Soul Path Sanctuary

A place of pause, renewal, and connection for seekers

Oct
15
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of Oct. 15: Magician – 7 of Fire – Explorer of Fire

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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? THE MAGICIAN invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Bringing Spirit to Earth by being a messenger who moves between these realms.
  • Calling upon and weaving together all your capacities and skills – physical, intellectual, emotional, inspirational – as your create this week.
  • Connecting with the ancestors and those who have danced before you in the flow of life
  • Letting your light shine in the darkness.

 

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 …

  • Creating something – bringing an inspiration into being and giving it form – and then pausing in the gifts of stillness that come in between the phases of action.
  • 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.
  • 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?

 

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?   EXPLORER OF FIRE invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Openness to whatever comes. It’s not really that you are fearless; it’s that you feel the fear but harness that energy to do what you want.
  • Recognizing that you have great creativity and can use it move through life.
  • Stepping into your passion fully.
  • Acting on instinct developed from long practice.

OVERALL MUSINGS: We don’t make magic alone. We collaborate and create with magic, but we are not the sole source. To keep open the channels of magic, we practice. We repeat the same simple gestures, say the same prayers, sit in the same place, walk the same path – and have the persistence to continue even when we don’t feel the magic flowing or see our desired results. In this way we build the muscle of receptivity to the Beyond so when the conditions are right we are available to be a conduit.

The Gaian Tarot highlights the ancestors as a source of magic through the inclusion of ancient handprints on the cave wall shown in the image. As we move toward ancestor veneration days of Samhain, Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, All Saints and All Soul Day, the loving ancestors are waiting to connect with us. We can respond to their availability through practice and ritual.

In these times when our challenges seem so daunting, our divides so deep, our usual ways of working are just not working. We need something different. Yes, we need magic. Calling upon the loving ancestors as guides and allies for magical shifting brings new power and perspective to our work of tending this world so we can pass something beautiful, just, and sustainable on to our descendants.

The message to honor the ancestor keeps coming up the oracular work I am doing for myself and others. I am attempting to respond. One of my responses is the Persephone Descending with Letters for the Dead series that we are in the midst of here at Soul Path Sanctuary. The overview first session with prompts for ritual and practice was recorded and is available for viewing. We continue through the November dark moon. You are invited to join us

Oct
1
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of October 1: Death – 7 of Earth – Explorer of Fire

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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? DEATH invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Knowing that Life and Death are intertwined.
  • Recognizing that what dies is gone and can not come back in the same form.
  • Standing in awe of the Great Mystery of what lies beyond the living world.
  • Grieving that which is passing away as a doorway that must be passed through to enter the new.

 

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.)
  • Repairing something (i.e. darn a sock in your house, pick up litter out in your neighborhood gather with others to stand for justice in the country where you live) and dedicating the task to to tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of repair of the world. 
  • Watch 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?   EXPLORER OF FIRE invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  • Flexibility and embracing the flow.
  • Openness to whatever comes. It’s not really that you are fearless; it’s that you feel the fear but harness that energy to do what you want.
  • Recognizing that you have great creativity and can use it move through life.
  • Stepping into your passion fully.

 

OVERALL MUSINGS:  I start most days with a long walk where I seek to connect myself with what is happening in the natural world through my senses and my imagination. This morning I was taking in the trees turning here in the New England fall. Burst of red can be seen along the path I walk, but most leaves are just slightly yellowing, some are mottled with brown and mustard hues. The summer wildflowers are just stalks now, dark browns and blacks, with darkened seed pods. I paused to look at the head of a no-longer-flower – it’s color gone but shape still present – and words popped into my mind: In the fall, death is illuminated. [When I returned to the house, I pulled cards for the week, and I promise I did pull the Death card by chance – or rather by synchronicity.]

This is the season in which the fullness of summer life recedes into the surrender of autumn leaves and shifting light. There is a loss – we may mourning the passing of the summer variety and exuberance – but there is also now space for something different to enter in. This week’s cards guide us to recognize what no longer serves us, let a spark of a new inspiration emerge into the cleared space,  and invite the new we want to bring into our lives through careful, long-term planning.

The fading of the green world’s energy also creates an open for our beloved dead and the presence of the ancestors to return to our awareness. Their form is emptiness now and our imaginations can be led to them by the emptying of the season. I have a practice of writing letters to the dead in the fall and you are invited to join me in the Persephone Descending with Letters for the Dead series that starts on the dark moon of Sunday, October 7th. Details below and questions most welcome.

Sep
24
2018

Persephone Descending Series 2018

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For Grievers – For Seekers – For Writers – Seasonal Observances

The seasonal shift from summer to fall is a potent time of year for remembering our beloved dead. In October the growth of the natural world recedes and absence becomes a presence. The first days of November bring Mexican Day of the Dead traditions, Catholic masses for All Saints and Soul Days, and secular commemorations on Veterans Day, which offer different ways to connect with those departed. At this time, we are called to keep up a loving flow between the living and the dead.  

In this tele/video-series, we will answer this call from our beloveds in the beyond – and send messages back to them.

We will connect in virtual circle from the October dark moon to the November dark moon to write love letters and gratitude notes (not a metaphor! our practice will be writing notes/letters!) to the recent dead and to our loving ancestors. This time is inspired by my experiences connecting with Persephone around the equinoxes since 2016.

A $18 offering gives you access to the live sessions, follow up recordings, and handouts. If you can’t make the scheduled session time, you can catch up by checking out the recording.

Session 1 – Sunday, October 7th at 4pm ET – Setting the Context, Creating the Container

This is primarily an information sharing session in which I will cover:

  • Persephone as my guide and message carrier for this practice
  • Love letters to our recent dead with prompts for writing these special missives
  • Connecting with the loving ancestors from generations past with a guided meditation

We will start and end the call with introductions and inspirations from the group gathered, but these will not be recorded.

“Writing Rooms” – Wednesday, October 31st at 9pm ET & Thursday, November 1 at 9am ET

Following a check in at the start of the hour, we will write our letters and notes together in supportive silence. We will end with words of gratitude. Drop in or leave at any time. These will not be recorded.

Session 2 – Tuesday, November 6th at 9pm ET

I will lead a guided meditation for the “mailing” of our letters and notes that will be recorded.

In an un-recorded part of the session, we will share about those we sending our missives to.

The Logistics

These sessions will be offered via conference call with an option to add a video component. I’m using Free Conference Call which international dial in numbers. Your regular rates apply for live calls. Links can be accessed through the internet.

After you register, I will send you the information for connecting at the appointed time.

You will get reminders ahead of each session as well as links for the recordings after they are complete.

Why am I doing this?

My partner John died in a car crash when he was 48 and I was 45. My beliefs about death were a flimsy paper cup, immediately ripped apart. But the practices I developed through working with Tarot, nature, and writing lead me through creative mourning to find in grief a “secret medicine for those who hurt too hard to hope” (to gratefully borrow Rumi’s words). The grief also had a hidden gift of inspiring work to connect with my ancestors. Writing letters to the dead is one of the practices that I have found healing and connective. I want to share it with you, if it can be of help in your grief or ancestor work. 

The quickest way to sign up is to send the $18 offering through Pay Pal, but you can also send a check to Carolyn Cushing, 1 Cottage St., Box 33, Easthampton, MA. Send me an email to alert me the check is coming and I will put you on the list. 

 

 

Sep
18
2018

Soul Path Practices Week of September 17: Seeker – 10 of Water – Elder of Earth

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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? THE SEEKER invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Opening to your beginner’s mind (even if you have lots of life experience).
  • Standing in the present moment and at the same time letting a vision of a desired future emerge.
  • Daring to look foolish in the eyes of the world.
  • Following your bliss.
  • Rebirth

 

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

  • Contemplate the life cycle of the salmon., where adults return to the freshwater from which they were born to spawn the next generation after which they die and their decomposing bodies become fertilizer.
  • Investigate the cross-cultural symbolism of the Salmon and its themes of ancient wisdom.
  • Do a simple ritual where you symbolic release an emotional burden into a stream or river near your home
  • Remember and honor water as the source of life with a simple gesture or internal word of thanks for a day – or 10 days, if you can! – every time you take a sip of water or bathe or swim.

 

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 ….

  • Being able to envision what will come in the future from actions taken in the present moment.
  • Awareness of the larger patterns of the Earth and cosmos that hold our everyday lives
  • Ease – and even amusement – with moving with the up and down changes of the turning of the Wheel of Life
  • Recognizing that with the skills that you have, you are able to surrender to the flow of the process.

OVERALL MUSINGS: We stand at the threshold of the new this week. To make the leap, we may need to let go of that which is weighing us down, perhaps it is an emotional burden we have been carrying for a long time. We may have picked it up when we had fewer resources and it was what we needed then. But now we are an Elder (perhaps in years but wisdom comes at all ages) and can remind ourselves that we know how to make this change, we’ve done it before. We can open up to the creative energy and alluring call of our next rebirth and let it carry us into the next moment.  

Also, sometimes the Tarot is quite literally and this week’s practice card shows us lots of water as lots of water is falling along the east coast and especially in the Carolinas. I send supportive energy to all those experiencing this storm. May your inner Elder of Earth remind you of what you already know about how to protect yourself. And may all first responders and municipal leaders be supported by that knowing Elder of Earth energy. 

 

Sep
10
2018

New Moon ~ Rosh Hashanah E-news for the Week of September 10th

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For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances – Tarot

In honor of the convergence of the new moon and Rosh Hashanah, I have a unique e-news which brings together Moses, the Patriarch, and Persephone, the Goddess. The pomegranate connects them. You can read it all in the news archive. If you are not yet on the list to receive these missives in a timely way, be sure to sign up.

The Hermit is Moses from the Raziel Tarot and Persephone is from the Dark Goddess Tarot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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