Soul Path Sanctuary

A place of pause, renewal, and connection for seekers

Aug
1
2019

Reading of the Moonth: Creative Tension

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For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

The arrival of the new moon stamps the moonth with an initiating energy that shifts and develops through the cycle of growth, fullness, and descent. The reading of the moonth can be done any time between the new and full moons. Revisit the cards you pull periodically up until the next lunation to gain new insight as the light changes. This new moon arrived overnight July 31 to August 1 (exact on the 31st at 11:12pm ET in the USA) . The full moon arrives on August15th.

This moonth we are invited to walk the path of Strength through the passage of the 5 of Wands.

From the Rider Waite Smith deck available from US Games

In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, 5 figures wave staves in the air. They might be trying to create something together. They might be at odds with each other. Or they might be engaged in some kind of game and just having fun. Their ambiguous expressions – Is that one frowning? Is this one laughing? –  could support any of these scenarios, making the image a great teacher about the creative process.

Creation of the new arises out of attending to the tensions of the moment. 

For example, I write – as you may have noticed 🙂 – and to complete a piece I have to move through the tensions of the creative process. Often I get a sense of the whole of what I want to convey. The vision is perfectly formed inside my head – and then I have to communicate the wholeness with the limits of linear language. I start to write and my inner parts start raising their staves. One part of me is in a hurry to get this task done now that I vision. A second sees that something is missing and puts the breaks on the process. Another wants to seek out an inspiring quote with a Google search. And the fourth is wondering when we can take a break for lunch or tea.

My inner writing team is working at cross purposes, but I need them all. To complete the piece, I will have to both persist in meeting the goal and pause to consider how I might deepen the work. As I do, I’ll benefit from nourishing myself with inspiration from other writers words and from feeding my body.

Harnessing tension in service of the creative is necessary in all kinds of pursuits. To get things done in the workplace or volunteer activities, for example, we often have to work in groups. An influential model of group dynamics posits that all effective groups move through a storming period so members can learn how to work together and establish norms to manage inevitable tensions. Families, too, spiral through storming periods as the people within age and change. Parents must be constantly creative to adapt to changing children. And if you teach, you work with tension in all these areas: bringing the inner vision out and sharing it in groups of people who are growing because of what they learn.

What is your current creative pursuit? How does it look like the 5 of Wands?

So the 5 of Wands shows us what the process looks like, but how can work with this often challenging, sometimes chaotic energy? What attitudes and skills do we need to cultivate? The card offered for guidance by the placement of this new moon’s moment of arrival is traditionally called the King of Wands, but has names like the Guardian of Fire (Gaian Tarot) or Mystic of Candles (Numinous Tarot).

Kings, Guardians, and Mystics are always guided by their responsibility to be of service to all in the community and the Greater Than. They listen to and draw out differing perspectives to move the community toward common commitments. Even as they listen to all, they remember the greater purpose of the group: to create the piece, to accomplish the task, or to serve the Divine. When needed to keep the group aligned with its purpose, they will step in to direct or make a decision as needed. In the language of group dynamics, they offer both high support and high direction. 

The elemental influences for this card are fire and air. They are inspired, innovative, and even playful on their fire side and analytical with good communication skills on their air side.

The Guardians of Fire who I am most inspired by today are the professors of architecture and design, Ronald Real, and Virginia San Fratello. Who created a Teetertotter Wall across the US-Mexico border.

The pink and the playfulness contrasted with the gray and dark slash of the wall startle me with inspiration. This image disrupts  the current messages about what is happening at the border and what can be possible at the border. At the heart of this image are children at play.

For a moment, the Teetertotter Wall has reframed the chaos of our 5 of Wands times. For a moment, the nastiness of our national discourse has been tamed by these heart-colored seesaws. For a moment, we experience true Strength.

The rose dropped woman of Strength and her lion from the Gaian Tarot

Reflection and reading questions of the moonth for liberating your creative energy are:

CREATIVE TENSION: What tension in my life has the potential to be a creative inspiration?

LIBERATION: How can I work with this tension to liberate its energy?

GIFT: What gift will be released when I work with this creative tension?

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. I have reading slots opening up at the end of the week. Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check.

Jul
29
2019

Dark Moon Release with Ishtar as our Guide

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For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

Before the moon is made new overnight July 31 to August 1, it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the lunation now flows away into moonless nights. What will you send with this energy to be transformed in the dark?

The moonth we are concluding began and now ends in Cancer  which corresponds to the Tarot’s Chariot card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Chariot is Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of Love and War. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, tells us that she is worshiped as both a female and male deity. Ellen’s description of Her includes:

Her symbol of the eight-pointed star, two four-pointed stars crossing over one another, … is a symbol of the union between matter and spirit, as well as the balance between male and female. Ishtar has evolved over millennia into a goddess of contradictory aspects. She is fire and rain, both burning and quenching the land. She is nurturing and she is bloodthirsty. With Ishtar, one experiences the dynamic power that is generated through the ability to harness opposing forces. 

We began the moonth by recognizing that joy is made possible by letting contradictions of the difficult and the delightful in our lives and world flow together. This embrace of all offered an expansion of our hearts, an invitation to joy on the journey. 

Now Ishtar comes to lead us in an examination of how we have tended this joy. In this, she is nurturing and fierce. She demands the truth in all its complexities. And from this truthful examination can emerge an understanding of what we don’t need to carry into the next lunation. We can ask Ishtar to take it into the dark, to burn it with her fiery star. 

Starting 48 – 24 hours before and up to the new moon’s arrival overnight July 31 to August 1 (exact on the 31st at 11:12pm ET in the USA) is the optimal time for engaging in reflection and ritual to understand how we have cultivated joy this moonth.

Reflection

Think back on the moonth by looking over your calendar,  journal, or even photos taken to jog your memory about the past 28ish days. Then journal or draw from one to three cards in response to questions like these: 

What/who did you love this moonth? What joy did this love unleash? Where did you fall short in your love for others and/or yourself? 

What did you make war on this moonth? How did your war making protect joy for yourself and/or others?  How did you make war on your joy (i.e. attacking and diminishing it)? 

Sort the ideas that emerge into those to celebrate and those to release. You may be surprised to find the loving and waring responses mixed into both categories. 

Offer gratitude for those ideas and actions of yours to celebrate. You might include the image of the eight-pointed star in how you offer your gratitude by: drawing it over a written list, creating one by overlaying 2 squares and writing your list on to it, or doing a meditation and imagining it glowing above you as recite your list of ideas and actions to celebrate. 

Dark Moon Release Ritual

Use any of all of these ideas to create a ritual that works for you. 

You may want to bring a special/beautiful bowl or cup filled with some clear water into the ritual. 

Create sacred space by lighting a candle, imagining that you are ringed with a circle of protection, and/or your usual actions.

You can invite Ishtar and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to be with you and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with Them.

Then use your imaginal mind to sense above you Ishtar’s eight-pointed star. Become aware of streams of energy flowing down from each point to you and over you. You can imagine the star light infusing the water in your bowl. Take some time to bask in the star light on this dark night.

Now bring to mind the first of your releases. You might associate it with a certain color. Imagine it falling into the bowl. Watch with your imaginal eyes as it is dissolves in the star-infused water until the color is totally dissipated and only clear water remains. 

Do this with each of your releases. 

When you are done with your releasing, open your eyes and gaze into the clear water in the bowl. Let yourself sense and feel gratitude for the transformation made possible by the water. You may want to drink some of the water.

Tune into your body, feeling it lighter and energized. Re-center yourself by connecting with earth below you and the sky above you. Feel their energy mix in your heart. Be open to a blessing coming to you from Ishtar and/or your face of the Greater Than. Be sure to offer Them gratitude for their support.

When the new moon arrives, you may want to make wishes for your renewed energy can create in the next lunation. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth. 

Note on the Dark Goddess Tarot: The deck, alas, is out-of-print, but the full color e-book is still available, and Ellen’s writing is as inspiring as her artwork. Full disclosure; I have nothing to disclose. I don’t get a commision on DGT sales. I just love this deck, want you to benefit from its wisdom, and Ellen to receive support to keep doing her work.

Jul
8
2019

Reading of the Moonth: Joy for the Journey

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For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

The arrival of the new moon stamps the moonth with an initiating energy that shifts and develops through the cycle of growth, fullness, and descent. The reading of the moonth can be done any time between the new and full moons. Revisit the cards you pull periodically up until the next lunation to gain new insight as the light changes. 

Don’t be afraid of emotional reactions …

Your soul will be able to bear several truths at the same time.

Johannes Fiebig, Tarot for Magical Times

This moonth we walk the path of The Chariot (ready to move forward) through the passage of the Three of Cups (… to play! … to celebrate!!).

1909 card scanned by Holly Voley & retrieved from Sacred Texts. Purchase the deck from U.S. Games.

It looks delightful, but I’m having a hard time giving my heart to the dance. My heart is inflamed from seeing a picture of a migrant father and his two-year old daughter face-down dead in the river, from hearing that children are kept in camps without even soap, toothpaste, basic care as they are separated from their parents. And these horrors are not just happening far away; there is an Immigrantion and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility 20 miles from my house here in Massachusetts.

How is your heart?

There are so many challenges to the heart these days from the planetary climate crisis to our personal losses. And when it gets to be too much, shutting down, looking away, tuning out are not illogical defense mechanisms.

But inflamed hearts beating together echo each other, resonate at a powerful pitch. When we let our hearts inflame with others a new music emerges. Beating together we are braver and more resourceful. We find our way to healing what has caused the pain, toward action that helps the Whole.

But where is the promised party? Can’t we just be happy? Actually something even better awaits us: Joy 

Happiness is a lovely but a shallow state of being. We can be happy for awhile even amidst difficulty when we build a fence around that which troubles us, but the inflamed heart eventually pushes beyond any borders we’ve created. Better to let our hearts be open to all that would enter into its chambers.

Because the flow of the difficult makes possible the flow of the positive. Like the water element that inspires the cards of the moonth, emotions are boundaryless without solid ends and beginnings. They flow together or they stagnate and life feels flat.

When our emotions flow freely joy is possible. When we leave nothing and nobody out of our hearts, we expand. To expand is joyful. In joy we are fullest selves, our soul selves. We are Charioteers called by joy to start out on a new journey. We could have 3 of Cups going away party for ourselves before we set off :).


1909 card scanned by Holly Voley & retrieved from Sacred Texts. Purchase the deck from U.S. Games.

So I wish you joy for the journey of this moonth and beyond. May you cool your inflamed heart with the watery flow of emotion. May you gather with other flowing hearts to sing a song to soothe the darkness, to spark a light, to act for Justice, to celebrate the summer’s gifts.

Reflection and reading questions of the moonth for cultivating joy on the journey are:

JOY: Of what is my joy made? (Reading tip for Tarot cards: All cards have a shadow and positive meaning. Include both sides in working with this card.)

CULTIVATION: How can I cultivate this joy?

JOURNEY: Where will it lead me?

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check.

The work of cultivating the joy isn’t completed just at the time of the new moon. When the full moon comes on July 16th open to an encounter with The Devil who may be a challenger, a teacher, or some of both as we journey.

If your heart is inflamed by the detention and abuse of children, women, and men seeking asylum at the U.S. border, you may want to gather with others as part of the Light for Liberty vigils and actions happening all across the country. You can find one near year – or perhaps you’ll be inspired to organize one. 

Jul
1
2019

Dark Moon Release with Freya as our Guide

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For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

Before the moon is made new on July 2nd at 3:16pm ET in the USA, it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the moonth now flows away into moonless nights. What will you send with this energy to be transformed in the dark?

The moonth we are concluding began and now ends in Gemini which corresponds to the Tarot’s Lovers card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Lovers is Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love and Beauty. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of Her includes:

She is a magician and a shapeshifter, and she teaches the power of charms and spells to the younger gods. She becomes chief of the Valkyries, the divine warrior maidens who choose heroes from among the fallen, and bring them to drink thereafter at the table of the father god Odin or at her own table, which is equal in majesty.

Freya and her Valkyries hold the balance of life and death and their judgements of the dead determine their place in eternity. The Valkyries’ immense power shapes the worlds of the living and the dead.  

And Freya does her work with style. She wears the necklace Brisingamen, the most beautiful piece of jewelry in the world crafted by dwarves in their underground cave. The dwarves know how to bring the depths of the earth into beautiful form and Freya encircles herself with this beauty. 

To convey the essence of Freya, Ellen tells us: Love is power made beautiful. 

Linking love and power is as beautiful as Brisingamen. It dazzles and shows the immensity of love, rescues it from being confined to only the sentimental and individualistic.  This is the kind of warrior love that acts to serve the Whole. This is a love for the challenging times we live in. We want to celebrate any time in the past moonth when we have flowed with such love.

And we want to release where we have fallen short in the call to this kind of love. The writer and Holocoust survivor Elie Wiesel said: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” To be indifferent requires no power at all. To be indifferent in times and places where love is absent, under attack, or resisted is to leave love to perish. Even if we are not personally touched by the effects, our soul’s shrink if we do not defend love. Everything becomes ugly. 

The 48 – 24 hours before the July 2 new moon’s arrival at 3:16pm ET is the optimal time for engaging in reflection and ritual to honor the ways our love has been both beautiful and powerful this moonth and to release indifference and its impacts.  

Reflection

At the top of a sheet of paper, you could write a continuum with Power in the center flanked by Love and Indifference. Next to Love write Beauty and Next to Indifference Ugly. Like this

Beauty ← Love ←         Power        → Indifference → Ugly

Now look back on the happenings of the moonth that began on June 3rd. Feel free to use personal, community, national, global happenings. If you journal, you’ll have a handy record for your personal memories, but even just looking back at your appointment calendar can jog your mind about what’s been going on in the past few weeks. Cluster under the headings above phrases that express the happenings of moonth and where they fit. 

If you need help coming up with ideas, you can always turn over Tarot and oracle cards to show you images to inspire ideas.

Be gentle with yourself as you do this. Times are crazy. Indifference is a defense for the overload of the news of the world. But as you reflect, you are invited to think about what you’d like to replace indifference with. Perhaps a feeling flow which allows you to see, acknowledge, feel, and release. 

When your clustering and mapping are complete, let yourself be for a while with the beautiful love you nurtured this moonth. You might reflect on what made this possible – and think about how to keep building that into your life. You might offer gratitude to others, the Divine, and/or yourself for this love and its impacts. You might finish with creating a small art work or saying a closing prayer.

Take your side of indifference and the ugly into the dark moon release ritual.

Dark Moon Release Ritual

Create sacred space by lighting a candle, imagining that you are ringed with a circle of protection, and/or your usual actions.

You can invite Freya and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to with you and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with Them.

Then use your imagination to see before you the part of your paper that mapped your indifference. You might imagine it growing larger, being like a wall. But as you contemplate this wall of indifference, you recognize that you can break through it. In your imaginal, meditative state, do this in whatever way comes to you (poking through what is paper thin, taking a hammer to knock out heavy bricks, seeing it explode with fireworks …). When the wall is broken, let yourself feel the flood of love that comes toward you. Imagine it entering your body. 

When you come out of your meditative state you may want to rip up your Indifference side of the paper into very small bits and release them into water. 

After you have completed your releasing, tune into your body, feeling it lighter. Re-center yourself by connecting with earth below you and the sky above you. Feel their energy mix in your heart. Be open to a blessing coming to you from Freya and/or your face of the Greater Than.

When the new moon arrives, you may want to make wishes for your love will be beautiful in the moonth to come. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth. 

The treatment of immigrant children might be the ugliest indifference that surfaced in the moonth past. July 2nd and 12th are both days of action – days of love! – to stop these human rights abuses, call for an end to deportations, and/or close the camps. You can Google and look on Facebook to find actions near your. Announcements on happenings around the country are most welcome in the comments. 

Jun
25
2019

Pilgrimage – Week 5 Walking the Ways

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

This is the first daily email for our final week of Walking the Ways of the Summer Light focused on Pilgrimage. 

Words to Inspire

Pilgrimage is an imaginary road with real stones in it.

Phil Cousineau,The Art of Pilgrimage 

Wisdom Image

From The Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack

 

Prompts for Practice

Today we begin our Pilgrimage week, which for Walking the Ways, we’ll define as a journey with a focus (the question you crafted yesterday out of all questions you gathered during the the Wisdom Wander weeks) and a destination (that you’ll be contemplating today). The Pilgrimage’s general purpose is to create a container for tending your soul.

Your Pilgrimage week might be very like a Wisdom Wander week with you using the daily e-mail prompts to prepare for a weekend sacred outing. Or you might use this week to plan a longer trip that you take at a later time. You could try out infusing your regular work week with the awareness of Pilgrimage and see if that gives it a different quality. You are invited to shape this Pilgrimage to fit into the contours of your life.

Today you are invited to select a Pilgrimage destination.

With clear intention any place can be a place of pilgrimage, but the pilgrimage tradition invites you to go somewhere that others have also approached with reverence and have sought solace, counsel, and wisdom. I offer these examples to spark your imagination (not to limit your thinking):

A site of longstanding and traditional pilgrimage: Santiago de Campostela in Spain, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the pyramids in Egypt, Newgrange in Ireland, the Serpent Mounds of Ohio. Members of the Tarot Tribe might visit northern Italy, the birth place of the cards. To do some dreaming and research about such places can be an adventure in and of itself. You might also think of places closer to you that are echoes of these sites: a local basilica, retreat center, or site sacred to local native peoples. If selecting a site outside of your tradition, be sure to check if guests are welcomed.

A site where the wild is preserved. In North America, our national and provincial parks contain the natural cathedrals and shrines that have drawn people out of their everyday lives for an experience of wilderness. To hike to the end of the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton, find the Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, or glimpse the Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone inspire awe and invite devotion. (Yes, there are all trips that I have taken and later realized I’d been on pilgrimage.) A state park, local land trust, or even a large urban park can offer a similar experience.

A site where an ancestor from your profession or vocation lived. Writers and artist take journeys to soak in the landscape and objects of their heroes.  Travel to Emily Dickenson’s house in Amherst, Massachusetts or visit the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site during the bicentennial anniversary of his birth in 2018, for example.

A place significant to your family or their country of origin.  Descendants of 19th century immigrants to the United States can visit Ellis Island to see where their ancestors first arrived in the United States, for example. A journey of discovery back to your ancestors country of origin leads you even further back into your ancestral roots.

Looking for support in making your selection? Always feel free to pull a Tarot or Oracle card and see if the image inspires a location.

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