Letting Go

Letting Go is a story I wrote about the process of, and ritual of releasing a box of memories I had been carrying around with me, forever! Letting go of the past and becoming ready for the new places that are calling me is not always easy but it always promises transformation on some level. This essay was published in Creative, Sacred Living in the fall of 2014. Turn your speakers up to hear the beautiful music while you read about my ritual and enjoy the other works of art and prose in this magazine! Here is the link!

This is so wise and true. I believe, fully, that if I want to be healthy, I have to be true to myself. Being authentically me, no matter how different that may make me appear to others, is the only way I can be happy and healthy. Astrology has taught me, similarly: in order to be healthy and vibrantly alive, we have to "live out our birth chart" as fully as possible. This is not easy to do! For example, I have Aries in my first house of self. This can make me appear selfish, self-centered, abrasive, bossy. When I accepted that I have an innate warrior self, I then transformed that fiery, warrior energy into self-assertiveness, courage, leadership, and a desire and willingness to forge my own path in life. Aries is a leader and a trailblazer. My Rising sign, however, is Pisces. Pisces wants to sacrifice herself for the healing or good of another. She is deeply compassionate and seeks to merge with others. Aries likes to be liked by others but is also sometimes a lone wolf concerned about her own needs. This is how it is supposed to be. Arians are given permission to be self-centered. These two energies seem incompatible, right? So I have had to learn to blend these two energies. I think it is very cool that I began my own business (Aries/Executive sign) as a Holistic Healer (Pisces) and am studying Social Work (also ruled over by the sign of Pisces)! My sun is in the sign of Leo. I have to live from my heart and create a unique situation for myself and my life. I need to be unique - unlike any other! Leo's like to shine out in a crowd. The sign of Leo is ruled by the Sun that shines on everyone! I love to inspire other people. When I was afraid in my youth of being a "showoff," I forced myself to not be a "showoff." The self shined forth, despite my efforts to suppress it, in a more egotistical way! BECAUSE... what we resist - persists! What we don't own - owns us! Nowadays, I embrace this part of me that loves to shine like the sun. I inspire others and this creates feelings of happiness.  My Moon is in Cancer. It is moody, emotional, family-oriented, nesting, loves food, and creates a cozy home. Moon in the sign of Cancer needs emotional safety. How do I make this part of me, happy? I work from home. I have honored my Moon in Cancer's need for home, comfort, and safety by working from home in my own business (Aries/Leo fire signs have leadership energies). It is so very important to know ourselves as fully as we can and to take the risks we need to, to develop all of who we are. What is calling out from deep within you? Are there parts of you being kept at bay? When I'm true to myself, I am truly healthier and happier.

“There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into light.” ~Rumi

Until this morning, I’ve felt incredibly, creatively blocked, for three weeks. Practical and Responsible; my first and middle names. This morning, my friend, Karen, said, “You sound down.” I was down. “I’m concerned about myself,” I said. “I’m so blocked. I’ve been out of school for three weeks and haven’t done anything creative.”  She asked me about writing on my blog and reminded me that writing get’s things flowing for me. “But I haven’t been inspired,” I lamented! “What can you do to change that?” she challenged.

Later, at home, I went to my desk and played, “The Medicine Wheel” by Robert Gass.  Facebook was up on the screen.  I saw the above quote and felt an immediate sense of hope in my ability to feel on-fire again.  Oh, how I could relate to this quote by he-whose-quotes-always-show-up-on-Facebook-just-when-you-need-them!  Rumi.

“A morning inside you waiting to burst open into light.” I love the morning; the dawning of day and another chance. I know there is a morning inside me! What am I not doing? What am I doing wrong? Is there anything I’m doing wrong? I knew the answer was that I am holding back my impulses, my spontaneous desires. 

Fire signs need to be free, need to blaze and shine. I’ve been too grounded in rules and roles and running errands and ruminations about my future goals. My Divine Child, within, is stifled! A fellow Leonine Goddess, Ande Lyons (real name), posted a beautiful picture of a bursting-forth sunrise through trees with this Rumi quote and everything shifted. I was on fire. 

I then stopped by my MotherRoots Healing Arts page and I saw a picture I'd posted of a weaving ritual in early May.  (More joy rising as I looked at this picture – I love ritual! I miss doing my rituals!) Feelings and words and flowing and openness filled me up!  Spiritual fulfillment is so important to me. “Have I taken time for rituals?” I asked, demanding a truthful, clear answer of myself. No.  A flat, simple, NO.  I started to write in the “comment” field below the weaving-ritual picture, and in three seconds, I felt better. I began writing about doing a weaving ritual.  Simply writing and imagining doing this ritual, created a feeling that my heart was wide-open and filling up with universal love and joy. The words flowed from inside me (or do they channel down into my crown from above?)  It transformed into this piece of writing.

I needed to find the official author of the chant I "sing" below. It brought me to the beautiful photograph of the woman doing a weaving ritual above.  Synchronicities are the Goddesses way of saying she is hearing the needs of my soul! I decided to use her picture and I've credited them below.

I have always said that creativity is the doorway to my joy. Creating and participating in sacred ritual and even, simply, writing about sacred ritual provides me with an opportunity to express my spiritual passion, my joy, my emotions, and my creative ideas.

When I saw the photograph of the weaving ritual that I’d posted on Facebook last month, I became inspired to create a weaving, myself, to move stuck energy, to light the fire of joy in me, once again.

Weaving my intentions, dreams, thoughts, ideas, love, sadness, grief, joy, fears, burdens, and gratitude into a structure such as the one shown above, is a powerful, healing, inspiring, ritual that moves my stuck emotions, that frees the fire of creativity within me, that provides a channel for releasing any intense, overpowering emotions I might have.

I can sing and move my shoulders and hips while in ceremony. I can chant songs like wind or thunder from my deep-inside place. I can roar or cry, then laugh while I infuse my ritual weaving with sacred intentions and prayers.

I am healing. I am dreaming a new life into my world. I am giving my pain to the earth to heal. I am pouring out this huge gratitude to my Higher Power for all the things I'm so thankful for.

Weaving also connects me to the healing, restorative, comforting memory of my ancestors - The Ancient Ones - who live in my blood and bones. I've learned that each of us has at least 30,000 great grandmothers and grandfathers! Can you even imagine! So when I do a ritual like this, I remember them in my blood and all is well.

I feel transported back to a time and energy that I can see in my mind's eye and feel in my heart; the women are together cooking and they are near giant boulders in the forest. They're telling stories and laughing. Some women are weaving.  There's a fire and children are playing all around them.

Although living in these ancient times would have been more challenging, in many ways, they were also simpler times. Living so closely to nature would have made it a natural state to be grounded – to be really connected to the cycles and rhythms of the moon and sun, of the seasons, of the sacred pulse of Mother Earth’s heartbeat. 

I can truly feel that sacred flowing river of nature’s peaceful energy, when I imagine the ancient days, because I know how I feel when I am sitting on a rock, lying down on the beach, listening to the waves, or resting under a tree with soft grass under my bare feet.  Rituals in nature are particularly healing and powerful for me.

A weaving ritual like this one is just what I need right now!  This is the vision I have: I can go out in the woods or into my yard or anywhere there are trees close enough together for me to tie strings back and forth. I can make any pattern I want to. After this structure is created, I can bring to it feathers, twigs, strips of fabric, or wildflowers. Each natural item can represent an emotion, a prayer, a goal I want to set, an experience or person I want to release, a feeling I want to transform, a lesson I would like to learn, a giant thank you to nature for being so sacred and beautiful and healing for me! One by one, I’ll begin weaving these beautiful objects and symbols into the web.

Flowers, string, grasses, twigs – feathers, cloth, strips of paper, and photocopies of pictures – all of these things can be added into a ritual weaving.   Before I begin, I can light some candles, burn some sage or cedar, and invite my ancestors to silently and sacredly surround me. Ancient Ones, Basket Weavers, Rug Braiders, Bread Makers, and wisdom-weaving, Storytellers – be with me today.  I will sing to you a song I love.

There is an Old Woman
Who weaves the night sky
See how She spins
See Her fingers fly
She is within us
Beginning to end
She is our Mother, our Sister, our Friend
She is the flow
She is the ebb
She is the weaver
She is the web
We are the flow
We are the ebb
We are the weavers
We are the web
She changes everything she touches
And everything she touches changes
She changes everything she touches
And everything she touches changes
Change us, Touch us
Touch us, Change us!

(This is a chant sung in many of our sacred circles. It is a compilation by chants written by Shekinah Mountainwater, Starhawk and Lauren Liebling. When we sing it as a group, our voices and passion for the Goddess weave a vibrating, healing, magical cone of power and energy around us.) 

The  photo above was taken at the Wild Star Gathering, “Natural, Creative Workshops and Seasonal Arts Celebrations” at Stanmer Park, Brighton, on August 19, 2012 to celebrate Lammas, an ancient harvest festival practiced by my Celtic ancestors. In searching for the author of the chant, I came upon this picture, whose caption was a version of this chant! How synchronistic! I decided to use her picture. Please take a minute to visit the Wild Star Gathering page on Facebook. It is beautiful! From there, you can go to their website and watch a video of their Labyrinth Ceremony. I enjoyed it very much. The other photo of the weaving ritual, that I refer to in this writing, can be found on the May 11, 2013 posting on my MotherRoots Healing Arts page on Facebook.

I love to look at my life as a garden, as if I were a gardener who has been given - as each of us has been given - a blessed piece of earth to tend; the task of being responsible for planting, harvesting, and composting what I sow, through each season of my life.

The seeds I plant and nurture will be the fruits I bear in this world. The seeds, whether they be healthy or not; indigenous to my region or not; heirloom or not; will transform into the plants I ultimately must harvest in my life.

My gardens are blessed by sun and earth, and often they are blessed by unexpected rains just when I feel too tired to pull the garden hose out; but I am responsible for watering them when the rains don't come.

I am responsible for weeding my garden; for thinning out the places where too much growth in one area is choking out the opportunity for other parts of my garden of life to express itself.  I am responsible for singing songs of hope to the parts of my garden that struggle. The rebellious teenager in me grew up to be a self-assertive entrepreneur; the know-it-all, a passionate, inspiring teacher. 

I am responsible for separating the wheat from the chaff. What wisdom shall I harvest? What fruit will nourish me the most? Which plants are poisoning me? What shall I keep and what shall I refuse? The sickle that threshes the grain lies before me like the golden gift of an August sunset. This act of discernment lies upon my shoulders. 

After the harvest, I am responsible for using the abundance of gifts my garden of life produces for me. I can store my goods in the root cellar of my self, for future use.  I can share my bounty with those around me, in a great, harvest-feast of joy. I can offer prayers of gratitude for the blessings I've received.

If I choose to let the basket of abundant fruit sit too long on the kitchen counter, it will turn back to seed and I will have to start over, another day, if I want to receive those gifts again. I like that I can save the seeds for wiser days.

I am responsible for disposing of the parts of my garden whose time has come.  I can push my garden refuse into overstuffed garbage bags where the rich wisdom of its biology will waste away to noxious fumes, or I can convert the seemingly useless parts of my garden into something fertile, through composting them.  

I can offer this season’s chaff to my Mother, the Earth. 

There, she will bathe them in autumn rainstorms and illuminate their hidden gifts with the bright light of the sun.  There, they can dance among fallen leaves, and greens, and wind, and lie, blanketed, under winter’s quiet, reflective snow.  

By spring, when time and alchemy have had their way, she will have transformed it all into a fertile blessing that will make my garden of life that much richer and more beautiful. 

Rumi said, "This world is a mountain, in which your works are echoed back to you."

Today, I heard love and joy echo off the mountain; called back to me from those to whom I have offered the flowers of my heart.  Today, I heard fear and worry echo back at me from seeds of doubt I planted long ago, through bad choices I made. Soon after, though, I heard the cry of a small, white crocus echo back to me from March 1985.  From the top of the mountain, she echoed, “Thank you for not giving up on me during that spring blizzard.”

Today, I heard the words of my Mother echo back from the mountain, and knew, in that call, the sound of my Grandmother's voice, too.

Light and dark, and joy and sorrow dance around me.  There is a stone path of beautiful twisting and turning that I walk, through my garden of life. I see that some plants grow best in the sunlight and some in the shade. They are all part of the glorious, fertile tapestry of my field.

On Gratitude

Have I mentioned how much I love the entire concept and feeling of being grateful? It is TRULY the secret KEY to joy. I even love the word.  Just saying the word, GRATITUDE, brings me into my heart where its energy of thankfulness fills my entire body. Gratitude is the most remarkable feeling to me.  The Grateful Heart is the heart that shines and glows; it is the heart that beats in peace.  When I'm grateful for everything I have been given, grateful for the simple gifts of life, it does not mean that I can't also want something else; it just means that what I want is what is more authentic to who I am.  Gratitude is like a washing away of the hunger. It leaves me full of light and love and satisfaction.  From this place of love and fullness, I feel Holy.  I really do. This is what I have discovered: standing beside peacefulness and happiness, there are other important things that happen when I focus on my blessings. When I am feeling grateful for what I have, all the rest of the busyness and craziness of life, and the media, and the world falls away.  When Gratitude Happiness dances in my heart, all of a sudden, I can tune into what I TRULY want and need. All the "shoulds" go away.  (You should be doing this.  You should be working on that...Why don't you have this yet? Why haven't you accomplished that yet? You should have done such and such by this age) All these wicked, internal pressures go away.  I begin to see and feel my purpose for being alive! I see how one road led to the next. I see the synchronicities.  I see the golden thread of a vocation, a calling, woven through my entire life, and how each and every step, turn, twist, fall, and rise of my path has brought me here, to this exact spot. I can see it and follow it to fulfillment when I am at peace with my life, my past, and all that the past has taught me. And when I am grateful, I can feel who I am, INSIDE.  When I feel who I am, I am in touch with my Calling.  And I remember, YES! Oh yes, I now remember the things that make me so happy, I could scream, jump on the table, fall down and die, right now, because I am so happy and I have lived, fully, doing this thing I love more than anything in the world! I remember those things and then I can get back on track doing what I most love to do.  Your calling does not feel like WORK. It feels like, THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I WAS BORN, inside you. It feels like, GOD, inside you.  It feels like, I AM HOME, inside you.  


“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears,  or the sea.”

I have a raw hunger for water; cold, ocean water, flowing water, singing waters over stone. I love the morning, misty peace of a clean pond.  Our stormy, wild Atlantic Ocean is the greatest healer I have ever met. 

This past weekend, I visited the ocean with some friends who live nearby. Whenever I am in the presence of the sea, I'm afraid I'll never leave the rolling, wave~love of the Mother Ocean. 

It's late May now and I wonder if there is a more perfect time of the year to offer myself to the body of the Goddess of the Sea!

Walking along the shore or swimming out, just past over-my-head, is my preference. I once said to my friend Barbara, "I love the ocean!" She replied, in her practical, Taurus way: "No you don't.  You love the shore." She's right about this.  I'm not a fan of deep, dark water, except from a distance, and in it's symbolic reference to the depths of our unconscious selves; our deep psyche! Oh, then I love the deep waters! 

Water as the Symbol of Our Deepest Self

Water is a beautiful symbol of one's emotions because water flows, and ebbs, and expresses itself in so many forms. We very often attribute emotional states of mind and body to water when describing it: the raging sea, the quiet brook, the peaceful lake, the calm pond, the flowing river. Water is the deep psyche, the seat of our dreams, the loving guidance of our intuition.

At the sea, in a bath, or by a crystal-clear, clean pond at sunrise, I am filled all the way through myself and feel overflowing with love. I am welcomed home. I feel so 
welcomed home. 

And that, too, is how it feels when I am at peace with my emotions. This is how it feels after I have held, in honor (even if with great difficulty and feeling like I am being tortured in the process!) the fire of my anger, the depth of my grief, the ecstasy of my joy, and the song of hope and faith that gets me through the journey that is my soulful life. Water is indeed the symbol of our emotions, our soul, and our subconscious selves.  Yet it also brings us right here into the very conscious, totally aware place, of this very moment.

I have always said that I would rather be fully alive and feeling everything I can, than living in a state of numbness (though sometimes we need this too, for a little while, as a reprieve from pain...); because if I am closing off my feelings of anger, you can believe that I am also closing off my feelings of passion, creativity, and power.  If I am closing off my feelings of sadness and grief, you can believe that I am also closing off my feelings of love and joy. 

The sea is my Mother, my Sister, my History 

I got a vanity plate this year: SEA MOON. I love this because it reminds me of my love of the sea, the moon, and what these things represent to me: intuition, magic, dreams, emotions, history, family, safety and security, rhythm, wildness, healing, peacefulness, the sacred night, ancient women's mysteries, raw beauty, wisdom, and our instinctual nature.

The Song of the Seals

I've been writing about the  seal maiden, the sea, and my connection to these flowing, wild, primal energies.  The folk stories and songs of the Seal Maidens always capture the attention of my soul when I hear them.  I feel them in my heart. 

When I spend time near the ocean, it's as if I have risen out of this great,  salty cauldron of transformation, and I feel that my seal-skin, my soul-skin, as Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it, has been  returned to me. 

These archetypal stories bring me very deeply into my own soul, then up, again, to  float on the waves; a reprieve, a rest, a blessing from the bright sun before I  
return to the magical depths, to do the work of my soul. 

Through the most profound pain of my  life, love comes to me through magical synchronicity and divine timing. Divine guidance, blessings, miracles, and messages come to us from every direction.  Opening the soul-eyes helps us to see these! Some of my favorite serendipitous experiences involve seals.

One  year, at sunrise, on my birthday, I swam naked in the sea of Cape Cod.  To my delight and surprise, I noticed a seal swimming near  me! 

On another visit to the Cape, my son and other children were swimming at sunset, in the waves.  A red glow, from the lighthouse behind us, rhythmically scanned the waters. What is that beside the children? Seals!

More recently, I went to the ocean at Beltane, the sacred holiday of my Celtic ancestors, falling halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.  It rained in the night, by the sea. I pulled my car into several look-out points but kept feeling called to move further along the coast. Finally, I saw the perfect opening between two boulders. It drew me closer. "The gateway...", I thought. Even through the thick fog and rain, I saw it: a swimming, jumping seal. Suddenly, another followed behind. 

The seals were my gift from the Mother.
First one, then two; swimming in that wild sea!
Magic discovered by my intuition calling me
to that space between stones, to watch the wind-swept waves.
Beyond them, my eyes caught the first Seal Maiden!
And the one following behind is my true love.

This written last spring:

I got lost this past weekend in Maine - took a wrong
turn somewhere,  but oh, what a blessing in disguise, and under the direction of La Que Sabe, The One Who Knows, because while driving the winding road within feet of the sea, I came  upon a life-sized sculpture of Neptune
with his trident! Oh my God of the Sea,  my Goddess of the Sea, how I longed to jump in that body of water, as naked as  on the day of my birth, like one of the Wild Seal  Maidens!

A Sacred Container

In my work, I am a witness to many emotions. For those of you who understand astrology, my Moon is in the fourth house, in the sign of Cancer. I am at home with emotions.  Creating space for, and offering emotional safety to others is one of my highest priorities in life.  I am committed to expressing my own emotions, however challenging, and I strive to learn as many skills as I can to strengthen my ability to offer emotional counsel to others. I know that one of my gifts to the world is a true comfort with emotions of all sizes, shapes, and intensities! I tell my clients, "I will create a sacred container for you, a sacred space for you to shed your tears, speak your truth, tell your stories, explore your dreams (nighttime or otherwise!), and feel your rage, grief, and pain."

We are mind, body, soul, and emotions. Our emotions are our guides.  Our love and passions guide us to our joy. Our anger brings us to our power and informs us about what is and what is not acceptable and authentic to our life. Our sadness washes us clean, releases the past, and allows new doors to open. 

Welcome Home

Welcoming your emotions brings you home to yourself. When I feel something, I say to myself, "Welcome Home.  This feeling is welcoming me back into my body. This is where life is. This is where love is. This is where my hope and my dreams are."

Welcome Home, to the Beloved. 

You are the Beloved you have been waiting for all of your life!