Saguaro You? A Haiku Blessing

 

Saguaros at sunset

Arms raised to the sky,

Saguaro stands tall and proud.

Wind sings through sharp spines.

May your succulent, juicy self greet the New Year tall and proud and joyous, and may those necessary spines sing in the winds of change and transformation!

 

….thanks to John Slattery of Desert Tortoise Botanicals or Darcey Madrona Blue (two wonderful Tucson area herbalists) for the lovely photo!

 

 

Fearlessly Traveling Light[er]

Tonight is the Dark[est]Moon, and tomorrow morning the New[est]Moon, so tonight is an auspicious time to do ceremony for releasing what no longer serves our highest good, then set intentions for the coming month.  Let’s prepare now for what is coming: the most anticipated Winter Solstice in millenia, 12.21.12, followed by the somewhat anticlimatic but always wildly celebrated Julian New Year, 1.1.13.

Artist Veronica Funk recently shared a personal tradition on her blog http://www.veronicafunk.com/1/post/2012/12/word-of-the-year-wisdom.htmlInstead of making a list of New year’s resolutions, which she found are easily forgotten, she finds one word that represents her intentions for the year.  She paints that word on the cover of her annual journal, so each day she is reminded of her intentions (and, I imagine, often creates entries based on how that word and the intentions it represents are showing up in her life).

Today I am immersed in DarkMoon introspection and magic.  My weekly coaching call took me on a shamanic healing quest where I heard my WiseWommon advisor tell me to let go of fear in order to regain my health (thus easily and enjoyably launching my work in the world, wahoo!).  The healing image that came to me in this trance was of a huge golden eagle, soaring effortlessly up a thermal.

And so I will consult  both my “intuitive” and Roget’s thesauruses (thesauri–Who knows proper Latin nowadays?) for my YearWord.  Fearless?  Health? Wellness?  Light?  Soar?  Suggestions, anyone?   I have a week to find my word–and to purchase a new journal (I have the acrylics and brushes ready to install the title and “cover art”–yes, stomach butterflies, I am no longer afraid of making imperfect art!  I will use those new paints!

Here I am Traveling Lighter on the Beauty Way last September:

TL--Personal Balance on the Beauty Way

I intend to embody that playful spirit even in winter, when the trees are bare and the flowers frost-killed and my feet squeezed into wooly socks and clogs, even when I’m “building” my website, even when I’m “working” or “organizing” or “decluttering,” as well as after a 4-day Traveling Light Year retreat.  A carefully chosen one-word reminder will definitely be useful.  I’ll post it here when I’ve committed it to paint!

Do you have a word for the transformation or commitment you are resolved to manifest next year?  [Veronica and] I suggest you post or paint it somewhere you will see it every day.  If you find sharing your intentions brings useful accountablity, post your YearWord here, on Veronica’s blog, on my Facebook page (where you can “share” the link to Veronica’s blog w/ your own FB tribe, Tweet it, wherever!

May we all have a magical Solstice and a truly wondrous New Year!

Oasis, Sanctuary, Healing Grove

Today’s Daily Prompt for bloggers from WordPress.com’s idea generating maven michelle w. is OASIS.  Her prompt reads:  “A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.”   I have resisted some great prompts from michelle, saving them in a folder for a rainy day when I might need inspiration for journal or blog, but today I am prompted to write right now!

My personal sanctuary is a physical one, a literal oasis in the desert.  When I parked my old motorhome on private land near Tucson, Arizona, six years ago (never again to fire up that gas-guzzling, noisy and polluting engine!), I backed into the offered campsite so that my door opened directly into the entryway of a little clearing within a circle of mesquite trees.  I knew this shady area would be my outdoor living room and warm-weather bedroom, because for over a decade I had been searching for, discovering, living in beyond legal timelimits, and returning seasonally to public lands campsites with a shade tree (or great view, nice boulder…) under (or next to) which I could live/ create jewelry/ eat/ sleep/ dream….

I soon decided that I would create a Medicine Wheel in this mesquite grove by planting four native shrubs at the Cardinal directions of the grove, with each plant’s flowers the color of its direction.  On my way to Desert Survivors nursery, I was envisioning the Healing Grove where I would sleep the next nine months….No!, where I would hold women’s Dark/New Moon ceremonies and other sacred events and councils!  Several neighbors got involved and the Healing Grove was birthed with a copper spiral energized rose quartz vortex in the center of a Sri Lakshmi yantra, then gifted over time with a statue of Kwan Yin, crystals and stones, and two ancient mesquite-grinding pestles found nearby in this desert valley.

Lovely women gathered for ceremonies I created and led, coming into my power as priestess after many years of despair around not finding a circle or coven to join. I became the creator of the ceremonial life of my dreams….well almost,.for I dream of a circle of peers that co-create and deeply support each member’s life and healing, and doing it mostly “all by myself” in order to have a ceremonial grouplife was taxing.

It got too cold to sit in ceremony in the Grove, and before the next Spring I had descended into a “time out” year in bed, lost once again in the dark cave of depression and pain on both physical and psychological/ spiritual levels, dread-full at the time, but in retrospect a year that was amazingly transformative.  The Grove received no gardening attention other than daily drip irrigation that kept plants alive during the long hot early summer, so plants went feral and the small stones were tossed everywhere by curved bill thrashers.  The colors, crystal/ stone, and herbal energies of the Wheel blended in strange ways, the grapevine wove the trees together, and the wolfberry grew enormous and sprawled into the central circle.  The shamana I had become in the dark cave laughed and declared the Grove’s ceremonial space a spiral  The Grove and I were “rewilded” and “gone feral” in magickal ways.  Many wonder-full meetings were held in spiral the next year.

And then the neighborhood changed, with landowners retreating into relative isolation after burning out on their ventures into community, and temporary campers other than myself moving on. My community and circle shrank, with only occasional council or ceremony with one or two other persons at a time.  And then, this Summer and Autumn, just a circle of one.

I found that a Circle of One is a good thing to be, so long as there is an Oasis to nourish  one’s spirit.  Indeed, it can be a Spiral of One!  A Circle whole unto oneself, a Spiral with movement and evolution….  At first, I found my returned solitude, especially for Moontime ceremony, rather, well, lonesome (shades of the “dark” solitary years!), and not nearly as enjoyable as the group synergy had been.  But easy to go with my own flow without commitment to others at designated times, so stressful when I’m exhausted or in pain….  Over time, especially this year of Personal Discovery and Breakthrough work with lifecoach Scout Wilkins, I have come to deeply enjoy what is, for now, a solitary spiritual oasis.  Whenever I “hit the wall” of depleted adrenals or fibroflare, my recliner awaits  in the Healing Grove to relieve me of the stresses of gravity (physical and mental).  The Grove awaits for any ceremony I wish to create, and is a place to relax and “just be” for a moment or hours of contemplative timelessness (or a nap!).

This year from the Magick Chaise I watched the mesquites leaf out, with noticeably more delicate applegreen leaves each day dancing against the windy Springtime sky, and the golden flower “catkins” singing with bees turning into tiny pods elongating almost as I watched–then falling around and on me as I flew  in the ecstasy of total exhaustion on my magick chaise.  The smallest warbler in the US, Lucy’s Warbler, entertained me for months, and small dark brown Tree Lizards seemed to respond to my loving energy.  The horde of apple-theiving thrashers warned me of the Gila monster’s approach, so I was blessed to see his beaded beauty. The diamondback rattlesnake dreamed peacefully even when I unknowingly sprinkled her while handwatering.  And always the sky was visible  through the branches, calling me as I reclined, and flew.

Now the mesquite leaves are dry and more gray than green, dropping slowly over weeks of what folks in colder climes of North America call Indian Summer. The sky here is a lovely shade of “Autumn blue” which is fading until it will be pale or storm clouded through the dark rough barked branches of Winter.  And then, finally (long after our late winter wildflowers have gone to seed), the new Spring leaves will emerge and the cycle begin anew.  Will my next “Mesquite Year” find me still living at this oasis, or creating a more permanent one on the land I hope to find and purchase?  Will my dream of community bring others to share the Healing Grove, wherever it will be?

I know that the answer will be revealed as the seasons turn.  And I know I will always take “alone” time to watch the birds and lizards, the play of light and dance of clouds through the branches of a beloved tree or grove, in my outdoor livingroom or laying on the ground off-trail in wilder Nature.

And when the weather is too cold/ windy/ rainy or I am “in town,” my sanctuary is still available in my memory.  When stressed or scared, I now have a simple practice to center myself:  I envision entering the spiral path to the center of the Healing Grove.  With my hand on my heart, I speak (or think, if in a public place) my self affirmation “I am amazingly powerful…..”  Three deep breaths, and I am “good to go!”  Even if you don’t have a literal Oasis Healing Grove in your front yard, you can remember a special place where you felt especially in touch with wild Nature and/or your own powerful, wise Self, and go there for a moment–or an hour of “daydreaming” or shamanic journeying.  May you find the renewal you need as I have been so blessed to do!

DarkMoon Musings: Signs and Synchronicities and a Surprise Business Launch

“Merry Meet” to my Tribe, whomever and wherever you are!  As I sit down to write this morning, it’s six hours until the astronomical moment when Earth’s Moon is conjunct the Sun, the time we know as the New Moon. (Actually, the Moon is invisible, or “dark” for 3 days, then reappears as the NewMoon crescent, a topic for another blog or MoonMusing…).  At this so-called “New Moon” turnaround point, Luna has waned as much as possible, no longer the lovely dawn sliver of two days ago (so close to Venus this moonth!). Hopefully those of us attuned-or attuning-to Lunar rhythms have gone inward more and more over the last quarter of the mooncycle, especially during the past few days, to find wisdom and insights through introspection and divination–insights and wisdom most available to us at this “dark” time of the Moon’s cycle.

In my totally inspired, half-crazed, full-spate creative flow to launch my new business “soon! not later!”, I did not go as inward as I usually do right before the DarkMoon-NewMoon turnaround.  I did put the “On Retreat” sign on my gate Sun’sDay morning to prevent oh-so-enjoyable but time-frittering casual chitchat (ok, ok, gossip!) with my favorite neighbors–but not for purposes of solitary art or writing or plain ol’ quiet time.

Instead, I spent most of Sun’sDay in the Chatroom portion of the simulcast of Jennifer Lee’s Right Brain Product Development workshop, and much of MoonDay following up on leads and connections in a spate of virtual networking and FaceBook conversations.  I had expected Sun’sDay to be an intense day of creating my first product, but found the workshop’s time pressure for the exercises and assignments uncomfortable and the chat way too seductive.  I decided to print out Jenn’s playsheets on my next trip into Tucson, and do them later, and during the workshop to just watch the simulcast while following the multiple conversations on the chat as well as I could.

As I networked with other “chatty” entrepreneurs at various points, I casually mentioned my new URL (http://naturewisdomjourney.com) and business-to-be (yep, Nature Wisdom Journey!).  A person w/ the remarkable chat ID Hoolimalama (Please pardon if I misspelled it from memory!) gave me a great acknowledgement, then the chaos of overlapping chat conversations continued, with lots of great suggestions for supplies and support services and mutual encouragement amidst the overlay of personal interactions.

When I checked in with my personal “life and business” coach afterward, she congratulated me on having actually launched my business! That’s why coaches are so great–they are our cheerleaders, pointing out our successes that might otherwise go unacknowledged as well as guiding us and giving us skills to get to those milestones in the first place.  Thank you to my Inner Wilderness guide and business cheerleader, Scout Wilkins for pointing out what I am calling my Stealth Business Launch! [Check out her playful and deep website, http://www.scoutwilkins.com%5D

I left the Product Development simulcast early, in order to get on a Skype conference call for the second class of my 6-weeks Magical Writers course.  One of our exercises was a 3-card tarot reading to guide our writing this week.  Now here’s where the “Signs and Synchronicities” really appear!  I had chosen to use the first tarot deck I ever bought, the one I almost always, but not exclusively, reach for:  Ffiona Morgan’s Daughters of the Moon Tarot.  I hadn’t consciously thought, “Oh, yeah, DoM will be synchronistic with my Keeping MoonTime e-book and Moonthly Moon Musings newsletter that I intend to work on during this course.”  I just grabbed my favorite tarot deck in a hurry before the class.

Well, what cards should I draw, but two “Maiden of” [Blades and Cups] cards and then the Aether [Ffiona’s Major Arcana] card “Celebration”.  Our teacher (George Franklin of the Bay Area Reclaiming Collective) had given a question for us to ask as we picked each card.  He then had us pick an element from the images on each card to represent ourselves, and had us write a short story about what the card means with regard to this week’s writing.  Here’s my resulting story, based on all three cards:  “I AM Hina, Maiden of Blades.  My Gemini Moon helps me to communicate magically as I fly across the river of inspiration as a young maiden entrepreneur and writer, illuminated by the Moon’s light.  This week, I/Hina draft Moon-related course material and/or MoonWisdom or Keeping Lunar Time e-book(s).

“Right now, with regard to my writing, I am the Pisces fish, mouth agape at the beauty of the Mermaid Mami Watu, who represents my message about women’s natural beauty and watery connection with the Moon.  There is synchronicity between these two “Maiden of” cards and my “maiden voyage” into teaching via writing my deep love for and connection with the Moon.

“My next step is Celebration!  I am the long-braid wo’moon dancing in a circle of 11 we’moon (11=the number of Success according to Ffiona, therefore a great omen for the outcome of my writing and business launch!).  These 11 “successful” and definitely joyous women are dancing naked under the Full Moon, which tells me to “bare my soul” through my writing and success and celebration will be mine to enjoy.”

All right!  Wahoo!

After this Tarot exercise, George asked us each to commit to writing something this week.  What popped into my mind at that moment was, “I commit to posting my first Blog Post at the New Moon”–so here it is!

 

Thank you for reading my “maiden” blogpost!  Please, pretty please, take a moment to post feedback, and do check in again for future blogs and progress reports about launching my actual website.  If all goes as intended, my website launch will happen by or at this next Full Moon, Goddess of Technology and my ability to FOCUS willing!

Blessed Be!