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Spring is in the Earth: Celebration & Meditation

What a powerful and enchanting week we are in the mists of! The celestial energies started and ramped everything up with the super new moon aligning in Aquarius a few days ago on Thursday, January 30th. Yesterday was the start of the New Chinese Year, welcoming in the year of the Green Wood Horse, honoring the element of wood and its child element, fire, to kindle new possibilities and success. Sunday, February 2nd, we honor the Pagan Celtic festival of Imbolc, the mid-point between winter and spring as marked on the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is often celebrated tonight on the eve of this festival as well as tomorrow on the day of.

Wheel of the Year

Wheel of the Year

There is so much magic and new vitality swirling around us from above and below. As the ancient Hermetic texts state, “As above, so below.” -above with the supportive lunar cycle and the Chinese astrological shift and below as each seedling stirs in the womb of our Mother Earth during Imbolc.

A quick note: Mercury goes into retrograde for three weeks beginning February 6th. It will remain in retrograde until the 28th. For those of you who are effected by the squirrely, meddling, techno-challenging energies of mercury, you’ll want to mark these dates and be gentle with yourself and with others during this time. This is a perfect time to send out extra positive energy to encourage harmonious fluidity, healthy agreements, and compassionate grace in all dealings.

So, what does the new waxing moon, the Chinese New Year and Imbolc all have in common? They each represent newness, cleansing, staring fresh and bringing in light and life in all its glorious and goddess blessed fullness.

This is a very auspicious time to cleanse, renew and redirect efforts, intentions and your health. It is a time to clear our spaces, spirits, psyches and bodies. If you’ve been meaning to organize a closet, file away a pile of paperwork, redecorate the living room or do anything to spatially shift an area of your home or work environment, go for it. Think of this as the pre-spring cleaning and a magical way to stir up the energies of the coming spring and to call in new fresh life.

This is also a wonderful time to do a little (or a big) dietary cleanse. Juicing is an excellent way to clean our bodies and revitalize our minds. I am a huge lover of juicing fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. I find a 3 day juice feast is the most delicious and invigorating way to recalibrate the physical system, encouraging healthier food choices and promoting self-love. The following juice recipe is one of my favorites for the wintry months (or any time!). It is bright in color and flavor, reminding me of pure sunshine and of the sweetness of summer days. This truly is sunshine in a glass and will surely put a blissful spring in your step, hop or skip.

In honor of Imbolc, let’s call in the sun to warm these last 6 weeks of winter in our hearts and in our spirits. This juice should do the magical trick…

Carrot, Pineapple, Ginger Juice

Carrot, Pineapple, Ginger Juice

Sunshine in a Glass:

Carrots

Pineapple

Fresh ginger

Juice all the ingredients together in your favorite juicer and drink immediately or at least within the same day it was made. Enjoy!

I have intentionally not included measurements, because I want you to create this juice to your taste. For myself, I like A LOT of juice, so I will juice an entire 5lb bag of organic carrots along with a whole pineapple, skin and top removed. I also like to add about ½ to 1 inch nob of fresh ginger for a little extra zing. This gives me a quart or two of sunshiny juice that I can drink throughout the day.

Imbolc and Goddess Brigid

The word Imbolc comes from the old Irish word, imbolg, meaning “in the belly.” Wildlife and Mother Earth are all pregnant with new life. The energy here is of new beginnings and to invite the light in and to sprout new possibilities and to create new openings. This is a festival, marking the cyclical Goddess transformation from Crone (winter) to Maiden (spring). It is also a time to honor Goddess Brigid.

Imbolc Blessings

Imbolc Blessings

Irish blood runs through my heart. I am a lover of mythology and folklore, so naturally, I am enchanted by ancient customs and ideology especially that of the Celts. In Irish mythology, Brigid is an Irish Goddess of healing, magic and crafts, a patroness of poets and the sister of the fae (faeries). She embodies the season of birthing energies. (I wish I knew who the artist was who created the above image. I would love to give credit, and I would love to give thanks for bringing beauty and art into our lives!)

Whether you are interested in ancient Celtic traditions or not, the pregnant energy of Mother Earth swirls around us. Honoring the festering energy of this season was the way of our ancestors, and it’s an undercurrent of our shared collective human consciousness. A wonderful way to harness the essence of this time of year and that of Imbolc is to create anything, write poetry or stories, paint, sculpt, make music, or do things like redecorate to invite in spring and vibrant color. Bring in a bouquet (or better yet a living potted plant) of daffodils or tulips or any spring flowers you love. Decorate your space with colored candles or burn a floral essential oil to awaken your senses to that of the coming spring. Creating, crafting and beautifying anything your heart desires, supports you in living a more spiritual life. It awakens your connection to your Higher Self and to that of the Divine, God, Goddess.

Candlemas

Imbolc is also referred to as Candlemas, a Christian holiday of old. Many Christians see the flowers of spring as a symbol of Christ and of new hope. Candles are lit during Candlemas to symbolize Christ Consciousness as the light of the world. With both Candlemas and Imbolc, this is a celebration of fire to light up our lives with love and sunshine. A wonderful way to honor this time is with a small candle ceremony and meditation.

Candle Meditation

Light a candle (or several) and meditate on what you would like to grow and nurture in your life. What seeds are you planting? What dreams and goals would you like to see bloom with the energy of the vibrant, youthful, lush, sunny spring season? Sit quietly and meditate on all of this. Breathe deeply and feel your heart open. Slowly fill your heart space with pure divine love and the energy of everything you wish for and everything you aspire to become. Infuse this energy with universal love and unconditional compassion for the entire world and everything and everyone in it. You can do this with your eyes closed in deep meditation or while gazing upon the lit candle(s). If you choose to watch the flame dance on the candle’s wick, visualize your love and your dreams as the fire that lights your inner flame and, therefore, lights the world around you. Breathe and give thanks for this sacred moment. Chant aloud, “Thank you. I love you.”

A magical note: As I type this, a giant black raven (about the size of my 14lb cat, Mitts) just landed on our porch only a few feet away from me. This is a significant event, for this has only happened once before. It seems Raven, my Spiritual Totem, is in great support of what I am writing and of the deeply sacred and loving energy I embrace as I share with you. I received Raven’s message with open eyes, joy and excitement. The message is not only for me but for us all: Share your magic, your light and your pure heart with the world! It always seems the more magic I invite into my life, the more supported I am by the natural world around me. The same is true for YOU, of course. By noticing the seasons, honoring our ancestors and elders, by caring for Mother Earth, becoming more natural and spiritual, the more magical your life will become. Try it, you’ll see.  : )

Raven Messenger

Raven Messenger

 

Sprout Ritual

If you are into health foods, as I am, this is a great and meaningful time to grow some indoor sprouts like that of alfalfa. Not only are these little greenlings packed with nutrition, they are also full of symbolism. Imagine as they grow and green, so do your dreams, positive intentions and wishes. And, as you sprinkle them on your soups and salads, you are physically taking in the spirit of new growth and bountiful possibilities.

Sprouts are easy to grow in jars any time of the year. Just soak a few tablespoons in a jar of water for 6-8 hours. Drain and let sit to gestate. Rinse a few times a day to keep moist and fresh. In just a few days they will grow tails and sprouts. I like to keep them covered with a cloth during this process, so they can do their magic in the dark as they would naturally in the earth’s belly. Once they have matured, place them in the light- a windowsill is a great place for this- and allow the sprouts to soak up all the chlorophyll and to green. Once fully developed, store them in the fridge.

Organic Alfalfa Seeds

Organic Alfalfa Seeds

Above are the alfalfa seeds that I set out yesterday to soak. I soaked them over night and drained them this morning. After just a half a day’s time, this is what they look like now…

Sprouting Alfalfa Seeds

Sprouting Alfalfa Seeds

These seeds already have tails and are in full sprout mode. It won’t be long before they will grow bigger and green, and I can add them to my favorite recipes. This is the magical essence of the coming spring!

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I just snapped the photo below a few moments ago. This is our sky today- a vibrant blue gift after a cleansing and much needed rain yesterday, an auspicious sign for the Chinese New Year. If you look into this photo, you will notice today’s clouds have formed into what looks like a rabbit- another magical sign of the energies that are afoot. Seems we are being carried right into the energy of spring, which is very much symbolized by the rabbit.

Blue skies with Rabbit Magic

Blue skies with Rabbit Magic

For us here in the high desert, the Pussy Willows around the lakes are blossoming and awakening from their winter slumber. Our beloved pear tree in the front of our home is filled with flower buds just waiting to open. The birds are fluttering, and the sun is sparkling with new promise of warmer days to come.

I am juicing; I have my sprouts growing, and I’ll be freshening up my sacred spaces around the home with flowers, essential oils and new color. Tonight, I’ll light a candle and meditate, drawing in the energies of new life and renewal along with that of the waxing new moon. I will light a candle for YOU, for Mother Earth and for the entire animal and plant kingdom in love, peace and for beautiful new creations.

Tomorrow, I am grateful to be offering in-person Reiki and readings at the Mountain Spirit Co-Op in downtown Prescott. I have the opportunity to fill an already magical day with energy healings and spiritual guidance for anyone who wishes to partake. I’ll keep an eye out for the ravens, the rabbits, for Goddess Brigid and for that little groundhog that will pop its head out tomorrow to hopefully find a shadow cast by the sun.

Blessings to all in light, love, abundance and new fresh beginnings! ♥

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Eagle Spirit Blessings

My partner, Stephen, and I set off to spend the day together yesterday. We had no idea where or what we were going to do. Because photography is one of Stephen’s passions, we did at least know he would bring his camera in tow. We would just drift along with the winds and our whims. We gathered our things for the day- camera equipment, sunglasses, hats, and our explorative, happy hearts. We settled into the car, with Stephen behind the wheel, and started to drive. Where to, we still did not know, but we were excited nonetheless. Stephen looked at me, smiled gently, and said that he wanted to travel wherever he felt pulled to go. Intuition would spontaneously guide our way. I more than agreed. We shortly thereafter found ourselves at the freeway entrance, and he coolly announced, “It looks like we are going to go south.” And so, the day began.

From where we live in Bellingham, Anacortes is an easy drive away. Anacortes is a familiar bayside town, home of the ferries that transport many travelers to Port Townsend and the San Juan Islands. We had stopped there once last summer as we originally traveled into the state, relocating from Northern California into Washington. Since we had not returned for a visit since, we were inspired to stop there for a walk around town, enjoying a little photography along the way.

However, while there, I could not help but notice signs for a place called Deception Pass. I had heard of this pass, of its beauty and mystery. I had seen many photos and paintings of the lands and water around it, of the cliffs, trees, and the twin bridges, and I had heard many stories. The pass earns its name due to the deceptive strength of the water that flows through the narrow straight-like bay. The swift, powerful current forms standing waves, large whirlpools, and roiling eddies that are a struggle for boaters to maneuver. The idea of exploring this new area immediately ignited my drive, lit my heart, and led our day into an unexpected adventure full of wonder and spirit.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

As soon as we arrived at the twin bridges that drape high over Deception Pass, my heart opened and waves of shear bliss washed through my body. I gobbled up the majestic scene with hungry eyes, and Stephen sat taller in his seat, imagining the boundless photographic possibilities of the day. I looked into the empty blue sky, and I saw an eagle in my mind’s eye. Without dropping my gaze, I casually mentioned to Stephen, “We will see an eagle today.” This I sensed. It was not a strong hit, just a subtle knowing. We parked the car at one of the lookout spots, gathered our things and embarked on what turned out to be a strikingly magical and spiritual experience.

On foot, we followed the usual tourist route. We gently hiked the narrow dirt paths that twisted along the hillside, which served up soul-filling views of distant, green mountain peaks, nearing tall evergreens and deep blue waters. This hillside that stretched up from the depths of the bay was lined with wild grasses, clumps of trees and patches of bright yellow wildflowers. The entire area emitted such profound energy. It filled me and thrilled me. I immediately wanted to sit right down in the soft brush and meditate. Deception Pass has been home to various Native American tribes for thousands of years, and I could deeply feel the powerful energies course through me. In those moments, I was no longer a woman watching the world; I was the land and the sea itself, flowing with the breath of earth’s spirit.

Soul-Filling Views From Deception Pass

Soul-Filling Views From Deception Pass

We continued to walk while Stephen opened his camera to the views. We trailed up to the road and along the bridge, crossing high above the watery pass and tall trees. In the distance, a bald eagle suddenly appeared, soaring effortlessly through the sky. I smiled, realizing that what I had sensed earlier was actually happening now before our eyes. It seemed to be flying near a red-tailed hawk, both searching the hillside with their keen intensity. They were too far to photograph, so we continued along the bridge in their direction. We slowly ambled around, snapping pictures, chatting, giggling and breathing deeply.

As we neared the area where the birds were flying, the sky fell empty. They had been gone for some time, so we sat down, resting on a log that lined the road. We relaxed and settled into each other. The entire time we were at Deception Pass, I was filling with pure love. I became so full, I felt as if this love was now pouring out from my pores, stretching my heart and tearing from my eyes. I felt such a cosmic connection to Stephen and to the expansive landscape of our lives together. Our conversation naturally drifted, and we were sweetly engaged in the topic of our union together. And then… magic happened.

Eagle Blessings

Eagle Blessings

We suddenly looked up and saw not one, but two bald eagles soaring above our heads. They were a pair, matched for life. We had not seen them before and we did not know where they had come from, but there they were, circling us. They cut through the sky with wings spread wide. They flew lower and closer to us as they graced the space just over our heads. Stephen grabbed his camera in excitement, shooting as many frames as possible. We stood there for a long time like this. People stopped to watch the eagles and us. It seemed as if this mated pair was there only for us. I could hardly believe my eyes. I felt intensely blessed!

The eagles continued to fly around us until the camera’s memory card finally ran out of space and could no longer hold any more photos. We both looked down to change the memory card. When we returned our gaze to the sky, the eagles had disappeared.

Looking back at the experience, we both feel these majestic birds came to honor us, encircling us with their empowering and supportive blessings. This was a magical, poignant and stunning moment in the flow of our lives, a spiritual breath of light, love and endorsement.

This blessing heightened our time together. Golden hues seemed to gently kiss everything I saw for the rest of the day. We attracted more wildlife and more opportunities. The afternoon unfolded like thoughtfully crafted poetry. And, as we drove home in the early evening hours, the sun lit the skies and our hearts in flaming rose tones, casting warm, glowing, divine light on everything in its path. We were in its path.

I now realize that for the entire day, we were not only in the path but we were an integral part of the path, of a greater more expansive, interconnected, spiritual path. I have a sense that this is the case with every moment and every breath of each of our lives. We just have to open and flow with it. ♥

“I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” ~Walt Whitman

Being the Path of Light

Being the Path of Light

Crow Spirit

Two Crows

Two Crows

Nature is my religion. My soul communes with the outdoors, gifting me great spiritual inspiration.  I love the northern California beaches. Oceanic power induces deep meditations, harmonizing my center with life, rhythmically soothing and empowering me.  I also love the soft hills of Sonoma County, my current residence, with its rich carpet of grape vines and dried summer grass. I cast my gaze, wanting to reach out and run my fingers through it, feeling the prolific sweet fibers of the wine country. But what I really love is a densely wooded forest, dark green canopies, cushy earth, thick quiet, the magic and mystery of the energies that entice me, invoking earnest delight and wonderment. What spirits reside there? I am not sure, but they croon to me silently, plucking my heart, tuning it like an instrument. I play for them. I dance like an innocent child.

In my youth, my father would bring my sister and I to the redwoods of Oakland hills where we lived.  We would hike and search for faeries, gnomes, trolls and anything else our imaginations could lure into our visions. “They love to hide in the moss that cloak the trees,” my father would whisper, instilling excitement in my coasting eyes. Everything was vibrant and green. We hiked in the rain often with little more than an umbrella, lunch and a candle in tow. We would huddle around the single flame while nibbling on afternoon treats. The lone lizard would scurry by. Raindrops plopped on wet leaves, mud, stones, muffled by their journey. I had never heard such quiet or experienced such complete beauty. These memories never fade. Rich in luster, they flourish within me. I scintillate in nostalgia.

The closest forest to me now is Armstrong Woods. A mere 23 mile drive, and I can be coddled by tremendous redwoods. Last weekend, Laura and I explored these woods. Immediately upon our arrival, as we entered the density of this small wooded park, I opened- eyes wide, heart juicy and full. I hadn’t walked among the trees, ferns, dirt and moss in a long while. My senses heightened, enlightened, lifting my spirit, reminding me of my innate Self.

We journeyed within, walking deep into the park on a narrow paved road. We were alone. The silence was overwhelming; it folded around me. In the distance, I spotted two crows, walking the same road as Laura and I. They were far enough away to maintain privacy but close enough for us to clearly watch their movements. We were enchanted by the ambling pair. These two crows walked side by side like two old friends, soul mates, lost in one another and the simple pleasure of leisure. They strolled down the center of this narrow street, waddling, swaying, occasionally turning their heads toward one another as if in idle conversation. They looked like little people to me, small feathered people, enjoying the afternoon. Never before had I felt this way about wildlife. I am not sure if I was anthropomorphizing this interaction or, if on a deeper more intrinsic level, I was sensing their Truth. We watched the crows walk in front of us along our same path. They seemed to mirror us without knowing it. We smiled. It didn’t take long for the crows to sense our existence. Once catching on to our company, they leapt off the ground, swinging wings, calling to the trees, gently lifting into the sky. They were gone, leaving magic in their wake.

What really happens among the redwoods when humans are not around? Does the forest awaken to play and delight? There is an undercurrent of power, an unseen presence, that uplifts this wooded grove. I have always known nature holds precious secrets from modern man/woman or, rather, modernity has dulled man/woman from translating secret into truth. Whatever the case, I am unfolding, unwrapping my own gifts to bestow. I coil around and melt into the natural world. This, I profoundly sense, and watching these two old friends, the crows, solidified this sacred recognition, my connection to my Self and the landscape of spirit.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

*The artwork above, Two Crows, is by Mark Seabrook.

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