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When the Heart Opens.....
sophiaheath

This is the last of the posts that had been waiting.  Thank you for your patience!  Blessings to all!
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We do our daily practices. We strive for mindfulness. We make careful choices, remembering we are gifted with the possibility of choice. We open to our Gods, our allies and guides, our deep and divine selves. And information comes.

 Where does it come from? Is it divinely inspired? Seemingly random thoughts resolve into a solid idea that didn’t exist before; what is its seed? 

 Monday I went to the chiropractor for the first time since a retreat with our teacher, T. Thorn Coyle, in Colorado. The retreat center was stunningly beautiful, a bowl in the Rockies surrounded by snow-caps. Elk and mule deer wandered at will. Chipmunks and ground squirrels poked their heads out of their homes, quick eyes darting, observation their survival. Magpies, elegantly appointed in tuxedo plumage, strutted and flew through thin air alongside the Fey attracted, perhaps, by our shiny selves.

 About three years into our work with Thorn a question came up on our list serve. When we open ourselves and information comes in, how do we know where the information comes from? Is it our own longing? Instinct? Is it truly the “voice of the Gods” or a guide? Or could it be that, by approaching our “true selves”, the work of THIS God, me, as Thorn calls it, the information coming through wears fewer and fewer filters. That we begin to have access to our own deep wisdom. That the voice of the Gods and our voices begin to merge.

 The work of the retreat, as always, brought us closer to that elusive state of self-possession we stalk. My personal work focused on opening my heart to myself, to the world, to my God, guides, teachers and allies. My sometimes aching heart becomes a teacher. Hear the wisdom it holds, heed its messages. 

 The chiropractor is a lovely woman from a multi-generational line of chiropractors. There’s nothing fancy or *new age* about her approach. Yet, she reads and treats both the physical and energetic with ease. She entered the treatment room, looked at me and said,

 “Where have you been? You are radiant, a different person than the one I saw a couple of weeks ago!”

 I thought back to the pivotal day at the retreat; a day that began too early with a disturbing dream and ended well after midnight in an open field, on my knees in drizzling rain, brought there by the pain of my heart opening and the need that turned me to my gods and allies. 

 I prayed. May I be open to the forces that seek to work through me. May I be a channel for this particular power that seeks Earth. May the gods and guardians, all the allies stay close.

 And that night I did open. And open I have stayed.

 Blessed be the ability to ground and open; the courage to ask and listen. May the diligent work of all be blessed.



Healing the Living Waters
sophiaheath
This post has been held in reserve for the past week.  The work continues.  Please join us!
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This week I experienced and participated in a remarkable undertaking. It began when a friend from my Western Mass. Community posted the following on the community list…..

 Dearest friends,
I find myself in turmoil and despair over the unfolding massive injuries to the ocean, beaches, marshes, and life force of the Gulf Coast.
I wake in fear, and sorrow.
I am wondering if others are interested in working with me over the next few nights, meeting in the ether, sending energy and magick to help with the best possible outcome to the ongoing events.
We could set a time and work, as we have done so often in the past, with the healing energy of our planet.
Anyone else want to join me?  Any auspicious times come to mind?  Astrologers?
Love,

The outpouring was tremendous. Within moments people throughout the community had responded and, with permission, had forwarded it across the globe. Among the responses were several suggestions of spells and prayers. 

 Many prayers and approaches were brought forward during the day, but the piece of spell work that caught my attention was from an animal communicator suggesting that people contact the Deva of the various species affected by the oil slick, asking that they spread the word among their own kind to vacate the area. It was also suggested that we work directly with the Deva of the oil slick itself.

 At the appointed hour I set my space and, along with many others across the globe, traveled into the ethers. I was met with a huge welling up of energies. So many souls seeking to put their minds, hearts, and skill to use for healing, I thought! 

 As for the working itself, each of the beings I invoked came. We shared a libation of clean, clear sparkling waters. And held conversation. Each Deva who came was unique, a tremendous energy force whirling through the space and then off to spread the word. There seemed to be relief that human-kind was paying attention, stretching into skills that help rather than harm. 

 As I prayed, my words took on a sing-song, chant-like quality, “move away…..moooove away…..swim off, fly to other lands, creep along the bottom…..tell your beings, tell your creatures, moooove away….move to safety….moooove away!” Rocking, holding a crystal bowl of clean water aloft, I sang for time uncounted by minutes.

 The Deva of the oil slick was a vortex, grey, surging forward, uncertain of any destination. It felt homeless, fleeing from the site of destruction itself. The suggestion that it reverse direction and return to its home deep within the Earth was met with relief. Yet the momentum was huge, engulfing all that stood between itself and forever. 

 But the call to home was also strong. 

 The following evening I found myself in a new-to-me group of women doing sacred circle dances inspired by the work at the Findhorn Community in northern Scotland. Toward the end of the evening, as my mind strayed back to working with the Deva of the oil slick, we did a dance of dipping into the Well of the Sacred and bringing back that which we found and sending it out into the world. That dance was dedicated to working with the oil slick.

The walls of the room melted. Many, many beings danced on a beach surrounded with multitudes of sparkling lights; the Fey beings working along side of us, say some. Clearly, we are not alone working towards the healing of our beloved planet. We are never alone. And, it is clear that the planet Herself chooses to be healed. Our efforts are welcome.

 The well is deep, never-ending. Possibility is inexhaustible. Join us. Dip in and pray.



Mother's Day Proclamation!
sophiaheath

 

My Friends and Readers.....
I have not posted for some time due toa glitch in mynew computer that requires I re-type every entry befor posting! As this is onerous to me, I have appeared to be silent.  Actually, I have been writing posts and now, thanks to my beloved's suggestion, am posting through her computer!  Here are several posts that have been waiting!

Blessed Be!
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When the kids were young this was a day when they planned, worked, and plotted to make Mother's Day an especially loving day. The thought was well intentioned and frequently met the mark. Many Mothers wake this morning to coffee in bed or flowers, brunches or dinner *out*, and the like. One especially lovely year early on, I was waitressing at a local Inn. When I got home, my gift was a new garden they had dug for me, what I most wanted. All I needed to do was smooth the soil and plant! I was moved to tears by this show of love.

Now the kids are grown and a phone call serves. Love shines in so many ways.

Today we honour Mother’s Day as we have for the past several years, by standing in silent vigil with Women in Black, focused on an intention of the day older than Hallmark and ecards. For it is actually a day calling for the end of war. 

 In 1870 Julia Ward Howe, a feminist and pacifist, addressing women in the aftermath of the American Civil and Franco-Prussian war, wrote this call for peace. Her belief was that women, as the Mothers of Life, have both the ability and responsibility to hold other humans accountable for their actions. 

 May all mothers remember this calling. May we bring our considerable power to bear in the minds all. May this call for peace echo throughout time and space.

 Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

So Mote It Be!

 



"You teach with your back"
sophiaheath

Some years ago a lovely woman poet with whom I sat in meditation weekly for about ten years, offered this quote.  She told me it was an old Buddhist saying.  She uses it as a reminder to herself to live honestly, from the depth of her being without the expectation of a specific outcome.  Her intention is that those who choose to can watch, using the example of her presence like a sign post as they travel their own path.  She is a dear friend and a wise soul. 
My life has moved along but I've kept her memory and her counsel.

I've always sought meaning from the details of daily life.  Were I living in medieval times I would be the one to hear a lark at dawn and expect good news.  I notice which direction an owl, hawk or raven flies and look for revelation coming from that direction.  The colour of spring's first butterfly foretells a qualilty of the season.

Living into my fullness, noticing whatever life brings as sign post, is the light towards which I walk.  Opening to meaning is my journey.  Life gifts us with diversions, roadblocks, and understandings that open and soften us along the way.  It's the way we meet these events that makes life satisfying.

Each of us teaches with our backs.  Each of us walks towards the light of our own fullness.  Each of us lives by the example of the friends and teachers we gather round. 
Take a look around your and celebrate the collection of wonderful backs you have choosen to walk among; those you follow, those who follow you.



How do we remember.....who we are?
sophiaheath

As I got dressed this morning I reached for my necklaces, the ones I wear nearly every day.  As I reached for the lapis, fresh-water pearl, and clear quartz one I spoke a silent word of Thanks to Sophia.  Gratitude for the trust of Her presence in my life.

Then I reached for my much loved triple strand goddess necklace, a gift made by my honey, and my hand stopped.  I stepped back for a metaphorical moment, breathing, and wondered, "what's stopping me?"

And the image of the moon calendar hanging between the dressing room and bathroom flashed in my mind.  Today begins the third quarter of this moon cycle.  It marks the time in each cycle when I change from the admittedly flashy necklace I love to my quieter thirteen moon necklace.  It is a time to turn inward and gift  myself with the opportunity to take stock of the intentions I have been working since the new moon and longer.

This question of remembering is a big one for me.  So much of the magic I do concerns being able to remember, when in a tight situation, who I am.   Remember the skills and tools I have gathered and practiced.  We learn and practice skilsl for their own sake, yes.  But mostly we do this work in order to live a more effective life.

How do I remember?

The answer is basic, Practice.  Our teacher, T. Thorn Coyle, starts from the very beginning of our training.  Create a "key to remembrance," she tells us.  Pick an object or action and anchor it to that-which-you-want-to-remember.  In modern culture we are conditioned to forget; taught to discard the old in favour of the bright, shiny newness being created just to tempt us.  Tempting us to get lost in forgetting.  And, in the process, we lose who we are, what we love, what we value.

A key to remembrance gives me a path back to myself.  This process of coming home to myself and remembering grows in value as I continue moving forward.  It creates a cointainer to hold me when the way gets tricky.  It's a simple structure.  One of my early keys was touching my glasses, and act I must do a hundred times an hour.  Others I know created keys in drinking water or passing through a doorway, feeling the souls of their feet.  Anything can be a key.  The key of my necklaces holds a portal to my relationship with the moon cycle, a rhythm of action and reflection.  It tells me, "now it's time to rest, take stock, give gratitude."  Gratitude first to the opportunities that have opened during this cycle; gratitude for the allies along the way; gratitude for the lessons; and, mostly, gratitude to myself for showing and doing the work.

I take another breath; place the thirteen moons around my neck and step out into the day.



Technical Difficulties, Redoux!
sophiaheath
I am sorry to say that, at the moment, I cant seem to post.  Hereès the storyTHIS time.....

Lenne 1 was replaced by Lenne 2.  We appeared to be getting along just fine.  Then I wrote to you and tried to post it here.  And the fun began! 

First I noticed that I didn't have question marks.  O.K., I thought.  No questions.  Questions appear to be part of my stock and trade.  But I can live with that, for a (very) limited time.  Then i realised that I don't have that little @, well I certainly DO have it now.  Hope that it sticks around.  It's a useful little guy in this day and age!  Now I don't have apostraphes. 
Whoops!  I found a simple setting that brought them back, the default language was mysteriously and temporarily, I might add, set to Canadian French!  Might it work with question marks?  YES!!! 
Might my solution work with my post???  Let's see!

Well, no.  That seems to be a different problem.

I'll get back to you, er.....later.
After all, technical difficulties are just that, technical.  This requires someone who is clearly more technical than I.

love.....and all that.....


On Entering
sophiaheath

Because I am embarking on a new chapter in my life, I find myself continually entering new situations. The trappings of my former life are peeled away and I am “the new kid on the block” over and over again. It has been more that 25 years since this was true, but it gives me the opportunity to look at the ways I enter. 

 Many years ago, when Lesley University was still Lesley College, I did graduate work in counseling. One course that stands out was Group Dynamics.   Structured to divide us into sub-groups, for 2/3 of each session we met as our own group. The remaining 1/3 of the time we processed the dynamics the various groups encountered. I, of course, joined the leaderless women’s consciousness-raising group. We were the cutting edge of Feminism, and we reveled in our power. Many bits and pieces of that course stayed with me but, over the years, the day all of the groups practiced Entering has been the most powerful experience of all. Here’s how it went…..

 We formed the circle. Each person took a turn leaving the room for, maybe 5 minutes, and then came back in and rejoined the group as though they were new to it. While they were out of the room, those who remained began a topic of conversation that was interrupted by the entry of the “new” person.

 Some of us burst into the room, opening the circle and jumping right in. Sometimes it was welcome; sometimes it was disruptive. Some entered slowly, checking out the scene before settling into their space. Still others found it hard to step into a place, even if the circle moved aside and opened up for them. Some were demanding; others were meek. We all learned a lot about ourselves. But we also learned how easily the group changes, how each change makes it new. It was a profound experience. 

 In my new life here in Canada, I find myself entering established groups for the first time again and again. On each occasion a corner of my mind touches back to that course. And I give myself the gift of personal space. I take a breath and consider, how will I enter? Is this a group that will easily welcome my skills and tools? Is there some underlying dynamic to throw off balance? Sometimes I find myself waiting and watching the group unfold around me, selecting when to be visible, when to fade. Other times I step up with my skills and tools at the ready. 

 The treasured memory and teachings of Group Dynamics offers me the gift of choosing how I present myself from moment to moment, always knowing who I am and what I bring. 

 Each of us holds the possibility of gifting ourselves with this awareness. What will you enter today? How will you show up for it?



A Season of Balance
sophiaheath

"This is the Balancing Time/dark meets light/all that you need/and all you desire/come tonight!" Chant shared by Beth Carlson, Great Barrington, MA.

 This chant appeared in my mind last Saturday, Spring Equinox, standing with Women in Black* in silent vigil, honoring the Turning of the Wheel. A small but intrepid group, we used to stand weekly, always in the same place at the same time. Now we pop up all over town, honoring the occasions that call to us. People seem to enjoy our random appearances supporting us with horn honking and waving, asking questions, taking pamphlets.

Thoughts of balance have been rolling around in my mind lately. A visiting Tai Chi instructor calls attention to balance as we move through the set, “step up, balance; reach out, balance; lift up, balance….”. I call upon balance during the day remembering to take breaks from work in order to play, returning to work from the breaks; balancing sedentary tasks with active ones; being outside with being indoors.

 The time of year calls to me, what is balance? What tips it one-way or the other? During walking meditation, like in Tai Chi, the attention is focused on each piece of the movement: lifting the foot; moving the foot; placing the foot; (and, finally) shifting the balance. Highlighting the minute parts of change, it is an apt metaphor for life. 

 But I struggle to make the metaphor real and bring their teaching into my daily life. My mind wants to run away, it wants to play and be lazy, it wants to read novels and make up stories, it wants to run by the river, but not the river down the street, the river as I wish I remembered it, a river of fantasy. Oh, my mind could dream all day long and never tire of it. My mind rebels against the discipline my adult self longs for. And how they struggle with each other!

 Balance, I caution them, when I take the time to notice and breathe into their struggle. There is time and space for you both. Time to wish and time to act. Yes, this IS the season of balance. 

 Blessings of Balance to us all. 

 

*Women in Black is an international movement started in 1987 when a group of Palestinian and Israeli women stood in silent vigil outside peace talks in Tel Aviv. Now groups stand all over the world in vigil for peace and/or local issues.



We AreExperiencing Technical Difficulties! Please Bear WIth Us!
sophiaheath

I wont complain or whine, although I am sorely tempted. I will attempt to describe the past three or so weeks. You be the judge!

Maybe a month ago my aged computer slowed from a crawl to a snail’s pace. I called my friendly neighborhood computer fix-it guy who had sold me this previously reliable reconditioned workhorse four or five years ago. I brought it down to his basement repair shop and as he tinkered with it, his connection arrived.

 Seriously, as I waited, chatting, a man walked in with several new computers tucked under his arm. Again and again this man appeared with armloads of new computers still in their boxes. These new computers were available. I went home and thought about it. But not for too long as my computer again slowed by degrees. 

 I went back and bought one of the shiny new computers, that came with the new Windows 7 operating system. Feeling excited and courageous I took it home and named it Lenne, short for its brand name, Lenovo.

 And then new friendly neighborhood computer guy went to the Dominican for two weeks.

Lenne hasn’t turned out as expected. But I kept at it, sorting out the new Windows 7 system, so much better than Vista, I hear. I was feeling pretty good about myself, braving the interminable phone tree to reach a human on the other side of the globe, trouble shooters for the manufacturer who talked me through registration and a couple of simple fix-its. A few days and a few malfunctions later, in desperation, I called my computer guy’s voice mail. His vacation was longer than I had thought!  But he did leave the name of an emergency fix-it guy.

A lifeline, I thought, and picked up the phone. 

 The new computer fix-it guy came to the house after only 3 calls. This was a good sign. He fixed some of the annoying bits and pieces, but the window that kept flashing, “This version of Windows may be counterfeit!” he left alone. “Perhaps it’s a virus”, he muttered under his breath aand fled.

 Now Lenne is down completely having exhausted its ability, and mine, to continue showing up in the face of what, a virus….. Perhaps! My regular computer fix-it guy will be back, tanned and relaxed next week. And my computer and I will be waiting on his doorstep. Gratitude to my partner for the part-time use of her computer to deal with emergencies!

 It is my intention to give voice to the many Soundings that have been running around my brain for the past several weeks. Please do not give up hope. Soundings of my Heart shall return, soon…..

 

 



Time and Healing
sophiaheath

Sitting deep in meditation for an undated Reiki attunement, I was transported to the time and place of my first attunement.  The room and the strong afternoon sunlight dissolved and I sat in that other room, energies swirling; dark, new, mysterious.  The experience was so visceral it was all I could do to keep my eyes close, resisting checking to see if I had, indeed, been transported back through the years.

Duh! I thought afterwards.  If I am having the same attunement of course the same energies will be present.  It affirmed the reality that Reiki energy has its own concrete and specific characteristics.  The experience also started me thinking about Time, again.  Not *time* as in I'm late for this appointment or that, although many people could tell you that I have a relaxed relationship with that type of time, but considering Time as a dimension of reality.

My experience of being in two distinct times and places simultaneously during the Reiki attunement supports my growing belief in the fluidity of Time.  Perhaps it was Einstein who, in modern times, said that time was fluid rather than linear, folding and turning in on itself, that all realities are present simultaneously.  The events of my childhood, or my kids', or my grandparents' are present right now.  They are present not only in stories passed down; they live also in unspoken memories, behaviors and attitudes.  When we, as pagans, invoke the ancestors and descendants, they come.  They come because we open to them.  Perhaps they are always there.

These thoughts form a big piece of the foundation of my commitment to personal and community healing.  Or perhaps the commitment arises as an answer to a question; what else is there to do in this lifetime?  We are born with gifts to support in work of our lives; lessons we learn and move through.  Some of these gifts we develop, others are passed down to us and through us.  It becomes clear that, when we heal ourselves, we heal both past and future, both ancestors and descendants.  Possibility opens that had not existed before,

And so we walk, ancestors and descendants by our side.  At times it seems that they lead the way.  Sometimes I am not aware of their presence at all.  And yet, when I grow into a new truth or deeper understanding there they are, my personal cheering squad.  Sometimes these are ancestors of my blood.  At other times they are ancestors of my heart, my tradition and beliefs.  Our descendants, too, are of our blood as well as those we choose and those who choose us as their inspiration.

And we continue on our paths doing, always, the best we can; surrounded with allies swirling in and out of time, grateful for those moments when we can see into the mystery we are walking.