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Crossroads: Beginnings of a Shamanic Journey…

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For those who know my spiritual path, you know it’s not an easy one.  Growing up Roman Catholic for almost 30 years, it’s incredibly hard to overcome the deeply rooted beliefs that you were taught over and over again, even though your soul was calling you onto a new journey.  After about 8 years of searching, I found my foundation within two belief systems: Celtic Druidism and Native American Shamanism.  Both paths actually resemble each other, so it was very easy for me to fall into this journey with much peace and content.  Yet, something didn’t feel right.  I still felt “called”…As a seeker, I naturally love to dive into research and educate myself on all the cultures and faiths of our world.  And with that came the lessons of sacred healing through the Earth.  Both in which Druidism and Shamanism utilize to its full potential.

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Over the course of the last several years, I have delved into education and research on sacred plant medicine and the ceremonies that are involved. Although I took many challenging turns in my own life, I have learned to understand that if you want your life to be truly blissful, one must recognize that life is not necessarily all about rules and power, sacrifice and pain, but joy and happiness, compassion and most importantly, respect.  How modern society today has corrupted the mind of the human to take on such anguish and suffering, all for the benefit of someone else’s gain.  Sure, I can easily sound like some crazy conspiracy theorist, but the truth is, I know what my heart, body, mind and soul tells me.  Conspicuous consumption of the world today is sincerely what drives the human race.  This is why there is hate and separation wherever we go.  Black vs. White, Church vs. State, Republican vs. Democrat, Man vs. Woman, Rich vs. Poor, so on and so on.  All we know is separation.  Separating things is easy for us because it gives us some order of substance to how we want to see our life go in a certain direction.  This, in my humble opinion, is why we are so messed up as a people.

But I digress…Let’s get back to what I wanted to talk about – Sacred Plants and the part they play in our lives.

Nestled deep within the jungles, canyons and valleys of some of Earth’s quietest tribal communities, lie the remedies of almost all the ailments in our world.  Most of us living in the “Western” world, we have submerged ourselves with so many chemicals, that our bodies have adjusted to the chaos going on inside each and every one of us.  Which puts many of us in a day-to-day survival mode.  Why in the hell are we doing this?

Let me ask you this: Are you happy?  Like truly, truly happy?  Can you honestly say you wake up every morning and have a euphoric sense of self-worth and purpose? That life is just truly this brilliant gift and you are strong and powerful enough to conquer everything thrown at you?

Of course not!  We don’t live in that kind of world!  Very few of us can say they do live this way.

But would you say if I told you, you COULD???

I totally believe this.  And I believe that one of the many secrets lie within the healing plants and natural medicines scattered over the world. They are out there to help us heal our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and yes, physical ailments that plague our bodies, minds and souls.  You don’t need to be in a religion or spiritual path to understand that our planet is pretty freaking awesome.  And we have yet to truly get into the heart of what our amazing planet can really do.

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Sadly, the powers that be who control the rules and regulations of the Western World truly regulate what the Western World is allowed to utilize in the terms of these “sacred plant medicines”.  Sadly, any plant that could somehow alter the mind’s perception is considered “dangerous”.  Even though these very plants are what heal the very illnesses that plague our world.  So, why are many of these sacred medicines outlawed in the 1st World?

Money.

Power.

Greed.

Sad, isn’t it?  That plants that have been researched to CURE things are not allowed in certain parts of our world, yet it is perfectly acceptable to combine a bunch of chemicals in some lab, feed it to animals for testing, then if it’s a go, allow the human race to consume it.  Yes, I know, it’s near impossible to try to corner a market of something indigenous to 3rd world countries or native tribal communities and make a 1st world profit.  And honestly, why WOULD you?  It’s one thing to accept donations coming from people who want to help keep the traditions going, rather than making a profit off of these sacred plants.  In that case, this can be completely unethical and disrespectful to the communities that make them a part of their daily lives.

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So, what do they do?  The powers that be “create” medicines made out of chemicals created in laboratories, to create similar “effects” of these natural medicines, so they can get a profit.  But, what happens, is that these very “medicines” that the pharmaceutical companies create end up having several times the severe side effects that may be more detrimental to the person’s original path to health and well-being.  And thus the cycle repeats itself until it results in a spiral of madness and chaos of the human body and mind.

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It’s more than just the plant medicines, though.  There are the ceremonies that are part of the consumption of them. As a devout believer in Mum Gaia (aka Mother Earth) and all the plants and flora she creates on this planet, it is with utmost importance we recognize that these plants are indeed, Sacred, and therefore should be given the respect and reverence of how we intake them.  This is why indigenous people of our lands and other communities around the world get so upset with us “white man” who tend to perverse what is Sacred to them by using these plants and ceremonies without the proper respect that needs to be given to those who originated them.  I don’t blame them at all for feeling like this, however, there HAS to be a time to stop the separation.  What the “white man” did to our Natives so long ago can never be rewritten or forgotten.  It’s part of our history and today’s society is proof that the pain still exists, and our privileges are still met before anyone else’s are.

THIS HAS TO STOP.

A few years ago I was introduced to the benefits of Kratom, Kava, and Sacred Blue Lotus.  These plants are part of my everyday life.  Because of their great healing effect, I no longer need depression or anxiety medicines.  Very rarely will I need something medicinally to help me sleep.  The properties of all these plants have the relaxing effect to help me fall asleep.  I suffer from chronic insomnia.  And Kratom, Kava and Blue Lotus help me to achieve going to sleep at night without any aid like Ambien. Every time I take them, I bless my cup, and pray for healing.

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(Me and my cup of Kratom Tea, and a bunch of Red Vein Kratom Leaves)

The frustrating part of this, however, is that many people look at these sacred plants as “drugs” or a”legal” way to get high.

So now this is the part where I’m going to drop some knowledge on the misinformed:

I am a 42 year old woman.  I have a husband, 2 children, a dog, a mortgage, car payments, and an incredibly busy life.  I think it’s an insult to my character if you want to make the assumption I use these beautiful and sacred plants to “get high”.

Plants are not drugs.  Shit that’s created in a laboratory?  Those are drugs.  Know the difference between the two and educate yourself before speaking, because sooner or later, these plants are going to come back full force as more and more people are waking up from the viscous cycle the pharmaceutical companies have us addicted to.

Another ceremony I learned about but never was able to participate in was a Native American Sweat Lodge.  One of the most powerful physical prayers a person can do, Sweat Lodges are also deeply rooted in many traditions outside our Native Americans.  Nordic Vikings and some communities in Africa are also knows to have these.  But it is through the Native American Sweat Lodge do most people come to an understanding with. Sadly, modern day New Age enthusiasts tried to make profits on these “Sweats”, and in 2009, an investigation was made in the wake of a death of a woman who died while in a Sweat Lodge. It was later confirmed that the organizer did not follow the rules of the Sweat Lodge, causing serious health concerns for the individuals who did survive, but who became very ill from that event.  This is why our Indigenous People here are so incredibly protective of their traditions, and become very angry at how they are irreverently used for profit, gain and power.  Many fake or “plastic” shamans, as the Indigenous People call them, are found on every corner preaching how to help you gain “consciousness” and “enlightenment”, all for a price so many people are desperate to pay.  And people don’t understand why are Natives get so insulted when these people give themselves “Indian” names?  These traditions, like the plants, are sacred to the people that have been practicing with for thousands of years.

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(Traditional Native American Sweat Lodge)

Several years ago, I was introduced to Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is the sacred marriage of two plants.  The Mother Ayahuasca Vine, or Caapi Vine, and the leaves from the Chacruna tree. Now, I have never taken, nor been in ceremony with this beloved plant of South America.  Mainly seen in Peru and Ecuador, retreats from all over these two countries are popping up yearly, in assisting the population with the ongoing spiritual awakening the Earth is currently going through. Sadly, some of the original retreats are rarely seen, as larger, more spacious and luxurious retreats are now in demand, with some weekly retreats ranging from $1500-$4000.  What we find is the wealthier population or 1% having the ability to go on these retreats for their “awakening”, which isn’t bad per se, but leaves out a significant portion of our population unable to go because of the financial burden one must endure in order to participate.

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(Traditional Ayahuasca Ceremony in Iquitos, Peru.  Held at Blue Morpho, and run by Master Shaman Hamilton Sauther and Master Don Alberto Torres Davila – one of the exceptions to these retreats – although this is a very expensive retreat, it is probably the best retreat for Ayahuasca in terms of safety and emotional well being.  It’s not about the money for them – it’s about the respect of the medicine AND the safety of the people who come to take the medicine)

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(The Caapi Vine or Mother Ayahuasca)

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(A forest of Ayahuasca and a pot of the ingredients, Caapi Vine and the leaves of the Chacruna tree)

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(Finished Product – Ayahuasca Brew)

I found out about 11 years ago I had a calling.  A calling of Spirit to heal and to teach.  The very Shamanic energies rising from within get stronger every day.  How does a person like myself, a member of the 1st world, with no financial access, be able to bring these sacred plants to the people of my land, without disrespecting the indigenous people from where the plants originate from?  This is currently my quest to find out.

We all need to survive, but understand, we all will NOT survive.  We are not getting out of this life alive. There is no way around it.  So, how does one follow a calling where there is absolutely no way for me to answer?  These are the very troubles that plague my mind.

I have visions.  I have dreams.  Dreams involving camps and retreats not built to accommodate the person, but to accommodate the journey of the person.  I have this desire to bring the sacred plants and ceremonies to people who truly want to be a part of, with respect and reverence, divinity and compassion.  To help those on their journey to self-awareness.  The Shamanka in me is calling out, and she knows I hear her.  My goal this year is to be in ceremony to ask for aid in the sacred plants, and see what they are telling me to do.

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It is truly the only way I know how to best respect what they are here on Earth to do for us.

Earlier this week I had a dream.  A profound dream.  Involving dream catches and feathers, sage, drums and flutes. And something inside me called out to someone.  A friend I have not seen in over a year.  I felt compelled to tell her my visions, and sure enough, she is leading me to my first Sweat Lodge, which I now believe, is the beginning of my Shamanic Journey. I am at a crossroads once again, and this time my path is telling me to walk towards a specific road that no doubt, will be incredibly difficult, but will provide the necessary healing that I have tried so hard for 36 years to fulfill.

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I know now, this new journey will bring my total healing of all the traumas I faced as a child, a teenager, and as adult. It will also bring the necessary forgiveness I need not just for myself, whom I need to forgive, but for those in my past as well as current life, hurt me to my very core.  My journey has already begun by writing this.  I look forward to sharing with you all how it goes.  Aho.

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(Me – Ready for the Journey)

 

Imbolc – The Season of Spring!

 

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(our deck to the back gardens – a good foot of snow has already melted from last weekend)

With the harsh weather that the East Coast was dealt last weekend, much of my excitement for warmer weather went right down the tubes.  I wish I understood why Winter makes me sad enough to want to hide from the world.  But, I have hope!  This Winter has not been bad at all, compared to other years.  The last couple years we were dealt with ridiculous polar vortexes coming from the Artic. But the El Nino phenomena we are experiencing this year, I am grateful for the above normal temperatures so far, even with the blizzard.

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(Plants are still growing in the winter at Mabon House)

I have been diving knee deep into my sweet friend’s Jacqui’s video blogs on her Green Witch Herb School Series.  And as I am typing this, I am watching her Imbolc videos and then it dawned on me…

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IMBOLC IS NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!  OH MY GOD!  Samhain is coming to a close.  And one of my two favorite seasons is about to hit!

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So, if you are reading my blog for the first time, I will explain what I am talking about.

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Imbolc (pronounced IMM-MOLCK), or in Christianized meaning, Candlemas.  It is the Celtic season of Springtime.  The time where our beautiful Earth’s alarm clock starts going off, and when many of our little animals begin to be born (such as goats, sheep, deer, bunnies, etc).  And like many of us, we tend to hit the snooze.  And that’s what she will be doing.  February 1st, St Bridget’s feast day, or the Goddess Brighid’s feast day, is coming up next week.  It is the time where we begin our planning for the seasons of life.

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For me, it really is the beginning of my year.  Many men and woman celebrate the Celtic New Year on Samhain, which is October 31st.  And in a way, I agree.  Yule, or Christmas, is the first holiday of the Celtic new year, which is the welcoming back of the Sun.  And now, we are approaching Imbolc, which allows the early buds of Spring to awaken.  Crocuses, Snow Drops, Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and other early Spring flowers, will begin to crack open their bulbs and slowly and surely reach out to the light of the sun.  Right now, my beloved bulbs are under a foot and a half of snow.  So, it can be difficult to celebrate the upcoming Spring with all that white on the ground!  But, never fear, Spring WILL come!  That’s the beauty of our world.  Spring always follows Winter.  And for me, Winter is almost over.

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I am sitting here at home today, because we were running out of oil and needed to wait for the oil guy to come today.  I am watching the Green Witch Herb School as I said above, and she is teaching people how to make your own besom with witch’s (scotch) broom flowers, raffia and a piece of driftwood.  I think it is important to craft things that you can hang or show in your own home, because it really empowers the energy of the house as YOUR home.  In this case, I love besoms.  I have brooms in almost every room, and there are brooms at every doorway.  In old folklore, a broom at every door is meant to protect each and every entrance into your home.  At our Lughnasadh celebration in 2014, I had all my Circle ladies make their own broom.  It was so much fun and I look forward to doing more with my ladies this upcoming year.  Sadly, I had to make a difficult decision over the weekend regarding relationships in my life.  I know I made the right decision, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  All in the journey, I guess.  And knowing that I no longer have anything in front of me that would be keeping me from moving on in my journey, it’s almost kind of perfect that Imbolc should be the next holiday.  It’s about new beginnings.  New journeys.  New paths.

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I am currently burning sage in my family room, and the house smells AMAZING.  It’s a shame it’s so cold out, as I love to open the doors and let the fresh air in.  Hopefully this will be a different story come next month.

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Today, since I am home, I will be preparing some of my seeds to be planted in my containers.  Wait?  Isn’t it the end of January?  Yup!  But, now that I have more room, as well as areas where I CAN sprout and seed my fruits and vegetables, I want to give them a head start so they will be super strong by the time they go in end of March, beginning of April.  Baby steps…

I give myself 10 years to make this whole.  To create a self-sustaining homestead based on permaculture principals.  I want to be able to video all of my journey, but I feel especially right now, my sad emotions from the cold weather are keeping me from doing so.  I hope, like I said above, that will change come next month.

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What are YOU doing to plan for Spring?

Ideas for Celebrating Imbolc:

  • Make a St. Bridget’s Cross
  • Create your Garden Planner
  • Light lots of white and red candles
  • Make or decorate a broom
  • Have a gathering of friends to plan your spring and summer
  • Create a sacred space for ritual and meditation
  • Burn sage and smudge your house for the upcoming season

 

 

The Super Hunter Moon in Taurus!

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Today is a very powerful day for many people. This morning, The Hunter Moon (in Taurus) went into her Full Moon Completion. How many people felt this? Here are some examples that this particular Moon was affecting you:

  1. Your dreams have been extremely vivid.
  2. Your emotions have been running very high.
  3. Your shadow side has been coming out a little more (Your shadow side is the side of who you are that you rarely let people into, really only the closest people you know, even if it is just yourself, know this side of you. The shadow side can also be explained as the side of you that is darker, more mysterious. The side of you you wish you could change).
  4. You are feeling a need for freedom in your life.
  5. Your desire for change has become profound and significant in the last few days.

There are plenty more examples, but these are the big ones. See, our bodies are mostly made up of water. So, why wouldn’t our beautiful Moon not have an effect on us? If the Moon can govern the tides of the seas, what makes people think she cannot govern our bodies as well?

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This particular Moon is also a Super Moon. Third one in a row! How crazy is that???? Within the next few days, we are going to be experience a moment of completion in our seasonal year. For many people, Samhain (please see my previous blog) is the ending and beginning of the Celtic Year. This is the time of year when our gardening is done, everything is put away, and we retreat to the indoors where we feast and celebrate and hibernate for the next few months. This Moon came at a perfect time for us. This is a time to sit down and think about what we have done over the last year, and what we can now let go to what no longer serves us, and think about the new things you want to bring into your life.

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This is a time for change. For letting go of what once was. You have the power and capabilities of so much, and this is a wonderful time to make it happen. Allow these next few weeks to figure out what needs to get out of your life, so that when the NEW Moon comes to us, you can begin to plan what is going to come INTO your life. Your soul is calling out to you…Can you hear it?

Chiron is actually opposing Venus right now. In the moment of letting go, this is great time to figure out the healing aspects in your life. Remember the theory of Karma: What you put into your life is going to come back to you. So, while we are preparing for our annual hibernation, why don’t you think about what you need to forgive in your life? Who you need to forgive, who needs to forgive you?

This is a grand time for some good old fashioned self- love. To be able to look into the mirror, and say to yourself, “I love you”. If you can do that, you are on your way! If you cannot, however, then you know what then needs to be healed first: YOU.

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Take this time to go outside this evening for Her majestic Moon Rise (6:33 PM EST), and feel her vibration. Close your eyes, and imagine her pearly opal energy shining down into your body, feeding your soul. If you can tonight, light a white or silver candle in honor of the Moon. We are children of the Earth, take the time to honor our Mother!

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This is going to be an incredible night for many people, I hope you are one of them!

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Samhain and the Time of No Time…An Earth Spiritualist’s POV…

wheel_of_the_year    Today I was listening to the Starz’ Series Outlander Volume 1 and 2 Soundtrack on my computer and couldn’t help but feel a jolt of excitement.  Samhain is coming up next week, and if anyone has watched the Outlander Series, Claire’s journey begins on the feast of Samhain.  (Mind you, the book is different and shows that her journey begins on Beltane, but I kind of like this change, since Samhain is literally strewn in mystery, which is what time traveling is all about, right?)

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Samhain.  The end and yet the beginning of the Celtic New Year.  Halloween itself started about 1300 years ago in the Celtic Isles, however Samhain has been around much much longer than that.  This Holy Day, was the original holy day of obligation that many today know it as All Saints/All Souls Day.  The ORIGINAL holiday was called Samhain or Samhuinn (pronounced SAH-WHEN).

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(Samhain Ritual and Celebration at Columcille Megalith Park in Bangor, PA 2013 – Photo taken by Sean DeStephano)

So, how can I go from understanding myself as a Galactic Starseed during this Ascension process yet still can resonate with my Earthly bound needs?  Well, for me it’s quite simple.  Our souls are galactically bound to the Heavens, to our Creator.  It’s so vast and so strong and powerful, there is no denying where our souls come from. (at least in my opinion).  However, we are humans of the Earth right now, and we asked to be a part of this planet to learn the lessons our souls need right now.  And there is no doubt, no doubt, in my mind, how connected I am to Mother Earth.

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From gardening, to the Moon, to understanding my body’s wants and needs, and how this is all connected to the core of my humanness, my soul.  See, what many people don’t either understand or care to want to educate themselves on is that these Earth Spirituality faiths were the original religions.  Yes, I know it may come as a shock to many, but these “religions” came before Judiasm, before Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and so on.  What has happened today is that Jesus’ legacy was severely altered by subjecting those followers to believe that honoring the planet we walk upon should be viewed as “evil”.  Men perversed the Earth religions because it overpowered their own beliefs.  How the written word has literally been changed time and time again over thousands of years.  How sad is that????  Think about it this way:  You decide to start a company.  You begin in the trenches and work your way from the bottom.  Then, something happens…people start buying into your business.  You make enough money and some big investment firm offers you a proposition that you simply could NOT turn way.  You leave your company in the hands of those who never knew what you had to do to get where you are today.  Fast forward 5 years, and everything you originally started the company was no longer there.  The product changed.  The logo changed.  The mission statement changed.  Everything you thought of, dreamed of, was gone.  Why?  Because someone else decided they wanted to make it different.  And all it takes is a little marketing and boom….it’s a new brand.

This is precisely what happened here.  The old religions were shunned aside, making way for something different.  And I mean, come on, let’s look at Christianity.  The teachings Jesus taught.  Do you REALLY think that’s what the church stands for today?  I’m not looking for debate here, I’m not looking to insult anyone’s faith.  In fact, I love Christianity.  Well, the way it WAS, at least.  I live in a way, a Christian life.  I am kind to EVERYONE, even those who have hurt me.  I forgive.  I work hard and am humble. (at least I try to be).  I try to set a good example for my children.  I am loyal.  And I believe EVERYONE is welcome to enjoy the glories of eternal life, no matter WHAT faith you walk by.

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But see, I’m more than that.  I wish you could feel what I feel when I go outside at night and look up at the Moon.  Or when I light some incense and close my eyes and think about how I can be a better person in life.  Or a take a set of cards and lay them out, trying to find out what I need to do to work on myself.  Or when I stand in front of a table, with statues or pictures of people I love and honor, and pray to help me here in life.  Now, let me ask you:  Do I sound like a person who is evil?  Do you think I am playing with fire?  Because that’s truly what people think.    I’ve learned to let it go, no matter how much it breaks my heart.  But my love of this planet, my creator, and everyone around it is MORE important than a few people who think I am damned to eternal fires.  It just has to be this way.

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(The Moon from our deck just now)

This coming weekend I will be spending a quiet evening with a couple of people I am incredibly close to.  My next of kin outside my own blood family.  And we will be honoring those who have passed on, especially those in the last year.  I have a list of friend’s relatives, family and friends who have been asked to be put on my special intentions list, and we will be remembering them that evening.  I will call them to join us for dinner, and to stay with us in deep and spiritual meditation, reminding them how much they were loved here, and how they will never be forgotten.  In Latin communities, they call it Dia De Los Muertos.  In Christian communities, they call it All Saints/All Souls Day.  Again, let me ask you, why is it okay for those in those communities to do what I do, yet what I do is evil?  Asking people to let down their guard, as well as their egos, can be quite a challenge.  But I always welcome this conversation, because I believe everyone has a right to believe in what they believe in.  And as long as they respect me the way I respect them, we will live in more harmony.

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(Ritual of Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico)

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(Catholic Cemetery honoring All Souls Day in Bangladesh)

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(Traditional Altar honoring the ancestors at Samhain)

Samhain is a time of reflection, a time where we go into a void until the Winter Solstice, which is the beginning of Yule, the welcoming back of the sun, or in Christian communities, the Son.  I love this time of year, because it is an amazing experience to really go inward, and let go of your ego, and you realize what true humility is like.  It’s precious, and I take advantage of every moment I have in reflective solitude.

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I am going to begin doing classes for those who are interested in my path.  I look forward to helping people on their path, whether it is along my side, or on a different road.  Either way, I will always be there for those who need me.

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Another great thing about the next several weeks of being in “no time”, is in that reflection, I will find more time for my art.  My art in writing, painting, drawing, and other crafts.  If you are interested in a painting or drawing or anything of that matter, please let me know.  I have found my best work, albeit in my poetry and artwork, always comes between November and the first 3 weeks of December.  My inspiration?  The skies at Sunset.  Trust me when I say they are extraordinary.

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(December 2013 Sunset near Appalachian Mountains)

Will you be participating in anything honoring your ancestors this week?  If so, how?  I love to hear about what everyone is going to be doing.

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Photo:Copyright JOE;CONLON;ATHBOY;;;

(Photo:  Joe Conlon)

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Daily Rituals…

boho bed

So, for the last couple months I have been following a nightly ritual that I can say I have 95% been keeping up with. Around 8:15-8:30pm, I disconnect from Facebook, kiss my boys and Scott, and head back to our bedroom. Around the time this nightly ritual began, Scott and I made a conscious decision to stop fighting with ourselves and each other on the future, and just allow ourselves to enjoy the present moments. As far as we are concerned, our boys are happier and quite honestly, more behaved and relaxed since making these decisions. There is no question we don’t want to continue living the apartment life forever, but we found most of our arguments and frustrations were usually over house hunting and not having enough room. Then one day I looked around our home and so saw much dead space. I wanted to change things around, and saw we had plenty of room; we just weren’t using it correctly. Call it laziness, call it exhaustion from a long day’s work, sometimes we just want to come home and do absolutely NOTHING. And sometimes, when nothing escalates day after day, that nothing sure in fact turns into A LOT of something!

I love my nightly ritual. Once I get back into our bedroom, allowing the 3 outside to watch their wrestling on TV, I take to my Tret Fure Pandora station, a cup of tea, a magazine or my phone to keep up with my favorite blogs. By 9pm the boys are in bed, and Scott is either cleaning up or finishing up out in the living room.

Last night I was reading one of my favorite blogs called Hey Mishka, and she had a great story about morning rituals. So, it got me thinking: how many out there have these daily routines? Is it just morning or evening? Or a combination of both? In reading her blog, one woman was talking about taking her time waking up, having her cup of morning coffee, yoga, etc…which yeah, I get it, it’s nice and all, but in order for me to do yoga in the AM, I would have to get up at 4:30AM each day. Sorry, that’s not happening. My days currently are extremely long enough, and trying to concentrate on being quiet is something of a rarity, so it’s not happening during the week, at least. With two boys who each have a different approach to “waking up”, eating breakfast and getting ready in the morning, it is next to impossible to live that fairy tale of doing some walking meditation while my coffee is brewing, then off to do a 30 minute to 1 hour session of yoga. So, until I have room, time and the mental capacity to do a morning ritual, my nightly one is going to have to do.

So, what are your rituals?