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Soothing Solstice Ritual

close up photography of snowflake
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Happy Winter Solstice from here in Canada! On this Darkest day of the year the Universe has brought me back to the teaching of the Grouse.  I have lost my balance between inner and outer self, between light and dark, doing and being.  And the grouse has puffed up her chest in my face, reminding me of her sacred message.

In her book Medicine Cards, Jamie Sams connects the grouse to the sacred spiral.   She asks us, “Analyze the way you move through your world.  How do you picture yourself in the act of “locomotion”…What word would you use to describe the way you move through both the material and spiritual worlds?…is your movement compatible with your greatest desires and goals?”  (journal prompts!!)

For me I’m like a chicken with head cut off, running around my busy life with my three boys and husband, always doing three things at one time, somewhat disconnected from it all.  I want to move slower, more gently and way more consciously.  I want to be fully present in the moment of what I’m doing.  I have almost come to a screeching halt in the spirit world and need to change this today!  In this moment I see how we cannot manifest this visions into physical form if we are not taking time to see the vision in the moments of still and spiritual world exploring.

The grouse is also an ancient symbol for birth and rebirth and is often represented by the sacred spiral as this is the way the grouse does her sacred dance.   The sacred spiral is  symbol of personal power, a feminine symbol that we used to paint on our bodies for ceremonies and vision quests, a symbol of visioning to the centre of creation, down the sacred spiral and towards the centre and still spot of a tornado.

This message fit well as I have been really exploring my energy lately and witnessing how much I push myself and how much I pull back.  And in my self-assessment I’ve come to realize that I’m really good at pushing myself and I rarely pull back my energy on my own accord but usually out of collapse. I typically go from a state of pushing, pushing, pushing to a grinding halt…stopped dead in my tracks with inertia and exhaustion.  The experience of pulling back is not gentle or subtle, it’s extreme and fierce. It’s forceful and out of desperation, a need for recuperation and a catching of my breath for survival.  Like everyone else I’m learning to exist somewhere between inertia and a thousand miles a minute and moving away from the extremes.  I do know this, for every action there is an equal or greater reaction.  So when we move to one extreme, there is always the opposite extreme waiting for our arrival.

So can we experiment and maybe loosen our ropes?  Pull back from doing so much?  I remember during my recovery from disordered eating, I forced myself to find the middle ground and find the luscious glow of mediocrity.  I wouldn’t run as far or push as hard, I would intentionally try not to be the best or on top but rather middle ground because it was gentler and more loving but it was deeply uncomfortable.  Feelings of worthlessness and fear of not being good enough oozed out of me as I tried to live a more balanced life.  I equated not being perfect or the best with failure even if it cost me my well being.  A new form had to be found.  This constant over-doing and busyness is a ridiculous and unhealthy way to live my life, no more.  The busyness of my life has moved me into exhaustion and disconnection.  My pulling back is to be more intentional and consciousness in the moment and way more stillness.  I need to make space for it like my life depends on it because I know it does.

On this beautiful day of darkness, I encourage us to find the sacred ceremony of intentional gentleness.   Mmmm…I want to inhale the word “gentleness”  into the aura of my life and let her soothing energy settle into my bones.  So celebrate this day of darkness by sacred acts of doing less, of being gentle, of soothing the soul by dipping into our dark depths.  Perhaps gentleness is letting the dishes dry in the sink or reading a good book instead of doing the laundry.  I found it to be quite playful to try and find balance in a gentle, subtle, loving way in my every day life instead of just pushing and getting through these few days and then falling ill or finishing my weak in a state of depletion.  Perhaps it’s even lighting up on the workout or spending the day cozy in fuzzy socks and Christmas sweaters by the fire.  Perhaps it’s lighting candles and infusing peppermint oils with the sparkling twinkle of Christmas lights around us.   Make today a sacred game of finding was to be gentle and softer, more being less doing.

SOLSTICE REFLECTIVE WRITING RITUAL:

aurora borealis
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What is your relationship with Beingness?

 

What is your relationship with your own inner darkness and shadow self?  Do you welcome and embrace your darkness or do you push it away and positive affirmation yourself into by-passing it?

 

Do you spend time in reflection and contemplation? What supports this practise for you or what hinders it?

Imagine sitting with the great sacred being of Solstice, the keeper of the dark, cavernous portals of being.  You and this powerful gatekeeper are sitting around a crackling fire inside a deep rocky cave.  Can you just sit in the energy of this Being..feel that being ness, pull it in, let it soften you, soothe you, surrendering your guards.  Just sit and be, feeling Presence, feeling the warmth of the fire on your face.  Sit there and receive the gifts of Being.  Inhale the gentleness and calm around you.   Expand the calmness all throughout your body.  Feel it in your lungs and allow it to settle into your bones.  Savour in it for as long as you need.  When you are done, make an offering to the Divine Solstice being seated with you and when you’re ready, open you’re eyes and feel how you still feel the gift of Beingness.

Aho! And so it is.

Happy Solstice Friends 🙂

For Free Soul Connecting Goodies please FOLLOW THE BLOG and I’d be happy to send you some juicy, soul igniting goodies weekly.  Or Follow the THE WOMEN’S TRIBE FACEBOOK PAGE.

Crystal XO

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Full Moon Power Hour Ritual.

Happy Full Moon my friends!!

About a week ago I posted a little pre-full moon blurb boundaries and the medicine teachings of Armadillo. (Found here Armadillo Teaching.)power

This theme continues for me/us at this full-moon.  I encouraged you to do a medicine shield exercise where you list all that you want to experience, feel, do and enjoy in your life as though it were an energetic boundary to the universe.  Tonight we bring this deeper.

It’s funny how when you claim and affirm your boundaries, the universe tests you.  My boundaries were tested, in fact, pushed down, and stepped on.  However, I must look at my part in it and I see where I wavered.  I have kept firm boundaries with this person and kept them at a fair distance to uphold the boundaries I felt necessary.  But overtime, this person was being “nicer” and slowly, little by little, I softened my boundary.  This pattern happens every time with this particular individual.  I give a little and I get burned all the time.  No more!!!  I am done, the firm, distant boundary must be maintained no matter how “nice” or “calm” things seem to get.  I have to remember this, hold my power, maintain my boundary.  I need the hard shell of that armadillo always with this person and I must accept this for my own sanity.

So this brings me to tonight’s powerful Moon Teaching.  Grandmother moon asks us to look at our own sense of power.  Personal power (not dominant power). This is greatly connected to boundaries and how and when we give away our power thus resulting in lack of or softened boundaries. This was a tough lesson to learn once again for me.

I get in the habit of being “too nice”.  I give people way to many chances and lee-way and I suffer for it.  I end up frustrated, bitter and resentful.  I doubt my own truth or think, “maybe they’ve changed, maybe this can be better, maybe I’m being to hard…maybe, maybe maybe…and I get lazy or soft in manifesting my own sense of power.  I open the door and let them stab me with their sword.  Dang it!

So Grandmother Moon is asking to me re-visit my sense and experience of power.

Lynn Andrews (one of my teachers), says this about power…

“What do I mean by “power?” When my teachers and I speak of power, we are not talking about power over someone else. We are speaking of the integrity of spirit, the integrity of life force which is built through practice, definition and training. Power means that you have the ability and the competence to live your true destiny. It implies that you are living your truth, not someone else’s, seeing the world through your own eyes and not through anyone else’s idea of who you should be.”

Full Moon Ritual – Full Moon Power Hour 🙂

You know the drill, light up those candles, ignite the incense, put on some tunes, gather your friends or just pour yourself a cup of tea and create some Sacred Time and Space.  Tonight we invite in Power to embody us, teach us, sit with us.  We look at it in the mirror and get to know how we harness and use it and when we sabotage our connection with our own power.

Journal Questions/Questions for Discussion with Your Pals. (Some Questions by Sacred Circles, pg 146)

1) Do you think of yourself as powerful?

2) How would you describe your sense of power?

3) When do you feel your most powerful?  What are you doing when you feel this way?

4)  How do you sabotage your own sense of power?

5)  With who do you feel most powerful?

6) How successful have you been at translating your visions into reality?

7) Do you think you are more powerful in the domain of “being” or “doing”?  How are they interconnected in your life?

Share your stories and responses in comments, online, with friends or simply with Grandmother Moon.  May she glow and awaken, ignite and shine the light on your power.

If you’d like make a collage with images of power, words, colors, anything that feels powerful, strong and firm to your inner sense of self.

And so it is!!!

xo

Crystal

As always, if you feel called do Follow The Blog, I’d be humbled.

 

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Mid-Week Soul Check-In.

nourishmentHi friends,

With the full moon around the corner I thought I’d check in with my deepest Self and invite you do join me. I’ve been feeling a bit agitated, restless, just not at peace.  As I move into it I’ve been called into stillness, reflection and meditation even though a part of me wants to run around and keep busy away from what is there.

I pulled a card for today and got the Armadillo card from Jamie Sams, Medicine Cards deck.  Here’s a blurb that really spoke to me…

“A clue to how to proceed is to make a circle on a piece of paper and see it as a medicine shield.  In the body of the shield, write all that you are desiring to have, do, or experience. Include all things that give you joy.  This sets up boundaries that allow only these chosen experiences to be part of your life.  These boundaries become your shield that wards off the things which are undesirable to you.  The shield reflects what you are and what your will is to others on an unconscious level.”  (Pg 149 Medicine Cards book).

Armadillo teaches us about boundaries, not just physical boundaries, but boundaries of the Self.  Do we create time, space and boundaries for our own fulfillment and connection?  This is usually the first thing we toss when we get busy or down, but it is the most important.  It feeds all of our other connections, our energy wells, and all of our relationships and experiences of life around us.

As you complete your medicine shield on paper, pin it up somewhere where you can see it regularly.  Decorate it with images or collage your shield.

For me I’ve got to commit more to creating the joy, to FOCUSING on making joy and magic out of what is.  It’s hard sometimes in the winter, the longgggg, cold winter to get going but these little self-reflection pauses and explorations help us remember.   Mine is really focused around connection, deep meaning full connections, coffee dates, chatting, gatherings, creative fun times with family and friends, creating full moon circles once again, not just online but in person.

 

Ask yourself and journal….

  1.  Am I honoring the time I need for my personal joy, fulfillment and connection?
  2. How am I doing this or why am I not?
  3. How can you start each week carving out and planning sacred times of joy for yourself?  What do you want to do? Fun wise? Soul wise? Connection wise?  Creativity wise and how and where and when can you do it?

 

And so it is friends.

I hope you use the medicine of our friend Armadillo (this includes me) and create some boundaries, times, focus and commitment to you and the joy you want in your life.

 

Happy Wednesday/ Hump Day.

🙂

Crystal

As always, if you feel called feel free to FOLLOW THE BLOG or like the Women’s Tribe Facebook Page.

smiles and hoots 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Simple Solstice Ritual

“Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it.  Because the attempt to escape from pain creates more pain.” – The Tibetan book of Living and Dying.

solsticeI’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of suffering lately.  Many of people have gone through struggle, loss and up-upheaval this past year or years.  Lots of healing and change and struggle is being called of us, from us, for us.

I have been un-well for some time and it’s gotten a hold of me.  It’s bonded me and shackled me into the pain and discomfort and dare I say…self-pity. Here’s the bold truth…I’ve been struggling, I’ve been suffering.  For some reason I have a hard time putting that out there, perhaps it feels vulnerable, the why of the matter I am unsure.  I usually try and exude a positive, accepting vibe about my illness but lately…I just can’t.  I haven’t been well.  I’m having a small pity-party. (Or maybe a full blown romper lol).

Part of me wonders too if people don’t want to hear about suffering.  We live in a society where people are uncomfortable with it, with pain, with loss, with heavy, dark emotion.  We don’t like to hear about it or sit with it. Let’s face it, we’ve been taught not to talk about that stuff, not to burden other people with our problems.

People are uncomfortable with pain and often just want to offer an quick solution or idea so we can move us out of pain and suffering.  The intention is absolutely loving but sometimes we just need to be held, to be offered space to feel darkness, sorrow and pain and that’s tough for many to offer because they don’t know how to do so for themselves.

So I’m aware that my pattern is that get quiet and isolate and battle with the struggle in a sword fight all on my own when I’m in pain or struggle.  (This is why I’ve been quiet in my writing…sorry folks, it’s a bad pattern I’m working on).  In fact, I want to own that I’m suffering and say it’s okay and that I need connection in suffering and I imagine you do to.  I need to know I’m not alone and I’m learning that I absolutely am not!! And that we all have suffering, so let’s get talkin’ bout it and supporting each other while we move through it….yeah?!  🙂

What I’ve been learning and reading from Buddhist texts is that life is suffering.  There will always be suffering, we all will suffer at various points in our life whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually and really all that we ought to do is accept this notion.  There is suffering in life.  Say it with me, “there is suffering in life.”

This is an easy and yet tough concept that I’ve been playing with.  I’ve been trying to sit in my suffering, like really move into it.  I close my eyes and settle into the suffering in my body and it’s weird…it dissipates, it softens,the edges sting less.

Perhaps it’s from not battling what is, there is a gentle release in my body. The defenses soften.

So, often when I’m “suffering” with physical discomfort or even emotional discomfort I try and battle my way out of it with thought or action or even will power.  I positive affirmation out my yin-yang to try and pretend I am not suffering or to adjust out of it.   I fight what is.  I fight the truth of discomfort and pain while I try to cover the Truth with a lovely balmy protective salve, rather than accept and allow it.  My mind and body separate, battle for control, argue and I end up exhausted, depleted and still feeling under the weather.

So the last few nights I’ve allowed my “suffering” to be my meditation.  To soften and melt into it and allow the moments to be there.  It is freeing! Like radically freeing.  I even get a slight buzz on the inside, a elation, a joy, a meeting of sparkly truth that I can feel.

Here’s a brief summary on some Buddhist teachings (very brief) from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/bs-s03.htm

“Suffering is a fact of life. There are four unavoidable physical sufferings; birth, old age, sickness and death. There are also three forms of mental suffering; separation from the people we love; contact with people we dislike and frustration of desires. Happiness is real and comes in many ways, but happiness does not last forever and does not stop suffering. Buddhists believe that the way to end suffering is to first accept the fact that suffering is actually a fact of life.”

So on this Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), and the darkest day of the year, I invite you into your own darkness, your own pains and wounds and simply let them be there. Melt into them for a few moments as a Sacred Witness to what is at this moment. Where do you feel struggle in your body?  And can you just move into it, gently, softly, lovingly?  See what happens.  And like wise, move into your joy and happiness as it sways in your life as well. We will all move through the tides, the highs and lows of life.  May we do so consciously, lovingly and with awareness and acceptance.

Simple Solstice Ritual:solstice2

On this lovely Solstice, get out your paper and pens.  Light a lovely candle or two, perhaps some incense, get yourself a cup of tea and have a divine union with yourself and Creation on paper.

  1. What have been some of your struggles this past year?  List them and underneath them, write about the gifts, the benefits, the positive outcome(s) of these struggles.  What did you learn or acquire from the struggle?
  2. What were some of your highlights this year?  What sacred and special moments really resonate in your soul and heart?
  3. What wishes do you have for yourself and the ones you love this coming season and year?

Enjoy this lovely day of darkness, retreat, rest, and reflection.  I honor you and your path.  I honor you and your joy as well as your suffering.

And so it is.

If you feel called and would like to get more soul nourishing goodies, I invite you to FOLLOW THE BLOG.  I’d be tinkled pink 🙂

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