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Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Maat and Isolt

May 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Greetings on this fine Monday in Colorado: cool temperatures, bright sun and a nice breeze; it would be a sailor’s delight if we had any water! It’s also “remembrance day” (aka Memorial Day) in the US. When I was a kid growing up we also used this day to remember all of our relations who had crossed over, not just the war fallen. I still do that preferring to avoid the whole concept of celebrating war.

Rosemary and I leave for Maryland tomorrow to celebrate something very special, a wedding in DC! Since we’ll be out of town for this week, and then I’ll be in New Mexico the following week mudding the adobe hall (The Lady), the home to Bolad’s Kitchen, posts may become thin. I’ll keep Rosemary’s blog going and will at least attempt to post on Wednesdays here to comment on the Mystic Message. Divination using the Dr. Doreen Virtue Goddess Oracle Card may fall off a bit. So, these cards may be the guidance for the next couple of weeks.

Today the card I drew is Maat. But as I drew her from the deck another slipped out: Isolt. So, I retained her as well and took her emergence as part of the message and the amplifier to Maat. I did not draw a Grandmother Card today.

Maat’s message is Fairness; and she says: “This situation will be handled in a fair and just manner.” She goes on to define fairness and I really like this: “Let me suggest another definition for fairness: It’s when all parties surrender their personal agendas in favor of the greater good for the entirety of the group.” And perhaps on this Memorial Day this is a good thing to remember: for the sake of fairness we are called to surrender our personal agenda for the greater good. This doesn’t sound exactly like the current “American Way.” We have been so caught up in the rights of the individual and, especially, the rights of the corporations, that the “common good” is often completely ignored. Yet Maat would have us surrender these individual rights, these corporate rights for the sake of the group.

It used to be that corporations were granted their status and privileges by states to serve the people, the common good. And that certainly seemed fair. It’s not clear to me that corporations these days have the common interest in mind. In a perfect world the corporations would respond to their boards of directors which would respond to the stockholders who would represent the common good. How far have we come from that perfect world? And as we remember those who waged war to defend our democracy how far have we come from that democracy? Do we still have a government of, by and for the people, or do we have the best government money can buy?

Whew, sorry! Not sure where this is coming from. I guess the word “fairness” on this Memorial Day took me down a rather serious and dark rabbit hole! Let’s look at the meaning of Maat for ourselves and then take a close look at Isolt, who will soften this whole discussion – and calm me down!

“Maat is the Egyptian goddess of integrity, fairness and justice, who holds a scale that measures souls against a feather at the time of death to detect any heaviness from guilt.” writes Dr. Virtue. That is a beautiful and potent image! I would love to be able to claim that my guilt rests as lightly on my soul as a feather!

For me this week I will call on Maat to remind me to be fair; this will mean putting the common good before my own agenda. And this is in excellent congruence with this week’s Mystic Message from The Divine Feminine channeled by Rosemary. Check out the message and post titled Send the Judge on vacation and choose Compassion! I’ll comment more on this post on Wednesday, but note how this plays into “fairness,” into the message of Maat! And this takes me smoothly to Isolt.

The subtitle of the Isolt card is Undying Love, and Dr. Virtue has her say: “The love you have shared is eternal regardless of the situation.”  The message of Isolt is one of healing, especially of the heart. And she calls on us to first heal the hurts inside ourselves by going to that inner space and examining the wounds, the places of grief, loss, betrayal, despair. Be patient and gentle in this process. Compassion comes from within and begins as compassion for one’s-self.

Isolt is the Celtic goddess who was caught up in a love triangle between her husband, King Mark of Corwall, and the knight, Sir Tristan. Her message is to balance all of our love relationships. “She reminds us that – regardless of the situation – our love is real, powerful, and undying.” And our love can heal all hurts.

It’s certainly an interesting time for me to draw Isolt as we prepare to travel to Maryland to visit family: daughter, son-in-law, GRANDCHILDREN, sisters, husbands, nephews, nieces; and friends. And we go to marry a beautiful couple, to join them in a bond of love. I will carry the message of Isolt in my heart on this trip and hold Love as my motivating emotion.

Fairness and Love. Maat and Isolt. They seem to go hand-in-hand. (Clearly Isolt slipped out of the deck as I drew Maat because she knew they belonged together!) How can we have fairness without love: the common good requires our love.  How can we have love without fairness: compassion calls us to surrender.

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Athena and The Teacher

May 29, 2010 1 comment

Time is continuing to play tricks acting like Coyote with me. My Friday, when I like to draw oracle cards for the weekend, dissolved into activities and dinner with friends. Today has been similar, the morning dissolving into procrastination and dabbling with the iPad. Then I finally took some action and drew two cards.

I drew Athena from the Dr. Doreen Virtue Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards. Her tag line is Inner Wisdom, and her short advice is: “You know what to do. Trust your inner wisdom, and take appropriate action without delay.” Right! In other words, stop procrastinating and get on with your day! I get that. She goes on to say that this “inner wisdom” is right there; “to access this wisdom, you must quiet your mind. Surrender all worries and other concerns to the loving and almighty power of the universe. Close your eyes, and note the thoughts and feelings that come streaming into your consciousness. If you like you can ask me to give you a signal that you’ve heard your inner wisdom correctly.” The first meaning of the card that Dr. Virtue offers is “Stop procrastinating.” OK, I get the message!

So, instead of writing this blog I moved on to my to-do list which had garden work at the top . I needed to get the pond back in action which meant getting filter material for the pump and the normal spring cleanup stuff plus some new plants – a lily for Rosemary! It felt good to get on with the day and get that task completed. Our water-fall is flowing and falling again and the new plants seem happy.

And this is one of the many reasons I draw these cards; they get me going because they reinforce what I already know. I knew I was procrastinating; I knew what I needed and wanted to do; and I knew it had to be done today. The card gave me that little extra boost to get on with it! Thanks, Athena, Greek Goddess, daughter of Zeus. Although Athena is a warrior goddess, she does battle with wits instead of weapons.” She is a diplomat; we need more like her in our world!

The Grandmother Card I drew from the Megan Garcia deck is The Teacher of the Clan Elders. She say: “We have learned from the records of those who have walked before us, and we continue to preserve the understanding. We pass to the next generation the teachings of our ancestors. We see in our her-story/his-story the truths we need to continue as Humans. We challenge, communicate, and guide others on a path of discovery of themselves.”

And just as Athena advises, Grandmother says we need to walk the path of self-discovery. It is all inside for us to know, to learn and to reveal. Yes, I procrastinated this morning avoiding the simple tasks put on a list to get done. That was a small thing. I also procrastinate reaching for that inner wisdom; and when I do reach for it I hold it inside, or I write it in my journal, locking it away again. And I avoid the role of “teacher.” A true teacher elicits the inner wisdom of others. It is our combined inner wisdom which will save us, will show us the “truths we need to continue as Humans.”

So, as I conclude this post, I realize I am still procrastinating. I am avoiding my “writing chair” and my meditation cushion. I will devote more time to these “spaces” over this long weekend.

How will you go about seeking and sharing your Inner Wisdom?

Are you feeling at home? Or are you just fleeing?

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Time this week has seemed to be a different dimension altogether. It always passes more quickly than I expect it to; or I cram more into the schedule than can possibly get done so it just seems to go faster than plan. In any case here it is Thursday, Rosemary and I are already working on the next issue of her Ezine (#51!), and I haven’t commented yet on the Mystic Message she posted on Monday!

One of my delays this week has been the arrival of my new iPad. I picked it up yesterday and have been busy with it rather than keeping up with my regular schedule. I may review my experience with it in one of these future posts, but I’m still testing the limits of its capabilities. It will be going with me on our next trip next week. I was hoping to do all the Ezine publishing with it but already hit one snag in trying to edit the Aweber template we are currently using. More on this later!

Rosemary’s post of the Mystic Message on Monday was on a subject we have been grappling with for at least the past 10 years. “Where IS home?” Feeling at home is one thing but actually claiming to be home is quite a different subject. And maybe this is an element that is missing from our modern approach to culture and society that says more about us than we might like to examine. And maybe it says something about our spirituality that we definitely need to examine!

I grew up in Wisconsin and lived the first 22 years of life within a 50 mile radius of a small family farm. For those 22 years there was no question about where home was or how I felt there. I had roots, deep roots reaching into fertile, unglaciated dirt of the southwestern corner of that state. But I was a “Kennedy kid.” I heard his call, not to Viet Nam, but to the Peace Corps; and I spent the next three years of my life 10,000 miles from that little corner of Wisconsin. And there never quite felt like home again. From Wisconsin I spent much of my adult life in Maryland until moving West, East, then West again to Colorado. And I do feel at home here but it’s not clear I am home!

What does it mean to be home? Much of what I’m trying to convey in many of these blog posts is about an internal space that has little or nothing to do with physical place. The old expression “home is where the heart is” bears remembering. The heart is inside. And if we visit there we may just find home and feel at home there – wherever “there” is. And if we are in touch with our hearts then we will be more likely to “feel” at home just where we are.

It seems to me we are a discontented people. Why else do we seem to be fleeing from ourselves? We have been migrating westward since before this country was a country. And I am “guilty as charged.” Perhaps if we began “feeling at home” within our hearts we wouldn’t have to flee any longer.

And then maybe we wouldn’t need to drill deep, dangerous oil wells in the Gulf!

Review of “The Hidden Spirituality of Men” Part 4

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

After my struggle with Chapter 5, “Spiritual Warriors”, of Matthew Fox’s book on Men and Spirituality, subtitled Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, I have been cruising right along with the remainder  of the book. Today I’ll review chapters 7 and 8. If you missed Part 3 you can read it here.

Chapter 7 covers the “body metaphor” and is titled:  “Our Cosmic and Animal Bodies.” Up to this point Mr. Fox has covered six “metaphors” or what he also refers to as archetypes; the first five I would definitely classify as archetypes: Sky Father, The Green Man, Icarus and Daedalus, Hunter-Gatherers, and Spiritual Warriors. Beginning with the sixth chapter and certainly extending into the seventh I believe he leaves the archetypal approach and begins addressing actual men and their sexuality and physicality. Chapter six covered in Part 3 of this series is about our sexuality; it is handled very nicely by Fox but it’s not clear why this is a metaphor. And here in Chapter 7 we deal with our physical bodies; how is this a metaphor? How am I to react to my body as metaphor rather than physical presence here on Planet Earth? It would be different if he spent most of the chapter on the “Cosmic Body” but most of it is devoted to the physical.

He does a nice job describing his version of the chakra system, how it affects us and how we can work with it. Yet, while he treats this subject within a section called “Rediscovering Our Sacred Bodies” much of the discussion is on the physicality of the chakras. Carolyn Myss does a much better job of describing the sacred nature of the chakras in: Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing. I recommend her book to anyone interested in an expanded vision of the chakra system.

In a too brief final section of this chapter Fox discusses “More Than One Body.” He refers to four, the physical body, the cosmic body, the earth body and the divine body. The actual distinctions between the physical and earth bodies and the cosmic and divine bodies is never really made clear, and he uses the terms interchangeably. Here I thought he might have used the four bodies I’ve often read about and considered: the physical body, the emotional or etheric body, the mental body and the spiritual body.  These are actual layers to our bodies and extend outward from the physical layer beyond and into our auras and ultimately into the cosmos, of which we are a part. There is certainly some parallel between these four and Fox’s four but I think the ones I refer to are more clear.

Chapter 8 covers the Blue Man and is titled The Blue Man. Here Mr. Fox is referring on the one hand to Swami Muktananda’s vision of the Blue Pearl who becomes a “blue man” a vision of the divine within or the Cosmic/Spirit Body. He compares Muktananda’s vision with that of Hildegard von Bingen who encountered a “man of sapphire blue.” It is clear that these two very different people in very different times encountered the very same being, the Blue Being within themselves.

Chapter 8 is an excellent extension to chapter 7 and nicely responds to my complaint that he didn’t spend enough time on the “more than one body.” It is the Blue Man to whom he appeals and the Blue Man in each of us who is called to action today. In his conclusion Fox writes:

“The Blue Man represents the expanded consciousness and the creative compassion [I really like this phrase ‘creative compassion’ – so much more appropriate than the ‘conservative compassion’ we had to deal with during the first 8 years of this millennium!] we are all capable of. He is an artist at life, recognizing beauty and justice and creating it. We are being tested in a special way today. Because of news both good and terrifying, a global consciousness arises, asking us to expand our minds and hearts. We are interconnected and interdependent in ways we have never experienced before, even as the collective impact of our human society threatens the Earth’s health. We must use our powers of creativity, which increase when consciousness increases, to engage and solve the many problems facing us at this important time in history. We must take our expanded consciousness into all our relationships. The purpose of the Blue Man is to empower our hands so that real compassion takes place, the real work of the Divine in our lives. The Blue Man helps us to overcome our fear of death and to let go of our fear-inspired frenzy. Creativity can convert anger and moral outrage into appropriate expressions of protest, so that we build and not simply tear down. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, Michelangelo, and many other men have demonstrated the Blue Man in action.”

I have quoted this entire paragraph for a couple of reasons: one, it expresses a good summary of Fox’s call to men to embrace the spiritual, the creative, the compassionate responses in us that are so important today; this Blue Man energy vital to our survival! And, two, he makes this call without resorting to the “spiritual warrior” archetype, which he brought out in Chapter 5, and which I and others have called into question. Here he now avoids that term and all its connotations by invoking creative compassion in its stead! Yes, we CAN divert our anger, fear, outrage into positive, creative, appropriate action for good with Blue Man energy at our core!

Chapter 8 is a delight and makes it worth reading the book to this point. And Chapter 9, “Earth Father: the Fatherly Heart” is excellent. I’ll review Mr. Fox’s final two metaphors on Thursday.

Meanwhile see if you can get in touch with the Blue Man in you!

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Abundantia and Grammie Freedom

May 24, 2010 1 comment

Happy Monday! Since I ended last week with Oracle Cards I thought it would be good to begin this week with some new guidance. For the weekend the cards from Friday suggested rest and quiet time. And since I wasn’t feeling my best physically I did just that. In fact we canceled plans for Friday evening and Sunday afternoon so we could take it easy.

Then I got an email “astronote” from our friend, Chris Largent, who shed some “light” on what’s going on in the sky! It seems we are still being impacted by the old Mercury retrograde which left us on May 11 but is still having some influence. Here is what he offers about the rest of the month:

“Greetings, everyone!

“For those of you who noticed the overwhelm of the last ten days or so, it’s clear that this is one retrograde shadow that is almost like the retrograde itself!  As planets move into Gemini now, collective consciousness should feel lighter – and so will demands and tensions.  So, I hope we all get plenty of rest and prepare for a lighter time.

“The good news is:

(1) the retrograde shadow ends just before Memorial Day (and is fading everyday between now and then),

(2) aspects symbolizing enthusiasm, optimism, and sudden opportunities and insights come into play the end of this month through the summer, and

(3) most of us have trained for these times on some other level of consciousness, according to various elders – so we can make the best of our struggles (and we all hope that this is true!).

“One cautionary note (and what would astronotes be in this era without at least one of these annoying things): there may be sudden releases of energy at the end of the month, coinciding with Memorial Day weekend, so in addition to my usual ‘please drive carefully’ note, I will add ‘please drive VERY carefully and deliberately and keep an eye on others on the road.’

“I hope you have a productive week and a great holiday weekend!

Chris”

Note that you can subscribe to Astronotes and contact Chris through the following email address:

ideahse@aol.com

And now to the cards for the week:

As you might guess Abundantia brings Prosperity. She says: “The universe is pouring its abundance out to you. Be open to receiving.” I like this card! But I do take careful note of the “receiving” part of the message. And to receive we have to recognize, be open, listen, watch, wait, and then, accept. Dr. Doreen Virtue goes on to have Abundantia say: “I’ve heard your prayers, worries, and affirmations…expect unforseen windfalls and gifts. Notice the new ideas, feelings, and visions within you. This guidance gives you clear direction about actions to take in conjunction with my assistance. Together, we’re unstoppable!”

This is a powerful message for any week; and I also notice the Moon is filling waxing to fullness on Thursday. This is an expansive period; I also take note of point (2) by Chris as we move into this expansive period of “enthusiasm, optimism, and sudden opportunities and insights.” These will be coming from Abundantia; watch and wait and listen for them. The ideas, feelings, insights, visions are all inside; bring them out. It might be a very good time to meditate and journal. Watch your dreams as well and ponder the messages coming from your unconscious mind.

And Abundantia’s message this week is reinforced by Grandmother Card, Grammie Freedom who is the “Guide of Promise” for the whole deck of Grandmothers! I’ve scanned in her image today because she is so beautiful and full of promise from so many directions and sources. Here is her message:

“You heard the voices calling from very far,
You heard the voices calling from distant star.
You heard the voices calling…

“You came as Freedom Child.
You sang your song,
You wrote your story,
You saw your vision,
You built your shield,
You made your dolls,
You became your dream,

“‘You are the patchquilt of your heart. You are the heart and spark of our Grandmothers.’

“Namasté”      And thank you Megan Garcia, for your beautiful images and Grandmother messages!

Call and response. We call and the Universe answers with abundance. When the Universe calls it is up to us to respond in kind!

Blessings for an awesome week!

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Sige and Dancing Fire

May 21, 2010 Leave a comment

As I drew oracle cards today I was thinking about and toward the weekend. The intention I held was to have an active one, to get some things done that have been hanging over my head, to be upbeat and energetic! Interestingly the Goddess Guidance Oracle card I drew for this intention is Sige: “Quiet Time”! The words Dr. Virtue has her say are:  “Take some quiet time alone to rest, meditate, and contemplate.” What? Quite time, rest? I had every intention to get motivated. Why did I draw this card?

Sige is the gnostic goddess of the Great Silence, the void from which the creation blew into existence. “Sige reminds us that words create duality, and that in silence, we find our true origin and self.” The creation, the Universe, is telling me to move into the silence to find my center, to re-balance and get grounded, alone, in non-dual time. All those things that need to be addressed: they’ll be there on the other side of this silence. All the planned activities, the weekend events, the “fun” to be had: this is not the time. Do I take this advice and close down for a day or two this weekend? Or do I push through and ignore my own intuitive guidance from these cards?

The strange thing is I am not feeling completely up to par today. Low energy, low spirit, low motivation is pressing down on me. Is this why I drew the card in the first place? Is the Universe telling me to slow down and take it easy? How often do we allow ourselves to do this? How often do we simply “close the door on life” for a while to find our center?

My Grandmother card today is: Dancing Fire of Woman’s Lodge. She says: “I am full of energy and ideas. They named me Dancing Fire because of my spontaneity. My motto is, ‘it is not where the journey is taking you, it is how you are taking the journey.'” Wait a minute! How does this reinforce or amplify on Sige? Sige say to be quiet and rest. Dancing Fire says she is full of energy and ideas. Yes, but she also says “it is how you are taking the journey.” The journey can certainly be an inward one. Am I being told to slow down and consider where I am? Is it suggested that I move inwardly and just be with myself for some time? I can do this with energy, with purpose, with plenty of ideas! But I can also do this in silence.

How often do you take time for just yourself? Do you travel inward to ask the hard questions? Do you assess in silence when you reach some point in life that requires centering and balance. I don’t do this often enough. Too often I simply bull-doze through issues to get through them, to get to the other side.  I think maybe, for at least part of this weekend, I’ll take some time to just be with the issues, the to-do list, the actions needing attention. They won’t go anywhere; they’ll be there Monday. They are more patient that I am!

Sige says “Shhh, dearest one. Quiet you mind. Breathe and let go of words, worry and plans.” I think I will…

“Fear is the Mind Killer”

May 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Rosemary’s post of the Mystic Message on Monday reminded me of an often quoted phrase by Frank Herbert who wrote the science fiction Dune series: “Fear is the mind killer.” From Rosemary’s title for the message from The Divine Feminine: “Feeling fear?  It’s only a signal to help you live a Conscious Life!” we are offered a way to use fear as a tool, a signal to pay attention and learn the lesson.

So many of these messages tell us to “get into the present moment.” Become present with the reality of the moment and consciously determine what is happening. We hear this often and yet it remains an elusive goal. How often do we get our triggers pulled, our buttons pushed without moving fully into consciousness. It happens to me all the time. And whether it is fear or anger or sadness or guilt or any of the many destructive emotions that seem to be so easily triggered these days it can often be difficult to pull ourselves away from the edge of the emotion and become more aware of what is really going on.

It is the pause that’s required; a momentary hesitation just long enough to allow the question to be asked: “what is this?” Is a “saber-tooth tiger” breathing down my neck? Do I really need to leap into fight or flight mode? Or is this some imagined or anticipated event that might occur sometime in the future that I am fearing in this moment?

As The Divine Feminine say: “There is so much fear in the world in the 21st Century!  We are concerned that some of you know ONLY the feeling of fear, not joy or happiness or peace or contentment.  We wish that you could learn to dispel the fear that arises within you.” Yes, there is a lot we can relate to with negative emotions. It can be difficult to get to “joy or happiness or peace or contentment.”  But so many of the negative emotions are about things beyond our control. I can be sad and fearful and angry about the oil disaster in the Gulf. But do those emotions serve me in any way? I may be motivated to boycott BP; I don’t really buy gas from them anyway, at least not that I know of. I may be motivated to contribute to campaigns that offer ways to repair the damage, fix the negligence, support green energy. These are positive responses to a my anger at the situation; they may not bring me joy or peace but at least they might bring me some satisfaction that I am doing something about the disaster that seems so far beyond our control.

And that’s the point of the title of the Message: use these emotions, including fear or helplessness, to signal an opportunity to react consciously. Don’t let fear be “the Mind Killer.” Let it offer an opportunity to examine the situation, ask “what is mine to do?” and then take action. This is living consciously, not letting the mind die!

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Yemanya and Mother Earth

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

What is your intention for the week? Do you wake up in the morning and ask yourself this question for each day? Do you spend a moment considering the day’s potential and wonder what it is that will make it special? I hope you do. This is a much better way to begin than with a worry or a concern; a fear or some other source of stress you may be facing about the day or week.

One way to do this is to shift into the intuitive mind on first awakening. This could include recalling a dream and writing it down.  Another way is to reach for a tool; maybe it is as simple as drifting into meditation on the question: “what does this day hold for me; what is mine to do?” Or it could be more active, for example, reaching for an oracle deck and drawing a card to set an intention. Shifting from sleep state to awake state is a critical moment in the day and can set the tone for the entire day. It is good to be intentional about this shift.

My intention for this day is to be productive and for the week it is to consider purchasing an Apple iPad. Then just before I drew cards from the Goddess Guidance Oracle deck and the Grandmothers deck I glanced at yet another headline on the oil disaster in the Gulf. The cards speak to all of these points that were bouncing around in my mind as I drew them.

I drew Yemanya from the Goddess Guidance deck by Dr. Doreen Virtue. Yemanya’s message is “Golden Opportunity:  Important doors are opening for you right now. Walk through them.” This is always a good message to receive; it is reinforcement to keep moving in the positive direction chosen. Yemanya goes on to say: “Like the ocean, life moves in waves and tides. Timing is everything, so when an opportunity presents itself, you must dive in at that moment.” This is also a good message to receive and consider under a waxing moon. Last week we passed through the cycle from Old Moon to New Moon. Under the Old Moon we let go of those things not serving us and to make room for the new coming into our lives. Just as the Moon empties and fills, we must empty and fill ourselves; and the Moon drives the tides; dive into that tide as it rises and presents itself as the opportunity to flow!

Yemanya is an African and Brazilian Goddess who created the sea. Dr. Virtue says: “Since the sea is the root of Earth Life, Yemanya’s connection to it makes her a very powerful and nurturing mother goddess.” Is anyone surprised that I drew a Goddess card connected to the sea as I was thinking about the Gulf? What are we doing to these Mothers; the Sea Mother and the Earth Mother? Will we now learn the lesson we missed in the 70s during that OPEC generated oil crisis? This is the opportunity; this is the open door that we must step through. Some lessons are very hard to accept and very long in the learning. But this one is clear and it is now immediate.

The Grandmother card always seems to reinforce the Goddess card. Today I drew Mother Earth of the Clan of Gifting. She say: “As your Elder Mother I invite you to enjoy the bounty, sustenance and support of me. Partake of the riches of my fertile land, enjoy my forests, and be flowing like my rivers and oceans. Harvest the food of my plants and see the beauty of my flowers. To honor me is to understand our interdependence and to respect all forms of life. The Clan of Gifting reminds us that we each have gifts of abundance that we can share for the benefit of future generations.”

Through the gift of Yemanya the Sea gave birth to Earth Life. Mother Earth gifts us with life and abundance. And our opportunity is to give of our own abundance for the benefit of the future. How often do we consider our own gifts and our own opportunities as gifts for future generations? It is time to “remember forward” and take today’s opportunities as lessons so there might be a future generation to carry us forward.

Review of “The Hidden Spirituality of Men” Part 3

May 15, 2010 7 comments

I have struggled with this post; you may have noticed that I did not post this part of the review last Monday, choosing instead to post Rosemary’s Mother’s Day message link. And I didn’t post yesterday, on schedule, either. The cause of my struggle is Chapter 5 of Matthew Fox’s book on Men and Spirituality, subtitled Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine. Is it inevitable that when talking about and writing about men and spirituality the notion of warrior has to be raised? The title of Chapter 5 is “Spiritual Warriors”.  I knew it was coming; Fox referred to the notion in earlier chapters, but somehow I was hoping he would thread his way carefully through this swamp and avoid the pitfalls. Sad to say, he didn’t.

OK, I don’t like war. I am probably not a pacifist in the strictest sense of the word. I am currently reading the poetry of William Stafford who refused to fight in World War 2; he had his very good reasons. Had I been a young man then I may have taken up arms against the fascism that had taken over too much of the world at that time. Instead I was born at the very end of that war just days before this country dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan. Perhaps the impact of those bombs somehow vibrated through my young being setting up an abhorrence of war. In any case I have been opposed to all of the wars I have been old enough to fight in; I consider them the highest folly of human-kind and an absurd waste of resources, not the least of which is human life, that most precious “commodity” this planet has yet produced.

So, when I read about spiritual warfare I am repulsed. Intellectually I can understand that this is a metaphor, that the term warrior is meant to represent strength and determination to stand for something good, righteous, just. And yet I struggle. For me war is an act of separation. It is about “us against them”. It is a reinforcement of the duality and a staging of one side of that duality aggressively opposing with the intent to annihilate the other side. But if we live in a dualistic world how can we ever hope to annihilate one side and still remain whole ourselves!?

Fox’s Chapter 5 is a meandering attempt to soften the whole notion of the warrior through anecdotal reports of others who he calls warriors but in my mind are far from it. He begins with Thomas Berry who “talks about the need for ‘the Great Work.’ What is this Great Work? It is ‘the task of moving modern industrial civilization from its present devastating influence on the Earth to a more benign mode of presence.'” I couldn’t agree more! Fox further quotes Berry as saying: “‘The nobility of our lives, however, depends upon the manner in which we come to understand and fulfill our assigned role.'” Again, I couldn’t agree more! But then Fox leaps to: “Noble warriors are called for. The archetype of the spiritual warrior helps to answer in a constructive way two issues raised so far: What to do with male aggression? What to do with competition? How to steer both into healthy directions?”

So, the call here is to “fight” the “devastating influence on the Earth” with aggression and competition in order to move toward “a more benign mode of presence”! Oh, and to do it nobly, of course! This is the age old call to “fight fire with fire”. Berry calls us to move to a “benign mode of presence” and Fox requires spiritual warfare to accomplish this move. I don’t think this will happen. So, from the outset of this chapter Fox falls into the trap I saw him heading toward and when he falls in he loses me. And I channeled my own aggression and sense of competition right into his points, his stories, his style, and his cavalier way of conflating the “warrior” and the “lover”.

Fox attempts to draw a stark boundary between soldier and warrior: a soldier follows the orders of an officer; a warrior follows orders of his soul. He claims “the warrior unlike the soldier is a lover.” And, “the warrior relates to God as a lover.” This chapter is peppered with non sequiturs; in the context of the soldier/warrior argument he states: “I believe the confusion of soldier and warrior feeds militarism and the reptilian brain. It’s also an expression of homophobia, since I suspect that heterosexism is behind much of the continued ignorance and fear of the real meaning of warriorhood.” Huh? What did I miss here in this leap?

In this chapter Fox rambles on with several stories about people he has known or interviewed who he believes are spiritual warriors. As I read them I kept waiting for how they waged war. For the most part they are or were strong in their beliefs and generous of spirit; they worked diligently to move humanity toward a “more benign mode of presence.” But I did not see them waging war. As one example he tells the story of Bhante Dharmawara, a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher and healer. He quotes a friend of Bhante’s as saying: “‘There is no heart that doesn’t melt in his presence, and people leave him with their minds open to the infinite possibilities that living a life of awareness can bring.'” And then Fox say: “A spiritual warrior indeed.” [and here’s another non sequitur] “Bhante served and transformed his fear and aggression into such peace-sharing and peace-giving that even the wild animals respected him.” I wonder how Bhante would feel about this “spiritual warrior” label.

Am I overly sensitive here about waging war for the sake of peace? Hasn’t every war ever fought been in some way justified by the call for peace? For me the term “spiritual warrior” is a divisive term. It contains the word “war” and implies warfare. War separates. Peace requires a joining together. How can an act of separation ever bring people together? How can any kind of fight move humanity toward a “more benign mode of presence”?

In Chapter 6: “Masculine Sexuality, Numinous Sexuality” Fox regains my attention and respect. (And, don’t get me wrong here; I may argue with this notion of spiritual warriors and still respect Matthew Fox. In fact, I think he struggled himself with Chapter 5; it doesn’t flow well, the non sequiturs are examples of his struggle to make his point. His stories of people, e.g. Bhante Dharmawara, do not make his point. But enough on Chapter 5!) In chapter 6 Fox presents an excellent argument for men to get in touch with their sexuality as a gateway to their spirituality. This may be the best part of the book to this point. And he waxes eloquent at the end of the chapter as he concludes:

“I believe, beyond being heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, that we are pansexual. Ultimately, embracing the archetype of the lover means recovering our pansexuality, which nurtures and feeds all our relationships, including our humanly sexual ones.

“Sexuality is sacred because it is bigger than all of us. That is also why it is irrepressible, funny, fun, amazing, surprising, generative, serious, playful, mystical, and unpredictable. It is one area in our relationship with the cosmos and with Father Sky that has never fully succumbed to anthropocentric mastering and control. Sexuality thrusts us into a relationship with the cosmos. Which is a big part of its appeal. A big part of our staying alive. A big part of the joy of living.”

It is good that Fox follows chapter 5 with a chapter on the Numinous Sexual Man. Robert Moore places the Lover archetype on the opposite end of the Warrior archetype axis in his quadrilateral model. It is a direction of growth and evolution to move from the warrior stage to the lover stage. Isn’t it more likely that we can love our way toward a “more benign mode of presence” than fight our way toward that high state of consciousness? Can’t we channel our aggressive and competitive tenancies into a pansexual, generative relationship with the cosmos? I, for one, would like to try; I’d like to throw out the whole notion of war, warfare and warriorhood as we move toward a higher stage of consciousness.

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Kuan Yin and Woman Connecting Time and Space

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

We are in the final “death throes” of the old Moon; she dies and is reborn tonight at 7:04 Mountain Time. She will remain hidden from us for three days in her newness; she will be residing in the Underworld during that time. Watch for her in the early evening as she reappears over the western horizon as a shy, barely-there sliver of silver.

In these final hours of the old Moon it is not too late to throw out “stuff” that no longer serves you. The “stuff” can be material things, but it is more often things like old habits, old thinking, old practices, old emotions, old “recordings in our heads” that replay messages that no longer serve. Some of mine are: “I don’t have time for that” and “I’m not good enough to do that.” Clear away the old to make room for the new.

As I drew cards today my intention was to set the energy for this New Moon in Taurus. Kuan Yin is the Goddess of Compassion. The words Dr. Doreen Virtue has her say are: “Release judgments about yourself and others, and focus on the love and light that is within everyone.” Judgment is always a good thing to release…what better time to do so than at this very moment as the moon wanes to nothingness. Let the judgments go into that void; let them fall into the Sun as the Moon does as it goes conjunct with the Sun and disappears in Her brilliance, the brilliance of Sekhmet whom we met in Tuesday’s post. Dr. Virtue focuses the message of Kuan Yin on the self first and then others. She says Kuan Yin helps us to “release guilt and shame to Heaven for healing and transmutation” – yes, let the old Moon have it and transmute it in the fires of the Sun. She also says “don’t be so hard on yourself or others; release perfectionistic tendencies.”  This is particularly good for me to hear and perhaps many men who struggle with doing the right thing, being all that we are called to be in this very complex time of transition we are living through. Let go of getting it perfect and realize you are doing the best you can under the circumstances.

From the Grandmothers I drew Woman Connecting Time and Space of Woman’s Lodge. I have included the picture of this Woman to bring alive the image of this connection. She says: “I live in the Mystery. I am trusting of the unseen world, but I have difficulty with the seen world. I joined the lodge knowing that in joining with other women we could bridge these two worlds and become balanced and whole in both.” One of the things we are called to do is to let go of our fear. As the Moon goes dark she descends into the Underworld, the Mystery; she does not fear! All will be well; she will return; the cycles of birth and life and death are repeated throughout the “seen world” just as they are repeated in our own experiences. Growth in consciousness is part of the cycle of life. Connecting time and space is an expansion of consciousness. And it is a reminder of our vertical connection between the Earth (Time) and Heaven (Space). As humans we stand at the intersection of immanence and transcendence. And we are called to balance in this position.

So, as we go into the New Moon energy be compassionate toward, first, yourself, and then others; see the light inside you reflected in the presence of others. And remember we are all standing on this balance point between the physical world of time and the metaphysical world of mystery- utter expansiveness and deepest void.