minds (like mine) want to know!
youre familiar with geese, you know they are migratory birds.
They have a great sense of direction and return to their source or birthplace
every the spring. They mate for life which speaks of their fidelity.
While migrating, the stronger geese are at the tip of the V
or wedge which cuts the air and allows for less drag on the geese behind
them giving them a bit of rest as they fly. As the geese at the tip
of the V grow weary, they fall back into the formation and allow others
to bear the force of the air. Geese never leave one of their own behind.
Should one of the geese become injured or ill during the trip, another
goose will leave the migrating gaggle and accompany the fallen bird
until it has healed or has breathed its last. (Such kindness! Such compassion!
One has to wonder if a goose can do this why is it that many of us have
such a time of it?) It is extremely rare to see a lone goose - theyre
almost always in community. They communicate in LOUD honks! There
is no mistaking the message! It is loud and clear! So
sense of direction to their source or birthplace, 2) faithful, 3) know
their limits, 4) great kindness and compassion, 5) live and die in community,
and 6) are clear communicators. Okay
so what does this have to
do with the mandala?
Capricorn New Moon Mandala is a natural extension of last months
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala. Through the work of the Sagittarian Mandala,
a once small and hardened heart begins to grow and breaks open
breaks free. Sandras design of this Capricorn Mandala suggests
that this heart opens with such tremendous force that it doesnt
just break open, it shatters open! This little light is STREAMING! It
will no longer be hidden or contained! The light within has no choice
but to flow outward.
are three groups of numbers in this mandala, 30, 11, and 3. Thirty,
the number of circles in the outer ring, is an interesting number. 30
can represent perfect balance in the cosmic organization; it can mean
to express the maturity of the crop; it can also correspond
to terms such as the Expiation, the Sacrifice, the Martyrdom. Interesting
Martyr. It came to me very early in this cycle as St. Stephens
feast day follows on the heels of Christmas Day. Now defined as A
person who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles
I learned this month that the original meaning of the word Martyr comes
from the Greek, meaning witness. In addition, tradition
tells us that David came to rule Israel, Ezekiel began to prophesy,
John began to preach and Jesus began his public ministry all
at the age of 30 suggesting that the gravity or seriousness of the work
at hand requires a necessary maturity a readiness if you will.
number 11, or a double 1, is a master number, which doubles the power
of the number that is doubled. Ones then are about new beginnings and
purity. As eleven, it also represents higher ideals, invention, refinement,
congruency, balance, fulfillment, and vision. Eleven elevates and asks
if we are centered or off kilter? In the capacity of 1+1 = 2, (2 is
also about balance) eleven also deals with equality, justice, calm,
kindness, tact, and duality or opposition.
in the center of this light-filled heart, is the dance of The Three:
Father, Son and Spirit, intimately connected and flowing together in
in divine union. They are the source from which the
light in this heart radiates and are the model of community. Interesting
thing about community, we really dont know what love is until
weve lived in community in a family for example. It is
easy to love in isolation, so peaceful
serene lonely at
times, but, most definitely quiet and peaceful. And you dont have
to worry about miscommunication for that matter either. But put us in
community and there will be times that test not only the quality of
our love but the boundaries as well. In addition, clear, truthful communication
is important for maintaining quality relationships.
here we have a maturity and readiness to witness, a new beginning in
a way that keeps us in balance, and in the center, the Dance of the
Divine - the source of it all. And then for me there are the geese representing
a great sense of direction or connection to source, fidelity, balance/knowing
your limits, kindness and compassion, community, and clear communication.
Keeping all this in mind as we venture into this new year of 2012, these
three questions from a meditation of davidji from Winter Feast
for the Soul come to mind: How can I help? How can I heal?
How can I serve?
Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening
of those who are traveling the dark journey with us.
Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind!"
~ Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher, poet and critic
Indeed! Tarry not! Be swift! Make haste! And in the darkness, let there
Aquarius New Moon Mandala
January 22, 2012
that my son is away at college it has fallen to me to walk the dog most
days and Im beginning to realize that its really a good
thing that I have a dog. Nature is a natural springboard for contemplation
for me. I now know that I have been missing out on a lot of messages
and conversation because I hadnt been getting out of the house
days surrounding the Aquarius New Moon spoke to me of clarity. I was
out walking the dog one foggy evening and I couldnt see very far
in any given direction. Everything had an inherent fuzziness
to it. No clear lines
no clear delineations. I began to wonder,
What is our tether
our compass when we cant see the
way? What roots us and guides us when we dont know where were
going? And it made me think that as human beings, our vision -
or knowing - is very limited. We dont know everything
cant know everything. As a matter of fact we can only look at
life through the lens of our perspective and life experience. We cannot
see what life has in store for us because we cant see beyond this
moment. Yes, we can plan, hope and pray for the best, but we really
dont know whats coming down the pike. And even in this moment,
our knowledge is limited. What we believe to be true may not be necessarily
how do we find our way when it is not clear? When we are uncertain?
How do we know were going in the right direction? Or doing the
right thing? This mandala suggests that the place to start is within.
Represented by the four directions of this foggy compass
we can only go so far using our senses and our limited knowledge
we can only see so far, hear so much, taste, touch and feel
important ways of receiving information, but limited and often experienced
through the filter of attachment and the colored lens of emotional programs
for happiness. When we go within, the fog clears - our ability to understand
deepens and we are able to see much further than we could
with our limited eyesight. When we go within and listen
to that still, small voice, we are able to go, as this mandala suggests,
to the four corners of the earth - far beyond what we can see with our
eyes, and experience more knowing than our limited minds can know. This
mandala also suggests that by going within, we can find stability
oneness but it comes with a warning:
getting there isnt always a bed of roses!
this cycle I became aware of Winter Feast for the Soul - an inter-denominational,
40 day, world- wide, spiritual practice to promote peace. Participants
were encouraged to meditate 40 minutes a day for 40 days which also
included, for the first time, a challenge to perform acts of kindness
throughout the day. I thought this sounded like a good idea and decided
to deepen my Centering Prayer practice. I continued my morning routine
of scripture reading and increased my Centering Prayer period to 30
minutes. In addition, thanks to Winter Feast, I added an additional
afternoon session, feasting on the smorgasbord of offerings available
from many different traditions. At the beginning of this meditative
resurgence all I can say was it was BLISS! I began to realize
how very tired I was and made a commitment to get to bed earlier in
the evening. 22 days and counting
still pure bliss and making
small adjustments in my self-care. I was humming right along and then
all of a sudden, I began feeling agitated. It became harder and more
difficult to sit down. I was restless. I struggled to find the time
to fit my meditation practice into my day. I began missing a session
and another there and self care like sleeping enough and eating
well we were beginning to go by the wayside. My attitude was beginning
to get ugly and I became judgmental and emotional. When I reach critical
mass on the inside, I tend to turn outward and start looking for
imperfections in others. I became very aware that something was beginning
to bubble up. As suggested by the hexagon (number 6) in this mandala,
is part of the meditative process. As davidji stated during one of the
meditation sessions, In this practice we do not find bliss necessarily,
but what we do find is transformation! And we transform the world by
transforming ourselves. (While I agree with the concept, I do
not believe that we do the work. Our work is to sit, be
open and attentive to the presence and action of God within The work
of transformation is done by the Divine Therapist a term used
by Fr. Thomas Keating.) Another layer of my onion was peeling away
another molting of the dragonfly
and I was resistant. Aware of
this resistance and the ugliness I was becoming, I opened my hands and
recommitted to the practice.
internal way requires us to open up and let go
let go of thoughts,
judgments, outcomes, to detach from what we think we know
to just be present and attentive. To support this thought of
detachment, I was presented with this traditional Sufi tale three times,
by different people all within the first week of this lunation. Yes,
three times. Thats the great thing about God
He keeps coming
at you until you grab hold of it. Each time the message is often sent
with increased urgency.
old farmer had a horse he used to till his field. One day his horse
ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such
bad luck," they said sympathetically. "May be," the
next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild
horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "May
be," replied the old man.
following day, his son tried to tame one of the wild horses, was
thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their
sympathy on his misfortune. "May be," answered the farmer.
next day, military officials came to the village to draft young
men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed
him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things
had turned out. "May be," said the farmer. Sadly the young
men did not return from the war and on the story goes
dont really know
In any given moment we truly cannot discern
if something is good or bad. We say hind sight is 2020,
but even in retrospect can we really see truth through all our filters
and attachments? Attaching a label of good or bad doesnt necessarily
help any situation either. Quite often the label just gets our wheels
spinning and we are found out of balance and without any sense of peace.
peace, a profound balance and a sense of sacred oneness come from being
purified by the Divine Therapist. Though there may be times of challenge
as the Master Gardener tills the soil to remove the stones that impede
our growth, going within and consistently and faithfully connecting
to Source ultimately brings us to a place where we are more patient,
more kind, more loving, more generous, more thoughtful, more joyful,
and able to more patiently endure wrong doings and trials.
And how is my practice going now, you might ask? While Im certain
there are more rocks and layers yet to be removed and the practice is
once again more peaceful, truly there are moments in the practice that
take me beyond bliss
do our part to transform the world by sitting down, being present and
allowing God to transform us from the inside out. And so, I extend this
invitation and encourage you to do your part to transform the world
come whoever you are
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving, come.
Even if you have broken your vow one thousand times
Come, come, come again."
in the silence allow God to reveal you to yourself...your true, unfiltered,
authentic self at peace, in profound balance, and radiant with
pure love. Do come! And sit a spell. Be open and willing
clarity from within.
February 21, 2012
Pisces New Moon Mandala completes the natural year begun last spring
and the three month cycle begun this past January. The messages of the
previous two in this three month cycle came to me in the darkness of
night. This one however, came to me in the brightness of morning. It
was February 22, the morning after the new moon, and there was such
joy! The sun was bright, the birds were singing, the trees were budding,
the flowers were popping up
some already in bloom
un-heard of! And yes, I was out walking the dog. ;-) This typically
winter month felt like Easter morning! Then I received the new mandala
template from Sandra which confirmed the message of light
in a BIG way. And so, the month began
and this story was often
on my mind:
if you will that deep within the inner recesses of every human heart
is a chamber and within this chamber is an exquisitely gilded lantern.
More exquisite still is the light dwelling within the lantern. So
pure, so radiant is the light that nothing seen with the human eye
is its equal. This pure, radiant light is the spark of divine light
the source of great compassion and love. Though it dwells
in the deepest chamber of the heart, this radiant light brings a
twinkle to the eyes, illumines the face, and fills the room into
which the one bearing it walks. The capacity to shine and share
this light is the birthright of every human being every child
of The Creator. Regrettably, every unkind thought adds a fingerprint
to the glass... each unnecessary or untruthful word adds a smudge
of dust or dirt, and every fear-based deed adds a clump of mud to
the exterior of the lantern. Though this brilliant light always
remains undiminished, its radiance cannot pass through the darkness
covering - and in some cases smothering - the lantern making the
eyes dull, the face losing its luster, the room becoming lifeless
and though seemingly full of people, empty. Oh, that we would clean
and polish our lanterns through kind thoughts, truthful and necessary
words and loving and generous deeds, that the light within would
once again shine through unencumbered and unfettered.
story begs these questions:
bright are my eyes? My face? The room I am in? How well is the light
within shining through?
I have some interior Spring cleaning to do? Is there someone I need
to forgive? A change of heart needed? What baggage do I want to let
go of or leave behind as I enter the new natural year?
as we look forward to a new beginning to the natural year, I might also
consider how I am being asked to allow the light within me to shine
in a different way, to take stock of my own unique talents and gifts
and ask, how can I serve? Is there a kindness that needs
to be shown? A new direction in which to move?
direction is certainly a part of my journey. One of the deacons at my
parish had recently retired and moved away and ministers were needed
to lead the Tuesday morning Communion Service so that our pastor might
have a much deserved and needed day off. I had been asked back in the
Capricorn lunation (the beginning of this three month cycle) to participate
in this ministry. During that cycle, unbeknownst to my pastor, I was
working on the mandala that
was about a readiness to witness - interesting synchronicity.
So on the day of this new moon, the close of this three month cycle
which was also Mardi Gras, I began this new ministry and delivered my
first reflection. The following weekend I sang at our parish Lenten
Concert and was asked to do some faith sharing there as well. It appears
that publicly speaking about my faith journey is a part of how the light
is shining through me in a different way.
the end of the month two powerful confirmations came across my facebook
page. I dont judge where things come from - I just take it all
From my cousin, VoiceRevolutions Be the light of the world
a great video clip showing the effects of being light
how one light-infused individual can uplift and elevate others helping
them to let the light within them shine through.
this beautiful statement I received through a friend:
The Divine within you is powerful - allow it to shine through,
by Shaman Medicine Woman, suggests that WE determine how well the light
shines through us.
flame at the center of this Piscean New Moon Mandala is not just one
flame but 4 nested flames, which to me symbolizes a fourth new Being
having been created upon the union of the Trinity. This is a holy light,
a sacred light. Three sets of 15 shapes outline this sacred circle
Fifteen can symbolize Divine Grace. Three can symbolize many things
among them the Trinity, and more specifically the Holy Spirit,
the third person of the Trinity. It is also a time identifier, past
present and future. Perhaps the three here symbolizes that the time
to shine this light is NOW. And, the leaves? Perhaps life
abundant life the quality of a life lived in the radiance
of Divine Light. If this is the springboard for the coming year, can
you hardly wait?
the meantime, lets get our polishing clothes out and for
some of us our shovels and buckets as well - to excavate and clean our
lanterns. Let us elevate every thought, every word and every deed to
align with the higher self, the Christ-centered self and let the light
that divine spark within let it shine through us unencumbered
and unfettered! Choose to be kind and brilliant! To be lovingly Radiant!!
And let it shine!!
the serenity of your spirit shine through your face.
Let the joy of your mind burst forth.
Let words of thanks break from your lips.
~ St. Peter Damian
March 22, 2012
on the day of this new cycle (which was also the 3rd day of Spring -
the new natural year) not having yet seen the new mandala template,
thinking The Year of Spirit - like a divine infusion intended
to elevate everything and everyone was on its way!
were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust.
You were born with ideals and dreams.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so dont!
You have wings, learn to use them and fly.
That same day, the trees and flowers had been in bloom and the birds
had been singing for nearly a month. Yet, we were in those early transitional
days between winter and spring when the air was warm and the ground
was yet cold. There was a light fog in the early mornings as if to say,
Not quite ready. The calendar said spring but it was not
quite spring. Not quite
which symbolically said to me that we you and I -
are not there yet.
first mandala template of the 2012 natural year, so beautifully created
by Sandra Mosley, is, for me, a mandala where the meaning is not only
derived by the numbers, but, the numbers echoed and confirmed
my early thoughts. They speak volumes to me of ramping it up, upping
raise, lift up, make higher, bump up, bring to the fore, promote,
advance, further, improve.
some, this theme of elevation could be a call to embrace your true nature.
To release the fear thats holding you back and be who you are
be where you need to be doing what is in your heart to do - to create
the life you dream of. For others, it might just be about doing the
next right thing, the next loving thing. The question on my mind most
of this month has been, Am I truly doing everything I can to uplift,
support, heal, and comfort? Am I doing my part to alleviate the pain
and suffering of this world
of this earth and all who dwell upon
of creatures great and small
of those I know and love,
those I come in contact with, those close by and across the sea in great
Am I truly doing all that I can? In the early days of
this cycle, I wrestled with the realization that a single individual
can only do so much. In the great Sea of Needs on this earthly
plane, I wrestled with how to decide where to put my energy, effort
and resources in a way that supported my own health and well-being and
yet answered this call to elevate in a meaningful way. And, God answered
me through Rumi and a dear friend in a Facebook re-post:
to every call that excites your Spirit!
what excites your Spirit? What catches your eye
pulls at your
heart-strings? Whats important to you? - all good questions for
this cycle this spring board into the new natural year.
seems to be three levels imbedded in this mandala: the outer circle
perhaps representing who we are now or where we are now, the second:
who we are called to be and the circle at the center: the energy were
drawing to ourselves to make this new transformation this elevation
possible. Each circle appears to me to be layered above the previous:
Outer Circle: We recently visited the number Thirty in January
30: a readiness to witness. This theme is resurrected here and
continues as if to say the seeds we planted, like winter wheat,
are ready. (For those unfamiliar: winter wheat is planted from
September to December in the Northern Hemisphere. It sprouts before
the cold of winter sets in and becomes dormant until the soil warms
again in the spring. Though it appears to be dead, it merely sleeps...
for the appropriate time to grow and flourish.) Perhaps in January we
began to dream of change? Perhaps we began to move in a new direction?
Second Layer: Ten Weve been hearing a lot about
the Mayans in recent months
so for them, 10 symbolized the end
of a cycle and the beginning of another the number of life and
death - so white for new beginnings. This 10 also holds a second
set of Thirty. Along with the 10, it appears to me to be raised
up or elevated above the outside set of 30 as if to say what is
is not enough
now is the time
to grow and
to witness in a new way perhaps in a deeper more
meaningful way or, another way to think of it, to witness in a higher
way. We are done dreaming
done thinking about it. Its time
to Do, to walk the talk, to put our money where our
mouth is... where our mind is
where our hearts and our spirits
are pulling us. This circle feels like a verb to me
there is a
doing an action to be expressed here and now. So,
why red? For two reasons, depending on what change is being asked of
you one symbolic meaning could be passion - following the dreams
of your heart. The second relates to the Higher way, the
Interior Circle: Fifteen, the number of Divine Grace
Grace is not just God's loving kindness, favor or mercy, but Gods
divine life itself, which enables the work of the Christ to flow through
us. Grace is a gift freely given. In this number we understand that
we are not alone and are well supported in our quest. Seven,
to be complete or full or perhaps fully realized - godlike What
can be more perfect than purity (white) and unconditional love (pink)
the attributes and colors I typically use to express God, the
Father. Be as your Father would be and do as He would do... words like
integrity, kindness, mercy, generosity and compassion come to my mind.
Part of this interior circle holds another circle representing self-
actualization holding in its center, but not containing, the qualities
of 5 and 12, but twelve in a round about way.
Twelve, the number of completion of wholeness, the place
where heaven meets earth - is comprised of 8+5 which if you do the math
is 13, however, one of each of these numbers becomes as if one
so the math as I see it is perhaps (5-1)+8. The Five appears
to be a human body. This 5 shape is interesting to me. The
head - the mind the thoughts
extend far beyond the natural, mathematical proportion of the body
as if to say do not think as human, earth-bound beings think
(think not from your fear-based habits, attachments, or emotional programs
for happiness) but rather elevate your thinking - think divine thoughts
or rather, let the Divine think through you and let your actions come
from that source so that every thought, word and deed is rooted in love
alone. The four extensions of the arms and legs join with the eight
to create the 12 - eight being the number of perfection and the
cosmic Christ. Minds united, the legs are firmly planted, the arms out-stretched
and palms facing heavenward as if to say, No longer I,
but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2/20)
time is now! Its time to get off the ground, spread those wings
and fly. Embrace the longings of your heart. What excites your spirit?
Pulls at your heartstrings? What is your heart aching to embrace
to express? Each in our own way, inspired, infused and
supported by the Divine. The phone is ringing
the time is now.
Answer the call of the Spirit - the call to elevate!
Taurus New Moon Mandala
April 20, 2012
great changes are preceded by chaos."
- Deepak Chopra
reading the above quote on my Facebook page in the early morning of
the Taurus New Moon, I came to this website to pick up the new mandala
template. Was I surprised to see chaos at the center of this mandala?
no. I had already been hearing about it
for a couple of days by then and had a very real sense that what lie
ahead was not going to be a piece of cake, a bed of roses or smooth
sailing. As when giving birth to anything new, there are always bumps
in the road. And the word that kept coming to me was trust.
month was FILLED with story after story, quote after quote with these
Some changes look negative on the surface but you will
soon realize that space is being created in your life for something
new to emerge. Eckhart Tolle, i.e. At these times, a
power greater than yours has a different plan for your life;
Things are not always what they seem to be because we
are incapable of seeing the whole picture;
Gods plan is better than any plan we can devise
because God sees the WHOLE picture;
What appears to be a bad day could have been worse were it
not for the benevolence of a loving, merciful God who loves us and
cares for us as a mother cares for her children, so cultivate gratitude
and know that things could be worse;
And, still other messages spoke of the importance of a positive
mental attitude, like: Promote what you love instead of bashing
what you hate. Unknown, i.e. No matter what is going
on in your life give life to love.
so as I look at this Taurus New Moon Mandala, I see three rings. In
the outer ring, the two from last months Elevation
are merging and something new is being created. Something new is being
birthed. These 30 early buds are just beginning to peek
out over the rim of the second circle, the ribbon of 29. Twenty-nine
which is not yet 30 and so along with the budding
suggests to me a sense of still growing, still maturing,
still work to be done. And, in the very center lies the
chaos which I wrote about in the opening paragraph. Chaos
the word alone strikes fear in the heart. Surrounding us in darkness,
the body becomes tense and our breath becomes shallow. When were
in the midst of it, it can appear as if there are no answers and no
way out. We seem to have reached an impasse or a dead end. And if were
not well anchored and thinking straight a sense of panic and hopelessness
can settle in. We dont know where we are or perhaps more often,
we dont know where to go from here
or what to expect next.
a second look, the chaos in this mandala is actually the overlapping
of several triangles. Triangles symbolize vision, goals and dreams,
and new possibilities. Some are completely encased within the center
circle. Other triangles have portions of their shape that fall outside
the confines of the circle. Some triangles share walls to complete still
other triangles. So, what appears to be chaos at first glance is perhaps
the unlimited potential all the ideas, the dreams, the endless
possibilities for our highest good, truly more creative than the human
mind can muster. All of the triangles are centered on a background of
7 7 being the number of completion. To be complete, the dreams
and the visions need to be realized. In addition, the intersection and
overlapping of these triangles creates a two dimensional cross at the
center. This cross, however, has been rocked off its foundation. Now
being Christian, at first it suggested to me that the chaos is of such
great magnitude that it has the power to shake our faith. After realizing
that the chaos was actually a series of triangles I settled into another
symbolic meaning: Two dimensional crosses often symbolize relationship
& balance, integration and connection. That the cross is off its
foundation suggests imbalance, a relationship(s) in need of repair,
isolation and/or a disconnect of some kind. Could this need for reconciliation
be part of the work to be done suggested by the 29?
the work needed to be completed before the new can be fully
the May 10th entry of The
Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, Thomas Keating writes,
One of the chief
factors that tend to destroy relationships among people and nations
is the emotion of fear. It also destroys the relationship between
us and God. To be afraid of God, or to be afraid of other people,
makes us defensive. In the case of God, we will try to stay as far
away from Him as our situations and the demands of respectability
permit. In the case of other people, we try to control them and
hold them within limits that enable us to feel secure. The biblical
term fear of God does not refer to the emotion of fear.
Fear of God is a technical term in the Bible meaning the right relationship
with God. The right relationship with God is to trust Him. The right
relationship with God involves reverence and awe for Gods
transcendence and immanence as well as trust in His goodness and
requires that we let our guard down that we open ourselves up
and become vulnerable, in the confidence that all is well. We navigate
the bumpy road by turning to the One who loves us beyond words and has
the vision to guide us like no other can. Our gift of trust is answered
with Gods gift of peace a peace beyond all understanding
beyond all comprehension. This peace is more than the absence of trouble.
It includes everything which makes for our highest good. This peace
surrounds us, envelopes us, and lifts us up in hope. It conquers our
fears and calms our anxieties no matter the degree of chaos that surrounds
us or is inflicted upon us. Filled with this peace there is a knowing
that cannot be logically described or denied. When youre on the
right road the road intended for you and you alone - you know
it and your heart is able to rest in it.
all starts with trust.
Gemini New Moon Mandala
May 20, 2012
seeds that were planted six months ago are now being coaxed into full
flower. The thirty circles of the Capricorn New Moon Mandala have become
triangles. Last month we saw only parts and pieces of these triangles
which appeared to be arranged in a chaotic fashion. This month the triangles
are vibrant and full, radiating vision, potential, and possibility -joining
together to make the dream a reality. And, in the center we have seven
the number of completion.
animal friendshave made their way into my life this month.
The Hawk was particularly prominent. My mom had sent a link to a Hawk
cam that was set up at the University of Wisconsin. All month long I
have been checking in on the parents and the three, from egg to empty
nest. Apparently their message wasnt getting through, so on the
26th of May, while I was out walking Maggie, I saw seven hawks circling
high above. Seven of them! Never in my life have I seen so many together
in one place. Typically you dont see more than one at any given
time. In Native American cultures, Hawk represents, protector, visionary,
and messenger. It calls us to pay attention to the subtle underlying
truths in the messages found in our surroundings and through those we
come in contact with. It flies into our life inviting us to evaluate
who we have become and rip out our self created illusions.
this prayer in an e-mail near the end of the full moon from The Daring
Diva, Dr. Debra Kern, a womens health and wellness speaker, and
thought it summed up the Spring cycle beautifully:
me release all that is outgrown from my life.
Let me align with the Divine to allow the highest unfolding in every
area of my life.
The perfect routes are already selected and will unfold naturally
Let me know my true nature as Love.
~ Tosha Silver
me know my true nature as Love
my true nature
expression of myself
is Love. In truth I have
been struggling a great deal this month. There seems to me to be a duality
heaven rubbing against earth if you will. And in retrospect,
the struggle seems to me to come from an over- identification with the
world the body the false self - of seeing with physical
eyes instead of the inner eye. So, if we close our eyes (and our ears)
in essence shut out the world - we can see our true nature much
more clearly. By blocking out the illusion the real picture comes into
I finally began to feel a sense of calm when
I began to work on the mandala. There is something about the act of
creating that also connects and centers us interiorly.
reminded that we are not only love, be we are also beloved.
Beloved (someone who is dearly loved) is my favorite word in the bible.
I cant help but smile when I hear it. No day has passed where
each of us has not been dearly loved. Every day, in every breath we
are loved with a love beyond comprehension.
have been so many great quotes this month. Since I was having a hard
time connecting to the message the stories and quotes just kept coming.
Many urge us to be ourselves like this gem from Lao-Tzu: The snow
goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything
but be yourself because, in the words of Oscar Wilde, Everyone
else is already taken. And, as the commercial for Chanels
Bleu encouraged, Im not going to be the person Im
expected to be anymore. Nothing need be done
We are not
to imitate or take on the persona of another, or to be the person someone
else wants us to be but rather, just be ourselves. Just be yourself...
your true self, the self that was created in the image and likeness
that image being Love.
a wonderful story about being love and the search for treasure.
From the Navaho tradition:
wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone
in a stream. The next day, she met another traveler who was hungry,
and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler
saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She
did so without hesitation.
traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was
worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
Ive been thinking, he said, I know how valuable
the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me
something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that
enabled you to give me the stone.
Author Unknown and greatly appreciated.
of attachment, and trusting in Divine Providence, the wise woman gives
from the abundance of her heart. Realizing that a greater treasure is
at hand, the young man returns to receive the spiritual treasure that
the wise woman possesses in abundance.
there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving.
Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug.
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without
getting a few drops on yourself.
~ Og Madnino
simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to
the Answer Be happy when God answers your prayers,
but be more thankful when God makes you the answer to someone elses
one has greater love than this, to lay downs ones life for
~ John 15:13
it! Its what you do
Love in action baby!
~ FB/This Too Shall Pass via my friend Chrissy
are a creature of Divine Love connected at all times to Source.
Divine Love is when you see God in everyone and everything you encounter.
~ Wayne Dyer
with the Divine, allowing the events of our lives to unfold, and being
the love that we are, we allow the unique fragrance of our loving kindness
to be poured out and bless not only the world, but ourselves in the
process. So, Grow! Flourish! Bloom! Become your unique, authentic self!
Bloom, Beloved! Bloom!
Gemini 2 New Moon Mandala
June 19, 2012
2 - Become The Way
flower shows us the way, as its passion for life leads it out of the
darkness and into the light.
There is no point fighting against the challenges of life, or trying
to avoid or deny them.
They are there, and if the seed is to become the flower we must go through
Be courageous enough to grow into the flower you are meant to be."
could not get enough of this Gemini New Moon Mandala and was REALLY
happy to hear that I could spend another cycle on it. Usually with me
it's "one and done!" My upbringing says, "Do it right
the first time!" But this one kept coming at me. When I first saw
this mandala I saw rainbow - multi - color - but I didn't have a sense
of how to go about it so I went with shades of red last cycle to represent
the Cosmic Christ (crimson) and the Spirit (poppy red) and connect this
mandala to the previous two in the "spring collection."
the red was done, it occurred to me that this mandala would lend itself
well to any color. In addition to feeling like there was more work to
be done on this one, and as I mentioned in my "One year later 2012'
update in the upper right hand column, by the time the moon phase is
balsamic, the message begins to shift and information about the new
cycle begins to filter in. At the end of the first Gemini cycle, the
message was not shifting. I continued to get more of the same message
which confused me so I really didn't pay a whole lot of attention to
what was coming to me at that time. Lesson learned and note to self:
ALWAYS pay attention. ;-)
completed the Red Gemini New Moon Mandala , the second Gemini cycle
mandala after mandala
color after color until I had
a whole garden of "Bloom!"
true beauty arises as you shed the false selves.
Being authentic is the key to a spiritual life.
A really spiritual person will live life as an art,
will create a deep harmony between the body and the consciousness.
And this is the greatest art there is.
His life will be a joy to see.
And he will be fragrant, for the sheer reason that there is no split
in his being.
The very unity makes him organic;
the wound of division is healed.
To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands
you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for your inner
state at any given moment.
That means now.
~ Eckhart Tolle
One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
I worked with each of the colors, it occurred to me that each color
emits a vibrational frequency and has the ability to impact us in many
ways. Designers, marketers and advertisers are very familiar with the
language of color to influence and effect mood! Color communicates!
For example, if you drive or if you've ever played "Red Light Green
Light" you know that Red means stop, Green means go and in the
case of driving Yellow means proceed with caution.
affects us in many ways and can also be used as healing tool. One of
my favorite books on the subject is The
Complete Book Of Color Healing: Practical Ways to Enhance Your Physical
and Spiritual Well-Being by
Lilian Verner-Bonds. In the book, Lilian writes about each color
representing a personality type, how the color is related to the various
systems of the body - endocrine and organs, how it can be used to work
with emotions and physical conditions. We are naturally drawn to the
things in our life that will balance us. When looking for a mate for
example, it is often said that 'opposites attract.' And why is that?
Because, we are attracted to the person that will bring us into balance
- into equilibrium if you will. A relationship to someone unlike us
brings the influence of the other into our lives. Color is no different.
We are naturally drawn to the color(s) we most need. If you keep track
of your mood and the colors you choose to wear you might find some interesting
presented with an opportunity this cycle to explore color from a Chakra
perspective and had the pleasure of listening to an interview with Elsie
Kerns, a local Wellness Educator and Stress Specialist, as she talked
about the Seven Gates of Energy. Elsie uses the term Gate (as opposed
to Chakra which is Sanskrit for "spinning wheel") as these
Seven Gates in the body allow energy to flow in and out of them. If
you have time and the interest, you can check out her very informative
and free interview at VoiceAmerica.com:
The Seven Gates of Energy with Elsie Kerns.
interview was invaluable, discussing the science behind this ancient
Indian system... how each of the Seven Gates is tied to color and the
endocrine system and different functions of the body. Interesting
early in the cycle I kept seeing in my mind's eye a white mandala but
just kept brushing it off. In the interview, Elsie introduced white
to me as the color of the crown chakra. It's hard to see in the scanned
version, but the white is actually a "glitter" white and in
the sunlight does remind me of the brilliance of the pure consciousness
it represents. She also uses Brilliant Golden-Gold for the Heart Gate
and referred to energy practitioner, Jack
Schwarz, who stated that 'we often speak of very loving people as
having a heart of gold.' Gold is the transformer. Everything is transformed
in love, by love. I instinctively selected gold as the background color
of every mandala with the exception of Rainbow. I can see the possibility
of meditating on these mandalas to assist in the release of blockages
and to focus our attention on the change(s) we wish to make. Rainbow
can be used when we are not particularly drawn to any of the colors
as Rainbow contains every color. The black background of that mandala
the unknown and in choosing to meditate on
this mandala, we open ourselves to growth and new ideas or new ways
addition to any book or color system you may reference, it is always
important when working with color, and symbolism for that matter, to
consider what the color personally means to you. Any personal experience
you have with a color will have a specific, symbolic meaning/understanding
for you. In addition, where you live, where you come from, your culture
may have a different meaning for any given color and should be taken
into consideration when working with color.
addition to the many "solid" colors pictured, this mandala
lends itself to any color combination as well. Now, as it is drawn,
"Bloom" is comprised of two sets of seven in the center (7=
completion) and 10 overlapping triangles, so the math there is 10 sets
of 3 = 30. Ten/beginnings and endings; Triangles (3)/ symbolizing vision,
possibility, potential = 30 a readiness to witness which requires having
achieved a level of maturity. This combination speaks strongly of a
marked change, a shift of some kind - a new beginning at a higher frequency.
Rainbow with the black background is the only mandala colored in this
way. All the others have a duality about them
a darkness and lightness
about them. Because of the duality they are colored as 15 sets of 2
- 2 being the dark and light qualities - and 15 being the number of
divine grace. The dark passage or "the blocked gate" is healed
and transformed by divine grace.
I mentioned last month, I was struggling with the message of this mandala.
Struggling because there is a call to elevate in some way all the areas
in my life that are "less than" - to, in essence, achieve
a necessary maturity in those areas where I may not want to be responsible
- where I tend to be more rebellious perhaps. I took a look at the Seven
Deadly Sins and the Cardinal Virtues of which there are also seven.
I struggled with how to come to terms with my own darkness and elevate
those areas of my being. I was more of the thinking then that they needed
to be "dug out,"" thrown away" or "gotten rid
of." It was an overwhelming thought and my mood when down with
it - perhaps because I didn't want to be responsible? What I came to
believe in this cycle was that we don't get rid of our darkness - it
is a part of the fabric of who we are. And I was uplifted by a the idea
that our darkness is healed and in so doing we don't get out of the
way, but rather in the healing the vibration is raised and we become
time you are tempted to react in the same old way,
ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or
A pioneer of the future."
~ Deepak Chopra
So how do we manifest change? Dr. Christiane Northrup writes:
we ask the Universe for more money, a better relationship, or better
health, the Non-Physical part of us (our Soul) responds immediately.
But it can take a while for the PHYSICAL part of us to ALIGN with
that higher vibration. Because first you have to unload your limiting
beliefs and the behaviors that go along with them. So when you say,
"I desire vibrant health." Understand that you have invoked
POWER. Follow it up with the power of I AM. Regularly proclaim,
"I am healthy, I am beautiful, I am powerful, etc." Let
this NEW STORY BECOME who you are NOW! Simple. Never particularly
requires focus, work and diligent persistence on our part. I was reminded
recently that it takes 21 days to change a habit. However, as my Qi
Gong Master has often said, you have to really want the change! As I
was working on this second Gemini cycle, it occurred to me that there
could be corresponding affirmations based on the Seven Gates/Chakras
or the meaning of each color.
Freedom Technique or EFT is another powerful tool along with energy
work such as a 5 to 8 minute energy routine that gets our energy
moving in the right direction. By tapping different acupressure points
on the body, we affect change in our energy system. Both Elsie
Kerns and Donna
Eden have such routines.
is a WONDERFUL tool! The Chopra Center started a free
21-day Meditation Challenge on July 16th and is a great way to ease
into a meditation practice. The theme of this event is called "Free
to Love." Check it out at Https://www.chopracentermeditation.com/Bestsellers/RegistrationPage.aspx?BookId=169
Prayer is my personal favorite meditation method as we open ourselves
to the presence and action of God within. Through Centering Prayer,
God heals us from the inside out.
a support or prayer group is another option. Surrounding ourselves
with like-minded people is yet another way of supporting the change
day's end it is good to be the "mindful observer" by observing
our entire day from beginning to end without judgment through the processes
of Examen or Recapitulation.
of these tools and practices require consistency on our part - that
maturity and responsibility (of the 30) I was talking about earlier.
We do our part and we leave the rest to God. When we find ourselves
drifting from the path, we begin again. As many times as is necessary,
without judgment we choose maturity and just begin again.
has been an interesting cycle for animal sightings as well. At this
time, it is important for me to say, that when I say an animal "says"
something to me
what I am really saying is that God, through His
creation, communicates to me symbolically through that animal. Everything,
by its very nature - how it is born, how it lives, how it dies - is
symbolic of that animal. People can also be symbols for us.
of the animals that visited me in the first Gemini cycle was a turtle.
Honest to Pete! Right there in my backyard underneath all the birdfeeders,
was this lovely little turtle. There is no pond, no trickling brook,
no body of water
no reason for a turtle to be there, and yet,
there he was. Turtle symbolically speaks of longevity, immortality and
some traditions say that they are the keepers of the doors between the
physical world and the spirit world. His message to me was that the
long term needs to be considered when deciding on a course of action.
And by long term, I do not mean just this lifetime. To be thinking of
only this lifetime - what I will gain in this world by this action
or that decision - is truly shortsighted. Turtle urges us to think in
terms of "eternity." Eternal thinking requires us to live
in the moment while keeping in mind the impact our decision or action
will have on the future. Eternal thinking requires that when tempted,
we live not for the moment, but for the future. Eternal thinking requires
that our choices are not only for the good of ourselves but for the
good of those with whom we are in contact. Eternal thinking requires
maturity. Turtle urges us to
up, wake up, wake up, wake up!
Use your voice, use your money, use your time.
Until we look out for one another,
we're failing at this job called life."
by "look out for" I think we're saying 'assist in any way
we can with our voices, our money and our time' - to do the right thing
which in many cases requires us to stand up and in many cases be courageous.
backyard is terraced and I have often seen an adult groundhog, named
Annie, lumbering around back there. Annie was named by the previous
owner of our house. In this double Gemini cycle, Annie gave birth to
twins! They are SO adorable! Groundhog is symbolic of connecting deeply
to altered states of consciousness, metabolic control, setting boundaries
and communicating those boundaries, and is the totem of Shamans and
Mystics. I also saw another pair scampering across the road miles away
just as we entered the balsamic moon phase. Their message to me? Raise
the Vibration! And, take better care of yourself as you take care of
those around you.
the end of the last quarter Momma Squirrel came to visit with her TWINs
- SO many twins this cycle! My personal symbolic understanding of Squirrel
is persistence. Never have I observed any animal as persistent as a
squirrel. As I mentioned earlier, change occurs through diligent persistence.
These three were confirming that message. "Never give up! Stay
with it! Stay focused! Be diligent! The time to stop is when you have
achieved the goal!"
my glasses for about a week at the beginning of this cycle. Thankfully
I also wear contacts so I could function in the world. As I viewed the
world with my physical eyes, everything was foggy, blurred
I was encouraged to see with new eyes, different eyes - with my internal
eye. I was thinking about the chakra system and how they get blocked
by trauma. By "seeing" in this way I was being encouraged
to live not from pain (or a through a blocked gate in need of healing
and transformation) but from the beauty I know myself to be
essence to shift my focus. I was invited to see the big picture, open
to the intuition, imagination and wisdom of God - to live from my true
my soul - where I am - where we are
whole, pure, loving, just, and at peace with ourselves and the world.
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to
the name of Christ
And to strive after all that does it honor.
~ Collect of the Mass, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
struggle present in these two cycles between being LOVE (being Christ-like,
being God-like) and my human condition - that place where heaven rubs
against earth - finally came into view. "Bloom" encourages
us to take stock of those blocked areas of our being that require some
time and attention and to strive after all that does honor to the name
of Christ, all that does honor to love, compassion, peace, mercy and
justice. To be mature and responsible, to raise the vibration by doing
those things that require diligence, persistence and courage to elevate
our way of being and then to leave the rest in the hands of the Divine
Healer; to not "get out of" the way - but to become
Cancer New Moon Mandala
July 19, 2012
- Universal Love
to the Cancer New moon we spent two whole cycles in Gemini my
first recollected experience of a double moon cycle. As you might recall
those cycles were for me an intense introspection into where in my life
I was less than loving. This month, I am reminded that it is not I that
do this purifying work. I am also reminded that I am not alone in the
will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.' ~ Malachi 3:3
verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what
this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One
of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver
and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week,
the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch
him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her
interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the
fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one
needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames
were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought
about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again
about the verse that says: ' He sits as a refiner and purifier of
asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in
front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that yes, he
not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep
his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the
silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith,
'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at
her and answered, ' Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it.'
this year of Spirit-infusing Elevation and in this month of the Cancer
New Moon these words have been ringing in my ears:
will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
another way to say it: "As above, so below." In the purifying
process the selfish becomes selfless... the dis-eased become whole and
the Maker is reflected in His creation. The result of this purifying
work the gateway to this expression this way of being
of bringing Heaven to Earth as suggested by this Cancer New Moon
Mandala is Universal Love - the vibration of '9.'
this mandala we have two sections and in each section there are repeating
patterns of '9.' In the outer ring there are 9 interlocking ovals. They
look to me to be clouds... or maybe thought bubbles in each an
idea of God not yet expressed or manifested. In the center circle we
have 9 interlocking shapes that appear to me to be ornate gateways or
doorways. These interlocking gateways create the two beautiful flowers
that we see, one inside the other, leaving space in the center. The
two sections suggest duality heaven and earth... thought bubbles
written by Florence Campbell, M.A in Your
Days are Numbered, the vibration of '9' in its constructive sense,
is expressed as: Universal Love, Brotherhood, Charity, Compassion, The
Higher Law, Artistic genius, Selfless service, Philanthropy, Humanitarianism,
Magetism, Sympathy, Understanding, Romance (in its highest, purest form),
Generosity and Breadth of viewpoint. From a dojang clean up day at our
karate school, and a parish festival to a 21-day Meditation challenge
there have been many expressions of '9' this month. In each case, the
many gathered together in selfless service to produce a greater good.
But I have to say the most profound and beautiful symbol of the unity
required to produce the quality of Universal Love was during the opening
ceremonies of the Olympics. Each of the processing countries were escorted
by a leaf-bearer carrying a copper leaf engraved with the name of that
country. Each leaf was the same. It mattered not how large your delegation
or how powerful your country - either militarily or economically
all the leaves were identical... all were equal each treated
the same. From the four corners of the earth they came and one by one
these individual leaves were added to a larger structure. Once assembled,
they were ignited, elevated and brought together to create a single
flame. In one symbolic gesture - and in the fire of Spirit - the many
became one. In one glorious symbol, the borders dissolved and world
was, for a time, unified in sacred one-ness. It was truly breathtaking.
image that kept coming to me as I contemplated this mandala was an apple
tree. Not just your ordinary, run of the mill apple tree mind you, but
a unique and magnificent tree which has the ability to bear every type
of apple grown on the earth. That's no small task as there are 7,500
known varieties of apples in the world. Unlike most apple trees I've
seen that bend and bow under the weight of its fruit, this tree is strong
in structure, deeply rooted and able to gracefully and gingerly hold
and sustain the bounty of its fruit. I imagine the tree, with its roots,
trunk and branches to be God - Father, Son and Spirit - and the apples
to be all of humanity. Some are sweet, some are tart. Some are red,
others are green... or yellow... but, just the same, each apple is produced,
connected, fed and nurtured by the same tree. Just like the apples,
each of us regardless of color, creed, religion, sex, national
origin, age, disability, sexual orientation is produced, connected,
nurtured, loved and sustained by the Divine. When we can come to this
place and realize how connected we are, fear vanishes and the senseless
violence, like that which we experienced in the shootings in Aurora
and Oakdale during this cycle and the continued violence against women
throughout the world, vanishes along with it. When we come to the conclusion
that by hurting others we are truly hurting ourselves the craziness
stops. When we live in love, compassion, generosity, all those noble
qualities of '9,' we know the idea of family to be broader than the
conventional sense and we know the connection to be undeniable. Released
from our fear and united in Spirit, the boundaries vanish and we realize
that we are truly one human family connected, united, one for
the purpose of giving our lives for the benefit of the world.
presented once again with Turkey this month 5 babies and one
mama scurrying across the road one morning SO CUTE! I stopped
to look at them and they stopped, turned and looked back at me. Amazing!
So I revisited turkey to see what I might be missing. Wanting to deepen
my own symbolic language and understanding, I purchased Medicine
Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson who dedicated the book to Grandmother
Twylah for her lifetime of service to the teaching of the Wolf Clan
and the children of Mother Earth, and Ya-whe-node, She Whose Voice Rides
the Wind. In it, Sams and Carson share that the Turkey is thought to
be "the Give-Away Eagle or South Eagle for many Native peoples."
From what I have read, many of us could perhaps use a little 'Turkey
medicine': "It is the deep abiding recognition of the sacrifices
of both self and others." Sams and Carson tell of "the
potlatch or give-away ceremony," where, "A tribal member
may gladly give away all he or she owns, and do without in order to
help the People." They also write, "A person who claims
more than his or her share is looked upon as selfish or crazy or both.
The poor, the aged, and the feeble have honor. The person who gives
away the most and carries the burdens of the People is one of the most
respected." They go on to say that if you have Turkey medicine,
"your virtues are many. You have transcended self. You act and
react on the behalf of others. You aspire to help those who need help.
This is not out of some sense of self-righteous moralism or religious
guilt. Help and sustenance are given by Turkey out of the realization
that all life is sacred. It is knowing that the Great Spirit resides
within all people. It is an acknowledgement that what you do for others
you do for yourself. Turkey medicine rests in true ego, in enlightenment.
Doing unto others and feeding the People is the message of all true
spiritual systems." I can't help but reflect on my own Christian
upbringing, the teachings of Jesus and the familiarity of these words.
the invitation this month is to open the door. No, don't just open the
door, take it off its hinges and like this mandala keep the gateway
open. Connect to Source daily and remember Who's doing the doing so
that in the end, in the words of this Cherokee expression:
you were born you cried and the world rejoiced!
Live your life so that when you die
the world cries and you rejoice!
Leo New Moon Mandala
August 17, 2012
Love, Laugh and be happy...
Well I'm just a kid again doing what I did again singin' a song
From: When the Red, Red Robin (comes bob-bob-bobin
song quoted above was one of the first things that came to mind as I
began this cycle. I found a great rendition sung by Dean Martin and
I played it nearly every day. I remember when I was young, learning
to play it on the organ the very first instrument I had ever
learned to play. Messages of children and child-like things came to
me early on starting just a few days before the cycle even began.
But, more on later... let's start by looking at the mandala itself.
year's the theme has been a readiness and a maturity to witness to higher
things - in essence to elevate our lives in some way. Like the sneak
peek introduction we had back with the Capricorn Mandala, the outer
ring of this mandala has the same 30 Triangles 30, again, meaning
a readiness or maturity to witness. In the very center we have a six
pointed star. Six in the constructive sense is the number of home, domesticity,
love, harmony, responsibility, guardianship, stability, protection,
sympathy, understanding, poise, musical talent, healing, firmness, balance,
idealism, conscientiousness, justice, burden-bearing, and service to
mankind. The interior is almost entirely created through the use of
hearts: 3 sets of 5 hearts in different sizes to be exact. 3x5 = 15
which is the number of Divine Grace. Even the 5 figure in the center
is made by the interlocking of the 5 larger hearts which are not as
easy to discern because of how it is colored. There are two more 5 figures
2 pentagons in the mandala, a larger one at the outside touching
the outer ring and a smaller one at the center that encases the "5-figure."
Even though that one is bowed, I consider it to be a pentagon
again 3 sets of 5 a double dose of grace. My personal understanding
of 5 is that the when we seek love specifically love incarnate
- you will find it. The universal understanding of 5 in its positive
or constructive sense is Expansion, Freedom, Travel, and Adventure among
others descriptors. In last year's Leo New Moon mandala, all the hearts
were the same size which suggested to me the love that equals or friends
would have. Because the hearts are all different sizes in the 2012 Leo
New Moon Mandala, this one feels more like a family to me. And so we
have this dynamic of home and family coupled with this underlying 5
of expansion, freedom, and adventure.
I mentioned, children, and families for that matter, were very prominent
this month. On our way to taking our son back to college we stopped
on the way to visit with family. We live in the northeast they
live in the Midwest. It was quite the trip by car. I was even pleasantly
surprised with a visit from my godmother while stopping over to see
my parents. Everyone lives all over the state and it is very hard for
me to not see the people I love while I'm in the neighborhood so to
speak. There are many more I would have like to have visited but it's
not always possible. It's always great to connect with family... catch
up... tell stories... watch family movies of the kids when they were
babies... great fun!
nature was participating in the theme this month. I have been amazed
at number of younglings I have seen in nature over the course of this
cycle! I don't recall ever being so aware of so many... the twins (the
groundhogs you'll remember from May) are still around, squirrels and
birds of all variety have been bringing their little ones to feast at
my feeders: sparrows, a downy woodpecker, a red bellied wood pecker,
mourning doves and a blue jay. I will say, that the body of an immature
blue jay is truly spectacular, but the feathers hadn't come in on the
head yet so it had a fuzzy, buzzard kind of look in an odd way
it was truly a look that only a mother could love. The young ones always
arrive with at least one parent showing them the ropes in this new experience
of life. I even saw an immature eagle with a parent high up in a pine
tree while visiting with my in-laws in northern Wisconsin. Flying lessons
I think... What a lovely sight that was! Eagle's have a special place
in my heart. My maiden name is Adler which in German means eagle. How
fitting that we should come across this pair the day after we dropped
our son off for this sophomore year at college. Time to fly indeed!
first quote by Christopher Meloni arrived via Facebook post in the balsamic
phase of Cancer:
can be childlike without being childish. A child always wants to have
Ask yourself, 'Am I having fun?"
so the cycle began... The first big topic for the month was:
we having fun yet?
were encouraged to "Invite the child within to play throughout
this cycle. Play frees the mind, generates new ideas, loosens the body;
play regenerates and rejuvenates." Sandra Mosley/Zodiac
Arts. The mandala from this particular cycle always has to have a sense
of whimsy for me... so oranges, pinks, lime greens... the favorite colors
of my young niece.
then came the converse:
you feel as if you are "dragging this huge burden that is your
life rather than living in the joy of expression and enthusiasm of creativity
and enjoying your short-term reservation here on Earth." ~ Patricia
Lilies/The Power Path
you're dragging your life around, I would suggest the company of a very
young child. No one knows how to play or have fun better than a child
no one except perhaps my brother, Mike. No one makes me laugh
more or harder than Mike. When I have a tough time getting a good expression
on my kids' face for a picture, I ask them to think of their Uncle Mike.
I get a Great smile EVERY time! But in all earnest, young children typically
have a quick smile, a great sense of wonder and adventure... they know
how to play... and how to laugh!
really, are you having any fun in this adventure called life? Or do
you need to make some changes?
in this world, you've made it your burden. Rise above this world. There
is another vision.
All your life you've paid attention to your experiences, but never to
your Self. Are you searching for your Soul?
Then come out of your prison. Leave the stream and join the river that
flows into the Ocean. It will not lead you astray. Let the beauty you
seek be what you do." ~ Divine Energy
this call to elevate from Hafiz via Tosha Silver/FB post:
know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.
I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.
you are with the Friend now
And look so much stronger.
You can stay that way
And even bloom!
to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel...
keep Squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions' beautiful laughter
And from the most insignificant movements
your own holy body.
all your votes for dancing!
that great imagery or what? And still more:
for answers??? Quiet yourself down, so you can hear the whispers of
Then surrender, ask your question ---- and let the universe speak to
"The moment you start seeing life as PLAYFULNESS all the burden
on your heart disappears."~ Osho
an old interview with Deepak Chopra on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday and
the kernel message to me was the importance of positive thinking. I
was reminded that "EVERY THOUGHT emits a chemical reaction in the
body! Through this system, the body listens to your thoughts and acts
accordingly." So what are we telling ourselves? What kind of chemicals
are our thoughts sending out? Are they creating Sludge? Or *Sparkle?*
As I drove through town later that day I one on the people I came across.
And you can tell when someone has their sparkle on! There was one woman
in particular that caught my eye. She was just walking down the street
smile on her face, bounce in her step, and her body moved with
great ease. She was in full sparkle mode! Absolutely joyous!
you can sparkle you may need to flip the switch and turn on your Love
Light as was suggested in another post this cycle. If you're having
a hard time shifting your thoughts I HIGHYLY RECOMMOND THIS EXERCISE.
It takes really no time at all. Do it first thing in the morning! The
original instructions asked us to flip a switch on our temple I believe
it was. (I relocated the switch... my Love Light switch is in my heart.
;-) I suggest you flip on this imaginary switch when you wake up in
the morning. I know it may sound silly but it will help you make the
shift. Do it EVERY day!
in the morning with the spirit you had known in your childhood.
That spirit of eagerness and adventure and certainty." ~The Positivity
real secret to a fabulous life is to live imperfectly with great delight"
sounds very "childlike" don't you think? ;-) I love to watch
small children sing. They don't care what it sounds like they just get
it out there. They just want to be part of it all. Such tremendous joy!0
"Our days are happier when we give the world a piece of our heart
instead of our mind." ~Unknown
your heart over the fence and the rest will follow " ~ Norman Vincent
"The Path to your Destiny Lies within the Magic of your Heart!"
~Disney greeting card
"When you finally take
calm and silent seat
your own heart
"The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you
And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself.
And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself.
And the only way to be yourself is to listen to your heart."
~ Mike Dooley via Divine Energy
Why are young children so free? Because, when they come into the world
they are truly themselves. They've just come from the light and they
know who they are and what they are they also know they are connected
to everyone and everything. Tragically, often the world gets a hold
of them and tells them they are not perfect, not good enough... or just
plain not enough or people want to control them and they begin to feel
isolated and build false-self systems around themselves... to appease,
to fit in, to become acceptable. And by the time they reach mid-life
they realize that these same false self systems don't work anymore and
they begin to dismantle them looking for the child they once new...
the child buried deep inside that knows beyond knowing who they are
and what they're made of and that they are connected to everyone and
"Walking, I am listening to a deeper way.
Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me.
Be still, they say. Watch and listen.
You are the result of the love of thousands."
~Linda Hogan Native American writer
"There is no where to go.
What you are looking for is right here.
Open the fist clenched in wanting and
see what you already hold in your hand."
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer, "the Call"
"The biggest adventure you can have
Is to live the life of your dreams! ~The Positivity Garden
often fond of saying especially to parents, open your hands, let go
and trust your child's inner wisdom yes, THEIR inner wisdom.
I truly believe that the best parents know that they don't know
best. They can't possibly know. Who knows what gift they are here to
bear what contribution they are here to bestow upon humanity.
The best parents see the inherent gifts of their child and nurture and
support their child's interests even when they, themselves, don't
get it. The best a parent can do, is to root a child so they can fly.
A good, loving home roots a child. An upbringing that trusts the child
builds self esteem and gives them the courage to fly. When asked, the
best advice I have for most parents is to love your child with everything
you are and just get out of the way.
"The only voice you need to listen to is the one deep inside your
If you do... you will know that you are loved... .
And that your dreams are there for you to live.
Listen to your soul... ."
via The Positivity Garden
that it is late summer, the crickets are making their presence known.
I love the sound of the crickets' sing on a dark, summer's eve. There's
just something magical about it. When I think of crickets I instantly
think of the character from Pinocchio, dear Jiminy. Since Pinocchio
was not a real boy he needed a conscience. Cricket reminds us to trust
our inner voice and follow our own instincts.
I was drifting off to sleep on the 4th of September I was contemplating
this mandala and these words drifted into my thoughts...
me behold you as you are."
me behold the real you underneath all the layers of attachment, behavior,
conditioning and false self systems - the you who knows they are loved
beyond words, who knows there is enough and trusts that all is as it
intended to be. The you that is nothing but love... pure and radiant...
let me see THAT when I look at you! This thought has made a profound
shift in how I feel about my life and how I feel about the world in
general. It was confirmed 3 days later when this came across my path:
wish that I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness,
the astonishing light of your own being." ... Hafiz
seen this light the light of our own being. Not only have I seen
it but I have experienced it for to be in its presence is an
experience beyond words. This light of our own being is pure love, radiant
and magnificent. The light of YOUR own being is pure love, radiant and
magnificent BEYOND WORDS. If we don't know this to be true, and true
of every one we meet, then we've got work to do.
loved life and it loved her right back."
Lynsey Chan via Living Magically
your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames." ~ Rumi
to your heart above all other voices. ~Marta Kagan
YOUR life! And LOVE IT! If you're not having any fun yet... if you don't
LOVE YOUR LIFE, MAKE SOME CHANGES. Surround yourself with people that
light you up and help you play and laugh those that bring out
the joy of your inner child. And lastly, the only voice you need to
heed, the only counsel you need to keep, is found in your own heart.
Learn to listen to it. Trust it. It will always guide better than anyone
else can. And lastly, never leave the house without turning on your
love light and getting your *Sparkle* on!
Hugs and Blessings,
Virgo New Moon Mandala
September 15, 2012
"There is a force within that gives you life......
you ever watched a hawk in flight? I was out walking with Maggie on
a lovely day early in this cycle clear, clear blue
sky and I heard a hawk calling from above. It was quite persistent
in its call so I finally stopped to look up. (Interestingly enough,
once I did, the hawk stopped calling. Coincidence? I think not. ;-))
I just stood there watching it as it flew... moving forward not in the
straight line one might expect, but rather in large, effortless circles
wings outstretched, never flapping, no work involved, riding
the waves of the wind.... gliding really... circle after circle after
circle completely effortless. The path taken by the hawk was
certainly not visible to the eye, but perhaps only sensed as if being
circular flight of the hawk reminded me so much of this month's mandala
with all its overlapping ovals as shown above in white. More about that
in a minute... but first the foreground of this mandala... is made of
nine, black concentric circles. At first glance it looked to me to be
a compass rose which is directional in its purpose. But the more I looked
at it, the more I felt like I was looking through a sight. Sights are
devices used to assist in aligning or aiming weapons, surveying instruments,
or other items by eye. Sights can be a simple set or system of markers
that have to be aligned together as well as aligned with a target. So
the questions for me this month have been:
do we have our sights on?
What are we "see"-king to align with?
mentioned, this mandala has seven overlapping ovals. These ovals have
a "turn" in them, as if you're looking at the right side of
a ribbon and then it turns over to reveal the reverse side and then
turning once again back to the front of the ribbon. To represent this
turning I decided to use glitter for the right side, and a matte white
for the reverse side. The number 7 can symbolize the meaning of totality
or completeness associated with God's authority on the earth. Seven
is a product of adding the number 3 which represents the complete divine
(Trinity,) to the number 4 which symbolizes the whole earth (the four
corners of the earth.) Seven, in a constructive sense, can also represent
wisdom, knowledge, spirituality, faith, trust, peace, poise, introspection,
silence. Ovals can symbolize eggs ? so at a time of completion (7) perhaps
a new beginning is being introduced? Perhaps, like the turn in the ribbon,
something is being turned inside out? Or upside down? Or, in conjunction
with the sighting device, it could represent a new or other way of looking
at something? And the blue, of course, represents the sky on that beautiful,
"Sometimes you have to let go,
so there's room for better things to come into your life."
a wonderful book this month called Outrageous
Openness by Tosha
Silver! From the back cover:
"Well, what if God is the story? What if the Divine is
constantly igniting roadside flares to get our attention? What
if there actually is a Supreme Organizing Principle with a ribald
and unbridled sense of humor? And what if we each have this ardent
inner suitor who's writing us love letters every day that often
easy, enjoyable read and truly the only way to live if you want a life
of love, contentment, joy and peace. I find in Ms. Silver a kindred
spirit. Anchored in Source and rooted in Love we let the divine take
the lead. Like partners on a dance floor, the dance can be effortless
if only one of us is leading. The best dancers actually dance as if
they are one. You can't tell where one stops and the other starts. I
think of my parents who are magnificent dancers! They just float so
effortlessly across the floor. In life, as on the dance floor, they
are true partners. Have you ever seen dancers where both of them are
trying to lead? One wants to go one way and the other in the opposite
direction... DISASTROUS! Such a struggle! Such frustration!
go and letting the One take the lead can be very challenging to our
egos. Some might say, "Well what about free will?" as if to
say, "But, I want to live MY life the way I want
- on MY terms!" Or "I don't want to be told what to
do!" Or "I want to do it myself!" Sounds
like an independent three year old... or some teenagers I know, don't
you think? Yes, we certainly can choose that kind of life... sounds
very isolating to me. I would suggest that it is not "your"
life that "you" are living it's good to remember Who's
doing the doing, yes? If we choose to live in such a way as to close
the door and deny "Spirit," and if what we choose is not in
alignment with the Divine Will which is truly for our highest
good we will most certainly suffer. Life will not be as effortless
as it could be. Free will in its worst sense is a free pass to the isolation
of rebelliousness this "My way or the highway" is truthfully
THE hardest, most stress-filled way to live. Remember the hawk earlier?
The effortlessness with which it flies? When we align with the Divine
and say yes to those love letters, life becomes effortless no
worries, no stress, doors open, everything falls into place, what is
needed is provided... is given... is gift. Acceptance of 'what is' is
SO freeing! So peace-filled. Free will is the choice we are given to
say yes, or no, to the path before us. So the real question is how hard
do you want this life to be? In this year of "elevation" this
mandala calls us to put our rebellious, childishness aside to
set our sights on the things that are above and align with the Divine.
'Breathe the Universe is taking care of everything
~ Daily Inspirational Quotes
it's been an interesting cycle for me. I had gallbladder surgery on
the 4th. My family has a history of "gravel pit" gallbladders.
(I give credit to my father for the perfectly descriptive term. ;-))
My surgeon said mine was like cement and three-quarters full. Thankfully
I was blessed with my mother's high tolerance for pain. So while most
people would be completely and totally miserable with such an affliction,
for me it was just a slight annoyance. None the less, it was time for
it to come out. We arrived at the surgical center in the wee hours of
the morning. The gentleman in the next room was having a great deal
of anxiety and because of his tension, the nurse was having a very difficult
time getting his IV in. I remember thinking, "Just let go, sweetheart."
I, on the other hand was well rested and ready - very much at peace.
Not a worry. Laughing and joking with the staff. I knew that the Divine
had my back. The perfect path was already selected for me the
surgeon and his team, the day, the place, even my darling Lovie took
the day off from work to be with me all gift ... everything I
needed was provided. I went into surgery and wasn't even asked to do
the "anesthesia countdown"... you know how they ask you to
count back from 100? I typically get to about 86 or so, but this time
I just went right out sleeping like a baby. Very peaceful. Now,
I could have fought it all the way, resistant and tense like the guy
in the next room. But why struggle like that? Life doesn't need to be
"One new perception,
one fresh thought,
one act of surrender,
one change of heart,
one leap of faith,
can change your life
~ Robert Holden
The love letters are everywhere! The Divine Beloved has been referred
to by poet, Francis Thompson, as the Hound of Heaven! No suitor is more
smitten! His love for us - beyond words. He will not rest until we are
His. And, He is ours.
of the struggle? Then open your hands a let go. Stop the grasping, the
clawing, the chasing and rest... trust, have faith, be at peace and
perfectly poised, in the silent knowing that everything will be provided
for the highest good of all concerned. Be willing to turn things upside
down and inside out and look at life differently. I encourage you to
meditate daily and look for those love letters from the Divine Beloved
- you will find them literally EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE!! And, if you
find this to be particularly challenging, Tosha is fond of using what
she refers to as "change me prayers." This might be a good
place to start:
"Change me, Divine Beloved, into one who KNOWS
without a doubt my own worthiness.
Let me always know I never need to convince anyone of my value.
Change me into someone who trusts the right solutions
to every perceived need or problem are already selected
and [into some]one who can be guided with ease.
I am carried and guided by Divine grace in every moment.
And change me into One who knows my true nature is
And so it is."
~ Tosha Silver
so it is! Amen!
Libra New Moon Mandala
October 15, 2012
for 'One' and 'One' for All
days before this cycle began, I remember writing to Sandra saying, "I
feel like we've turned the corner and we're going deeper." Almost
as if the first half of the year was being revisited and intensified
in this cycle. With the Libra New Moon we come to the middle and the
beginning of second half of the year, and in the chakra sense the area
of the heart - the place where heaven meets earth. This Libra New Moon
Mandala actually continues the story of the Virgo New Moon Mandala which
was about aligning with the Will of God. Now, I feel that I may have
given you the impression that when one aligns with the Divine Will,
life becomes like happy hour as the doors fling open and what is needed
comes to us with ease. Which it does... however, with that alignment
comes the responsibility to carry out God's will. When we align with
the Divine, the real work is just beginning... and we come to know that
we are here to serve for the highest good of all.
(because) I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will
of the One who sent me."
~From the Gospel of John 6:38
seven ovals of last month's Virgo mandala have become the seven arches
in the outer ring in this Libra New Moon Mandala. It's as if the seven
ovals have grabbed the outside of the circle and have begun to pull
it in revealing a mystery - something new. And, they point to the center
of the mandala as if to say this is the something new. You may remember
from last month that seven can symbolize completion. Also in this outer
ring, are ten triangles - ten symbolizing beginnings and endings. This
ten (being an elevated 'one' 1+0 = 1) tells us that this new beginning
is at a higher level. Like the Virgo Mandala, we again have the cross
bars of a "sight" which divides the mandala into four quadrants.
Last month we were being asked to set our sights on God. This month's
mandala tells us how to do just that.
the exception of the triangle, the square and the circles the rest of
the mandala is created by eight interlocking hearts. More on that in
a bit... we'll visit the other shapes first. Having a Christian upbringing,
triangles are always a symbol of the Holy Trinity... of God for me.
Triangles can also symbolize goals and dreams, visions, new possibilities.
So gold for God but keep in mind the other meanings as well. The square
in the center said "earth" right off the bat to me - you've
heard me mention the "four corners" many times. But a square
can also mean stability, security, accountability, and readiness to
build. So brown for earth... but again keep in mind the other meanings
as well. Circles symbolize the quest of self actualization; wholeness
and unity; independence, open space, spontaneity, going with the flow.
There are four circles - the outer 2 circles create that outer ring...
four symbolizing stability; the grounded nature of all things; four
seasons, four directions, four elements; calmness and home; get back
to your roots, center yourself, or even plant yourself. It indicates
a need for persistence and endurance.
I mentioned the center piece of the mandala is created by the use of
eight interlocking hearts. Eight, the number of perfection and the cosmic
Christ, can also deal with business, success and wealth - and the persistence
necessary to achieve those. The heart is the most common symbol for
love. It can be a symbol for strengthening relationships, a symbol for
charity, joy and compassion, an emblem of truth. As a graphic representation
of an inverted or upside down triangle, (which is the origin of the
symbol), it symbolizes a vessel in which love is poured or carried.
what this mandala is saying to me is that when we join together at the
heart level the earth is broken open and the love of God is poured out.
I purposefully chose different colors for each of the eight hearts,
because what I have been hearing in this cycle is that this is not a
gathering of same - of those who are like us - but a call for radical
unity - a joining at the heart level for the highest good of all. Though
the container of those we are joined with may be a different color,
or from a different religion or spirituality, or country, or a different
whatever... truly love is Love.
Reason seeks a profit.
Loves comes on strong,
Consuming herself, unabashed.
in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
Hard surfaced and straightforward.
died of self-interest,
She risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
cause God gave us Being;
Without cause, give it back again."
we willing to consume ourselves? To die of self interest? To risk everything?
To give, give, give because Love not only commands it... but demands
it. Just this weekend as I write this, I was reminded of the tale of
two widows. One was asked to give a foreign holy man something to eat.
Her response was but it's all I've got. I was going to make this for
my son and myself and then we shall die - because there is and will
be no more to eat. He promised her that if she did as he asked, her
flour jar and her oil jug would not empty until the rains visited the
land - that she would survive the drought. She did as the holy man asked
and God made good on the promise. 1 Kings 17:10-16
story of the second widow is known in Christian circles, and perhaps
others, as the story of the widow's mite. While the wealthy were putting
large sums of money in to the temple treasury, a poor widow dumps out
her bag and gives two coins... all that she has... reserving nothing
for tomorrow. In the Gospel of Mark (12:38-44) Jesus commends her for
her faith and trust in God. From his homily, Rev. Andrew Jamieson writes:
In exalting the gift of the poor widow, Jesus wants us to realize
that in the economy of God, numbers are not the true value of giving.
It is what we give from our want, not from our extra that speaks
of what we truly value, what good we truly want to accomplish, what
we want our lives and world to be.
the Gospel scheme of things, it is not the measure of the gift but
the measure of the love, selflessness and commitment that directs
the gift that is great before God...
Christ calls us not to seek greater things or talents to astound
the world, but for greater love and selflessness with which to enrich
was so evident to me in the recent natural disaster we experienced here
in the northeastern United States. Super Storm Sandy galvanized this
region and this country. Story after story of devastation was met with
such tremendous generosity... from the donations of food and clothing
to the numbers of people that came from all over to help those devastated
get back on their feet. Truly overwhelmingly heart-warming.
during this cycle I had seen a set of 3 deer... they appeared to me
to be younglings. "Deer are the symbol of gentleness, teaching
us to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds." These
deer encourage us to "accept [people] as they are and become like
the summer breeze: warm and caring." From Medicine Cards by Jamie
Sams and David Carson
a whole family of Turkeys during the balsamic phase encourages us to
Brother Turkey! How freely you give,
of everything that you are so that others may truly live."
~Medicine Cards, Sams/Carson
"Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself."
~ Jean Anouilh (1910 - 1987) French playwright
gift of oneself... as self gift. This past cycle I had the privilege
of assisting a woman plan the funeral of her father. She had heard me
sing at another funeral earlier in the year and called her friend's
mother for my number. She seemed anxious and a tad overwhelmed by the
task at hand as this was the first funeral she had ever planned. As
she put it... this is new for our family. I spent some time with her
over the phone, talking about readings and singing psalms and songs
to her. After the funeral she introduced herself to me and we chatted
a bit. She handed me a card which I later read. Inside she wrote: I
was a stranger to you and you treated me like family.
this up not to pat myself on the back or blow my own horn... but to
that say that is the essence of this cycle for me. That we can look
at complete strangers and with love and dignity and treat them like
family... the overwhelmed, the gruff, the outcast, the poor, the lonely,
the devastated, the _______ (you fill in the blank... the list is perhaps
limitless.) None the less, we are all family united in the love of God.
greatest wisdom is in simplicity. Love, respect, tolerance, sharing,
gratitude, forgiveness. It's not complex or elaborate. The real
knowledge is free. It's encoded in your DNA. All you need is within
you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your
heart, and you will find your way." ~Carlos Barrios, Mayan
respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness are The Way. And
we are each, in our own way, in our own giftedness, called to be a blessing
to one another on the journey. After all, in the words of Ram Das:
all just walking each other home."
Hugs and Blessings,
Scorpio New Moon Mandala
November 13, 2012
is a balance of holding on and letting go" ~Rumi
to let go of what doesn't raise you up." ~FB: Believe
the end of the last cycle, a new friend that I met through facebook
announced that her house was 99.5 % clutter free. Elizabeth has often
made mention of her de-cluttering efforts, but this was new. And big!
Now my house is not a mess by any standard but I do have pockets of
things that are quite well hidden. She inspired me to take up the task
and go to work on all the dark corners of my own home.
in my walk in closet which had been collecting things that didn't have
a home in my home... things I really had no place for - like notes from
workshops, retreat days, odds and ends of things with missing pieces
like a book light that was missing the cap so you don't get blinded
when you use it. In addition, I sorted through clothes that are out
of season, no longer fit or have never worn, nor will ever wear again.
I now have clothes to donate and hangers to go back to the dry cleaner
for recycling, a bag to take to the garbage can and papers for the recycling
bin. I have worked my way around the second floor, finding homes for
the things I'm keeping and discarding or recycling those things I don't
use or refer to, cleaning and reorganizing as I go.
entire second floor, with the exception of my children's rooms, is done.
I'm leaving their space for them. Their rooms. Their decisions. My husband
and I worked on the basement together... another place that tends to
"collect" things. We've made some good strides but still have
some work to do there. I completed a project that I started last fall.
It was all cut out and ready to go. I just became overwhelmed with the
number of items I was creating. I completed about half of them last
fall. The other half sat waiting for me to finish them. They are now
done and delivered!
that remains then are a few pockets on the first floor and more decisions
as to what is working, what is not working, what needs to stay and what
needs to go. As I cleaned and cleared from my house the past -- things
I had not finished, or collected or was not ready to let go of -- and
the future -- things I might decide to do something with some day -
I got to thinking about what else in my life needs to go? What attitudes,
behaviors, beliefs, habits and ways of being need to go? And not just
letting go... there is finality and a sense of urgency to this decision.
A 'do it now and be done with it' kind of feeling.
speaking: The sun is setting... the day is nearly done... What more
MUST be completed today? What cannot wait for tomorrow? Then again,
I am also reminded of my college days, then a bartender to help pay
my way through college. At the end of the night I would announce, "Last
call!" Last call... the time is now and the overwhelming question
for me this cycle has been "What needs to die?"
is the initiate of the Mysteries.
He understands transformative power and
reminds us to live is to die and to die is to be reborn."
most prominent creature this month, interestingly enough, has been
vulture who was present to me consistently and in tremendous numbers.
Sitting on trees, circling above, and devouring the dead - vulture
even saw a flock of them one day on the ground -- too many to count
as I drove by. I have never seen anything like it. It was one of those
'Whoa' moments that kind of take you're your breath away! How do you
not consider vulture with that kind of impact! We often see them circling
in the air. They are a patient and opportunistic bird. If they're
circling, something is about to die or they're waiting for traffic
to clear 'cause dinner's ready. And, vulture will pick it clean down
to the bone.
my research of the bird I found that they are a symbol of renewal
-- they can often been seen sitting in the trees facing the rising
sun, wings spread wide as if to welcome or embrace the coming day.
Vulture is perhaps the original Death Eater unlike those of Harry
Potter fame, of course. In my research of the symbolic nature of the
bird I found that the Mayan believed it to be a symbol of cleansing,
renewal and transformation.
Brushing My Hair:
I get to you, Beloved,
The more I can see
It is just You and I
A knock at my door,
Who else could it be,
So I rush without
Brushing my hair.
I have begged
Is the use of vanity
At this late hour,
At this divine season,
That has now come
To my folded
If your love letters are true
I will surrender myself to
Who You keep saying
was driving alone one Saturday morning and was thinking about the
question: What needs to die? I actually asked it out loud and repeated
it. I looked to the car in front of me and to its license plate which
read: [IM 1ONE]. As if the Divine Beloved was saying, "I am 1.
Get it, Lynn? ONE." In that moment there was no 'me', there was
no 'you', there was no 'we.' There was only the sacred unity of 'I'.
I was so stunned by the message that I followed the guy into a gas
station. I told him I collected license plates and asked if I could
take a picture of his. "Sure. No problem!" He added, "I
tell people it means eleven." "Interesting," I said.
"To me it says 'I am ONE'."
license plate was a confirmation of the message I had received earlier
in the month when a fox dashed across the road in front of my car.
Fox speaks to me of a oneness unlike any other. It seems that foxes
are masters of camouflage. They blend in. While they observe everything,
they themselves are unseen... unnoticed. In the winter their coats
turn white, so, like a chameleon, they blend with the snow. In the
summer their darker coat vanishes into the undergrowth of the forest.
Complete oneness. And, as such they also speak to me of humility.
Can you blend into your surroundings and not be humble?
just the other day, I was driving and I just about had an accident
because the plate I saw said [I M PATE]. So, like "What are You
telling me now?" Right? I had to look it up. The 'pate' we are
talking about is not the delicacy one might eat, but rather 'pate'
is a Middle English term for bean, clock, dome, noggin, noodle, brain.
So what needs to die? Maybe who or what I think I am needs to change?
happens in the space that is created after all the clearing is done
is at least as important as the clearing itself. On December 8 we
celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. We heard in the gospel reading that day, the story of the Annunciation
-- the announcement from God's Messenger, Gabriel, to Mary the purpose
for which she was sent - that Mary is to conceive a son and his name
is to be Jesus. (Luke 1:26-38) His greeting to her: "Hail full
of grace, the Lord is with you." I've heard the story so many
times, yet the words "full of grace" absolutely captivated
me this year. It occurred to me that Mary was filled to the brim with
grace - completely filled up. There was no space within her that didn't
have grace in it. No cell, no molecule that wasn't filled to capacity
with grace. Once the cleaning and clearing we're doing creates space,
maybe the next step is to ask to be filled - praying to be filled
what does this all have to do with this month's mandala? Working from
the outside in:
mandala itself is very soft and flowing... like water. I chose the
colors of autumn, because it is the time of letting go. Nature shows
us not only how to let go but to go out in a blaze of glory. And yet,
I plan to revisit this in hues of blue. It seems more fitting... like
water that washes all that needs to go away -- away! As to the numbers:
outer ring holds 19 "setting suns." 19 has the energy of
the "Last Call!" and that sense of urgency I mentioned earlier.
The vibration of 19 holds perfect judgment - the judgment of God.
In the 19th Chapter of The bible we find two angels on their way to
two cities. They rescue Lot and execute God's judgment on Sodom and
Gomorrah. (Genesis 19) And, according to Ivan Panin (Verbal Inspiration
of the Bible Scientifically Demonstrated) the order of the Old Testament
books was different in the original Hebrew. If one accepts this original
order in Hebrew, the 19th Book would be Job. In this book Jonah is
told by the Lord to go and preach to the wicked city of Nineveh. They
must repent or be destroyed. It is also interesting to note that in
the Hebrew text, Jonah's name is used in the OT exactly 19 times.
(Andrew Harris) My favorite definition for repent is 'to change the
direction in which one is looking for happiness.'
next ring divides then we have a set of 24. I found things like 24
hours in a day, 24 Elders on 24 thrones as noted in the Book of Revelation;
the wheel of rebirths; double harmony of the sky and the earth; but
the symbol that resonates most with me is "a complete harmony."
is often associated in scripture with life, prosperous life, abundant
life, fruitful life. The prosperity can be in a physical or financial
sense, or in a spiritual sense. It might be representing the wealth
and prosperity acquired through diligent work or it might be the prosperity
of divine grace, a free gift.
is a Master Number, The Master Builder -- a conceiver of tremendous
plans and has the power to make them happen for the benefit of all
humanity. 22 has a need to devote themselves to something larger than
- The number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect
and harmonious unity. Think also the 12 tribes, 12 Commandments, the
12 apostles, 12 articles of the creed. In the context of the other
numbers, I see this 12 representing the followers of Christ. As far
as I'm concerned, if you live a life in love, generosity, compassion,
mercy, and justice, you belong in that number whether you have a religious
affiliation or not. Interesting to me too, that the date of the eve
of the Sagittarius New moon is 12-12-12. It feels to me as if this
date is divinely infused! The spring board of things yet to come perhaps?
rings: The number of the Son of God; if 1 is essence then 2 is existence;
at the center is the perfection of 8 and the cosmic Christ.
the end of the day, the only questions I will ask myself are...
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?"
~ Katrina Mayer
all have the potential to make the world a better place.
Do all things with love, compassion, and with self-less intention."
are all visitors to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love?
and then we return home."
~Australian Aboriginal Proverb
powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."
opens your heart. It opens your mind. It opens your soul and
turns you into the person you were meant to be
as you help another person become the person they long to become."
... yet I live, no longer I,
but Christ lives in me."
occurs to me that what we do is not as important as how we do what
we do. The key question all month as been "What needs to die"
To help us zero in on the root of the issue, we might ask "Where
and with whom do we fail, or even worse refuse to love?" During
this cycle I attended a retreat day with artist, Brother Mickey McGrath,
and spirituality author, Fr. Richard Rohr. Brother Mickey told a story
of a young mother who confessed that she was having trouble getting
her prayers in... the baby would wake up and start to cry and her
day would begin without her having completed her prayers. (Now, I
can see myself getting really frustrated in this situation and being
totally unloving because I can't do what I feel I need to do.) And
the priest's response was, "But, that is your prayer. How you
take care of your children when they cry IS your prayer."
expects but one thing of you,
and that is that you should come out of yourself
in so far as you are a created being made and
let God be God
~ Meister Eckhart
was on the way to a Funeral in early December and the question "What
needs to die?" of course, was on my mind. I keep coming back
to that license plate [IM 1ONE] and thoughts of being separate from
God and therefore from one another and all of creation. And my thought
is that our breath is God's breath. He breathes in and through us.
So when God stops breathing, our time here is done. And we do not
leave here until we have fulfilled the purpose for which we have been
sent. The most intimate of connections... pure surrender... letting
God see through our eyes, to hug with our arms, to do with our hands
to sing and speak through our voices... which in reality are all His.
The work of this year, and especially this cycle, has been to clean
and clear, to get out of the way and let God be. A complete and total
surrender... a complete and total letting go. To be so infused with
grace, that in our living, loving and dying, we give birth to God.
Hugs and Blessings,
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
December 13, 2012
"Take Christ to the World"
last few months the naming of each mandala has been nearly last minute.
As a matter of fact, I hadn't named the Scorpio New Moon Mandala when
I submitted my Journal Entry to Sandra last month. Just before she
went to publish, and in haste, I named it "No Longer I."
In truth, a mandala, or any work of art with that name, would be much
more beautiful and I think truly breathtakingly magnificent. In actuality,
a work by that name would be the end result of having completely done
the work of last month's Scorpio New Moon Mandala - the work being
cleaning, clearing, healing and letting go of whatever keeps us from
our highest expression.
friend of mine commented that my interpretation of Sandra's Scorpio
New Moon Mandala reminded her of intestines' which I found to be an
interesting observation. Her comment invited me to think about what
intestines do. They allow our bodies to absorb what nourishes us and
to carry out, as waste, what we do not need, or, in the case of toxins,
to carry out that which would do us harm. In essence, they help us
to absorb what our bodies need and facilitate the clearing out of
what needs to go. Intestines were not at all on my mind when I worked
on that mandala, but it fits! It works. In retrospect, a better name
for the Scorpio New Moon Mandala would have been something like "Cleaning
House" or "Make Way" or "Ready the Way"...
"Prepare the Way"? One might wonder what all this cleaning
and clearing is about? What is it making space for? Or, for whom is
this new room being made ready?
I first saw the Sagittarius New Moon Mandala I couldn't wait to work
on it. It could not wait. It would not wait. There was an urgency
about completing it because it spoke to me of a person, an upcoming
event and a way of life. Working this time, then, from the center
four pointed star at the center, the crux stellata or the star
cross, in my mind can belong only to one person. Though thousands
upon thousands were crucified in ancient times, the cross is inextricably
tied to Jesus, The Christ.
next figure of three (in blue) at first spoke to me of God
in the form of the Holy Trinity as triangular threes typically do.
But, the more I contemplated the shape of this particular three,(and
yes, the hood ornament of a popular car did come to mind as well ;-)
it spoke more to me of peace -- and joined at the center to the star
cross this is a peace unlike any other.
X (in white) is sometimes used as a symbol for the Christ, whose
name in Greek begins with the Greek letter X or Chi. That's why we
often see the shorthand of X-mas... X for Christ.
four fiery-red points are actually the end-points of four large,
interlocking hearts. (These hearts also create the star cross at the
center and the larger, golden, cross-like extensions of that star.)
Like a compass rose, the hearts point to the four corners of the earth
and are filled with the fire, zeal and passion of Spirit.
Christmas lights -- The eight (representing the cosmic Christ) portrayed
in this lighthearted manner represent the joy of Christ.
the twelve that were tightly wrapped around the cosmic Christ
in last month's mandala, are now filled to overflowing with the love,
the peace and the joy of Christ. Radiant and rooted in Him they reach
out to the world.
all are several rings reminding me of the "sights"
we've seen in many of this year's mandalas and again begs the question,
"What do we have in our sights this cycle?" To give added
emphasis to Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, I colored
the two center circles yellow-gold.
had shared this mandala with some friends just prior to Christmas
Day and I thank Sandra for using the first draft of it on the website
as the mandala meditation for the month. Teresa wrote to me,
reminded me of the star that must stay in our hearts all year
that led the Magi to Christ so many years ago."
I saw this mandala for the first time the text of one of my favorite
songs by Stuart Townend came immediately to mind:
love came down to earth, and made His home with men
The hopeless found a hope, the sinner found a friend.
Not to the powerful, but to the poor He came
And humble hungry hearts were satisfied again.
joy, what peace has come to us
What hope, what help, what love."
~When Love came Down to Earth
And "the twelve" in the outer ring brought this Paul Inwood
text to mind:
Christ to the world
Celebrate our faith manifest His love to all.
Take Christ to the World
Show that we are His by the way we live.
over and over the message came:
underestimate the value of a random act of kindness
as it can positively change the life of another
in ways you never imagined."
people are beautiful.
Not in looks. Not in what they say.
Just in what they are."
have [not] lived until you
have done something for someone
who can never repay you."
Facebook~ Billboard via Kennedy's Cause
darker the times, the greater the need for you to shine bright.
Connect to loving kindness and compassion and
you will be a healing presence wherever you go."
~Katie Trafford/Cruise Control
can you do to promote world peace?
Go HOME... and love your family."
"She was an everyday angle
The kind without wings.
Walking around in the world, just like you and me.
An angel, living out love.
The kind of people we could use a lot more of
Just an everyday angel."
Facebook ~ Rodney Foster
bless means to wish, unconditionally and
from the deepest chambers of your heart,
unrestricted good for others and events."
you perceive as a small act of kindness,
may actually be a HUGE act of love for another person.
Never underestimate the power of love
no matter how small it may seem."
at the movies, the message came:
believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.
That is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things,
every day deeds from ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.
Simple acts of kindness and love."
~spoken by Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit
day after Christmas, first thing in the morning, I had an appointment
to check and see how my new contacts were working out. As I was waiting
for my appointment a familiar popular song from "back in the
day" came over the airwaves. Thankfully I was the first appointment
and there was no one around. I was so caught by surprise by His message
that I burst out laughing... you just never know when, where or how
a message will come to you. There I was sitting in the waiting room
of the office and Jesus was singing to me. Yes, the voice singing
the song was Pete Townsend, but the more I listened to the words of
the song, Let My Love Open the Door, the more I knew that this
was a message coming from Jesus. I encourage you to read this, or
better yet, pull it up on YouTube
or your own copy on vinyl, cassette or 8 track if you're still able
to play them ;-) and close your eyes - hear His voice and invite the
people keep repeating that you'll never fall in love,
When everybody keeps retreating but you can?t seem to get enough,
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart.
everything feels all over, when everybody seems unkind,
I?ll give you a four leaf clover, take all the worry out of your mind.
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart... mmmmm... My love open the door...
have the only key to your heart,
I can stop you from falling apart
try today you?ll find this Way
come on and give Me a chance to say,
"Let My love open the door
It's all I'm living for.
Release yourself from misery.
There's only one thing gonna set you free...
That's My love...That's My love...
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
When tragedy befalls you
Don.t let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You.re so lucky I.m around.
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart..."
'Let My Love Open the Door' ~Pete Townsend
Having received His love by letting Him open the doors of our hearts,
we are able to truly and purely love ? to do for another without fear
or concern of cost or return of payment. The message inspired me to
random acts of kindness-- the simple ordinary things that were right
in front of me: I straightened the tie of my doctor, not because "perfectionistic
me" needed it to be straight, but because I knew he'd have a
better day if he didn't have to keep messing with it. (As I straightened
the tie he told me he was in a hurry to get to work that morning.
His tie got caught in the knot and would not lie flat.) On the way
into the office I had overheard "Mike" talking to a co-worker
about how he had spent 11 hours on Christmas day at a Care One facility
with his wife who is suffering with multiple sclerosis. On the way
out I stopped and talked to him for a bit and promised to hold them
in prayer. And that was just the first half hour of the day.
the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and their princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among brothers
To make music in the heart."
~The Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman
are many, many days I wonder why I'm on this earth. I ponder my purpose
and like the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" I wonder if my
being here really makes a difference. And then there are those moments...
those preciously profound moments when, because I am asked to use
the gifts and talents that I have been given, people are comforted
and consoled in a way that no one else in the room can or I am able
to come to the aid of an friend with a splitting headache because
there is no one else with my skill set that can help in the way that
I can help. And I come to know through those profound moments (of
truly being hit over the head with the message ;-) that my being here
makes a difference.
I connect to these overwhelmingly profound moments, it gives me a
new lens with which I can see my impact on the ordinary day-to-day
events as well. Our being here makes a difference only when we shift
our focus from ourselves -- from what we need and what's in it for
us -- and focus on the people around us. We are here for one purpose
though that purpose may take many forms. We are here to be filled
with love and to share that love with the world. Not the wide-eyed,
ooey-gooey, nostalgic or sexual kind of love, but a genuine kindness-
care-and-concern-for-others kind of love... a way of being that is
more concerned about the other rather than the self. Each of us is
endowed with gifts and talents that are meant to be shared -- and
it might be just as simple as twinkling eyes and a genuine, killer
smile that you share with everyone you meet. In the sharing of our
gifts and talents He blesses the world through us in a way that is
unique to each of us.
[Jesus] changed things. He is the single greatest agent of change
in human history. He made the lame walk, taught the simple, set
captives free, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, healed the
sick, comforted the afflicted, afflicted the comfortable, and in
all of these, captured the imagination of every generation...
first Christians intrigued the people of their time. So did the
saints, and so do ordinary people who embrace the Christian life
today. In the great majority of cases they don?t do anything spectacular.
For the most part they commit themselves to doing simple things
spectacularly well and with great love, and that intrigues people.
Whom does your life intrigue? Not with spectacular accomplishments,
but simply by the way you live, love and work."
~Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion
and Purpose by Matthew Kelly
"Jesus calls us to measure our years not in the ways of the world:
Not in terms of minutes and years, nor wealth or possessions,
But by the things of God:
in humble generosity to others,
in mercy and forgiveness joyfully given,
in holiness strived for,
in justice won
in peace realized,
in principles defended,
in beliefs lived."
~ Fr. Andrew Jamieson
"Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
No hands but yours, no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which Christ?s compassion
Is to look out to the earth,
Yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good
And yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now."
~St. Teresa of Avila
The past two days I've seen a group of twelve mourning doves... yesterday,
all together high up in a tree, and today, around the ground feeder
in the back yard. From the round, soft curves of their bodies and
their dark, sweet eyes, to the soft and comforting coo of their voices,
they are humble birds, soft and sweet. The Eastern Mourning Dove is
the state of Wisconsin's official symbol of peace and Michigan's state
bird of peace. This sighting in conjunction with the 12 of this mandala
suggests that we are to be bearers of comfort and joy in peaceful,
tender and loving ways.
suspect that for most people, Christmas is a celebration on a single
day filled with family, food and gift giving. For many Catholics and
perhaps other Christians, Christmas is a season to be celebrated and
lived. But for a rare few, Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation
of divine love -- of the coming of Emmanuel, God with us - is celebrated
every day of their lives in kind, generous, loving, caring and forgiving
ways. It is not what we do, but who we are because of Him that
makes a difference. It's the intention behind the action... not just
the doing of good deeds, but rather, the love that inspires those
deeds that blesses the world.
have done some cleaning and clearing and have made a little more room
in the inns of our hearts for the coming of the Holy One. Let His
love open the doors to our hearts that we may be filled to overflowing.
May His love, His joy and His peace abide in us so deeply and so richly
that through our love-inspired words and deeds He is made present
to the world.
Hugs and Blessings,
Capricorn New Moon Mandala
January 11, 2013
those with insight shall shine like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice, shall be like the stars forever."
When I first analyzed this mandala, I found a lot of fives (the perfect
man - got rid of his animal side) and sevens (perfect completion)
- three sets of 5 and three sets of 7... though it may appear that
there are more fives due to the mandorlas created by the interlocking
circles. A mandorla is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together,
overlapping one another to form an almond shape, here seen in light
pink and magenta in the inner circle. Mandorla is the Italian word
for almond. This symbol is also called the "Vesica Piscis."
It is known as a threshold by some and a gateway of birth for others.
It symbolizes the interaction and interdependence of opposing worlds
and forces - spirit and matter for example. Although the symbol has
its origins before the Christian era, the early Christians used the
symbol as a method to describe the coming together of heaven and earth,
between the divine and human. Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary are
often pictured in the framework of the Mandorla. In the area where
the two circles overlap sits the God-human, a place we too are called
to be, where both aspects of reality coincide and become one. This
speaks to me of the call to embody the ultimate love - divine Love.
And, the overwhelming question this cycle has been, "Am I the
best possible version of myself that I can be?"
year at this time I was writing about geese and a wonderful woman
at my parish gave me a small stuffed goose to let me know that "people
are reading what [I] write." ;-) It was such a sweet, lovely
gesture and I placed it in front of that mandala as a reminder. It's
been sitting there all year! In December, as I was clearing out the
frames in preparation for the winter quarter, I had planned to put
the goose in another location. But on the first day of this cycle,
the 12 doves from last cycle were now sightings of 12 geese. I've
been seeing them everywhere! It appears that the goose is connected
to this cycle, and I'm happy to say I'll be keeping my little goose
out for another year. Geese symbolize community, communication, bravery,
fellowship, determination, confidence, protection and loyalty. Interesting...
that, with all the five and sevens in this mandala, 5+7 = 12 (a perfect
and harmonious unit, wholeness).
colors came to me right away as well as I looked at this mandala.
The five pointed star in the middle for example, had to be blue. The
five-pointed star represents Jesus' birth and incarnation and I envision
that light burns in the heart of all who follow him. So why blue?
Because the hottest part of a flame is blue. The passion and zeal
of last month's red hearts have are now the fire of this month's five-pointed
star. Also known as the Epiphany star, this star, depending on the
source, led the three Kings, the three wise men/the three astrologers
to the place of the Christ Child. Regardless of occupation, through
this eventful seek and find The Christ was introduced to the world.
The central flower created by the five small interlocking circles,
is a pre-Columbian symbol for the 5 pointed star as well. The seven
interlocking moons had to be a pale yellow. The shape of the moon
could be either Gibbous or Disseminating. From the Zodiac Arts Moon
Phase Calendar: The Gibbous phase is a time to analyze, prepare, trust
and gather information. The Disseminating phase is a time where we
gain clarity by sharing what we've learned through awareness - it
is a time of giving back to the community. Considering the sighting
of the geese and their communal nature, and the time of year, I decided
that these were disseminating moons. Another definite color choice
was pink. The color for unconditional love had to be in there as well.
There is a sense of heaven and earth in this for me... of tangible
substance and that which is not able to be physically grasped... like
wisps of fragrant incense. In addition, as I was coloring this mandala,
it gave me the sense of the early stages of development... when the
cells are dividing. This mandala is active... and holds a call to
become something greater, something truer, more authentic . This call
to whol-iness is deeply felt. And so this month, though relatively
quiet for me, has been a time of tremendous growth. More than any
other mandala in this year of "elevation," this Capricorn
New Moon Mandala has a tremendous call to elevate... to actively embody
or manifest the love of God in the world.
say we are known by the company we keep, and since I am on a quest
to become the best version of myself, I am spending less time on Facebook
and watching television and more time at church, in prayer, taking
advantage of the sacraments, spiritual reading and offering my musical
talent to my community at morning mass. I am also enjoying The Winter
Feast for the Soul (http://www.winterfeastforthesoul.com/), an online,
40-day winter meditation retreat where many faith traditions share
their method of meditation or Centering Prayer. The Christian contemplative
track by Carl McColman is particularly good this year. In addition,
I am SO looking forward to the company of spiritual companions as
I facilitate a Center Prayer group at my parish on Wednesday mornings
during Lent. That will start on Wednesday, the 13th! I am also very
watchful of the needs of my body. Adequate sleep and food that nourishes
is also on my radar.
is better when you are happy, but,
life is best when other people are happy because of You!"
the moment of happiness,
love and be loved!
That is the only reality in the world.
All else is folly."
this Capricorn New Moon Mandala we are called to "shine like
the stars" to "proclaim the Holy One by the witness of our
lives." As we stand in the threshold, between what is and what
is yet to be revealed, may we strive to bring joy and peace into the
world. Like a lamp that is not hidden, but rather is set on a lampstand
- may we by the service of our lives truly shine with the light and
the love of Christ and give honor to His holy name.
Hugs and Blessings,
Aquarius New Moon Mandala
February 10, 2013
Peace Be With You
you are right now is the perfect place from which
to let go, learn and grow. Loosen your grip."
~FB: Gemma Stone
"One of the happiest moments ever,
is when you find the courage to finally let go -
of what you can't change."
~FB: Back Towards Light
has been springing up all over in this area of the U.S. since this
cycle began - early even for these parts. The daffodils and irises
have been peeking up out of the ground and are now about 6 - 7 inches
above ground. Though the winter birds, like the juncos (my favorite
birds) are still around, the song birds have been here for nearly
4 weeks already. The males typically arrive first to find a place
to raise their young and build a nest in preparation for the arrival
of the females. One male in particular outside my house has been giving
it "what for." Every morning I can hear him saying, "Hurry
up woman! It's cold here!" The darkness is making way for the
sunlight, which is getting brighter and staying longer. Spring is
also a traditional time of cleaning house... getting rid of the old
and making room for the new. Three days after this cycle began, Ash
Wednesday ushered in the 40 day celebration of Lent. Lent literally
means "Spring" and we are encouraged to clean our interior
houses, to clear away what no longer serves us or others ... to become
more like the people we were made to be. About Lent Thomas Keating
Lent [Jesus]... invites us to join Him in the desert and to share
His trials. The Lenten observances are designed to facilitate the
reduction of our emotional investment in the programs of early childhood.
Liberation from the entire false-self system (security/survival,
affection/esteem, power/control) is the ultimate purpose of Lent.
This process always has Easter as its goal. The primary observance
of Lent is to confront the false self. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving
are in the service of this project. As we dismantle our emotional
programs for happiness the obstacles to the risen life of Jesus
fall away, and our hearts are prepared for the infusion of divine
life at Easter."
Mystery of Christ, p. 42
the second year in a row, I associate darkness with this cycle. Last
year the fog that we often get in this area as we transition from
winter into spring invited me to consider how we find our way when
we cannot see. This year the events of my life caused me to ponder
my ability to love in the face of "darkness".
week since Ash Wednesday, I have been invited to consider in a deeper
way how well I love and how much can I endure and still chose to love.
My daughter and I attended mass Ash Wednesday evening in the presence
of a child who could not be consoled. It was an interesting exercise
to watch and observe how this inconsolable child affected the members
of the assembly and those who led prayer. Could we be with the pain
and embrace it? Or would we allow it to enter into ourselves and distract
our focus... allow it to affect our ability function? In essence,
could we be in its presence and still love? Although both my daughter
and I went home with a headache that night, I found it to be a wonderful
experience of welcoming... of being "with" and "in"
agony. What an invitation to Lent this was! Little did I know it was
a foreshadowing of things to come...
week and one day later my daughter injured her ankle at volleyball
practice. We were up into the wee hours of that Friday morning at
Children's Hospital. My daughter was diagnosed with a bad sprain and
a fractured fibula. Too tired to function, I had no choice but to
relinquish my Friday morning schedule.
following week our dog became gravely ill. I won't go into the gory
details but let us suffice it to say that when I returned home that
day my kitchen floor looked like a war zone... no exaggeration. Two
hours later I was able to get her in to see the Vet. She ended up
staying for two days having been diagnosed with a digestive disorder.
daughter... our dog... the only one left in the house was my husband
who was traveling on business the very next week. I wouldn't say I
was fretful, or terribly anxious, but I had asked friends to pray
on that Thursday and in the back of my mind I waited for the next
shoe to drop. Gratefully he arrived home safe and sound. I, however,
exhausted from the day, was in bed by 8:30. Just the thought of the
possibility of something happening wore me out.
thinking I was in the clear, the final Thursday of this cycle I had
just finished writing my first draft of this Journal Entry. As I shut
my computer down something happened... the screen turned blue (you
know the kind of blue that strikes fear in the heart...) and written
on the screen were the words: "If this is the first time you've
seen this page... " I waited for it to do its thing. Nothing
was happening so I just shut it down cold and decided to wait until
the next day to deal with the consequences. I said a prayer to the
Archangel Gabriel and went to bed. Most gratefully the computer started
up just fine the next day and I was able to retrieve the entry.
addition to the above scenarios, I have a clarity I've never had about
why I do what I do. For example, I've noticed that I get anxious on
the days my husband leaves on his business trips. I also have trouble
if the weather is particularly bad on the day he returns. Recognizing
this propensity, this past week as I drove home from the airport,
I said a little prayer, "If it be Your will, Lord, keep him safe.
Regardless of the outcome, I know that You are with me always and
will never leave me to face my perils alone." Having detached
myself from every possible outcome and having put everything in the
hands of God, I can say with absolute certainty that Monday was a
particularly good day.
or Unbidden, God is present."
~ Carl Jung
this is what Sandra's Aquarius New Moon Mandala says to me:
again, we have a "sight" in this mandala which asks, "What
are you looking at? What's your focal point?"
the outer layer we have three (divine), large, ovals (seeds/eggs)
in which each is held a diamond shape (in the most simplistic terms
which truly does not do it justice, the diamond is a Native American
symbol for wind and creation. Interesting to note that in the book
of Psalms, 104:3 it is written that "God rides the wings of the
wind.") Over the top of these shapes are six (imperfect man -
still with his passions) interlocking ovals. Last spring you might
remember, I awoke with this feeling of elevation... "like a divine
infusion intended to elevate everything and everyone was on its way."
The cell division from the last cycle continues. Taking these symbols
together they say to me that God is busy and on the move. Something's
cooking... and we - you and I - are the reason for the activity.
the center of the sight are six shapes:
A circle, the center of our sighting device which frames
A six sided figure formed by the overlapping of the 3 large diamonds
in the outer layer
next figure reminds me of the four interlocking hearts from the
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala - Take Christ to the World - reminding
us to love and to be love in the world.
a circle (one, unity, God) - barely seen, but there, on which rests
interlocking squares. They remind me of a quilt pattern called "Card
Trick." You may recall that a square can symbolize the earth.
Placed in this fashion, it says the ground is shaky... uncertain...
like shifting sand.
on top of the shifting earth is a six pointed star. If this were
a stick figure it would represent fixed stars like the Pole star.
It is also reminiscent of Chi Rho, the early Greek symbol for the
Also central to this mandala the three diamonds create a large peace
sign. In Psalm 23 it reads, The Good Shepherd "leads me beside
still waters." Water is often a symbol for the mind. So this
peace... this place of still waters, is a quiet and peaceful mind
focused on Him.
is only as far away as we place Him and never as far away as we think.
For it is in Him that we live, move and have our being."
~ Mustard Seeds
Today, God is First."
might think that this was a bad month for me. I can happily report
that it has been far from that! In addition to the challenging occurrences
reported above, I have been actively cultivating what I believe to
be the most important relationship anyone can cultivate - my relationship
with God. Through participation at daily mass and various scripture-based
prayer practices, along with Centering Prayer and service to my community,
this time spent surrendering to the presence and action of God within
has been my saving grace and my sanity through all of the insanity.
past weekend, we heard the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:
1-3, 11-32). In his homily on this very familiar story, Fr. Andrew
recognize ourselves and those we know, in the son who leaves, the
son who stays, and the father who rejoices in the prodigal's return.
as much as this parable tells us about ourselves, I think it also
tells us more about our heavenly Father - something we often miss
in this story, but something we desperately need to hear.
comes in the middle of the parable at the point when the son has
decided to return home. He begins the journey back to his father.
And there, almost as a passing thought, Luke inserts this beautiful
and beautifully revealing sentence: "While he was still a long
way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion."
Luke tells us the father then ran to his son, embraced him and kissed
him. That brief moment is a revelation. The father didn't wait for
his son to make it all the way home. He didn't wait for him to set
foot in his house. When he saw his son, and recognized him, he could
not contain himself. He ran to meet him and took him in his arms.
What love this father must have had for his child. And what love
our heavenly Father must have for us."
matter how far we are from him, no matter the mistakes we've made,
the despair we've held in our hearts, no matter the distance...
God waits for us. God looks for us. God longs for us. We may be
only a pinpoint on the horizon but that is enough. We may be so
far removed from God that He can barely see us - but even that is
enough. For when He sees us making our way home, His heart is stirred.
He sees us coming back to Him and how does He respond? God runs!
He doesn't hesitate. He doesn't hold back. He doesn't wait for us
to complete the journey we have begun. He goes to us, and meets
us, and completes the journey for us."
seems that it is not only God that is on the move, but in this mandala
we, too, are invited to move toward God. As we continue this journey
of elevation, and as we encounter the darkness within and without,
this mandala encourages us, no matter what occurs - no matter how
shaky the ground underneath us - to be ever mindful of how greatly
we are loved and in turn to infuse every situation we encounter with
love; to keep our eyes fixed on the Christ, the Light of the World,
who leads us by the right path, will never leave us to face our perils
alone and bestows on us a peace unlike any we have ever known.
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
Pisces New Moon Mandala
March 11, 2013
"No longer I, but Christ lives in me."
calls me to be one with God."
Active Prayer Sentence, March 13-20
From The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living
What a cycle! And SO tied to the previous one that I couldn't wait
to get my hands on the new mandala... the blooming of new life, a
resurrected life, a Christ-centered life. Within days of receiving
the template my initial thoughts were set down in color and sent to
back to Sandra. I have revisited it with little variation as seen
above. SO much to tell this cycle, but for the sake of brevity, only
the outer ring:
30: a readiness to witness; in varying sizes and densities representing
men, women, children;
In the center:
A set of 12 in the form of four sets of three - the manifestation
of God to the four corners of the world;
And the Stella Crucis or Star Cross which you might remember from
the Sagittarius New Moon Mandala at Christmastime, much larger now...
radiant and radiating!
you are what you are meant to be you will set the world on fire."
~St. Catherine of Siena
to be the you that you truly want to be.
Sometimes it's not more information we need,
but more courage."
forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God's upward calling,
in Christ Jesus."
first day of Spring arrived within eleven days of the start of this
cycle. Last year I remember waking up with such excitement... you
may recall I wrote that it felt as if a breath of fresh air was being
breathed into all of creation... that the Spirit was infusing and
elevating everything. This Spring, however, was such a contrast. I
awoke with such an ominous feeling. And, I would describe it in this
way: If each of us were a field, we spent the past year cleaning and
clearing debris, small rocks, twigs... the easy stuff... the obvious
things that are light and easier to take care of (though many cycles
were quite trying. I personally remember the double Gemini cycles...
a serious time of clearing!) In comparison, this spring all that is
left to clear out are the deeply rooted tree stumps and large boulders...
those deeply ingrained attitudes, habits and behaviors of a lifetime
that hold us back and keep us from being the people we were created
to be. Having struggled a lifetime with a couple of these "deeply
rooted tree stumps," the thought of tackling them once and for
all was perhaps why I was feeling so... ominous.
are a human being. You have a body and a soul.
The two are inseparable until death.
The body, as we know it now, is temporal, but the soul is eternal.
What is eternal should lead and reign over that which is temporal."
- Mustard Seeds
you have been called to live in freedom
- not free to satisfy your sinful nature,
but to serve one another in love."
~ Galations 5:13
I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11
are endless possibilities for practicing mortification."
- Mustard Seeds
sense, doesn't it? That which "is eternal should lead and reign
over that which is temporal." And yet it is so challenging to
live that! One of the words that came across my path this month as
we were nearing the spring equinox was mortification. The Lenten practices
of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are ways of practicing mortification:
of the methods which Christian asceticism employs in training the
soul to virtuous and holy living. The term originated with St. Paul,
who traces an instructive analogy between Christ dying to a mortal
and rising to an immortal life, and His followers who renounce their
past life of sin and rise through grace to a new life of holiness.
"If you live after the flesh", says the apostle, "you
shall die, but if through the spirit you mortify the deeds of the
flesh, you shall live" (Romans 8:13; cf. also Colossians 3:5,
and Galatians 5:24). From this original use of the term, we see
that mortification, though under one aspect it is a law of death,
under another and more fundamental aspect it is a law of life, and
does not destroy but elevates nature. What it slays is the disease
of the soul, and by slaying this it restores and invigorates the
soul's true life." ~ Catholic Encyclopedia
And that is how I began to see my Lenten practices... through the
eyes of choosing life (elevating) instead of death and deprivation
(destruction.) It occurs to me that proper diet and exercise can be
construed as a mild form of mortification... . As I mentioned earlier,
I was not looking forward to tackling my tree stumps and boulders,
but on April 1st - the day after Easter - the energy shifted. I woke
up and the struggle of the past year was gone. It was a new day in
many ways... even hopeful! I started exercising again and choosing
more nutritious foods more often. This lifestyle change required little
effort from me for a change... everything just began to flow.
"God bestows His wisdom upon men and women in the classroom of
May silence become a great friend of yours."
- Mustard Seeds
you allow your soul to be saturated with grace through prayer,
the sacraments, and a constant effort to remain united to God throughout
then you will begin to live your ordinary life divinely.
~ Mustard Seeds
not be content in showing friendship in words alone,
let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your
justly, love mercy, walk justly."
~ FB/the Attitude of Gratitude
My favorite image of Lent came in the form of a tethered colt on Passion
Sunday. In the processional Gospel for that day, Luke tells of a colt
that is tethered, untied and then carries Jesus into Jerusalem. I
could easily put myself in the picture as the colt... bound, untied
and then called into service by being the vehicle of Christ in the
world. No matter what we find, no matter what comes across our path,
no matter how we are received or treated, we are called to be bearers
of the Christ in a world so in need of Good News.
are like fireflies with the light of God in us.
Share that light with the world!"
make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
~St. Francis of Assisi
says I'm the language that unites all,
I speak to your souls
Listen to Me and accept me
I will make you whole and beautiful."
will direct your steps."
I know for sure... align with God and you will be shown the way, guided
and directed in every step. I have talked to God my whole life. I
have listened for His answers my whole life. He has never steered
had a very pleasant surprise this spring. Those who know me know that
I AM NOT KNOWN for my green thumb. I am lucky to get a couple of flowers
on my Christmas cactus at Christmastime. However, the plant is flowering
again - the week after Easter! Not only my plant, but several friends
and relatives have reported the same occurrence. This springtime blooming
is unique even for their plants. At first I was puzzled and then realized...
of course! At Christmas Christ is "reborn" in the hearts
of His believers. At Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
It is, indeed, a time of renewal... . A time of new life. Having died
to our selves, we, as this mandala suggests, rise with Christ and
live in Him alone - to be a life affirming, loving, compassionate
people... a people of service, a Resurrection people, filled to overflowing
with the Spirit and the love of the Lord.
the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit."
John 20: 21-22
Hugs and Blessings,
Aries New Moon Mandala
April 10, 2013
"See As God Sees."
so much to share this month, but I'm feeling that if you've followed
me for a while you how this works for me. You know that I look at
life symbolically... looking for divine messages in the ordinary,
everyday occurrences of my life... keeping my eyes open and drawing
everything in: looking... questioning... what does it mean? What is
the significance? What is God saying? Funny, eleven years ago I stared
blankly at pieces of paper... and now the cup overflows.
colors associated with Aries are red, white, gold and deep blue. And
with all the hearts in this mandala, variations of red just felt right.
I liked the use of gold also as it represents the Sun, and God-like
outermost ring is decorated with 30 shapes, which remind me of the
warming rays of the Sun... 30 representing perfect balance in the
cosmic organization; the maturity of a crop; a maturity and a readiness
to witness; also 30 degrees within each astrological sign. ~ridingthebeast.com
the circle six shapes, similar to the out-lying shapes, point outward
- Keywords for the constructive meaning of Six: Love, Harmony, Home,
Responsibility, Adjustment, Sympathy, Understanding, Domesticity,
Guardianship, Stability, Poise, Protection, Healing, Firmness, Balance,
Idealism, Conscientiousness, Justice, Burden-bearing, Service to mankind.
~Your Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell
symbol for Aries is related to the heart. Sandra has chosen to overlap
21 hearts in this mandala in three sets of seven. The first set of
seven hearts lie sideways creating the baste of the "nest."
The remaining two sets point out to suggest an outward movement of
love. This love is not a given... but rather is "worked at."
This is not a self-centered or narcissistic love, but a love of and
for others. It also has a Trinitarian feel to it for me... God (3
-the Trinity) working in and through creation (7)
Circles: Constructive Keywords for Eight: Power, Authority, Success,
Material freedom, Judgment, Discrimination, Executive ability, Organization,
Leadership, Management, Practicality, Thoroughness, Dependability,
Self-reliance, Control, the Power to succeed. There is also for me
a "never give up" quality to the number eight. ~Your
Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell
of the circles seem to be connected to cross bars of a "sight"
which was a reoccurring symbol last year. The focus of this mandala
however, is the eye which sees. And for me not just any eye, but an
eye that sees through the lens of divine wisdom.
crescent moons help create the iris of the eye. Astrologers use the
symbol of the crescent moon to signify a complex of psychological
factors. While the sun represents the infinite creative energy that
is available to the individual, the moon's function is to give form
to this energy and help realize its potential. For this reason in
astrology symbolizes man's sensitiveness and impressionability, the
instincts, the subconscious, the emotions, and the ability to react.
The key word is personality, the inner individual's outer shell that
is continually formed and changed by what he or she experiences. (
symbol at the center goes by many names: wheel cross, sun cross, Odin's
cross or Woden's cross. Nordic Odin and Teutonic Wuotan or Woden was
the supreme god of the Nordic religion before Christianity. Odin was
the god of art, culture, warfare and the dead. (If you've been
watching the new show 'Vikings' you've been hearing a lot about Odin.)
As has been its custom the Christian Church has included this ancient
pagan sign among the crosses of its symbolism. It is also known as
the gamma cross, the Roman Catholic cross, the consecration cross
and the inauguration cross. At the inauguration of a church, the bishop,
using blessed water or oil, draws the wheel cross at 12 different
places on the church walls. It is often used as a halo in art, i.e.
the spiritual power of energy that holy persons emanate, is associated
with its original meaning as a sign of power. ( ~from symbols.com)
You may remember last cycle, on the first day of Spring I was feeling
quite ominous about the year ahead... which was such a contrast to
the previous spring. The day after Easter this year (April 1, 2013)
things that I typically struggled with were moving so effortlessly...
so easily... life just flowed. To my surprise, on the first day of
this cycle on the way home from morning mass, this was in my
And, I nearly missed the message... scrambling for my phone I got
this shot just before it turned off the road and onto the field. For
those not familiar with farm equipment, this is known as a disc plow
(also spelled plough), disc harrow or in my younger years it was known
to me as a discer. I don't know if anyone else calls it that (those
who know me know that I tend to make up my own vocabulary ;-) but
that's what I remember. Anyway... by most standards this is one GI-NORMOUS
disc plow! (Gigantic + Enormous) There was some SERIOUS tilling to
be done. Disc plows are ideal for deep plowing and are typically the
first piece of equipment to cultivate a field in the spring - to begin
the process of preparing the soil to be planted with a crop of some
kind. It is used to turn and break up the soil to dry it out, to bury
crop residues, which will be used as compost for the new crop, and
to help control weeds. (LOTS of symbolism that can be applied to a
life in this alone!) Could God have been any more clear? By this He
was telling me, "Don't worry honey... the cleaning and clearing
is done. The ground is ready. It's already time to plow and prepare
the soil for the planting of the new crop. " What a relief! And
so this cycle began.
were born with the ability to change someone's life - don't waste
~ FB/TGIF-Today God is First
3 things can change our lives, dreams, suffering and love."
beautify this world we must carry out experiments in Love."
fruit of having spent so much time in prayer during those 40 days
of Lent sustained me for 22 days after Easter. Now I've heard that
it only takes 21 days to create a new habit - and for those first
22 days of Easter there were no struggles in my life - everything
just flowed. But, I found that over the course of those 22 days, the
further away I got from Lent, the more challenged I was to find or
make time for prayer and spiritual reading. The less time I spent
in prayer, the more I began to struggle... until the 23rd day when
the floor fell out and I was in a free-fall... un-hinged... and feeling
not at all like myself - or not at least like the self I'd like to
be. Three days later, I followed a car with the license plate that
said [CLOSUR]. The car was completely eluding me - often changing
lanes. I couldn't get a decent picture so you're going to have to
take my word for it. Like that car, something in my life that would
help me gain closure and be at peace was eluding me.
because someone has their eyes closed does not mean they are asleep.
Just because someone has their eyes open does not mean they can see."
- Mustard Seeds
watchful-the grace of God appears suddenly.
It comes without warning to an open heart... "
all live lives of contemplation. The question is what do you contemplate?
Is it the riches of the world, or women walking by in the street?
Is it fame and power?
Or, is it the wonders of God, His creation,
and His spiritual gifts to humanity?"
- Mustard Seeds
am with you always..."
~the Gospel of Matthew 28:20
of our birds and animals have returned after their winter hibernation
or migration. The twin groundhogs from last May have survived the
winter and are regularly coming to the ground feeder with one of their
parents - I presume their mother. The Juncos have returned north for
the summer and to my son's dismay the mourning doves have returned
and have once again nested in the tree in the front of our house.
The nest is very easily seen through two windows - one of which is
just outside my son's bedroom window - hence his dismay. Again this
year, two eggs were laid, have hatched and both squabs, as they are
called, though blind and covered with down are faring well as of this
writing. Both parents tend to the needs of the two. One or the other
is ALWAYS seen sitting on the nest keeping the young ones warm, safe
from predators and sating their voracious hunger. Unlike most birds
that feed seeds, insects or worms to their young, these birds feed
their little ones a milky substance, called Pigeon's Milk. It is produced
in the crop, located in the throat. It's quite something to watch.
The head of the squab literally enters the throat of the parent as
if it is being swallowed up. The image of playing hide and seek with
young children comes to mind. If they can't see you then they think
they are well hidden even though the rest of their body is in plain
view. With this image in mind, I think of these young squabs believing
they are totally surrounded and engulfed by the parent. Now as I said,
one of the parents is always with the young, protecting them, keeping
them warm and if this is all that happens the squabs will surely die.
At some point the young ones need to reach toward the parent to be
fed - to be nurtured in a life-sustaining way. Another image that
comes to mind is an electrical gadget. It's useless... no good unless
it's plugged into the current!
wants full custody. Not just weekend visits."
~FB/TGIF via my cousin Mark
into the heart of love,
and come from that place in all your choices and decisions,
and you will find peace."
~FB Neal Donald Walsh via E
is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."
~ 1 John 4:4
What I have learned from my own experience this spring is that the
type of crop that is planted this spring will depend on my choices.
If I want to live a happy, joy-filled life and continue to grow in
the direction of my authentic self, the true Self... spending time
with God through spiritual reading and ongoing, daily prayer is crucial.
And, not the laundry list kind of prayer where I do all the talking
and tell God all my troubles - though there is a time and place for
that form of prayer as well. But, rather, what is needed is a type
of prayer like Centering Prayer where I sit, open and receptive like
a newly plowed field and listen to the One who is wiser, more knowledgeable
and then to rest in God... in the quiet... in the silence where God
is best heard -not unlike the quiet of that freshly plowed field in
the early morning... a field in hopeful waiting of the good things
the ability to say everything without saying anything.
Action is the loudest voice.
- Mustard Seeds
spent the last year "elevating" the challenge of this year
then as I sense it... as I see it, is, in the words of Pope Francis,
"to allow Christ to take possession of our lives and transform
them." It is not enough to be aware of the presence of God. We,
too, must do our part, plug in daily and stay connected. Like that
newly hatched and blind squab reaching for nourishment from its parents,
we, too, turn to the Ultimate Reality in blind faith to be fed and
spiritually nourished - joined in sacred oneness - to be transformed
in love through love. Then and only then, can we truly see through
eyes of our hearts. Then and only then, are we free enough to love
as God loves and to see as God sees.
Hugs and Blessings,
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Lynn Keefer, all rights reserved.
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