Soul Path Sanctuary

A place of pause, renewal, and connection for seekers

Jul
22
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of July 23: Ace of Earth – 7 of Earth – Child of Water

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Tarot – Weekly Practice

When not observing the Solstice seasons or special lunar happenings, I pull Tarot cards weekly to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of this blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards using these positions.

PATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? ACE OF EARTH invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Letting ourselves be as if reborn; remembering that each day offers you a new start.
  • Honoring the Spiral of Life.
  • Seeing the world with new eyes.
  • Experiencing the  wonder and awe of the beauty and bounty of the earth.

 

PRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week? SEVEN OF EARTH invites us to practices such as …

    • Bringing a contemplative, purposeful attitude to your planning for each day, the week, a season, or the year.  Think about how current actions will have long-term impacts. Using Tarot or oracle cards to prompt action taking or become representations of what you want to accomplish can make this work-in-the-world task feel more contemplative. Choose your actions based on how they will advance your longer-term vision.
    • Communing with a tree (This can be a simple as approaching the tree, asking its permission to connect, putting your hand on its bark, and just being with the tree. To offer gratitude, you can breathe on to the tree as they use the carbon dioxide we expel. What happens may surprise you.)
    • Planting of trees and plants both literally and symbolically.
    • Practicing gratitude for and remembering those who have had to foresight to protect wild places.
    • Watching The Man Who Planted Trees for inspiration on how rebirth can follow desolation.

 

POSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path?  CHILD OF WATER invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Grace and ease
  • Daring to stand at the edge of vast mystery – because you don’t know you should fear such places – because you know you are always protected.
  • Moving from a place of open-heartedness to encounter the world.

OVERALL MUSINGS: Last week we had to look at the places where the Devil / Bindweed was active in our lives as individuals and a nation. Having done so, the Ace of Earth offers us a fresh start and new possibility to work toward our expansive, soul-centered visions. Devil/Bindweed encounters generally are not easy, but can be clarifying. We are invited now to operate from a new understanding of, or recommitment to, what is most important, especially in the physical realm (this could be related to your paid, creative, and/or activist/volunteer work or care for your home or physical health). This week we would benefit from reflecting on and aligning our immediate and long term plans with our visions. Let your heart be light as you do this. Be guided by love and wonder rather than fear and constriction. This is strengthen the power of your plans and bring joy to your days.

Jul
16
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of July 16: Bindweed, 8 of Earth, Elder of Air

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Tarot – Weekly Practice

When not observing the Solstice seasons or Equinox arrivals, I pull Tarot cards weekly to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of this blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards using these positions.

PATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? BINDWEED (THE DEVIL) invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Meeting the shadow (, i.e. the parts of ourselves that we reject and don’t want to acknowledge) as a first step toward integrating it more fully into your understanding of yourself.
  • Acknowledging where you are stuck and then holding that place with compassion.
  • Being honest and identifying places where our lives are out of balance
  • Looking hard at and recognizing where and how we ourselves constrict ourselves and make ourselves small.

PRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week? EIGHT OF EARTH  invites us to practices such as …

  • Drumming to listen, to heal, to shift consciousness.
  • Engaging with a mentor/teacher.
  • Being a mentor/teacher.
  • Patiently practicing to learn something new.
  • Showing love by slowing down and focusing your attention on another.

 

POSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path? ELDER OF AIR  invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Deep attention but little effort.
  • Dedicating your actions to planetary peace and healing.
  • Knowing your individual song blends into the Whole in a beautiful and important way.
  • Knowing you are connected to and supported by the ancestors.
  • Seemingly effortless movement and speech that supports anywhere to be sacred space.

OVERALL MUSINGS:  It is the waking up to our shadow that makes traveling the path of Bindweed positive. We may not like to see this wisdom figure appear, but he offers us a powerful invitation to growth. I once heard a Jungian teacher say that working with the shadow is the only way to grow.

This week you may encounter personal and/or collective shadows. We certainly live in a time of collective shadows showing themselves. Racism in our institutions is clearly on display in the killing of unarmed African Americans (whose shooters go unpunished) and the separation of children from asylum-seeking Latinx parents (without procedures in place to reunited them), just to name the most recent and dramatic. Less dramatic is how this shadow of racism lives within all of us. As a white person, I, for example, have come to recognize how privilege pervades every area of my life from driving around town to being supported in grief (yes, there is a privilege of grief)

Whatever shadow work you are doing this week, you don’t have to do it alone. The Eight of Earth and the Elder of Air guide us to reach out to and be supported by others: a teacher, a circle (perhaps literally of drummers, but any gathering of people can support), the ancestors. Maybe we’ll need them all. None of us can right the collective wrongs on our own, but when we join our hands and voices together we are gathering our power and working toward the liberation of all.

Two places for connection to mention …

To work around race, you may want to take Ruth King as a teacher. She has a new book Mindful of Race, does trainings, and has a website filled with resources.

Joanna Powell Colbert, creator of the Gaian Tarot, is creating a new online course, The Sacred Wheel. It starts in August.  

 

 

 

Jul
9
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of July 9: Chariot – 4 of Water – Elder of Fire

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Tarot – Weekly Practice

When not observing the Solstice seasons or Equinox arrivals, I pull Tarot cards weekly to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of this blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards using these positions.

This week’s cards were not drawn at random, but show the path of the new moon arriving this Thursday, July 12th at 10:48pm ET in the USA. The astrological Wheel of the Year is divided into 36 decans and each corresponds to a Major, numbered, and Court/Person card – just like the Soul Path Practices – so I use them for soul tending and practice prompts aligned with the celestial. Before the new moon, the dark moon nights – July 10 / 11 – offer themselves as a time to release all that you do not want to carry into the next moon cycle. More about following the guidance of the moon this way in the post on Lunar Living in a Solar World. And this week’s practices can be supports for dark moon releasing.

PATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? THE CHARIOT invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Cooperating with both your conscious awareness and your unconscious urgings and using them like alternating paddles to move yourself forward in the flow of life.
  • Moving with determination and focus toward your destination (which could be: a vision for the future; commitment to completing a project; a place or person you want to visit; a new season to be entered with intention, ect.).
  • Aligning yourself with the helpful energy that surrounds you (what are the eagles, orcas and salmons that are appearing in your life to remind you of the guidance and support of the earth?).
  • Recognizing all is sacred, even your mundane tools of everyday living.

PRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week? FOUR OF WATER invites us to practices such as …

  • Meditating / engaging in visio divina on this card’s well cover symbol, called the Vesica Pisces, with its overlapping circles that represent the physical world and the spirit world and their connection. Contemplate how these circle overlap in your own life. Open up to the emotions that arise from your meditation.
  • Sitting in silence and imagining your mind is like a still, deep blue pool. Let your thoughts come but float away as you re-direct your attention to the blue depths of the pool. Be open to whatever—or the nothing—that comes.
  • Making a pilgrimage to a place of sacred waters. You can spend time with a stream near your house or dream about a trip to Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England (the place depicted in the card). Recognize all water is sacred.

POSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path? ELDER OF FIRE invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Intensity.
  • A desire to serve the Whole with your own unique power to heal.
  • Being in the NOW, the moment that is the intersection of temporal time and eternal time, without any reason to rush from it.
  • Dedicating your practice to healing, to honoring the ancestors, to something greater than the usual everyday concerns.

OVERALL MUSINGS: In the modern world – and especially in the US – the outer manifestations of movement are what is valued: the project completed, the To Do list all checked off, the art or writing when it is shared. But not all movement can be seen. Our emotional and imaginative growth is most often going on below the surface – and at its own pace. The most fertile periods for this growth might even be when we seem most stalled in our manifestation. This week’s Four of Water practices offer structures for holding this messy, less valued, often uncomfortable process. And creating the space for this inactive action may paradoxically be just what you need to move your Canoe or Chariot forward when the conditions are right.

My moonthly news will come out by Thursday with further musings on this celestial pattern, a reading of the moonth, and reflections on Love and Justice. If you want to receive it be sure to sign up

Jul
2
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of July 2: Justice – 7 of Fire – Elder of Earth

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Tarot – Weekly Practice

When not observing the Solstice seasons, Equinox arrivals, or new moon arrivals, I pull Tarot cards weekly to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of this blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards using these positions.

PATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? Justice  invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

 

  • Awareness of the interconnection of all things.
  • A heart made light because you know you have considered the Whole, the Earth, your community. You are living in a right balance between their needs and your own. 
  • Articulating your ethical and moral codes and then checking in on how you are living up to their highest potential.
  • Honoring and learning lessons from the movements for justice that have made this a better world for the many, not just a few.
  • Balancing and giving equal weight to your heart and your mind as you make important decisions.

 

PRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week?  Seven of Fire invites us to practices such as …

 

  • Pushing through toward a goal or commitment you made, no matter how difficult, knowing that the work serves a greater good.
  • Spending some time communing with or learning about a wisdom teacher such as the Viking god Thor or the Celtic goddess and saint Brigid. What quality or attitude of theirs could you adopt to persist in reaching your goals?
  • If you are engaged in a creative project, spend some time in the revision stage where you shape and trim and hone. Dedicate this work to your spiritual growth.
  • Writing your fears about _______ on slips of paper. Safely burn them and then take an action to move on from those fears.

 

POSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path?   Elder of Earth invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Gentle strength.
  • Joyful attention to the work that needs to be done.
  • Sensing that the magical is close at hand, right here in the everyday.
  • Being able to envision what will come in the future from actions taken in the present moment.
  • Understanding that life comes in circles; the challenges will pass and the achievements will pass with all being woven into the tapestry of a life.

OVERALL MUSINGS:  Moving out of the Solstice season – and here in the US through our 4th of July Birthday – we find ourselves invited to keep at the work of Justice. The Seven of Fire demands our dedication despite the challenges of the work while the Elder of Earth reminds us that have skills and gifts to bring to the constant process of creating – and repairing and recreating – Justice in our personal, national, and global spheres.

I believe it was from the brave-hearted African American poet and activist June Jordan that I heard the idea that our US founding fathers couldn’t live out their ideals of liberty and justice for all, but once invoked they could not be denied. So it has become the task of their descendants to bring these ideals to life. The work isn’t linear; it’s circular. We fall back or find out rights or access we thought won don’t really exist for all. Right now, so many of us in the US feel we are at the bottom of the circle. So like generations before us, we have to get on with the pushing toward the highest ideals and vision. June Jordan, in lines from Poem for the South African Women, has words to inspire us:

And who will join this standing up

and the ones who stood without sweet company

will sing and sing

back into the mountains and

if necessary

even under the sea

we are the ones we have been waiting for

 

Jun
20
2018

Summer Solstice Meditations: Gratitude, Joy, Illumination, and Evil

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

Gratitude, joy, and connection are the qualities to cultivate during the Summer Solstice’s height of light. Both the Sioux elder and the scientist agree.

Okute of the Teton Sioux is remembered as saying:

All living creatures and all plants derive their life from the sun. If it were not for the sun, there would be darkness and nothing would grow – the earth would be without life.

Mathematician Brian Swimme writes in Heat of the Hidden Cosmos:

So for four million years, humans have been feasting on the Sun’s energy stored in the form of wheat or sheep as each day the Sun dies as Sun and is reborn as the vitality of Earth. And those solar flares are in fact the very power of the vast human enterprise. And every child of ours needs to learn the simple truth: she is the energy of the Sun. And we adults should organize things so her face shines with the same radiant joy.

The Rider Waite Smith Sun card shows us a world where, yes, all is arranged so that a child’s face shines with joy and gratitude flows.

 

Sun card by Pamela Coleman Smith from a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley

We want to follow the child into this place of joy, but this Solstice we here in the United States find ourselves facing children being taken from their parents, children fleeing violence being met with violence, children being used as pawns in political games.

At Solsticetide with the sun overhead, we humans cast almost no shadow. The shadowy parts of ourselves have nowhere to hide so they must emerge into plain sight. This year the evil of our immigration policies in the present and out of the past is illuminated.

So then then can we celebrate the Solstice with gratitude and joy?

Since we are in a time of extremes, we must turn to other extremes to find an answer. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl survived the concentration camps of Nazi Germany to write Man’s Search for Meaning. When I first read the book, I remember being astounded by his reports that prisoners still experienced joy and sought out beauty. Once, exhausted prisoners roused themselves to go see the sunset and one said, “How beautiful the world can be!”

These moments gave meaning to their lives and helped them to survive with their humanity intact. To keep our humanity we must have gratitude and joy in our lives.

And this gratitude and joy in times of extreme can even expand us beyond even the physical boundaries that we think separate us. Frankl shares a powerful story of “talking” with his wife from whom he was separated (she was killed in the Bergen-Belsen camp):

I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world, and from somewhere I heard a victorious ‘Yes’ in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose. At that moment a light was lit in a distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable grey of a dawning morning in Bavaria. ‘Et lux in tenebris lucent’–and the light shineth in the darkness. For hours I stood hacking at the icy ground. The guard passed by, insulting me, and once again I communed with my beloved. More and more I felt that she was present; that she was with me; I had the feeling that I was able to touch her, able to stretch out my hand and grasp hers. The feeling was very strong: she was there. Then, at that very moment, a bird flew down silently and perched just in front of me, on the heap of soil which I had dug up from the ditch, and looked steadily at me.

We are connected and moments of transcendence open us more and more deeply to this state of being. The Summer Solstice qualities of gratitude and joy are the keys transcendence. And the fruit of all these feelings is Love – the love that compels you to act for the good of the Whole, for the good of yourself, for the good of a child.

So here is a meditation the Summer Solstice to cultivate and share gratitude and joy beyond boundaries. It is inspired by my (limited) experience with the Buddhist practice of Tonglen, which has you take in and release suffering of yourself and others. This meditation modifies that idea to connect with gratitude for the sun and share the positive energy out into the world.

The meditation moves right into a Tarot/oracle reading so you may want to have cards handy (or if you don’t use cards just skip this part).

Doing this meditation outside at noon on the actual Solstice day of Thursday, June 21 would be optimal but it could be done anytime and anywhere you want to connect with and share gratitude.

The Steps:

#1: Settle your body. You may already have a way you do this. If not, you can focus on the in and out of your breath. Then feel the floor or earth below you supporting you. Relax into that support. You might imagine you have roots that connect you deeply to the earth.

#2: Connect with the sun. You may be outside on a sunny day so this will be a felt experience. Or you may have to imagine the sun as a orb of glowing light above you if it is cloudy or you are inside. Let the sun’s rays enter into you through the crown of your head and flow through your body.

#3: Bring to mind a gift of the sun in your life. The options are limitless here. You may want to choose something sensual – say food or flower – and remember how you communed with it. You could also have something handy to eat or gaze upon and include this as part of the meditation. Offer words internally or said aloud that express your gratitude for this gift. Tune into the positive energy that flows from this gift of the sun.

#4: Let yourself bask in the positive energy and joy of the gifts of the sun.

#5: Direct your positive energy toward someone you know is suffering or facing a challenge. This could be a family member or a friend. Imagine them surrounded by the positive energy. Perhaps you give this energy a color or a scent or a speed.

#6:  Direct your positive feelings toward someone you don’t know who is suffering. There have been many images of the children and parents in anguish at the border. You might call one specific image to mind. Imagine them surrounded by the positive energy. Perhaps you give this energy a color or a scent or a speed.

#7: Image your positive energy spreading out like a gentle wind. It is moving from the suffering person out to those around them, perhaps other children, perhaps guards or others in the system. You are recognizing your connection to all of them. Let the energy keep spreading out, flowing over whole towns, whole states, the whole country, perhaps even out into the atmosphere over the whole of the earth. Imagine it mingling with the positive energy of others.

#8: Come back to yourself, reconnecting with your gratitude for the gifts of the sun.

#9: Take up your Tarot or oracle deck and pull one to three cards to show you what is most important to pay attention to from this gratitude meditation. Contemplate the cards.

#10: Connected to the flow of gratitude through you and inspired by the cards, commit to something that you will do within the next 24 hours to serve the good of the Whole. Follow through with joy.

 

Note: If you are looking for inspiration for action specifically around what is happening at the US border, there is a clearing house listing on The Praxis Project site.

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