is the initiate of the Mysteries.
He understands transformative power and
reminds us to live is to die and to die is to be reborn."
most prominent creature this month, interestingly enough, has been
vulture who was present to me consistently and in tremendous numbers.
Sitting on trees, circling above, and devouring the dead - vulture
even saw a flock of them one day on the ground -- too many to count
as I drove by. I have never seen anything like it. It was one of those
'Whoa' moments that kind of take you're your breath away! How do you
not consider vulture with that kind of impact! We often see them circling
in the air. They are a patient and opportunistic bird. If they're
circling, something is about to die or they're waiting for traffic
to clear 'cause dinner's ready. And, vulture will pick it clean down
to the bone.
my research of the bird I found that they are a symbol of renewal
-- they can often been seen sitting in the trees facing the rising
sun, wings spread wide as if to welcome or embrace the coming day.
Vulture is perhaps the original Death Eater unlike those of Harry
Potter fame, of course. In my research of the symbolic nature of the
bird I found that the Mayan believed it to be a symbol of cleansing,
renewal and transformation.
Brushing My Hair:
I get to you, Beloved,
The more I can see
It is just You and I
A knock at my door,
Who else could it be,
So I rush without
Brushing my hair.
I have begged
Is the use of vanity
At this late hour,
At this divine season,
That has now come
To my folded
If your love letters are true
I will surrender myself to
Who You keep saying
was driving alone one Saturday morning and was thinking about the
question: What needs to die? I actually asked it out loud and repeated
it. I looked to the car in front of me and to its license plate which
read: [IM 1ONE]. As if the Divine Beloved was saying, "I am 1.
Get it, Lynn? ONE." In that moment there was no 'me', there was
no 'you', there was no 'we.' There was only the sacred unity of 'I'.
I was so stunned by the message that I followed the guy into a gas
station. I told him I collected license plates and asked if I could
take a picture of his. "Sure. No problem!" He added, "I
tell people it means eleven." "Interesting," I said.
"To me it says 'I am ONE'."
license plate was a confirmation of the message I had received earlier
in the month when a fox dashed across the road in front of my car.
Fox speaks to me of a oneness unlike any other. It seems that foxes
are masters of camouflage. They blend in. While they observe everything,
they themselves are unseen... unnoticed. In the winter their coats
turn white, so, like a chameleon, they blend with the snow. In the
summer their darker coat vanishes into the undergrowth of the forest.
Complete oneness. And, as such they also speak to me of humility.
Can you blend into your surroundings and not be humble?
just the other day, I was driving and I just about had an accident
because the plate I saw said [I M PATE]. So, like "What are You
telling me now?" Right? I had to look it up. The 'pate' we are
talking about is not the delicacy one might eat, but rather 'pate'
is a Middle English term for bean, clock, dome, noggin, noodle, brain.
So what needs to die? Maybe who or what I think I am needs to change?
happens in the space that is created after all the clearing is done
is at least as important as the clearing itself. On December 8 we
celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. We heard in the gospel reading that day, the story of the Annunciation
-- the announcement from God's Messenger, Gabriel, to Mary the purpose
for which she was sent - that Mary is to conceive a son and his name
is to be Jesus. (Luke 1:26-38) His greeting to her: "Hail full
of grace, the Lord is with you." I've heard the story so many
times, yet the words "full of grace" absolutely captivated
me this year. It occurred to me that Mary was filled to the brim with
grace - completely filled up. There was no space within her that didn't
have grace in it. No cell, no molecule that wasn't filled to capacity
with grace. Once the cleaning and clearing we're doing creates space,
maybe the next step is to ask to be filled - praying to be filled
what does this all have to do with this month's mandala? Working from
the outside in:
mandala itself is very soft and flowing... like water. I chose the
colors of autumn, because it is the time of letting go. Nature shows
us not only how to let go but to go out in a blaze of glory. And yet,
I plan to revisit this in hues of blue. It seems more fitting... like
water that washes all that needs to go away -- away! As to the numbers:
outer ring holds 19 "setting suns." 19 has the energy of
the "Last Call!" and that sense of urgency I mentioned earlier.
The vibration of 19 holds perfect judgment - the judgment of God.
In the 19th Chapter of The bible we find two angels on their way to
two cities. They rescue Lot and execute God's judgment on Sodom and
Gomorrah. (Genesis 19) And, according to Ivan Panin (Verbal Inspiration
of the Bible Scientifically Demonstrated) the order of the Old Testament
books was different in the original Hebrew. If one accepts this original
order in Hebrew, the 19th Book would be Job. In this book Jonah is
told by the Lord to go and preach to the wicked city of Nineveh. They
must repent or be destroyed. It is also interesting to note that in
the Hebrew text, Jonah's name is used in the OT exactly 19 times.
(Andrew Harris) My favorite definition for repent is 'to change the
direction in which one is looking for happiness.'
next ring divides then we have a set of 24. I found things like 24
hours in a day, 24 Elders on 24 thrones as noted in the Book of Revelation;
the wheel of rebirths; double harmony of the sky and the earth; but
the symbol that resonates most with me is "a complete harmony."
is often associated in scripture with life, prosperous life, abundant
life, fruitful life. The prosperity can be in a physical or financial
sense, or in a spiritual sense. It might be representing the wealth
and prosperity acquired through diligent work or it might be the prosperity
of divine grace, a free gift.
is a Master Number, The Master Builder -- a conceiver of tremendous
plans and has the power to make them happen for the benefit of all
humanity. 22 has a need to devote themselves to something larger than
- The number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect
and harmonious unity. Think also the 12 tribes, 12 Commandments, the
12 apostles, 12 articles of the creed. In the context of the other
numbers, I see this 12 representing the followers of Christ. As far
as I'm concerned, if you live a life in love, generosity, compassion,
mercy, and justice, you belong in that number whether you have a religious
affiliation or not. Interesting to me too, that the date of the eve
of the Sagittarius New moon is 12-12-12. It feels to me as if this
date is divinely infused! The spring board of things yet to come perhaps?
rings: The number of the Son of God; if 1 is essence then 2 is existence;
at the center is the perfection of 8 and the cosmic Christ.
the end of the day, the only questions I will ask myself are...
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?"
~ Katrina Mayer
all have the potential to make the world a better place.
Do all things with love, compassion, and with self-less intention."
are all visitors to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love?
and then we return home."
~Australian Aboriginal Proverb
powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."
opens your heart. It opens your mind. It opens your soul and
turns you into the person you were meant to be
as you help another person become the person they long to become."
... yet I live, no longer I,
but Christ lives in me."
occurs to me that what we do is not as important as how we do what
we do. The key question all month as been "What needs to die"
To help us zero in on the root of the issue, we might ask "Where
and with whom do we fail, or even worse refuse to love?" During
this cycle I attended a retreat day with artist, Brother Mickey McGrath,
and spirituality author, Fr. Richard Rohr. Brother Mickey told a story
of a young mother who confessed that she was having trouble getting
her prayers in... the baby would wake up and start to cry and her
day would begin without her having completed her prayers. (Now, I
can see myself getting really frustrated in this situation and being
totally unloving because I can't do what I feel I need to do.) And
the priest's response was, "But, that is your prayer. How you
take care of your children when they cry IS your prayer."
expects but one thing of you,
and that is that you should come out of yourself
in so far as you are a created being made and
let God be God
~ Meister Eckhart
was on the way to a Funeral in early December and the question "What
needs to die?" of course, was on my mind. I keep coming back
to that license plate [IM 1ONE] and thoughts of being separate from
God and therefore from one another and all of creation. And my thought
is that our breath is God's breath. He breathes in and through us.
So when God stops breathing, our time here is done. And we do not
leave here until we have fulfilled the purpose for which we have been
sent. The most intimate of connections... pure surrender... letting
God see through our eyes, to hug with our arms, to do with our hands
to sing and speak through our voices... which in reality are all His.
The work of this year, and especially this cycle, has been to clean
and clear, to get out of the way and let God be. A complete and total
surrender... a complete and total letting go. To be so infused with
grace, that in our living, loving and dying, we give birth to God.
Hugs and Blessings,
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
December 13, 2012
"Take Christ to the World"
last few months the naming of each mandala has been nearly last minute.
As a matter of fact, I hadn't named the Scorpio New Moon Mandala when
I submitted my Journal Entry to Sandra last month. Just before she
went to publish, and in haste, I named it "No Longer I."
In truth, a mandala, or any work of art with that name, would be much
more beautiful and I think truly breathtakingly magnificent. In actuality,
a work by that name would be the end result of having completely done
the work of last month's Scorpio New Moon Mandala - the work being
cleaning, clearing, healing and letting go of whatever keeps us from
our highest expression.
friend of mine commented that my interpretation of Sandra's Scorpio
New Moon Mandala reminded her of intestines' which I found to be an
interesting observation. Her comment invited me to think about what
intestines do. They allow our bodies to absorb what nourishes us and
to carry out, as waste, what we do not need, or, in the case of toxins,
to carry out that which would do us harm. In essence, they help us
to absorb what our bodies need and facilitate the clearing out of
what needs to go. Intestines were not at all on my mind when I worked
on that mandala, but it fits! It works. In retrospect, a better name
for the Scorpio New Moon Mandala would have been something like "Cleaning
House" or "Make Way" or "Ready the Way"...
"Prepare the Way"? One might wonder what all this cleaning
and clearing is about? What is it making space for? Or, for whom is
this new room being made ready?
I first saw the Sagittarius New Moon Mandala I couldn't wait to work
on it. It could not wait. It would not wait. There was an urgency
about completing it because it spoke to me of a person, an upcoming
event and a way of life. Working this time, then, from the center
four pointed star at the center, the crux stellata or the star
cross, in my mind can belong only to one person. Though thousands
upon thousands were crucified in ancient times, the cross is inextricably
tied to Jesus, The Christ.
next figure of three (in blue) at first spoke to me of God
in the form of the Holy Trinity as triangular threes typically do.
But, the more I contemplated the shape of this particular three,(and
yes, the hood ornament of a popular car did come to mind as well ;-)
it spoke more to me of peace -- and joined at the center to the star
cross this is a peace unlike any other.
X (in white) is sometimes used as a symbol for the Christ, whose
name in Greek begins with the Greek letter X or Chi. That's why we
often see the shorthand of X-mas... X for Christ.
four fiery-red points are actually the end-points of four large,
interlocking hearts. (These hearts also create the star cross at the
center and the larger, golden, cross-like extensions of that star.)
Like a compass rose, the hearts point to the four corners of the earth
and are filled with the fire, zeal and passion of Spirit.
Christmas lights -- The eight (representing the cosmic Christ) portrayed
in this lighthearted manner represent the joy of Christ.
the twelve that were tightly wrapped around the cosmic Christ
in last month's mandala, are now filled to overflowing with the love,
the peace and the joy of Christ. Radiant and rooted in Him they reach
out to the world.
all are several rings reminding me of the "sights"
we've seen in many of this year's mandalas and again begs the question,
"What do we have in our sights this cycle?" To give added
emphasis to Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, I colored
the two center circles yellow-gold.
had shared this mandala with some friends just prior to Christmas
Day and I thank Sandra for using the first draft of it on the website
as the mandala meditation for the month. Teresa wrote to me,
reminded me of the star that must stay in our hearts all year
that led the Magi to Christ so many years ago."
I saw this mandala for the first time the text of one of my favorite
songs by Stuart Townend came immediately to mind:
love came down to earth, and made His home with men
The hopeless found a hope, the sinner found a friend.
Not to the powerful, but to the poor He came
And humble hungry hearts were satisfied again.
joy, what peace has come to us
What hope, what help, what love."
~When Love came Down to Earth
And "the twelve" in the outer ring brought this Paul Inwood
text to mind:
Christ to the world
Celebrate our faith manifest His love to all.
Take Christ to the World
Show that we are His by the way we live.
over and over the message came:
underestimate the value of a random act of kindness
as it can positively change the life of another
in ways you never imagined."
people are beautiful.
Not in looks. Not in what they say.
Just in what they are."
have [not] lived until you
have done something for someone
who can never repay you."
Facebook~ Billboard via Kennedy's Cause
darker the times, the greater the need for you to shine bright.
Connect to loving kindness and compassion and
you will be a healing presence wherever you go."
~Katie Trafford/Cruise Control
can you do to promote world peace?
Go HOME... and love your family."
"She was an everyday angle
The kind without wings.
Walking around in the world, just like you and me.
An angel, living out love.
The kind of people we could use a lot more of
Just an everyday angel."
Facebook ~ Rodney Foster
bless means to wish, unconditionally and
from the deepest chambers of your heart,
unrestricted good for others and events."
you perceive as a small act of kindness,
may actually be a HUGE act of love for another person.
Never underestimate the power of love
no matter how small it may seem."
at the movies, the message came:
believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.
That is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things,
every day deeds from ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.
Simple acts of kindness and love."
~spoken by Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit
day after Christmas, first thing in the morning, I had an appointment
to check and see how my new contacts were working out. As I was waiting
for my appointment a familiar popular song from "back in the
day" came over the airwaves. Thankfully I was the first appointment
and there was no one around. I was so caught by surprise by His message
that I burst out laughing... you just never know when, where or how
a message will come to you. There I was sitting in the waiting room
of the office and Jesus was singing to me. Yes, the voice singing
the song was Pete Townsend, but the more I listened to the words of
the song, Let My Love Open the Door, the more I knew that this
was a message coming from Jesus. I encourage you to read this, or
better yet, pull it up on YouTube
or your own copy on vinyl, cassette or 8 track if you're still able
to play them ;-) and close your eyes - hear His voice and invite the
people keep repeating that you'll never fall in love,
When everybody keeps retreating but you can?t seem to get enough,
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart.
everything feels all over, when everybody seems unkind,
I?ll give you a four leaf clover, take all the worry out of your mind.
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart... mmmmm... My love open the door...
have the only key to your heart,
I can stop you from falling apart
try today you?ll find this Way
come on and give Me a chance to say,
"Let My love open the door
It's all I'm living for.
Release yourself from misery.
There's only one thing gonna set you free...
That's My love...That's My love...
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
When tragedy befalls you
Don.t let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You.re so lucky I.m around.
My love open the door
Let My love open the door
Let My love open the door
To your heart..."
'Let My Love Open the Door' ~Pete Townsend
Having received His love by letting Him open the doors of our hearts,
we are able to truly and purely love ? to do for another without fear
or concern of cost or return of payment. The message inspired me to
random acts of kindness-- the simple ordinary things that were right
in front of me: I straightened the tie of my doctor, not because "perfectionistic
me" needed it to be straight, but because I knew he'd have a
better day if he didn't have to keep messing with it. (As I straightened
the tie he told me he was in a hurry to get to work that morning.
His tie got caught in the knot and would not lie flat.) On the way
into the office I had overheard "Mike" talking to a co-worker
about how he had spent 11 hours on Christmas day at a Care One facility
with his wife who is suffering with multiple sclerosis. On the way
out I stopped and talked to him for a bit and promised to hold them
in prayer. And that was just the first half hour of the day.
the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and their princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among brothers
To make music in the heart."
~The Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman
are many, many days I wonder why I'm on this earth. I ponder my purpose
and like the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" I wonder if my
being here really makes a difference. And then there are those moments...
those preciously profound moments when, because I am asked to use
the gifts and talents that I have been given, people are comforted
and consoled in a way that no one else in the room can or I am able
to come to the aid of an friend with a splitting headache because
there is no one else with my skill set that can help in the way that
I can help. And I come to know through those profound moments (of
truly being hit over the head with the message ;-) that my being here
makes a difference.
I connect to these overwhelmingly profound moments, it gives me a
new lens with which I can see my impact on the ordinary day-to-day
events as well. Our being here makes a difference only when we shift
our focus from ourselves -- from what we need and what's in it for
us -- and focus on the people around us. We are here for one purpose
though that purpose may take many forms. We are here to be filled
with love and to share that love with the world. Not the wide-eyed,
ooey-gooey, nostalgic or sexual kind of love, but a genuine kindness-
care-and-concern-for-others kind of love... a way of being that is
more concerned about the other rather than the self. Each of us is
endowed with gifts and talents that are meant to be shared -- and
it might be just as simple as twinkling eyes and a genuine, killer
smile that you share with everyone you meet. In the sharing of our
gifts and talents He blesses the world through us in a way that is
unique to each of us.
[Jesus] changed things. He is the single greatest agent of change
in human history. He made the lame walk, taught the simple, set
captives free, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, healed the
sick, comforted the afflicted, afflicted the comfortable, and in
all of these, captured the imagination of every generation...
first Christians intrigued the people of their time. So did the
saints, and so do ordinary people who embrace the Christian life
today. In the great majority of cases they don?t do anything spectacular.
For the most part they commit themselves to doing simple things
spectacularly well and with great love, and that intrigues people.
Whom does your life intrigue? Not with spectacular accomplishments,
but simply by the way you live, love and work."
~Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion
and Purpose by Matthew Kelly
"Jesus calls us to measure our years not in the ways of the world:
Not in terms of minutes and years, nor wealth or possessions,
But by the things of God:
in humble generosity to others,
in mercy and forgiveness joyfully given,
in holiness strived for,
in justice won
in peace realized,
in principles defended,
in beliefs lived."
~ Fr. Andrew Jamieson
"Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
No hands but yours, no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which Christ?s compassion
Is to look out to the earth,
Yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good
And yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now."
~St. Teresa of Avila
The past two days I've seen a group of twelve mourning doves... yesterday,
all together high up in a tree, and today, around the ground feeder
in the back yard. From the round, soft curves of their bodies and
their dark, sweet eyes, to the soft and comforting coo of their voices,
they are humble birds, soft and sweet. The Eastern Mourning Dove is
the state of Wisconsin's official symbol of peace and Michigan's state
bird of peace. This sighting in conjunction with the 12 of this mandala
suggests that we are to be bearers of comfort and joy in peaceful,
tender and loving ways.
suspect that for most people, Christmas is a celebration on a single
day filled with family, food and gift giving. For many Catholics and
perhaps other Christians, Christmas is a season to be celebrated and
lived. But for a rare few, Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation
of divine love -- of the coming of Emmanuel, God with us - is celebrated
every day of their lives in kind, generous, loving, caring and forgiving
ways. It is not what we do, but who we are because of Him that
makes a difference. It's the intention behind the action... not just
the doing of good deeds, but rather, the love that inspires those
deeds that blesses the world.
have done some cleaning and clearing and have made a little more room
in the inns of our hearts for the coming of the Holy One. Let His
love open the doors to our hearts that we may be filled to overflowing.
May His love, His joy and His peace abide in us so deeply and so richly
that through our love-inspired words and deeds He is made present
to the world.
Hugs and Blessings,
Capricorn New Moon Mandala
January 11, 2013
those with insight shall shine like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice, shall be like the stars forever."
When I first analyzed this mandala, I found a lot of fives (the perfect
man - got rid of his animal side) and sevens (perfect completion)
- three sets of 5 and three sets of 7... though it may appear that
there are more fives due to the mandorlas created by the interlocking
circles. A mandorla is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together,
overlapping one another to form an almond shape, here seen in light
pink and magenta in the inner circle. Mandorla is the Italian word
for almond. This symbol is also called the "Vesica Piscis."
It is known as a threshold by some and a gateway of birth for others.
It symbolizes the interaction and interdependence of opposing worlds
and forces - spirit and matter for example. Although the symbol has
its origins before the Christian era, the early Christians used the
symbol as a method to describe the coming together of heaven and earth,
between the divine and human. Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary are
often pictured in the framework of the Mandorla. In the area where
the two circles overlap sits the God-human, a place we too are called
to be, where both aspects of reality coincide and become one. This
speaks to me of the call to embody the ultimate love - divine Love.
And, the overwhelming question this cycle has been, "Am I the
best possible version of myself that I can be?"
year at this time I was writing about geese and a wonderful woman
at my parish gave me a small stuffed goose to let me know that "people
are reading what [I] write." ;-) It was such a sweet, lovely
gesture and I placed it in front of that mandala as a reminder. It's
been sitting there all year! In December, as I was clearing out the
frames in preparation for the winter quarter, I had planned to put
the goose in another location. But on the first day of this cycle,
the 12 doves from last cycle were now sightings of 12 geese. I've
been seeing them everywhere! It appears that the goose is connected
to this cycle, and I'm happy to say I'll be keeping my little goose
out for another year. Geese symbolize community, communication, bravery,
fellowship, determination, confidence, protection and loyalty. Interesting...
that, with all the five and sevens in this mandala, 5+7 = 12 (a perfect
and harmonious unit, wholeness).
colors came to me right away as well as I looked at this mandala.
The five pointed star in the middle for example, had to be blue. The
five-pointed star represents Jesus' birth and incarnation and I envision
that light burns in the heart of all who follow him. So why blue?
Because the hottest part of a flame is blue. The passion and zeal
of last month's red hearts have are now the fire of this month's five-pointed
star. Also known as the Epiphany star, this star, depending on the
source, led the three Kings, the three wise men/the three astrologers
to the place of the Christ Child. Regardless of occupation, through
this eventful seek and find The Christ was introduced to the world.
The central flower created by the five small interlocking circles,
is a pre-Columbian symbol for the 5 pointed star as well. The seven
interlocking moons had to be a pale yellow. The shape of the moon
could be either Gibbous or Disseminating. From the Zodiac Arts Moon
Phase Calendar: The Gibbous phase is a time to analyze, prepare, trust
and gather information. The Disseminating phase is a time where we
gain clarity by sharing what we've learned through awareness - it
is a time of giving back to the community. Considering the sighting
of the geese and their communal nature, and the time of year, I decided
that these were disseminating moons. Another definite color choice
was pink. The color for unconditional love had to be in there as well.
There is a sense of heaven and earth in this for me... of tangible
substance and that which is not able to be physically grasped... like
wisps of fragrant incense. In addition, as I was coloring this mandala,
it gave me the sense of the early stages of development... when the
cells are dividing. This mandala is active... and holds a call to
become something greater, something truer, more authentic . This call
to whol-iness is deeply felt. And so this month, though relatively
quiet for me, has been a time of tremendous growth. More than any
other mandala in this year of "elevation," this Capricorn
New Moon Mandala has a tremendous call to elevate... to actively embody
or manifest the love of God in the world.
say we are known by the company we keep, and since I am on a quest
to become the best version of myself, I am spending less time on Facebook
and watching television and more time at church, in prayer, taking
advantage of the sacraments, spiritual reading and offering my musical
talent to my community at morning mass. I am also enjoying The Winter
Feast for the Soul (http://www.winterfeastforthesoul.com/), an online,
40-day winter meditation retreat where many faith traditions share
their method of meditation or Centering Prayer. The Christian contemplative
track by Carl McColman is particularly good this year. In addition,
I am SO looking forward to the company of spiritual companions as
I facilitate a Center Prayer group at my parish on Wednesday mornings
during Lent. That will start on Wednesday, the 13th! I am also very
watchful of the needs of my body. Adequate sleep and food that nourishes
is also on my radar.
is better when you are happy, but,
life is best when other people are happy because of You!"
the moment of happiness,
love and be loved!
That is the only reality in the world.
All else is folly."
this Capricorn New Moon Mandala we are called to "shine like
the stars" to "proclaim the Holy One by the witness of our
lives." As we stand in the threshold, between what is and what
is yet to be revealed, may we strive to bring joy and peace into the
world. Like a lamp that is not hidden, but rather is set on a lampstand
- may we by the service of our lives truly shine with the light and
the love of Christ and give honor to His holy name.
Hugs and Blessings,
Aquarius New Moon Mandala
February 10, 2013
Peace Be With You
you are right now is the perfect place from which
to let go, learn and grow. Loosen your grip."
~FB: Gemma Stone
"One of the happiest moments ever,
is when you find the courage to finally let go -
of what you can't change."
~FB: Back Towards Light
has been springing up all over in this area of the U.S. since this
cycle began - early even for these parts. The daffodils and irises
have been peeking up out of the ground and are now about 6 - 7 inches
above ground. Though the winter birds, like the juncos (my favorite
birds) are still around, the song birds have been here for nearly
4 weeks already. The males typically arrive first to find a place
to raise their young and build a nest in preparation for the arrival
of the females. One male in particular outside my house has been giving
it "what for." Every morning I can hear him saying, "Hurry
up woman! It's cold here!" The darkness is making way for the
sunlight, which is getting brighter and staying longer. Spring is
also a traditional time of cleaning house... getting rid of the old
and making room for the new. Three days after this cycle began, Ash
Wednesday ushered in the 40 day celebration of Lent. Lent literally
means "Spring" and we are encouraged to clean our interior
houses, to clear away what no longer serves us or others ... to become
more like the people we were made to be. About Lent Thomas Keating
Lent [Jesus]... invites us to join Him in the desert and to share
His trials. The Lenten observances are designed to facilitate the
reduction of our emotional investment in the programs of early childhood.
Liberation from the entire false-self system (security/survival,
affection/esteem, power/control) is the ultimate purpose of Lent.
This process always has Easter as its goal. The primary observance
of Lent is to confront the false self. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving
are in the service of this project. As we dismantle our emotional
programs for happiness the obstacles to the risen life of Jesus
fall away, and our hearts are prepared for the infusion of divine
life at Easter."
Mystery of Christ, p. 42
the second year in a row, I associate darkness with this cycle. Last
year the fog that we often get in this area as we transition from
winter into spring invited me to consider how we find our way when
we cannot see. This year the events of my life caused me to ponder
my ability to love in the face of "darkness".
week since Ash Wednesday, I have been invited to consider in a deeper
way how well I love and how much can I endure and still chose to love.
My daughter and I attended mass Ash Wednesday evening in the presence
of a child who could not be consoled. It was an interesting exercise
to watch and observe how this inconsolable child affected the members
of the assembly and those who led prayer. Could we be with the pain
and embrace it? Or would we allow it to enter into ourselves and distract
our focus... allow it to affect our ability function? In essence,
could we be in its presence and still love? Although both my daughter
and I went home with a headache that night, I found it to be a wonderful
experience of welcoming... of being "with" and "in"
agony. What an invitation to Lent this was! Little did I know it was
a foreshadowing of things to come...
week and one day later my daughter injured her ankle at volleyball
practice. We were up into the wee hours of that Friday morning at
Children's Hospital. My daughter was diagnosed with a bad sprain and
a fractured fibula. Too tired to function, I had no choice but to
relinquish my Friday morning schedule.
following week our dog became gravely ill. I won't go into the gory
details but let us suffice it to say that when I returned home that
day my kitchen floor looked like a war zone... no exaggeration. Two
hours later I was able to get her in to see the Vet. She ended up
staying for two days having been diagnosed with a digestive disorder.
daughter... our dog... the only one left in the house was my husband
who was traveling on business the very next week. I wouldn't say I
was fretful, or terribly anxious, but I had asked friends to pray
on that Thursday and in the back of my mind I waited for the next
shoe to drop. Gratefully he arrived home safe and sound. I, however,
exhausted from the day, was in bed by 8:30. Just the thought of the
possibility of something happening wore me out.
thinking I was in the clear, the final Thursday of this cycle I had
just finished writing my first draft of this Journal Entry. As I shut
my computer down something happened... the screen turned blue (you
know the kind of blue that strikes fear in the heart...) and written
on the screen were the words: "If this is the first time you've
seen this page... " I waited for it to do its thing. Nothing
was happening so I just shut it down cold and decided to wait until
the next day to deal with the consequences. I said a prayer to the
Archangel Gabriel and went to bed. Most gratefully the computer started
up just fine the next day and I was able to retrieve the entry.
addition to the above scenarios, I have a clarity I've never had about
why I do what I do. For example, I've noticed that I get anxious on
the days my husband leaves on his business trips. I also have trouble
if the weather is particularly bad on the day he returns. Recognizing
this propensity, this past week as I drove home from the airport,
I said a little prayer, "If it be Your will, Lord, keep him safe.
Regardless of the outcome, I know that You are with me always and
will never leave me to face my perils alone." Having detached
myself from every possible outcome and having put everything in the
hands of God, I can say with absolute certainty that Monday was a
particularly good day.
or Unbidden, God is present."
~ Carl Jung
this is what Sandra's Aquarius New Moon Mandala says to me:
again, we have a "sight" in this mandala which asks, "What
are you looking at? What's your focal point?"
the outer layer we have three (divine), large, ovals (seeds/eggs)
in which each is held a diamond shape (in the most simplistic terms
which truly does not do it justice, the diamond is a Native American
symbol for wind and creation. Interesting to note that in the book
of Psalms, 104:3 it is written that "God rides the wings of the
wind.") Over the top of these shapes are six (imperfect man -
still with his passions) interlocking ovals. Last spring you might
remember, I awoke with this feeling of elevation... "like a divine
infusion intended to elevate everything and everyone was on its way."
The cell division from the last cycle continues. Taking these symbols
together they say to me that God is busy and on the move. Something's
cooking... and we - you and I - are the reason for the activity.
the center of the sight are six shapes:
A circle, the center of our sighting device which frames
A six sided figure formed by the overlapping of the 3 large diamonds
in the outer layer
next figure reminds me of the four interlocking hearts from the
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala - Take Christ to the World - reminding
us to love and to be love in the world.
a circle (one, unity, God) - barely seen, but there, on which rests
interlocking squares. They remind me of a quilt pattern called "Card
Trick." You may recall that a square can symbolize the earth.
Placed in this fashion, it says the ground is shaky... uncertain...
like shifting sand.
on top of the shifting earth is a six pointed star. If this were
a stick figure it would represent fixed stars like the Pole star.
It is also reminiscent of Chi Rho, the early Greek symbol for the
Also central to this mandala the three diamonds create a large peace
sign. In Psalm 23 it reads, The Good Shepherd "leads me beside
still waters." Water is often a symbol for the mind. So this
peace... this place of still waters, is a quiet and peaceful mind
focused on Him.
is only as far away as we place Him and never as far away as we think.
For it is in Him that we live, move and have our being."
~ Mustard Seeds
Today, God is First."
might think that this was a bad month for me. I can happily report
that it has been far from that! In addition to the challenging occurrences
reported above, I have been actively cultivating what I believe to
be the most important relationship anyone can cultivate - my relationship
with God. Through participation at daily mass and various scripture-based
prayer practices, along with Centering Prayer and service to my community,
this time spent surrendering to the presence and action of God within
has been my saving grace and my sanity through all of the insanity.
past weekend, we heard the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:
1-3, 11-32). In his homily on this very familiar story, Fr. Andrew
recognize ourselves and those we know, in the son who leaves, the
son who stays, and the father who rejoices in the prodigal's return.
as much as this parable tells us about ourselves, I think it also
tells us more about our heavenly Father - something we often miss
in this story, but something we desperately need to hear.
comes in the middle of the parable at the point when the son has
decided to return home. He begins the journey back to his father.
And there, almost as a passing thought, Luke inserts this beautiful
and beautifully revealing sentence: "While he was still a long
way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion."
Luke tells us the father then ran to his son, embraced him and kissed
him. That brief moment is a revelation. The father didn't wait for
his son to make it all the way home. He didn't wait for him to set
foot in his house. When he saw his son, and recognized him, he could
not contain himself. He ran to meet him and took him in his arms.
What love this father must have had for his child. And what love
our heavenly Father must have for us."
matter how far we are from him, no matter the mistakes we've made,
the despair we've held in our hearts, no matter the distance...
God waits for us. God looks for us. God longs for us. We may be
only a pinpoint on the horizon but that is enough. We may be so
far removed from God that He can barely see us - but even that is
enough. For when He sees us making our way home, His heart is stirred.
He sees us coming back to Him and how does He respond? God runs!
He doesn't hesitate. He doesn't hold back. He doesn't wait for us
to complete the journey we have begun. He goes to us, and meets
us, and completes the journey for us."
seems that it is not only God that is on the move, but in this mandala
we, too, are invited to move toward God. As we continue this journey
of elevation, and as we encounter the darkness within and without,
this mandala encourages us, no matter what occurs - no matter how
shaky the ground underneath us - to be ever mindful of how greatly
we are loved and in turn to infuse every situation we encounter with
love; to keep our eyes fixed on the Christ, the Light of the World,
who leads us by the right path, will never leave us to face our perils
alone and bestows on us a peace unlike any we have ever known.
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
Pisces New Moon Mandala
March 11, 2013
"No longer I, but Christ lives in me."
calls me to be one with God."
Active Prayer Sentence, March 13-20
From The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living
What a cycle! And SO tied to the previous one that I couldn't wait
to get my hands on the new mandala... the blooming of new life, a
resurrected life, a Christ-centered life. Within days of receiving
the template my initial thoughts were set down in color and sent to
back to Sandra. I have revisited it with little variation as seen
above. SO much to tell this cycle, but for the sake of brevity, only
the outer ring:
30: a readiness to witness; in varying sizes and densities representing
men, women, children;
In the center:
A set of 12 in the form of four sets of three - the manifestation
of God to the four corners of the world;
And the Stella Crucis or Star Cross which you might remember from
the Sagittarius New Moon Mandala at Christmastime, much larger now...
radiant and radiating!
you are what you are meant to be you will set the world on fire."
~St. Catherine of Siena
to be the you that you truly want to be.
Sometimes it's not more information we need,
but more courage."
forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God's upward calling,
in Christ Jesus."
first day of Spring arrived within eleven days of the start of this
cycle. Last year I remember waking up with such excitement... you
may recall I wrote that it felt as if a breath of fresh air was being
breathed into all of creation... that the Spirit was infusing and
elevating everything. This Spring, however, was such a contrast. I
awoke with such an ominous feeling. And, I would describe it in this
way: If each of us were a field, we spent the past year cleaning and
clearing debris, small rocks, twigs... the easy stuff... the obvious
things that are light and easier to take care of (though many cycles
were quite trying. I personally remember the double Gemini cycles...
a serious time of clearing!) In comparison, this spring all that is
left to clear out are the deeply rooted tree stumps and large boulders...
those deeply ingrained attitudes, habits and behaviors of a lifetime
that hold us back and keep us from being the people we were created
to be. Having struggled a lifetime with a couple of these "deeply
rooted tree stumps," the thought of tackling them once and for
all was perhaps why I was feeling so... ominous.
are a human being. You have a body and a soul.
The two are inseparable until death.
The body, as we know it now, is temporal, but the soul is eternal.
What is eternal should lead and reign over that which is temporal."
- Mustard Seeds
you have been called to live in freedom
- not free to satisfy your sinful nature,
but to serve one another in love."
~ Galations 5:13
I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11
are endless possibilities for practicing mortification."
- Mustard Seeds
sense, doesn't it? That which "is eternal should lead and reign
over that which is temporal." And yet it is so challenging to
live that! One of the words that came across my path this month as
we were nearing the spring equinox was mortification. The Lenten practices
of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are ways of practicing mortification:
of the methods which Christian asceticism employs in training the
soul to virtuous and holy living. The term originated with St. Paul,
who traces an instructive analogy between Christ dying to a mortal
and rising to an immortal life, and His followers who renounce their
past life of sin and rise through grace to a new life of holiness.
"If you live after the flesh", says the apostle, "you
shall die, but if through the spirit you mortify the deeds of the
flesh, you shall live" (Romans 8:13; cf. also Colossians 3:5,
and Galatians 5:24). From this original use of the term, we see
that mortification, though under one aspect it is a law of death,
under another and more fundamental aspect it is a law of life, and
does not destroy but elevates nature. What it slays is the disease
of the soul, and by slaying this it restores and invigorates the
soul's true life." ~ Catholic Encyclopedia
And that is how I began to see my Lenten practices... through the
eyes of choosing life (elevating) instead of death and deprivation
(destruction.) It occurs to me that proper diet and exercise can be
construed as a mild form of mortification... . As I mentioned earlier,
I was not looking forward to tackling my tree stumps and boulders,
but on April 1st - the day after Easter - the energy shifted. I woke
up and the struggle of the past year was gone. It was a new day in
many ways... even hopeful! I started exercising again and choosing
more nutritious foods more often. This lifestyle change required little
effort from me for a change... everything just began to flow.
"God bestows His wisdom upon men and women in the classroom of
May silence become a great friend of yours."
- Mustard Seeds
you allow your soul to be saturated with grace through prayer,
the sacraments, and a constant effort to remain united to God throughout
then you will begin to live your ordinary life divinely.
~ Mustard Seeds
not be content in showing friendship in words alone,
let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your
justly, love mercy, walk justly."
~ FB/the Attitude of Gratitude
My favorite image of Lent came in the form of a tethered colt on Passion
Sunday. In the processional Gospel for that day, Luke tells of a colt
that is tethered, untied and then carries Jesus into Jerusalem. I
could easily put myself in the picture as the colt... bound, untied
and then called into service by being the vehicle of Christ in the
world. No matter what we find, no matter what comes across our path,
no matter how we are received or treated, we are called to be bearers
of the Christ in a world so in need of Good News.
are like fireflies with the light of God in us.
Share that light with the world!"
make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
~St. Francis of Assisi
says I'm the language that unites all,
I speak to your souls
Listen to Me and accept me
I will make you whole and beautiful."
will direct your steps."
I know for sure... align with God and you will be shown the way, guided
and directed in every step. I have talked to God my whole life. I
have listened for His answers my whole life. He has never steered
had a very pleasant surprise this spring. Those who know me know that
I AM NOT KNOWN for my green thumb. I am lucky to get a couple of flowers
on my Christmas cactus at Christmastime. However, the plant is flowering
again - the week after Easter! Not only my plant, but several friends
and relatives have reported the same occurrence. This springtime blooming
is unique even for their plants. At first I was puzzled and then realized...
of course! At Christmas Christ is "reborn" in the hearts
of His believers. At Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
It is, indeed, a time of renewal... . A time of new life. Having died
to our selves, we, as this mandala suggests, rise with Christ and
live in Him alone - to be a life affirming, loving, compassionate
people... a people of service, a Resurrection people, filled to overflowing
with the Spirit and the love of the Lord.
the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit."
John 20: 21-22
Hugs and Blessings,
Aries New Moon Mandala
April 10, 2013
"See As God Sees."
so much to share this month, but I'm feeling that if you've followed
me for a while you how this works for me. You know that I look at
life symbolically... looking for divine messages in the ordinary,
everyday occurrences of my life... keeping my eyes open and drawing
everything in: looking... questioning... what does it mean? What is
the significance? What is God saying? Funny, eleven years ago I stared
blankly at pieces of paper... and now the cup overflows.
colors associated with Aries are red, white, gold and deep blue. And
with all the hearts in this mandala, variations of red just felt right.
I liked the use of gold also as it represents the Sun, and God-like
outermost ring is decorated with 30 shapes, which remind me of the
warming rays of the Sun... 30 representing perfect balance in the
cosmic organization; the maturity of a crop; a maturity and a readiness
to witness; also 30 degrees within each astrological sign. ~ridingthebeast.com
the circle six shapes, similar to the out-lying shapes, point outward
- Keywords for the constructive meaning of Six: Love, Harmony, Home,
Responsibility, Adjustment, Sympathy, Understanding, Domesticity,
Guardianship, Stability, Poise, Protection, Healing, Firmness, Balance,
Idealism, Conscientiousness, Justice, Burden-bearing, Service to mankind.
~Your Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell
symbol for Aries is related to the heart. Sandra has chosen to overlap
21 hearts in this mandala in three sets of seven. The first set of
seven hearts lie sideways creating the baste of the "nest."
The remaining two sets point out to suggest an outward movement of
love. This love is not a given... but rather is "worked at."
This is not a self-centered or narcissistic love, but a love of and
for others. It also has a Trinitarian feel to it for me... God (3
-the Trinity) working in and through creation (7)
Circles: Constructive Keywords for Eight: Power, Authority, Success,
Material freedom, Judgment, Discrimination, Executive ability, Organization,
Leadership, Management, Practicality, Thoroughness, Dependability,
Self-reliance, Control, the Power to succeed. There is also for me
a "never give up" quality to the number eight. ~Your
Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell
of the circles seem to be connected to cross bars of a "sight"
which was a reoccurring symbol last year. The focus of this mandala
however, is the eye which sees. And for me not just any eye, but an
eye that sees through the lens of divine wisdom.
crescent moons help create the iris of the eye. Astrologers use the
symbol of the crescent moon to signify a complex of psychological
factors. While the sun represents the infinite creative energy that
is available to the individual, the moon's function is to give form
to this energy and help realize its potential. For this reason in
astrology symbolizes man's sensitiveness and impressionability, the
instincts, the subconscious, the emotions, and the ability to react.
The key word is personality, the inner individual's outer shell that
is continually formed and changed by what he or she experiences. (
symbol at the center goes by many names: wheel cross, sun cross, Odin's
cross or Woden's cross. Nordic Odin and Teutonic Wuotan or Woden was
the supreme god of the Nordic religion before Christianity. Odin was
the god of art, culture, warfare and the dead. (If you've been
watching the new show 'Vikings' you've been hearing a lot about Odin.)
As has been its custom the Christian Church has included this ancient
pagan sign among the crosses of its symbolism. It is also known as
the gamma cross, the Roman Catholic cross, the consecration cross
and the inauguration cross. At the inauguration of a church, the bishop,
using blessed water or oil, draws the wheel cross at 12 different
places on the church walls. It is often used as a halo in art, i.e.
the spiritual power of energy that holy persons emanate, is associated
with its original meaning as a sign of power. ( ~from symbols.com)
You may remember last cycle, on the first day of Spring I was feeling
quite ominous about the year ahead... which was such a contrast to
the previous spring. The day after Easter this year (April 1, 2013)
things that I typically struggled with were moving so effortlessly...
so easily... life just flowed. To my surprise, on the first day of
this cycle on the way home from morning mass, this was in my
And, I nearly missed the message... scrambling for my phone I got
this shot just before it turned off the road and onto the field. For
those not familiar with farm equipment, this is known as a disc plow
(also spelled plough), disc harrow or in my younger years it was known
to me as a discer. I don't know if anyone else calls it that (those
who know me know that I tend to make up my own vocabulary ;-) but
that's what I remember. Anyway... by most standards this is one GI-NORMOUS
disc plow! (Gigantic + Enormous) There was some SERIOUS tilling to
be done. Disc plows are ideal for deep plowing and are typically the
first piece of equipment to cultivate a field in the spring - to begin
the process of preparing the soil to be planted with a crop of some
kind. It is used to turn and break up the soil to dry it out, to bury
crop residues, which will be used as compost for the new crop, and
to help control weeds. (LOTS of symbolism that can be applied to a
life in this alone!) Could God have been any more clear? By this He
was telling me, "Don't worry honey... the cleaning and clearing
is done. The ground is ready. It's already time to plow and prepare
the soil for the planting of the new crop. " What a relief! And
so this cycle began.
were born with the ability to change someone's life - don't waste
~ FB/TGIF-Today God is First
3 things can change our lives, dreams, suffering and love."
beautify this world we must carry out experiments in Love."
fruit of having spent so much time in prayer during those 40 days
of Lent sustained me for 22 days after Easter. Now I've heard that
it only takes 21 days to create a new habit - and for those first
22 days of Easter there were no struggles in my life - everything
just flowed. But, I found that over the course of those 22 days, the
further away I got from Lent, the more challenged I was to find or
make time for prayer and spiritual reading. The less time I spent
in prayer, the more I began to struggle... until the 23rd day when
the floor fell out and I was in a free-fall... un-hinged... and feeling
not at all like myself - or not at least like the self I'd like to
be. Three days later, I followed a car with the license plate that
said [CLOSUR]. The car was completely eluding me - often changing
lanes. I couldn't get a decent picture so you're going to have to
take my word for it. Like that car, something in my life that would
help me gain closure and be at peace was eluding me.
because someone has their eyes closed does not mean they are asleep.
Just because someone has their eyes open does not mean they can see."
- Mustard Seeds
watchful-the grace of God appears suddenly.
It comes without warning to an open heart... "
all live lives of contemplation. The question is what do you contemplate?
Is it the riches of the world, or women walking by in the street?
Is it fame and power?
Or, is it the wonders of God, His creation,
and His spiritual gifts to humanity?"
- Mustard Seeds
am with you always..."
~the Gospel of Matthew 28:20
of our birds and animals have returned after their winter hibernation
or migration. The twin groundhogs from last May have survived the
winter and are regularly coming to the ground feeder with one of their
parents - I presume their mother. The Juncos have returned north for
the summer and to my son's dismay the mourning doves have returned
and have once again nested in the tree in the front of our house.
The nest is very easily seen through two windows - one of which is
just outside my son's bedroom window - hence his dismay. Again this
year, two eggs were laid, have hatched and both squabs, as they are
called, though blind and covered with down are faring well as of this
writing. Both parents tend to the needs of the two. One or the other
is ALWAYS seen sitting on the nest keeping the young ones warm, safe
from predators and sating their voracious hunger. Unlike most birds
that feed seeds, insects or worms to their young, these birds feed
their little ones a milky substance, called Pigeon's Milk. It is produced
in the crop, located in the throat. It's quite something to watch.
The head of the squab literally enters the throat of the parent as
if it is being swallowed up. The image of playing hide and seek with
young children comes to mind. If they can't see you then they think
they are well hidden even though the rest of their body is in plain
view. With this image in mind, I think of these young squabs believing
they are totally surrounded and engulfed by the parent. Now as I said,
one of the parents is always with the young, protecting them, keeping
them warm and if this is all that happens the squabs will surely die.
At some point the young ones need to reach toward the parent to be
fed - to be nurtured in a life-sustaining way. Another image that
comes to mind is an electrical gadget. It's useless... no good unless
it's plugged into the current!
wants full custody. Not just weekend visits."
~FB/TGIF via my cousin Mark
into the heart of love,
and come from that place in all your choices and decisions,
and you will find peace."
~FB Neal Donald Walsh via E
is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."
~ 1 John 4:4
What I have learned from my own experience this spring is that the
type of crop that is planted this spring will depend on my choices.
If I want to live a happy, joy-filled life and continue to grow in
the direction of my authentic self, the true Self... spending time
with God through spiritual reading and ongoing, daily prayer is crucial.
And, not the laundry list kind of prayer where I do all the talking
and tell God all my troubles - though there is a time and place for
that form of prayer as well. But, rather, what is needed is a type
of prayer like Centering Prayer where I sit, open and receptive like
a newly plowed field and listen to the One who is wiser, more knowledgeable
and then to rest in God... in the quiet... in the silence where God
is best heard -not unlike the quiet of that freshly plowed field in
the early morning... a field in hopeful waiting of the good things
the ability to say everything without saying anything.
Action is the loudest voice.
- Mustard Seeds
spent the last year "elevating" the challenge of this year
then as I sense it... as I see it, is, in the words of Pope Francis,
"to allow Christ to take possession of our lives and transform
them." It is not enough to be aware of the presence of God. We,
too, must do our part, plug in daily and stay connected. Like that
newly hatched and blind squab reaching for nourishment from its parents,
we, too, turn to the Ultimate Reality in blind faith to be fed and
spiritually nourished - joined in sacred oneness - to be transformed
in love through love. Then and only then, can we truly see through
eyes of our hearts. Then and only then, are we free enough to love
as God loves and to see as God sees.
Hugs and Blessings,
Taurus New Moon Mandala
May 9, 2013
"This Little Light"
is a morning inside you waiting to burst into light."
is my third time "around the wheel" as they say, paying
extra attention, making notes, connecting dots... and I'm beginning
to see consistency in theme from cycle to cycle yet variation in how
the themes are manifested. Again this year, I associate this cycle
with labor pains. So often, pain is necessary to facilitate growth
as we let go of the former to give birth to something new.
day before the Taurus New Moon I was greeted by the license plate
above. The "labor pains" had already begun and the AAH of
this plate spoke to my soul! "Aah" is the sigh of peace,
contentment, detachment. But what of the F46? Well....4+6 = 10 which
I would find to be a prominent number in Sandra's Taurus New Moon
Mandala template which had not yet arrived. Ten (1+0) is a one at
a higher level... 'round the wheel and up we go! 'Living at a higher
frequency' came to mind. And for the 'F' "faith' popped into
mind. In retrospect, having now lived the month, I can say the word
was spot on!! Talk about "a sign' ...Uffda!!! And so the cycle
are here to be light,
bringing out the God-colors in the world.
MT5:14/The Message ~walking in Spirit
theme of this mandala appears to be light... a radiating light that
sets the world on end though something or someone may want to hide
the light! Colors associated with Taurus are dark shades of yellows,
creamy whites, pinks, and blues.
circles are found in this mandala. I was given a gift a couple of
years ago for my birthday... 365 candles - one for each day of the
coming year. Every night, I would light one of the candles on which
was inscribed a "wish" ...truly a blessing for me. To this
day it is one of my very favorite gifts - EVER!!! In the summer months
the ceiling fan would blow the candle out so I ended up purchasing
a globe to protect the flame. The light shining through the globe
cast shadows on the ceiling... as if radiating light into the darkness
- into the dark corners of the room. These soft, radiating rings were
the inspiration for this mandala.
The number of the Cosmic Christ. Constructive Keywords for Eight:
Power, Authority, Success, Material freedom, Judgment, Discrimination,
Executive ability, Organization, Leadership, Management, Practicality,
Thoroughness, Dependability, Self-reliance, Control, the Power to
succeed. ~Your Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell, M.A.
Also, in musical terms eight is an octave.
squares: A square can be a symbol for the earth - the four corners
thereof, ...also stability, security, accountability, ready to build.
~Bro. Mickey McGrath, Circles and Squares Workshop.
of the squares is set on end... as if the earth has shifted. To me
it signifies upheaval and tremendous change. This "light"
has the power to shift that which is solid, firm, foundational and
stand it on its end. Instead of aligning with things of the world,
then, we are now asked to align with the things of heaven or Spirit.
I chose blue for this square for its higher vibration and the symbolism
5-pointed star is encased in a ten-sided pentagram and encircled....
suggesting an inner light - as if we're peering through a lens to
see the light within.
of this "lens" are 10-rays of light - 5 of which are under
what appears to me to be "bushel baskets" - as if the light
within is being hidden or restricted either by our choosing or by
sum of 5+5 represents the two opposite current directions of the conscience:
involution and evolution. ~ ridingthebeast.com
is the lower becoming the higher, following an ascending octave.
is the higher determining or creating the lower, following a descending
found this to be an interesting concept... evolution and involution...
It seems to me to be the dance of co-creation.
at the center of the 5 pointed star and connecting not to the square,
but to the 5th circle, we find 12 facets or 12 rays... twelve being
the number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and
harmonious unit. To me says wholeness. It also has the feel of 3x4
- of manifesting the Trinity to the four corners of the horizon (~Ridgingthebeast.com)
... and in this case, beyond the edges to: FIVE.
Keywords for Five: Freedom, Progress, Versatility, Understanding,
Variety, Adaptability, Mental Curiosity, Life Experience, Cleverness,
Un-attachment, Sociability, Change, Discard, Travel, Adventure, Companionability.
~Your Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell, M.A.
holiness is the beginning of everything and
the answer to everything.
- Mustard Seeds
...the spiritual journey is more than a psychological process. It
is of course primarily a process of grace. God also speaks to us
through nature. The more we know about nature, the more we know
about the mind of God." ~Fr. Thomas Keating, The Human Condition
same day I saw the license plate, three mallard ducks, one hen and
13 chicks caught my attention in a pond outside our church. The symbolism
of duck became increasingly poignant to me in this cycle:
duck, being at home on land, water or in the air, symbolizes the balance
between the physical, emotional and spiritual worlds that can only
come when we freely express ourselves. To the Celts the duck was a
powerful totem and a trusted ally on visionary journeys.
along with geese share the same symbolism of transition due to their
migratory nature. Ducks are also a Celtic animal symbol of honesty,
simplicity and resourcefulness.
Ducks also represent sensitivity, as they tend to be very sensitive
to their surroundings. Also viewed as graceful and agile - particularly
in the water, ducks are respected for their beauty and adaptation
are the largest and most diverse group of waterfowl. Frequently males
and females are colored differently, the males have brighter plumes,
and have different vocal sounds. They prefer being in places where
they are comfortable and will return to those places. They have a
strong sense of community and are social.
will remind us we sometimes need to return to the parts of ourselves
that need to feel safe and comfortable. It also teaches us to be graceful
when handling our emotions. Duck teaches us to drink sustenance from
the waters of life.
and Male Behavior
Female Duck is a very protective mother, attending to her brood and
teaching the young to swim and search for food. We can invoke female
Duck for nurturing, mothering energy.
Once a year male Duck loses his bright plumage and is unable to fly.
At this time he silently hides in the reeds and plants that grow near
the water until he emerges able to fly once again. Male Duck is invoked
for the medicine wisdom to go within, withdraw and be silent when
we go through difficult transitions and stressful changes."
were so many great quotes this month:
was not having a bad day when He created you.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made."
~ Psalm 139:14 Spiritual inspiration via TGIF: Today God Is First
matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress
you are way ahead of everyone who isn't trying."
~ Unknown via TGIF
your chin up.
No one expected you to save the world...
otherwise you would have been born wearing a cape and tights.
Just do the best you can."
defeats in the eyes of the world are so often your victories in the
eyes of God.
~ Mustard Seeds
it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.
~ Proverbs 20:30 HomeGrownHospitality viaTGIF
whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience but shouts in our pains:
(Pain) is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
~ CF Lewis via TGIF
is painful. Forgetting is painful.
But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.
~ Paulo Coehlho
ego says, "I shouldn't have to suffer."
And that thought makes you suffer so much more.
It is a distortion of the truth which is always paradoxical.
The truth is, you need to say yes to suffering
before you can transcend it.
~ Elkhart Tolle via Walking in Spirit
you are experiencing trials or troubles in your life, remember
everything in life, no matter how bad, comes to an end.
- Mustard Seeds
when things are falling apart,
they are actually falling onto place."
~ Melanie Blinkley
is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen."
is a difference between the human silence of embarrassment or shame
the divine silence in which love finds its rest.
You must attain the latter.
~ Mustard Seeds
people gathering for all sorts of reasons in great crowds
society has almost been convinced of the overabundance of people.
We have forgotten how to appreciate and reverence
the wonderful treasure, the pearl, within each person.
~ Mustard Seeds
"being" of something changeable is not only what it actually
but what it still can be.
Our potential as human beings is enormous,
but relatively unexplored.
~ Mustard Seeds
is Light! Christ!"
~ Eph 5:14 via TGIF
Lord is my light. The Lord is my help.
The Lord is my salvation."
are my lamp O Lord. The Lord turns my darkness into light."
~ 2Samuel 22:29 via FB/Array of Hope
be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self, created in God's way
in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth,
each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
~ Eph 4:23-25
compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it.
What appears as bad manners, or ill temper or cynicism is always
a sign of things no ears have heard, no eye has seen.
You do not know what wars are going on down there
where spirit meets the bone."
~ FB/Miller Williams via Tosha Silver
fixing and serving
represent three different ways of seeing life.
When you help you see life as weak.
When you fix you see life as broken.
When you serve, you see life as whole.
Helping and fixing could be the work of the ego,
and service the work of the soul."
~Rachel Naomi Remen from A Time for Listening and Caring
ultimate abandonment of one's role is not to have a self as a fixed
point of reference; it is the freedom to manifest God through one's
own uniqueness...To be no one is to be everyone. To be no self is
to be the True Self. To be nothing is to be everything. In a sense,
it is to be God. For Christians, it is to be a kind of fifth Gospel:
to become the word of God and to manifest God rather than the false
self, with its emotional programs for happiness and attachments to
various roles, including the most spiritual. When you have been liberated
from them all, you are in a space that is both empty of self and full
of God." ~Fr. Thomas Keating, The Human Condition
is a Song... sing it.
Love is a Gift... bring it.
Love is a Wave... ride it.
Love is a Choice... decide it.
is a Blessing... share it.
Love is a Garment... wear it.
Love is a Gem... mine it.
Love is a Light... shine it. "
~JSB via Walking in Spirit
finally my very favorite prayer from this cycle, Becoming Christ
by John Henry Newman:
Lord, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul
with Your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being
so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours. Shine
through me, and be so in me that every person I come in contact
with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see
no longer me, but only You, O Lord! Stay with me, then I shall begin
to shine as You do; so to shine as to be a light to others. The
light, O Lord, will be all from You; none of it will be mine; it
will be You shining on others through me. Let me thus praise You
in the way You love best, by shining on those around me. Let me
preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by
the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the
evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You. Amen."
the experiences of this cycle I became ever more painfully aware of
the need to be like candlelight and tread ever so gently, every so
lightly in this plane... to not take things (including myself) too
seriously, and because I do not live in a vaccum it is important to
consider, not just my own needs, but the needs of others when making
decisions and that when expressing myself, it is important to stay
grounded in love as if one were speaking to Christ. I learned that
what must be said will not always be accepted - will not always fall
on open ears and hearts. And, as in the spring, for things to grow
a little rain must fall. Tears can be very therapeutic. At times such
as these the company of good friends is a treasure beyond compare.
good way to handle the rough and tough stuff, is to lift it into the
Light... give it 100% to Abba/the Divine Beloved where, as Tosha Silver
would say, "the perfect solution is already selected." God
truly does answer prayers... though not always to our liking. I believe
that God has three answers for us: "Yes," "Not now,"
or "I have something better in mind." So we lift it up and
in the letting go of outcomes we are guided to the solutions in the
perfect way at the perfect time. The key is to be open... to let go...
to have faith and be one that can be guided.
and more the Light calls me into the silence... into the prayer of
quiet. In this type of prayer the Divine Physician works in secret
to shine light on our darkness... excavating our false self system
with its emotional programs for happiness - transforming us into an
ever increasingly loving, compassionate, merciful, and benevolent
people. And here's the paradox: When we live in this "little
way" ...this way of loving kindness... the light of Christ shines
- a light that shatters the darkness. As the spring rains soften the
earth, so the light of Christ softens hearts. Through our kind and
gentle ways we bear witness to His not so little light dwelling within
us and in each other. Let Him shine, let Him shine! Let Him shine!
Hugs and Blessings,
Gemini New Moon Mandala
June 8, 2013
often the significance of an event is only understood after the fact...
with the passing of time as if seen through the rear view mirror so
to speak. Two days before this cycle began, a rooster made his presence
known. Rooster is a sign of illumination - the herald of the dawn...
of a new day... It is also about fanning out with brilliance, and
showing the world the shimmering facets of your personality. This
speaks to me of truly being you. Not the 'you' others want you to
be - which is you in camouflage to fit in - or the 'you' you think
others want you to be - you hiding under a mask of your own making
- but, being authentically 'you' and sharing the gifts that you uniquely
bring to this world. I am reminded of a lyric to a song that I am
rehearsing as I write this: 'Will you love the you you hide if I but
call your name?' Are we hiding? From whom? And, why?
like pride, honesty, courage, vigilance, arrogance, strength, watchfulness
and flamboyance are also connected to Rooster. Perhaps the courage,
honesty, and, yes, pride to be who we truly are without apology?!
If flamboyance is your thing, then rock it - don't hold back! Or is
there some arrogance found within that that could use a dose of humility?
Or perhaps your timidity could use a shot of arrogance and strength
to be able stand in your own power - in your own way of being? What
in our lives needs the watchfulness of vigilance? With this herald,
this cycle began...
colors associated with Gemini are lemon yellow, slate blue, and various
shades of violet. The color of the spectrum is orange.
concentric rings of the past mandalas now have an angle to them...
seven sides. Three sets of seven. It's not soft, round and fluid like
the previous mandalas but moving outward in a Yang-type style which
feels more like a series of steps. And once again we have the shape
through the entire mandala, which goes by many names but was originally
known as the Wheel Cross/Sun Cross/Odin's cross as mentioned in earlier
triangle (again three... representing the holy... God, Trinity,) is
prominent. But in creating the central piece Sandra did a most remarkable
thing... BRILLIANT really! The entire central image is created with
a single line and can be traced in its entirety without lifting your
pencil. From the central flower out to the blue points this woven
piece speaks of unity - an interconnectedness. One image flows into
the next and back again. Though there seem to be three distinct elements
of seven because of the one line, there is a fluidity to it... a belonging
to one another which speaks to me of relationship. The central flower
represents Spirit - of the "unseen" - the "fragrance
of Him whose fragrance is intoxicating." Next are the "people"
who appear to be bowing. There is a reverence and a humility about
them. When coloring this section, I chose violet - my favorite color
to represent people as it speaks to me of remembering "who we
are and Whose we are: Children of the Most High and heirs of the Kingdom."
There is both relationship and responsibility in that statement. The
violet pencil was very soft and prone to breaking as I work on this
mandala, reinforcing last cycle's message to handle this part of creation
in particular with a light hand and extra tender loving care. I also
depicted them holding light within as The Light dwells within each
of us. Next are the blue points - representing the expansiveness of
all of creation. Everything seen and unseen forms a perfect unity.
Artistic Expression, The Joy of Living, Freedom from Worry, Optimism,
Inspiration, Talent, Imagination, Good Taste, Sociability, Friendliness,
Kindness. ~Your Days are Numbered by Florence Campbell, M.A.
Perfect completeness and rest from work ~http://www.vic.australis.com.au/hazz/number007.html
SEVEN: Mental analysis, Technicality, Introspection, Peace, Poise,
Scientific research, Spirituality, Faith, Trust, Stoicism, Refinement,
Wisdom, Silence, "Theories and Fundamentals." ~Your Days
from this cycle that caught my eye:
Be joyful in hope,
Patient in affliction
and faithful in prayer.
~ Romans 12:12/TGIF
you're giving your best to someone and it's not good enough
you're giving your best to the wrong person.
~ FB/calming your inner storm
no and having boundaries means
more time to devote to your divine purpose.
yourself from the inside out.
~ Soulful healing
love... We take care of what we love.
~ Jessica Ortner
my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.
~ She Has a Name/Seeds of Hope Ministries
the reason someone smiles today.
made them a community.
~ Fr. Andrew Jamieson
is important to expect nothing, to take every experience,
even the negative ones, as merely steps on the path,
and to proceed.
~ Ram Dass
with no expectations.
~ Denise Kean
careful how you live.
You'll be the only bible some will ever read.
~ William J. Jones
are a 5th Gospel and people read you every day.
~ Perry Hartman/See 2Cor 3:2-3
we see other people in such a way that encloses them in their wrongdoing?
Or do we see them as Jesus does - in such a way that that allows them
~ Bishop Lumen Montiero from India on forgiveness.
May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty
May hope forever wipe your tears away
And above all, may silence make you strong.
~ Chief Dan George
smile is the lighting system of the face,
the cooling system of the head
and the heating system of the heart.
virtue will never be more tested than by your family.
- Mustard Seeds
relationship with God is the best relationship you can have.
judge. "You don't know what storm I have asked her to go through."
let the day pass without pondering the angelic civilization that surrounds
They are smarter than you; call on them for assistance.
- Mustard Seeds
task is not to seek for Love,
but to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
love and be loved is to feel the sun on both sides.
~ FB/Calming the Inner Storm
speaks to us all in a variety of ways.
He speaks to us where we are and in a way we can understand.
- Mustard Seeds
you are on this way, choose companions that are also pilgrims,
No matter their shape, color, or national origin.
If they are your people, go with them.
My Experience of the Cycle
day of this new moon I was involved in providing music for a celebration
of 100 Years of Love! The director of Francis House of Prayer, a diocesan
retreat center located in Willingboro, NJ, was celebrating her Golden
Jubilee - 50 years as a sister of St. Joseph. 50 years dedicated in
love to helping people, from many different backgrounds and spiritual
affiliations, find God. The retreat house is located on a farm and
the land surrounding the house has been farmed by the same farmer
for the past 50 years. 50 years dedicated to faithfully and lovingly
tending the land. Each does their own thing. Each brings a unique
beauty to the world. Because of these two, Francis House is quite
a special place. If you're ever in the area, do yourself a favor and
stop in! Peace and tranquility are quite palpable. For me, it was
a day of service, of sharing my gifts as well as reconnecting with
the family of Francis House... many of whom I hadn't seen in quite
some time. It was a most memorable day!
Rooster ushered in the month, Deer was very prominent. The meaning
of Deer is also associated with the dawn, the moon and the easterly
direction. Words like love, grace, peace, beauty, fertility, humility,
swiftness, regrowth, creativity, spirituality, abundance, benevolence,
and watchfulness are associated with Deer. It is rare to see deer
in the daytime. I have typically seen them at dusk or early evening.
All of the deer I saw this cycle were seen in broad daylight... not
to be missed. Turtle also made a cameo appearance. Did you know the
turtle is one of the oldest living animals walking on the earth today?
The oldest turtle fossils date back 200 million years - highly symbolic.
It indicates that turtle is a symbol of longevity, endurance, persistence
and the continuation of life, sometimes against incredible odds. And
because of its longevity, is attributed with a symbolic meaning of
wisdom. Furthermore, the turtle takes its wisdom one day at a time
- not reacting, simply accepting and moving on in its natural methods.
(Animal symbolism from www.whats-your-sign.com) How many times have
I wished I had taken a breath instead of jumping right in? Seriously!
received a double dose of a song by Marty Haugen called "Canticle
of the Sun" on the first day of this cycle. The text is adapted
from a song originally written by St. Francis of Assisi. From Wikipedia:
The Canticle of the Sun in its praise of God thanks Him for such
creations as "Brother Fire" and "Sister Water".
It is an affirmation of Francis' personal theology as he often
referred to animals as brothers and sisters to Mankind, rejected
material accumulation and sensual comforts in favor of "Lady
Francis is said to have composed most of the canticle in late
1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small
cottage that had been built for him by Saint Clare and other women
of her order. According to tradition, the first time it was sung
in its entirety was by Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two
of his original companions, on Francis' deathbed, (two years later)
the final verse praising "Sister Death" having been
added only a few minutes before (his passing.)
Francis, then, was so intimate and familiar with the wonders of creation
that he embraced them as "Brother" and "Sister,"
that is, as members of one family... in a very extended sense as "ohana."
If you remember the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch (or if you happen
to live in Hawaii), you'll recall that "Ohana means family. Family
means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten." When we, connected
to the Divine, can experience all life - both human and in all of
creation - as ohana, where everyone and everything matters and belongs,
where all are cared for, named and have a voice we can begin to grasp
the symbolic understanding of this mandala.
theme caused me to think about the symbols we might find in our everyday
life that represent this kind of unity. My first thought was an orange,
with the rind that holds it together and affords the fruit a barrier
of protection. Inside we find sections... some sections have seeds,
others do not, the sections are all different in size and shape, some
sections are large, some are small, some are oddly shaped, some hold
two portions within the skin - similar to a double yolk in an egg
which reminds me of twins - yet all belong... all belong to and come
from the same orange.
recently read about a new finding... like "Avatar for real!"
- where the trees of the forest are connected to one another through
a fungus found in the forest floor. Through this network the trees
in most need of nutrients are fed and given priority. In places where
the "mother trees" are no longer found, the survival rate
of saplings is greatly diminished.
image was that of a book. The cover and binding hold the book together,
protecting the pages and giving us a glimpse of what the story might
be about by its title. I thought of each of us as being like a letter.
When we combine/gather together we create words, phrases, paragraphs,
chapters... and I wondered, what story, individually and collectively,
are we telling? What does the gospel of our lives, this 5th gospel,
say about what we believe? About who we are? About how we love and
care for one another - especially the weak, the voiceless, the marginalized
and the world we all live on and in?
have to say I had to giggle when I read the quote about family...
that "virtue will never be more tested than by your family."
Few words are more true. Inside or outside of our immediate families,
in those unfortunate circumstances where no love can be found, may
we, at the very least, greet one another with tolerance, dignity and
respect remembering that when we speak we speak to Christ. Even in
discord we are linked... we are ohana.
is with the greatest respect, admiration and love that I share the
final lines of the canticle in memory of Patricia "Trish"
Robinson, who, in the words of Sandra, was "mother, grandmother,
great grandmother, 2nd mother, friend, mentor, spiritual advisor"
(to which I add, poet and writer), who passed from this life into
the next during this lunation cycle.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape...
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.
and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
And serve Him with great humility.
gratitude for the gift that she was and continues to be, we lift Trish
up into the light of Your Face knowing that in love we are never parted.
May Sister Death find us happy at the time of our passing from this
life, having been found, like Trish, serving the Lord, by our love
and service to others - each in our own valued uniqueness and giftedness,
in compassionate community, tending and caring for the world around
us, with great humility.
Hugs and Blessings,
Cancer New Moon Mandala
July 7/8, 2013
"Home at Last"
each passing moment, a soul sets off to find itself.
day this cycle began we returned home from our family vacation. Because
technology was not available to us, we were not so distracted... so
isolated. And with no schedule, except a promise to show up for dinner
at a particular time, our vacation created an environment for re-connecting...
playing card games, talking, laughing, singing... just being together
and enjoying the company of family. The experience had such an impact
that upon our return, we were inspired to commit to technology-free
Sundays. Part of our Sabbath experience would include a weekly commitment
to personally connecting and interacting with one another and just
the week of our return from vacation I left for my childhood home
to celebrate with my Godfather and his bride of 50 years. I connected
with many relatives, former neighbors and family friends that I had
not seen in years. I was able to stay with my parents who are full
time RVer's - what a blast that was!!! Too much fun! What a life they
live!! And, So happy for them! This cycle's travels caused me to ponder
the concept of where a family dwells... the various concepts and definitions
of "home." And so this cycle began...
associated with Cancer are light shades of blue and green, and iridescent
hues. The color of the spectrum is Yellow-Orange." ~ZodiacArts.com
the get go, there was an ease, a softness and a flow to this mandala.
The bold colors that I typically use were not going to work. My inspiration
came from the gemstones associated with Cancer: predominately the
moonstone and lesser the Crysocolla whose turquoise color reminded
me of the beautiful Caribbean Sea I had just left behind. So creating
the light and shadow of moon and the iridescence of the moonstone
in particular became the focus.
central figure in this mandala is the Star of David strongly associated
with Judaism, "but also appears in the Buddhist, Theosophical
and various other Eastern and Westerns Traditions. It is fair to say
that it is a symbol of integration (linking heaven and earth - as
above, so below)" ~ Mary Fortier Shea... and from my perspective,
from the Lord's Prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
circles create the Star of David and the series of Mandorlas (Italian
for almond) or Vesica Piscus (literally the air bladder of a fish)
that surround it. "The circles symbolize interacting but complementary
opposites. The space within the overlap is the place in which we are
called to "remain", the "liminal space" Richard
Rohr speaks of... This is the place where you arrive after you leave
one room and have not yet entered another. In this place, you are
living on the threshold and this requires faith. All transformation
takes place in liminal space." ~www.kyrie.com/symbols/mandorla.htm
A Mandorla is also likened to a birth passage way... a birth canal
if you will.
are 12 moon-like, crescent-shaped ribbons (or maybe kite tails? More
below :) encircling 3 rings or bands. Twelve, the symbol of whole-ness
- a perfect and harmonious unit. Three, the number of divinity.
moons, in the outer ring peek over the horizon. 30 - "perfect
balance in the cosmic organization" or "the maturity of
a crop - a readiness to witness." ~www.ridingthebeast.com.
to pay homage to a major influence of this cycle, the Goldfinch which
is described below, I added Yellow-Orange to the outermost ring. The
color also reminds me that a moon is receptive - it has no light of
its own - it can only give out what it receives from the sun in its
own unique way. Quite symbolic, indeed.
we live, where we were born, typically a place of comfort, safety,
and extreme familiarity - a place where one could walk with ease...
completely blind, in the dark and not stumble.
timing is always perfect.
~Today God Is First/TGIF
God guides, He provides.
a good idea
to let the One with the plan lead.
the final days of this cycle, we were able to spend some wonderful
family time together again. We decided to go to what could be called
our "beach home"... our "shore home." Not a house,
per se, but our favorite place to be "down the shore" as
they say here in the northeast...the plot of sand we like to call
"home away from it all." It is very familiar, calming, relaxing
and close by! We know where the bathrooms are, the best places to
eat - truly the only place to eat as it has become tradition for us.
We also know that we need to bring quarters to plug the meter. As
we turned onto the road closest to the beach, we realized we had left
the quarters back home, the street was a parking lot, traffic was
jammed and, having pain-stakingly traveled the entire expanse of the
road, a parking spot could not be had. Never had we seen so many people!
We decided to circle back around to where we had gotten onto the road,
but instead of turning left as we did the first time, my husband decided
to turn right and go to the next town over. As we left our favorite
stretch of beach behind, it was apparent that God had something else
in mind. Honestly, what could be better than the familiar? Sure enough,
within a couple of blocks we had snagged the perfect parking spot,
there were no meters to plug or worry about and the beach was not
as busy...so, there was more space to place our blanket and our beach
chairs. It was perfect. And a beautiful day to boot!
day this cycle I was scheduled to play for a funeral. My calendar
said 10am... my head said 11am. I had left the house in a panic...
too late to make a 10am funeral on time but really early for 11am.
The traffic lights were yellow light after yellow light and finally
I got the message. I was being told to slow down and take it easy.
Sure enough, the funeral was at 11:00... no need to rush after all.
The messages were all there.
look around and really notice all the abundance in nature.
It is unconditional and creative.
So be like nature. Unconditional and creative.
early animal visitors this cycle were Rabbit and Black Bird. Rabbit
- symbolic of abundance, comfort and vulnerability (do these words
not speak of home?) - is typically very timid and can literally be
easily scared to death. But my experience of rabbit was contrary in
this cycle. Instead of scurrying away frightened and scared, they
tended to stay put... in place... and did not move. There was an unusual,
a-typical courage about them - of standing their ground in the face
had Black Bird in the back of my mind with a promise to look into
the symbolic meaning and then one day a tree full of them... too many
to count... nothing like getting hit over the head. So then, Black
Bird... symbolic of "Transition and Transformation... of life
in the heavens, (higher ideals, higher path of knowing) and the color
black is symbolic of pure potential. Between the two, there is no
limit to human transformation. Through consistent unveiling of your
inner depths, positive/active utilization of these inner impulses
become exposed to the light of your own consciousness." (Whats-your-sign.com)
on what matters.
what brings you joy lead the way!
Just trust and let your heart sing.
~Jane Lee Logan @Princess Sassy Pants
we sat talking that first morning of my visit home ;-), my mother
noticed and drew my attention to a Goldfinch that was sitting on the
passenger side mirror of their RV facing forward. Words associated
with Goldfinch that most impacted me were "Joy, Simplicity, Appreciation,
Happiness, High Energy, Enjoying the Journey. When finches come into
our awareness it is a sure sign of ebullient times ahead - (I was
there after all to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. But there
was more... so much more.) Finches are a sparkly omen of high energy
and bright days on the horizon." ~whats-your-sign.com (Now
we're getting somewhere...)
your past calls, don't answer. It has nothing new to say.
~Back Toward Light
in, breathe out. Move on.
~ Jimmy Buffetvia FB/Heart Highlights
live in the present moment and
open yourself to every new great experience to come,
you must forgive the past and leave it where it belongs... In the
~ Debbie Ford.
you need to let it go.
You cannot change what happened or bring back the past.
But you can change the future by being strong and
having faith in yourself.
A lot lies ahead of you... hope and new beginnings.
So take life by the horns and turn it around.
Be a wounded warrior, not a victim.
~FB/Back Towards Light
is learning something every day.
Wisdom is letting go of something every day.
what God says about you rather than what your past experiences are
journey will be much easier if you don't carry your past with you.
past is just a story. Once you realize this, it has no power over
~FB/ The Buried Life
been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
greatest gift you can give another is
the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.
~FB/Back Towards Light
Goldfinches also have a bouncy flight pattern... a happy-go-skippy
kind of way about them... it's not a straight shot - it's more like
a dance... a happy dance, a joy-filled dance. Yes! "Enjoy the
journey," said the finch - and along with the side mirror was
saying, "and don't look back. Leave the past in the past. Drop
the baggage you are carrying - drop it where you stand and keep your
eyes on the path ahead."
home has no address
My tracks leave no trace
I am neither body nor soul.
What can I say?
belong to the self of the beloved...!
The purpose of life
Is not to transcend the body,
But to embody the transcendent.
~ H.H. Dalai Lama
a Liturgical Musician, I am privileged to minister to those who grieve
and have played and sung for countless funerals. It is often said
at one's passing that they have "gone home to God." I have
given this statement considerable thought. It implies that God is
not here... that one cannot be at home in God here. My experience
is SO contrary to this statement. God is EVERYWHERE!!! The statement
below hangs in my parent's RV and while a 5th wheel is pictured, it
can also be applied to our spirits:
is where you hook up.
guess what? Our spirits are hooked up, here in this physical plane!
More and more I understand that wherever the spirit dwells whether
in body or out of the body... is home. Being conscious of the presence
of God, getting out of the way and being a conduit for bringing heaven
to earth - now that's a purpose!
truth, we are nothing more than a conduit - PVC pipe if you will,
through which the grace of God flows. The ease of flow depends on
how open the pipe. A clogged pipe is formed by the debris of the false
self. If you've ever cleared out a piece of plumbing then you know
what a nasty mess that can be! The more consistently we surrender
into the silence, into the prayer of quiet, the more the Divine Plumber
can free us from this false way. The more free we are, the more authentic
and God-like we become - the more comfortable and at home we feel
in our own skin.
positive attitude leads to a positive outcome.
~ On the wall at the New Glarus Brewing Company
the way you want to be remembered
~ Back Toward Light
local Whole Foods Market pays a nickel a bag for using recycled bags.
The customer has the option of receiving the 5 cents per bag or donating
it to a local charity. Two options are usually provided. One day,
as I was checking out, a lady stopped me and thanked me for shopping
that day and told me that I was making a difference by choosing to
shop there. A percentage of the day's sales was being given to a charity
to help children with special needs. The power of what we can do together
- simple little things like donating a nickel a bag to a worthy cause
when joined by the efforts of others can mean thousands of dollars
to benefit those in need.
strong image for me this month was that of a kite. Uplifted and supported
by the breath of God, and tethered to the earth by the purpose for
which we have been sent, our ability to soar and allow God to bring
joy into the world through us depends on our lightness, our level
of freedom from the false self. So, to what can we surrender? What
masks can be removed, what baggage can be dropped right here, right
now, so that God can lift us to higher and higher altitudes bringing
more and more peace, love and joy into the world? What needs to be
moved out so that God can live more abundantly in us and through us?
So that, like this mandala suggests, we become a full-spectrum people...
healed, whole and whole-ly.
task ahead of you.
Not as great as the power behind you.
my flight to and from Wisconsin, I was so struck by cloud formations.
One in particular looked so ominous! Like a wall - a towering wall
of dark clouds, straight up it went. As we approached it I began to
wonder what would happen once we entered it. Would it cause trouble
with the flight and make for a bumpy ride? Interestingly enough, and
like most ominous looking things, it was really nothing. It looked
far worse than it was. As we entered it, I found that I could still
see the ground unlike the white "happy" clouds where once
you enter them, you can't see a thing! This "ominous wall"
was nothing more than a grey mist.
is a series of liminal spaces... thresholds... doorways.... of standing
between where we most recently were and our desire to be in perhaps
a happier place... a better place. And, the continuous process of
surrender, letting go and of walking by faith. The above picture was
taken at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin during my
recent visit there. I thank my Mother, the consummate photographer
(with an amazing eye) for the picture! And, my Father for making it
possible for me to share it with you. She takes them, he downloads
them. :) This picture spoke volumes to me... of standing on this side-where
we are, seeing the comfort of the bench on the other side and the
dark space in between... the path that must be traveled to reach a
place that holds the promise of the comfort of home. There is no over,
no under, no path around...there is only through. And, what of the
dark passage? What fear keeps us bound and unable to move forward?
Or like the wall of clouds, is the darkness really nothing at all?
that is necessary is that we trust the One with the plan. Like our
day at the beach, God often has a better idea and, as mentioned above,
perfect timing. All we have to do is to listen, trust, be not afraid
and follow where He leads... to where heaven meets earth, where God
meets us. Home to Self. Home... at last.
Hugs and Blessings,
Leo New Moon Mandala
August 6, 2013
Sacrificial love is self-sacrifice with the pure
motivation to alleviate the suffering of others.
This supreme love is suffering love, love that requires
involvement in the knotty problems of the world,
love that bears with the failings and weaknesses
of others, love that is committed to helping others
regardless of the cost.
The world offers you comfort,
but you were not made for comfort.
You were made for greatness.
~Pope Benedict VI
was absolutely exhausted the day before this cycle began, but spent
time preparing for the Communion Service I was scheduled to lead on
the 6th - the day of the new moon. I had thought a couple of weeks
prior to get a sub as my daughter was having oral surgery that day,
but figured I had sufficient time to do both. I arrived at church
that morning, reflection in hand. At the same time another leader
arrived thinking she was on the schedule. We went into the Sacristy,
a place where one prepares for Liturgies... sacred books, linens,
garments and empty vessels are also stored there in preparation for
their future use. We checked the schedule and sure enough, I was the
scheduled leader for the service that day. There was a time when my
ego would at least have thought (if not said out loud), "I am
right!!" Or "I'm on the schedule so I'll do it." (It
has been said of me that I am duty bound to a fault.) But in that
moment the tension left me and a softness washed over me. I explained
that I had thought to get a sub a couple weeks back - actually she
was an answer to prayer and if it would be okay with her, I would
leave and she could lead the service that morning. With the sweetest
smile on her face, she agreed. So I left. My daughter had a much better
morning and I was given the gift of being a more loving mother. Did
I mention that we were celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration
that day? The feast when sleeping disciples awaken to see the Lord's
glory. That evening I was reflecting on the day... how that softness
had stayed with me and the question arose: If I am love (and by extension
if we are love) how does love express itself? Moments later I received
Sandra's Leo New Moon Mandala template. Could the answer to my question
have been more perfect? And so the cycle began...
colors associated with Leo are the primary colors (red, blue, yellow),
colors of the sunset and gold. The color of the spectrum associated
with Leo is yellow. Gem is Ruby. Power stone is Amber. Metal is Gold.
Bold, generous, commanding, and vital are the key words reflected
in these colors.
Circles radiate out from the center as if to send the message it contains
outward. Seven - to be complete or full (~Australis.com.)
centrals figure is a cross - it appears to me to be a Tau cross. "This
graph was originally a Semitic symbol, the tau cross, St. Anthony's
cross, crux commissa and the Robbers' cross. It appears
to be associated with life and security." ~symbols.com
From The Franciscan Friars:
first recorded reference to the TAU is from Ezekiel 9:4, "Go
through the city of Jerusalem and put a TAU on the foreheads of
those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that
are done in it." The TAU is the last letter of the Hebrew
alphabet and looks very much like the letter "T".
the Fourth Lateran Council, on November 11, 1215, Pope Innocent
made reference to the TAU and quoted the above verse in reference
to the profaning of the Holy Places by the Saracens. (Could this
be more timely with all that is going on in the world?) It is
widely accepted that St. Francis (of Assisi) was present at the
Fourth Lateran Council and that he heard the words of Pope Innocent
III when he said, "The TAU has exactly the same form as the
Cross on which our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and only those
will be marked with this sign and will obtain mercy who have mortified
their flesh and conformed their life to that of the Crucified
Savior. From then on, the TAU became Francis' own coat of arms.
Francis used the TAU in his writings, painted in on the walls
and doors of the places where he stayed, and used it as his only
signature on his writings. St. Bonaventure said of St. Francis,
"...He traced it on himself before beginning each of his
actions." ~ http://www.thefranciscanfriars.org/taucross
seeing the five flowers encased in circles I immediately thought of
the "five wounds of Christ" - hands, feet, side. Since one
is larger than the rest the number 5 is expressed as 4+1: 4/Matter
+ 1/Spirit = Incarnated Consciousness. (~ridingthebeast.com) So the
wounds then, symbolize a physical death... death to the thoughts,
ideas and ways of the world. In choosing death - death of the ego
- we also chose life to a higher way of being - a place from which
the fragrance of Christ emanates and intoxicates the world.
the cross are three forms. (3 = divinity) At first I thought them
to be hearts, but upon further study found them to be drops - like
blood, sweat and tears. But because of the five wounds, I decided
they represented blood (red) and water (blue) that flowed from the
side of Christ when pierced by the sword. In Immortal Diamond, Richard
Rohr states that the blood symbolizes Eucharist, the price of letting
go, and the water Baptism, an invitation to union and being nourished
by the divine.
does love express itself? Though sacrificial love...by letting go
and letting God.
precursor to this cycle was the sighting of swans. I wish I had had
the forethought to have taken a picture. It was amazing! On the 4th,
as we traveled to our favorite "beach-home" we passed this
sweet little lake FILLED with swans! Never have I seen so many in
that spot. Symbolism from Whats-your-sign.com:
first symbolic clues from the swan can be taken from observing
them in nature. They are waterfowl, closely connected with water,
even nesting near the water.
is symbolic of: Fluidity, Intuition, Dreaming, Emotions, Creativity.
this respect, we can intuit the swan's appearance in our lives
as an arrow pointing to our dreamier depths and feelings. Furthermore,
we get the sense of balance from swan meaning as it lives harmoniously
amongst three of the four Aristotelian elements. Grounding herself
on earth, lofting to great heights in the air, and winding through
waters with magnificent elegance.
associated with Swan are: Love, Grace, Union, Purity, Beauty,
Dreams, Balance, Elegance, Partnership, Transformation (ugly duckling),
swan may also bear messages of love and relationships. They pair
for years, sometimes male-female unions are sustained for a lifetime.
When the swan glides upon the waters of our awareness, it might
be a symbol of love, and a reminder of the blessings found in
makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
~Zora Neale Hurston
your faith be bigger than your fear!
comes to us that belongs to us
if we create the capacity to receive.
~ Robindranath Tagore
love is human.
To feel pain is human.
Yet to still love despite the pain is pure angel.
is the vital core of the soul,
And of all you see, only love is infinite.
is not a dress rehearsal... Seize the day.
~Sanctum the movie
have learned to give not because I have too much,
but because I have known the feeling of not having.
~ FB/Back Towards Light
is who you think you should be
Relaxation is who you are.
calm does not mean you're doing nothing.
It means that you're responding with purpose rather than panic.
~ Ralph Marston
human's best chance of finding God is to look in the very place where
they abandon God."
~ Meister Eckhart as quoted in Immortal Diamond by Richard
is right there in the experience of your falling.
beliefs don't make you a better person,
your behavior does.
~FB/the Optimism Revolution
my deepest wound I saw Your glory. ~
St. Augustine/Gruenwald Guild
you don't believe in miracles,
perhaps you have forgotten you are one.
is the greatest gift for it holds no wrong and
it keeps the heart filled with joyous bliss.
you do in conscious union and love is prayer.
~ Richard Rohr
is the archetypal name for all those
who live out their True Selves and know its Source.
Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr, p 181
life not lived for others is not a life.
single act of love makes the soul return to life.
~St. Maximilian Kolbe, Feast Day
kind to a stranger.
You might just change someone's life forever.
gotta dance like there's nobody watching
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
~Wm. W. Purkey
yourself and you will sanctify society.
~St. Francis if Assisi
is that never sleeps, nor even rests
Nor stays too long for those that do.
Love is a language that cannot be said.
is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
world is changed by your example,
not your opinion.
your little bit of good where you are;
its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
every effort to change things you do not like.
If you cannot make a change,
change the way you've been thinking.
You might find a new solution.
~Maya Angelou "Letters to my Daughter"
there is hatred, let me sow love.
~St. Francis of Assisi
can all do small things with great love.
~Blessed Mother Teresa
to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough."
Magdalene is the icon and archetype of love itself -
needed, given, received and passed on.
~Immortal Diamond, p 180
cycle I have witnessed and been the bearer of sacrificial love in
large and small, simple and profound ways. I have been in awe of the
efforts of people who have stood up for others being unjustly treated
or persecuted throughout the world at this time. This love so often
takes the form of parents, who, for love of their children, will do
what is needed at personal cost to themselves. All this through a
love that is, as modeled so well by Mary Magdalene, needed, given,
received and passed on. We cannot give what we, ourselves, do not
have. We cannot do what we, ourselves, have not experienced. Each
time we choose love, we choose death... death of the ego/me-centered
self... because love - sacrificial love - is by definition self-less.
And, though my efforts this cycle pale in comparison to the sacrifice
of others I have read about, by entering the narrow gate in my own
life experience, I have been moved out of my comfort zone, have been
challenged and stretched, have faced fears (not as gracefully as I
would have liked at times), I have fallen and risen again to face
the challenge set before me... all for the sake of love. Sacrificial
love is at once a way of being and a way of doing. It is often messy,
challenging and requires courage, faith and trust in something greater
opened this Journal Entry with a quote from Pope Benedict. This kind
of love sets greatness on its ear - greatness that is contrary to
the way the world views it.
says, "While we live, we are always being given up to death
for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in
our mortal flesh" (2 Cor 4;11). Thus, according to his view,
the passion and resurrection of Christ are going on all the time.
They are always present and not limited to an historical moment.
It was rather an historical moment which introduced the eternal
values of the cross and resurrection into the whole of time. We
participate in Christ's divine life through baptism and the other
sacraments. As a consequence, we must learn how to express the
risen life of Jesus rather than our false selves in our conduct
and relationships. To attain this union involves the transformation
of our inmost being and all our faculties into the mind of Christ.
This is the very fullness of salvation. The chief expression of
the mind of Christ is found in the classical text of Philippians
2:5, 7-8, NRSV:
the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus...
emptied... humbled.... obedient...
~Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, August 11
year I had a very real sense as the year began what the theme of 2012
was about. It has taken me to this point in this year to crystallize
the idea that all the cleaning and clearing of 2012 was to make room
for the divine to be expressed in and through us. I was compelled
to revisit the first mandala I did for this year and decided my first
representation was spot on.
edges of the overlapping hearts are shaded in brown. In retrospect
it represents love coming out of the darkness... out of the dirt...
out of the mud. Though the path challenges and faith and trust are
required to follow where He leads, we are charged to bring heaven
to earth one baby step, one loving moment, one loving gesture at a
time in and through our own unique way and circumstance. We were not
made for comfort, we were made for greatness. Through choosing love
in its many forms at personal cost to ourselves through mercy, forgiveness,
justice, standing up for what is right and true in loving and peaceful
ways God alleviates the suffering of others through us and we embody
the Christ-Life of Sacrificial Love.
Hugs and Blessings,
Virgo New Moon Mandala
September 5, 2013
"Seek What Is Above"
day of the new moon the license plate pictured above appeared in front
of me. [THE BUCK] As if to say, "The buck stops here." There
was such a measure of responsibility in those two words. And, these
questions flooded my mind: What am I responsible for? What is mine
to do? What am I putting on myself that actually belongs to someone
else? Do I fully embrace my responsibilities? And, so the month began.
colors associated with Virgo are pale earth tones, slate blue, deep
shades of violet and green Like many Virgos I know: down to earth,
unassuming, understated, colors that compliment (or get along well)
with other colors (people). There are no fireworks here! No bold attention
getting here. Just a quiet sweetness that oozes from every pore. The
color of the spectrum associated with Virgo is Yellow-Green... the
color of nature in the late summer. If you live in the north you may
be seeing hints of yellow in nature as the vibrant greens give way
to the golds, oranges and reds yet to come. Echoing the Virgo pallet,
the gem is Peridot and the power stone is Amethyst. Flowers associated
with Virgo are the morning glory and the pansy - truly the sweetest
of flowers, don't you think? Virgo energy is critical, discriminating,
modest, and service minded.
this Virgo New Moon mandala template created by Sandra Mosley, the
center figure is created by a single line in a repeating pattern which
forms a flower. Within the flower are what appear to me to be vases,
or empty vessels - something that can be filled. The use of the single
line to create this flower symbolizes for me an interconnectedness...
a singular, sacred one-ness which is further expressed by the circle
that surrounds it. The pattern repeats 8 times. Eight for me the number
of the Cosmic Christ. You can find more on the significance of the
number 8 at www.ridingthebeast.com.
circle encasing the repeating pattern of eight rests on a six-pointed
star - a symbol strongly associated with the Jewish people.
Hirsch Goldberg in his book The Jewish Connection states: "The
Star of David is not of Jewish origin- and the ancient Israelites
never used it as their religious symbol"(they used the Menorah
or Seven Candlestick). So, why did the six-pointed star become
known as the Jewish star? This symbol was widely adopted, not
because the Jewish people chose it, but ironically because Adolph
Hitler forced all Jews to wear a yellow six-pointed star during
the holocaust. The word holocaust means burnt offering, and the
six-pointed star was used in the past when burnt human sacrifices
were offered to Moloch and Ashtoreth in Baal worship. The few
Jews who had anything to do with the Six-Pointed star (hexagram)
were those who were involved in occult practices. Back to Hitler,
would he put anything good on a Jew? Hitler meant to insult and
destroy the Jews, and being wrapped up in the occult (read the
book, The Nazis and the Occult ), he may have meant the Jews to
be his burnt offering for power.
resonates with me in this story is the term "burnt offering"
- a sacrifice - to choose to become a sacrifice... that the intention
with which we live our lives, by our choosing, can be sacrificial
in nature... an offering in love to Love.
of this rests on a background of eight - but not equally spaced. It
appears to me that a cross is the framework that holds these images.
In the outer rings are outward-pointing triangles (representing the
Trinity.) Like so many of my experiences in this cycle in particular,
whether we trod in darkness or sunshine, in times of trial or prosperity
and abundance...God is present... loving, leading, guiding, and pointing
it time you gave yourself to God completely,
once and for all?
you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams
and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl
Funny, the first time I wrote this, I used the term moonbeams :)
time for quiet moments,
as God whispers and the world is loud.
was getting a lot of pictures of rainbows and double rainbows on Facebook:
The double rainbow is a symbol of transformation.
Everything in this life can be used to transform us,
To bring us closer to our essence and our dreams.
is a great exercise for expressing renewal and transformation!
Check out Auntie Moon and the Virgo anti-aging moon ritual.
Find something that needs polishing and allow it to symbolize something
in your life that needs to be renewed or transformed in some way.
This could be a great Lenten exercise as well.
Spirit is the heart of the world.
The active prayer sentence from 8/22-9/10
~Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, Thomas Keating
all you need is a hug from the right person and your stress will melt
~FB/Back Towards Light
not chase people. Work hard and be you.
The (right) people who belong in your life will come find you and
Do your thing.
~Back Towards Light
when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
'Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart.
~Kari Jobe, "Steady My Heart"
you conquer your selfish self all your darkness will turn to light.
the quiet, even state of mind.
When praised by some and condemned by others
free your mind from hate and pride
and gently go your way in peace.
is the infallible sign of the presence of God.
us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
~ Psalm 90
greatest obstacle in life isn't danger, its boredom.
~Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Season8 of Dexter
the vigil of The Feast of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace,
Pope Francis invokes Catholics to prayer and fasting,
and the whole world to pray for peace.
things are coming.
~Back Towards Light
you stop chasing the wrong things,
you give the right things a chance to catch you.
~Back Towards Light
you are down to nothing,
God is up to something.
much of the world is broken and
I want to be part of its healing.
~Back Towards Light
God steps in, miracles happen.
blessed to be stressed.
~Back Towards Light
of what is above, not of what is on earth.
you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God...
to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry...
By these you too once conducted yourselves,
when you lived in that way.
But now you must put them all away:
anger, fury, malice, slander,
and obscene language out of your mouths.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.
happens until the pain of remaining the same
outweighs the pain of change.
~ Arthur Burt
presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,
through the shedding of his blood ? to be received by faith.
A beautiful description of Yom Kippur and the Baptism of Jesus can
be found at http://www.arrayofhope.net/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=12&Itemid=162
who wish to sing always find a song.
that all your mistakes now serve a purpose
instead of serving shame.
~ FB/women at the Crossing
God is the reason to live,
you will never have a reason to quit.
are blessed with a deep connection to God that
will allow you to know your true worth and
understand why you are here.
never know how strong you are,
until being strong is the only choice you have.
~FB/Back Towards Light
ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
would you do in the last hour of your life?
Where would you be?
Who would remember it?
What would it look like?
How do you want to be remembered?
~ Man in the Red Bandanna, A documentary about Tyler Jewell
who perished on 9/11, saving others.
that can stand, stand now.
If you can help others, do so.
~ Man in the red bandanna, the last words of Tyler Jewell
as a gift to be given to others
Vocation: to be given to another
destiny is not only to find love;
it is to be the most loving person you can be.
~Lovability by Robert Holden
love my friend neither with my heart nor with my mind.
Just in case heart might stop, mind may forget.
I love them in my soul.
Soul never stops or forgets.
of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
is my wish, then, that in every place the (people) should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
~1 Tim 2:1, 8
mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
more light you allow within you,
the brighter the world you live in will be."
you get the best light from a burning bridge.
~ Don Henley
we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting
away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary
light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to
what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is
unseen is eternal.
cycle began with [THE BUCK] and the theme of responsibility and as
we neared its end that theme came down hard as everything for which
I am responsible occurred all in the same week. When children are
healthy and special or seasonal projects are well managed and scheduled,
there's usually no problem. But the craziness of that week came down
to partially poor planning on my part and partially sometimes stuff
just happens. I won't bore you with the laundry list of happenings,
but I was totally stretched to the extreme. I can't remember a time
I was that busy! Typically when I over reach and take on too much,
I become short tempered and am neglectful of the needs of my body,
mind and spirit... like not getting sufficient sleep or grabbing the
closest thing to eat, healthy or not so healthy or not taking time
in my day to center.
be to God, none of those were evident during that week. As a matter
of fact I rather enjoyed the week. My energy is struggling a bit in
this last week of the cycle, but the "week of insanity"
itself was quite remarkable. It ended in a retreat day on the last
Saturday morning of the cycle. I had the extreme pleasure of attending
a half-day retreat at my parish sponsored by the women's group A.C.T.S.,
which stands for Actively Caring Through Sharing. After the week I
had had, the morning of rest and connection was much needed and appreciated!!
The theme of the retreat was based on a book by Joanna Weaver and
could not have been more perfect for me. It was entitled, Having a
Mary Heart in a Martha World. (Luke 10:38-42). So how do we take care
of the responsibilities of our lives, do what needs to be done (and
truly is not that list never ending?) and still find/make time to
seek what is above? I have found throughout the month it is not so
much what we do, but how we do it, not so much the attention we give
to things, but our intention. By inviting God into the ordinariness
of our everyday lives, our lives are blessed, the people we meet are
blessed - everything just flows - and, everything becomes sacred.
example: one of the things I on my list during the "week of insanity"
was to take my car in for service. It was truly the last straw to
the week. The key battery had been LOW for some time. I noticed one
evening that one of my headlights was out and my husband was leaving
on business for a couple of days so I decided that I REALLY needed
to take care of it. Now, one of my least favorite places to be is
the dealership where I bought my car. I have had SO MANY bad experiences
there that it is truly the last place on earth I want to be. The next
morning I called to see if I could get in the same day (I could already
feel the tension in my shoulders at the thought of having to be there.)
They had a spot open at 1:30. Great! I decided if I'm going to have
to be there, I would make the experience as positive as I could. So
I gathered up a prayer shawl that I was working on and went in. I
was promptly greeted by a smiling, jovial gentleman, who turned me
over to the service guy (who truly could have been a Virgo - so sweet!)
who notified me that there was a factory recall on the windows that
needed to be addressed - that was going to add 45 minutes to my time
there above the key and the headlight, but I agreed to take care of
it. I turned down a free car wash because when I go there I'm typically
there half a day. I didn't want to be there any longer than necessary.
okay... I made my way to the waiting area, took a seat and a deep
breath, said a prayer and got to work on the shawl. After a few minutes
one of the other ladies in the room came over to ask about what I
was making. We had the best conversation! And for the first time EVER
the work on my car was done UNDER the estimated time! I was out of
there in 38 minutes! That NEVER happens. And I was having so much
fun talking to Sue, that I really wasn't ready to leave. She gave
me her card and a promise to drop off a book that she recommended
to me. I got in the car, took the identifying tag off the review mirror
and drove home. Once home, as I was throwing the tag away I looked
at the number: 4333. And, then laughed. "I Am Here," He
said to me through the numbers..." Wherever you go, I AM WITH
YOU." The tag is now in my prayer space. I had opened myself
to the events of the day without any attachment to outcome, invited
God into the dreaded and the mundane and from beginning to end, the
whole experience was such a blessing!
leave you with Psalm 23 For Busy People, which was shared at the retreat:
Lord is my Pacesetter
Lord is my pacesetter...I shall not rush.
He makes me to stop for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.
He leads me in a way of efficiency through the calmness of mind
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours
For I shall walk the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house forever.
Hugs and Blessings,
Libra New Moon Mandala
October 5, 2013
"Dance in the Light"
the Balsamic Phase of the Virgo cycle I came across a beautiful patch
of mushrooms underneath a towering pine tree. I saw this:
INSTANTLY thought of this:
the word that popped into my head was community... followed by fun
and delight. There seemed to be a strong sense of joy-filled community
in this gathering?little did I know at the time how my understanding
of these little fungi would shape this cycle. And so the month began?
colors associated with Libra are pastel shades, yellows and blues.
The color of the spectrum is green. Flower is rose. Gem is opal. Power
Stone is Diamond. The colors suggest softness, but the stones sparkle,
shimmer and shine. With Libra we enter the second half of the natural
year. In terms of the body, we reach the center or the heart chakra
- the place where heaven meets earth. In Traditional Chinese Medicine
the feeling associated with the heart is joy.
mandala is joyful and whimsical and has a "go with the flow"
sort of feel to it. It almost dances. There are three sections and
the number 8 is prominent. The outer ring holds eight kisses - more
on that in notable quotes as to the character of the kisses. The middle
or second section reminds me so much of twirling around the dance
floor - there's movement and a flow to this section. Threes kept popping
up for me this cycle - all birds ... threes that suggest a newness
of life - very spring-like in nature and a sense of elevation - of
loving and living on a higher frequency. Something new is definitely
brewing... so I decided to honor the dance of the mushrooms and the
sparkle and shine of the gem and power stone by placing three balls
of glitter in each yellow section. In the center section we have two
intertwined ribbons which encircle an eight-petaled flower. Yellow
- the color of joy. Pink - the color of unconditional love. Green
- in terms of chakra represents the heart. Eight - the number of perfection,
infinity, the cosmic Christ.
the same time I came across the mushrooms I was waiting in the entryway
of the High School for my daughter and I observed the officer at the
attendance desk as he interacted with the students. He is truly one
genuine human being. He brings his own flavor to his job in a most
remarkable way. I came away from the experience thinking, "This
guy brings himself to the party!" Full on... full throttle...
HIMSELF! And, so many of the messages at the time were about being
true to self. Be who you are and those of same thought and mind will
flock to you. Almost as if to say, "stop hiding... stop being
who the people in your life want you to be... and just be you!!!"
This is a time to reset, reboot... Remember who you are! Like the
rebooting of a computer that gets rid of the "bugs"?. Come
clean. Just be purely YOU!
are like children.
You don't want them driving the car but
you don't want to lock them in the trunk either.
~FB/Thanks for Sharing
greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not
~ Pope Benedict XVI, an invitation to Faith
for a cause not for applause.
Live to express not to impress.
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt.
This poster hangs at the entryway of my daughter's school
is a death/rebirth quality to the month.
Theme RESET. ~Powerpath
the presence of your own loving attention you create
the inner conditions that are necessary to step into
the next greatest evolution of yourself.
God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
~2nd Timothy 1:7
appreciate all that I am and all that I have.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We only have today.
Let us begin.
~Bl. Mother Teresa
are you serving those in need?
Mom and Dad, about my leaves, I gave them all away. That's what you
do with gifts.
~Timothy Green, The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Francis has been making headlines for lots of things he has been saying
this month, but what he has really challenged me to think about is
my relationship with the poor... So, this month, I encourage you to
think about your relationship with the poor. Jesus loved them. Too
often, at best we tolerate them, or worse, we ignore them. But God
continues to invite us into a relationship with the less fortunate
of this world, and through them we find ourselves immersed in God.
~ Matthew Kelly
commit to being a dancing monk,
cultivating creative joy and
letting my body and "heart overflow with
the inexpressible delights of love."
~ Abby of the Arts
& Mary... Just be.
out that gentleness within that encourages people to be comfortable
are the endless love.
You are the heavenly song.
You are the mother and the father.
You are the one I will always know.
want that love that...
split the ocean
Made the winds tremble
Roared like thunder
Will raise the dead
Lifts us to ecstasy
Is the silence of eternity.
used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me.
But then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would
reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.' But then
I said, 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no
difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with
cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace
and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell
him how important education is and that 'I even want education for
your children as well.' And I will tell him,
'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'
~Malala Yousafzai, 16 year old Pakistani advocate for women's rights
and access to education.
is a special occasion.
best place in the world is in the arms of someone who will not only
hold you at your best, but
will pick you up and hold you tight in your weakest moment.
~ Back Towards Light
me with your glance
so my eyes can shine with Your love.
world is in dire need of change. People are hurting.
People are turning to empty promises searching for answers.
All along, we have the answer: Jesus.
Holiness Revolution, your eyes will be awakened to the need for change
in this world.
You will be challenged to live a life of radical discipleship that
brings that change.
It is time to stop making excuses and start taking action. Only from
God, only from the saints,
does true revolution come. Will you join the revolution of holiness?
~ Holiness Revolution, Dan DeMatte
God bless each one of us with prayerful spirits and gentle hearts
formed through prayer.
God will use prayerful spirits and gentle hearts as instruments to
bring about unity.
- Mustard Seeds
a rainbow in someone else's cloud.
you become brave enough to be silent,
the answers you seek will finally reveal themselves.
~ Cheryl Richardson
the noise of the world you will find the pathway to hell.
In the silence of prayer you will find the narrow trail leading to
is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people
think about you.
In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives,
they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you.
What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but
what's important to me is my opinion of myself.
~ C. JoyBell C.
Because life is too short to be anything
brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace
will be with you.
one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you.
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and
the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.~2 Corinthians
your mind dance with your body.
~Yogi Detox tea bag tag
is beauty in your presence.
~ Yogi Detox tea bag tag
~Taditional Medicinals Detox Tea bag tag
~Traditional Medicinals Detox tea bag tag
~ Deacon Joe DeLuca
As if I weren't already getting the message, the homily, given in
the last days of this cycle by our good Deacon Joe DeLuca, was all
about being you!
autumn winds have returned. Mother Nature is cleaning house... blowing
leaves and dead twigs from the trees. A week ago, I calculated my
Werewolf Name from a Halloween Facebook post: Fierce Hound - and the
shoe fit! I thought it was a good idea to join Mother Nature and do
a cleanse of my own. Having lived a simpler life and eaten a mono
diet for five days now, I find that my heart is lighter and my head
is clearer. I feel healthier. In this cycle, I have realized a great
emotional healing in my life... one that I have long held. I have
polished yet another section of my tarnished spoon representing this
newfound "lightness." (For more on this practice, see Auntie
Moon's Virgo Anti Aging Moon. http://auntiemoon.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/the-virgo-new-moon-cycle-the-anti-aging-moon/)
Having taken this time for self care, it seems that I am much more
the end of the cycle, a new growth of mushrooms emerged in a spot
near the first grouping. Interesting things - these mushrooms... when
they are fresh and coming out of the ground their caps are tight.
The older they get the more open the cap - almost umbrella-like -
to the point that eventually the edges begin to turn upward reaching
for the sun. Mushrooms are agents of change and transformation...
changing dead organic matter into rich soil. They are ANCIENT - dating
back some 90 million years. They can be used not only as food and
medicine (great immunity builder!) but can also be used in bioremediation,
to absorb and digest dangerous substances like oil, pesticides and
industrial waste, in places where they threaten the environment. (~http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/facts-about-mushrooms.html)
of most interest to me, was the fact that they are all connected by
what cannot be seen. It is a hidden kingdom. The part of the fungus
that we see (the mushroom) is only the "fruit" of the organism.
The living body of the fungus is a mycelium (vegetative part) made
out of a web of tiny filaments called hyphae. The mycelium is usually
hidden in the soil, in wood, or another food source and can cover
great distances. (http://www.gmushrooms.com/info.htm)
see, we - you and I and everyone on the planet - like these lovely
little mushrooms are all connected by something that cannot be seen.
We are in relationship... whether we want to be or not. And we are
called to live from this divine source. Yes, we are imperfect. Yes,
we say and do things that cause great pain to ourselves and others.
Yes, many of us hold emotional pain that needs to be expressed and
released. But... we are called to be more. We are called to be holy...
called to be saints... called to be conduits of the cosmic Christ
in the world - to hear His music and dance. To bring the best expression
of ourselves that we can muster to this party called life! And, finally
for once and for all let all fear and expectations go and just be
ourselves! Ours is not to wallow in the darkness... but to seek out
and dance in the Light!!!
Hugs and Blessings,
Scorpio New Moon Mandala
November 3, 2013
early signs of this cycle were the words "practice, practice,
practice," and a license plate that read [ZOMB RDY] which I interpreted
to mean Zombie Ready. Interesting... but, nothing quite took my breath
away like the first image of the cycle. I was driving to church to
play for morning mass, and lying there on the side of the road was
a dead deer. Standing on top of the deer was a vulture... a very...
large... vulture. In an instant I went from one transforming agent
- those lovely little mushrooms of the last cycle -to another. I wish
I had stopped the car to take a picture so I could share it with you.
The image was so jolting; however, that I can call it up as vividly
in my mind as the day I had first seen it. The deer, (death) and the
Vulture (agent of transformation) all in a single image -ominous...
jarring.... and one can't help but wonder what's coming next. And
so the month began...
colors associated with Scorpio are dark shades of red and black. The
gem is topaz and the power stone is garnet. The color of the spectrum
are four sections of the mandala each holding a multiple of six. In
the outermost circle, 24 interlocking arcs (24: complete harmony);
12 interlocking arcs in the next (12: completed, that which forms
a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit, wholeness); 18 arcs split
in half by a circle that divides (the divide suggests choice or change/metamorphosis;
18: In Hebrew, each letter has a numeric value. The number 10 is the
letter Yud. The number 8 is the letter Ches (Chet). Ches-Yud spells
the word Chai, which means "living" or "life."
(~www.jewishanswers.org) In the center is a six-pointed star which
holds in its center various sets of six. A six pointed star is a symbol
for fixed stars, in particular the pole star (www.symbols.com). Used
as a guide then, one can always find home or at the very least the
right direction. For me, there is an inherent struggle in the number
six... of holding both the things of the world and the things of heaven...
or perhaps the struggle of having to choose between the two. The fixed
star at the center gives us stability... ground to stand on. It gives
us a point of reference from which all our actions and decision originate.
It radiates outward, through the choices that bring life and help
us live to the full, into wholeness and eventually complete harmony
with the cosmos. Perhaps another word for the 24 is divine union.
It is not an easy road. It is the narrow gate so often quoted as few
choose to travel by that road.
does one become a saint?
Just like your times tables: Practice, practice, practice...
~Deacon Chris Murphy
the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in Him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.
~2 Thes 1:12
Breathe out everything else.
Silence take you to the core of life.
Always a lesson.
not to be overcome by evil,
But to combat evil with good.
is an echo. What you send out, comes back.
What you sow, you reap.
What you give, you get.
What you see in others, exists in you.
that surrounds you
is but temporary.
came to this place with
only one thing ~ self.
can love or hate.
Self can build up or tear down.
Self can tell the truth or tell lies.
Self can walk in the light or in darkness.
the self will last forever.
deeply, build up others in truth, BE the light you already are.
this manner you will leave with all the beautiful things you came
~ it is the only thing you own.
~the Other Side of Ugly, Letters to Humanity/Sheri
reward of our work is not what we get,
but what we become.
is the Devil's radio
So don't be his DJ.
~ FB/Holy Bible
yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
you always know angels walk with you.
~ Jane Lee Logan
says, "Once everything falls into place, I will find peace."
Spirit says, "find your peace, and everything will fall into
~ Marianne Williams
If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically
10. If it's broken, it's yours.
11. If it's broken, but you are having fun playing with the pieces,
it's mine again.
12. If there is ANY doubt, it's mine.
people grow up they realize that
it becomes less important to have more friends and
more important to have real ones.
~ FB/A Different Approach
the type of person you want to meet.
don't know the actual meaning of maturity, but for me
maturity is when a person hurts you and
you try to understand their situation rather than
hurting them back.
~FB/Beyond the Veil Where Angels Ascend
sit and wait,
Go out there and feel life.
Touch the sun and
Immerse in the sea.
may feel lost and alone, but
God knows exactly where you are and
He has a good plan for your life.
~ FB/Holy Bible
who are too weak to follow their own dream
will sometimes try to find a way to discourage yours.
~ FB/Calming Your Inner Storm
matter what we face in life,
God will be there with us.
Only God can turn our worst tragedies into victories.
~ TGIF (Today God Is First)
follow me and
you will find the way.
inner work to do whether sailing through tranquil waters or stormy
seas is one and the same. Returning time and time again to being the
silent peace at the center of the wheel, life spins all around us,
while we, at ease, are going nowhere,
exercising our Higher Consciousness, of empty, spacious Awareness,
staying connected to being the hub, all remains eternally calm and
~ FB/David, Walking in Spirit
up to you to find beauty in the ugliest of days.
~ FB/Spiritually Thinking through Waves of Gratitude
you connect to The Silence within you
That is when you make sense of the disturbance going on around you.
~Stephen Richards FB/Watching Whales via Soul Speaking
the midst of your struggle lies the ability
to help someone through theirs.
Don't Give Up!
~ FB/Kennedy's Cause
of conflicts is due to difference of opinion
90%is due to wrong tone of voice.
~ Ritu Ghatourey via FB/Health is wealth
company will never give you a positive life.
Examine what you tolerate.
challenges, bumps in the road are often first signs
that a great healing has begun.
two most important days in your life are
the day you were born and
the day you find out why.
~ Mark Twain
are God's masterpiece.
~ Eph 2:10
are more powerful then you know and
you are beautiful just as you are.
~ Melissa Ethridge
am my most powerful when I am working with life
rather than against it.
~ Anita Moorjani
next time Satan reminds you of your past,
Remind him of his future.
people need drama like oxygen.
Stay positive. It will take their breath away.
~ Paul Coelho
aspire to be a giver
A giver of love.
A giver of good vibes.
A giver of strength.
~ FB/The Joy of Dad
didn't give you the strength to get back on your feet so you could
run back to the thing that knocked you down.
the end of the day, the only questions I will ask myself are:
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?
~ FB/Holy Bible
don't always need a plan.
Sometimes you just need to
breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.
~ Mandy Hale
world is like a mountain.
Your Echo depends on you.
If you scream good things, the world will give it back.
If you scream bad things, the world will give it back.
Even if someone says badly about you, speak well about him.
Change Your Heart to change the World.
day someone is going to hold you so tight that
all your broken pieces will stick together.
I close the door to the past and open a door to the future,
take a deep breath, step on through and
start a new chapter in my life.
~FB/The Joy of Dad
a life that tickles your soul.
~ Suzanne Zoglio
(change the direction in which you are looking for happiness) and
be willing to change.
~ Daily Reader for Contemplative Living, Fr. Thomas Keating
all your complaining to the Lord,
and He will bear it and transform it.
~ Jer 31:25
Lord, Grant me the ability to speak kindly,
respond gently, and at times, to hold my tongue.
I want my actions and reactions to please and reflect You and Your
~ FB/Holy Bible
best stories will come from your struggles.
The seeds of your successes are in your failures.
Your praises will be birthed from your pains.
I have never seen a storm last forever.
~ FB/Holy Bible
friend, you've got nothing to be scared of.
I'm here and you're not going to do this alone.
~ McGarett, Hawaii Five O
motto at my high school was, "LUCEAT LUX VESTRA,"
which is Latin for "LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE."
On each day of my life to live this motto will be a new challenge.
- Matthew Kelly, Mustard Seeds
I look at him I see myself.
When I see myself, I see him.
are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway
you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and
some genuine enemies.
you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
open and patient with your learning and growth.
would like to express my gratitude for you...
For the person you are.
~from the movie: Meet Joe Black
deserve nothing less than love.
fully what you cannot change.
love is spoken here.
we could look into the hearts of others and
understand the hardships that everyone of us faces daily,
I think we would treat each other with more
gentleness, patience, tolerance and care.
~FB/Walking in Spirit
in [Jesus]all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
~ Colossians 1:19
could argue that Love can be a powerful transformer. Forgiveness -
really just love in another cloak - is another agent of transformation
and change. We promise to do many things for love and in the name
of love. But my personal experience tells me that there is a stronger
agent of change yet... The real power to change and transform comes
from the invitation to let go, to release, to allow one's self to
die in large and small ways. Noting rattles the cage, moves the heart,
brings our attention to what is most important or makes us finally
take a firm hold of life than an invitation from the Angel of Death.
Everything stops. And what becomes the focus of our life in those
moments is what is most important to us -most often, it's the people
we love. The questions have often been asked, "If you knew you
were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? How would your
life change? What would you be doing? Who would you do it with? Who
or what would you hold on to? Who or what are you being invited to
let go of and leave behind?"
has interesting ways of reshaping a heart... of teaching us to love
in greater and broader ways. The most obvious perhaps is to serve...
to help someone in need or to accompany someone on their journey in
ways that even if for a short time alleviate pain and suffering. To
be a listening ear... much needed laughter...a soft shoulder... a
conduit of grace in times of difficulty. Sometimes God will just sneak
something in and catch you by surprise. For example, while we were
watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade a commercial for Wells
Fargo come up. It's a little over a minute and a must see as we head
into the holiday season. The selfless generosity represented here
will make your heart smile! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3W23IZo8eg
I keep going back to that first image of this natural year... the
image of the tiller. And, having experienced more than half this year
I am coming to a different interpretation of the symbol. Though at
the time it was a sign of relief for me, I have come to know that
this year was not at all time to plant as I had earlier thought, but
rather a time to till... literally... to break the crust, turn the
soil and allow the space for what is buried deep within to come to
the surface - however ever painful - to be experienced, felt, acknowledged
invitations of death in large and small ways throughout our lives
offer us opportunities to be transformed. The Zombie in us is at the
ready. When death invites, will we choose return to old, mindless,
and perhaps destructive habits? Or will we embrace the change and
pay more attention to what is most important - to live more freely...more
lovingly in the light? All I can say from my experience so far this
year: never doubt for a moment that God has a plan for your life.
It doesn't mean that life will be a bed of roses. It doesn't mean
the road will be smooth or the journey uneventful. All it really means
is that we are held in Holy Hands. We are guided and loved beyond
words and that we are not alone. (Remember the mushroom...connected
by what cannot be seen?) There is a plan for this pain, for this anguish,
for this temporary challenge or what may appear to be trial by fire.
Held in those hands it is safe to let go and let God (or go with the
flow if you prefer.) In terms of eternity anything that happens here
is truly temporary. And in times of transformation, of death and rebirth,
Faith and Trust are the best of companions. (and the love and care
of family and friends is a tremendous gifts!) Keep them close as you
travel this journey called life, all the while staying fixed on the
Pole Star -on the One in whose holy hands we are held and by whose
hands we are guided - and all will be well as we endure the transforming
Hugs and Blessings,
Sagittarius New Moon Mandala
December 2, 2013
all the cycles this year, this one was perhaps the most startling.
Not because anything in particular was said or read, seen or sighted,
but because there was literally nothing. No animal, no bird, no sun,
no license plate. Nothing... nothing but overcast stillness... quiet...
solitude... which were quite palpable. At a time when the commercial
world was ramping up, the earth was eerily quiet... still... waiting...
resting... and calling me to do the same. And so the cycle began...
associated with Sagittarius are true blues and lighter shades of purple.
The color of the spectrum is blue. The gem is Turquoise and the power
stone is Lapis Lazuli.
first glance a song text came to mind. The author of the text is unkown
and the first English translation was done by Theodore Baker. The
music was written in 1599 and first harmonized by Michael Praetorius
in 1609. 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen' has become a timeless, classic
Christmas Carol and Marian hymn. And in lieu of the traditional analysis:
How a Rose E'er Blooming
Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
as those of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night.
Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
the Rose I have in mind;
with Mary we behold it,
the Virgin Mother kind.
To show God's love aright,
she bore to us a Savior,
when half spent was the night.
empty me of me, so I can be filled with you.
~TGIF/ Today God is First
looked in temples, churches and mosques.
I found the Divine within my heart.
is more present to us than we are to our selves.
~St. Francis deSales
is the absence of judgment.
know...the only thing that really matters is that
the people you love are happy and healthy.
Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.
~Paul Walker 11/12/73~11/30/13
understanding comes love.
you planted Hope today in any Hopeless Heart.
If someone's Burden was Lighter because you did your part.
If you caused a Laugh that chased some Tears away.
If tonight your Name is Taken when someone Knees To Pray,
Then your day has been Well Spent!
you are always trying to be normal
You'll never know how amazing you can be.
beautiful life doesn't just happen.
It is built daily by prayer, humility, sacrifice and hard work.
~ unknown; FB/Holy Bible
often becomes what he believes himself to be.
If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it
is possible that I may end
really becoming incapable of doing it.
On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely
acquire the capacity to do it even if
I may not have it at the beginning.
that is worth cherishing begins in the heart,
not the head.
~ Theme of my reflection for Daily Mass
great in little things.
~St. Francis Xavier, feast day
is the God of second chance.
He will never give up on you.
~TGIF/Today God Is First
all of us is a light that can guide us
even in our darkest hour.
~unknown; FB/Waves of Gratitude
honoring God with your life.
Stay in peace.
Trust His timing and
God will open doors that no (one) can shut.
~JCLU Forever (Jesus Christ Loves U-Christian clothing)
am a product of God's grace.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin,
or his background, or his religion.
People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can
be taught to love, for love comes more
naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
~Nelson Mandela 7/18/1918 ? 12/5/13
poverty is not a task of charity,
It is an act of justice.
It is man-made and it can be overcome and
eradicated by the actions of human beings.
is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters.
Fall in love.
firmly believe in small gestures:
pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile
or try to be kind even when you don't
feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid's runaway ball down the
sidewalk and throw it back to him,
try to be larger than you are? particularly when it's difficult.
People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it's done
to (for) me. Small gestures can be an
effort, or actually go against our grain
(I'm not a big one for paying compliments...),but the irony is that
almost every time you make them, you
feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter,
a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.
Jonathan Carroll (born 1949),Author
Don't see everyone's flaws,
Don't listen to everything you're told
Don't speak if it's not kind
Always look for the good in people.
Not everything is truth.
Only speak words of kindness.
~Live Life Positively
love be at the center of your attention.
FB/Walking in Spirit
you need to look at life from a different perspective.
~FB/Waves of Gratitude
don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
But the roots are down there riotous.
pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
could you keep your heart in wonder at the
daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem
less wondrous than your joy;
you would accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted the seasons that
pass over your fields.
you would watch with serenity through the
winters of your grief.
of your pain is self-chosen.
is the bitter potion by which the physician within
you heals your sick self.
trust the physician, and drink his remedy
in silence and tranquility:
his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by
the tender hand of the Unseen,
the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has
been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has
moistened with His own sacred tears.
~ Khalil Gibran
really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior
But the graphite inside.
So always pay attention to what's happening inside you.
have within you more love than you could ever understand.
is not a time nor a season, but a state of Mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real Spirit of Christmas.
~ Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States
today, treat everyone you meet as if
they were going to be dead by midnight.
Extend to them all the care, kindness and
understanding you can muster, and do it
with no thought of any reward.
Your life will never be the same again.
~ Og Mandino
I look back over this year grateful I had not known what was coming.
After the cleaning and clearing of 2012 I was not looking forward
to another year of same... yet alone at a deeper level. The quiet
and stillness of this cycle remains ? from beginning to end has accompanied
me. It's as if we're slowing down as one does when changing direction.
Think of a car or a bicycle turning a corner... one must slow down
to make the turn. My dreams are telling me that life is similar, yet
different. The conversation of the natural world tells me this is
no time to hermit... to isolate... but a time to be connected to like
minds, like the migratory birds... to travel in community... with
a community that "soars."
have taken the ancient practice in recent years of receiving a word
for the year. My word for 2013 was "abundance." Even with
all the challenges of the past year, I can look back and see the abundance
of God in my life... having received what was needed in every moment
and circumstance ? wishing now I had been more patient and trusting.
Over the past few weeks I have been speaking to God about the word
for the coming new year. While out shopping for a gift, I was looking
at some Willlow Tree figures. One caught my eye ... cute but the word
was similar to abundance so nope... that wasn't it. Another one caught
my eye. It was a female figure lifting up a dove. I was thinking it
probably said "peace" and while peace is a wonderful thing,
the word was not rocking my world. You know it when you know it. The
third time past the figure I just had to pick it up and see what was
underneath. The word nearly took my breath away. It said: SOAR. It's
going to be an interesting year. For more on this ancient tradition
and selecting your word for 2014: http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2013/12/09/give-me-a-word-2014-fifth-annual-abbey-giveaway/
"stillness" and "waiting" have a feeling of threshold
to me... of standing in the doorway between rooms...not in the previous
room, but not yet in the next one either. After the events of this
year, this liminal space is most welcome. I am quite content to be
here... to rest... to catch my breath and allow God the space to work.
No matter what lies ahead, this I know: God is with us and God will
provide for all that is needed. 2013 taught me that. As we journey
into 2014, let us be mindful to bring forth the highest possible good
in every situation, to carry the Christ within, bringing love, joy
and mercy to those we encounter. Let not Christmas be a day nor season,
but a mindset that we carry with us throughout the coming year. Let
us be courageous, like Mother Mary, Theotokos - God-bearer, and endeavor
to be conduits of God's grace in whatever manner we are called to
quote by a saint typically accompanies my word for the year. The quote
below recently made itself known. Wishing you every possible grace
and blessing in the New Year, I leave you with this quote by Teresa
Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing; God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.
Hugs and Blessings,
Capricorn New Moon Mandala
January 1, 2014
New Year! And what a year it is shaping up to be! Last cycle you might
recall I had written that, at a time when the world was ramping up
in celebration, I was called to slow down into the stillness and the
quiet that was so present to me in the natural world at the time.
That it was almost as if I were slowing down so as to be able to make
the turn in the road ahead. And make the turn I did. What a shift!
With the new cycle, the new moon , the new month, the new year I came
to realize I was coming out of a grief I had been carrying for some
time. Three years ago at this time of year, I began the process of
sending my oldest off to college. I began marking time... noticing
"last time for this" and celebrations he would no longer
be here to celebrate. And as excited and happy as I was for him, as
open-handed ("letting go") and as supportive as I thought
I was, I had became aware during this cycle that I was still holding
grief at the loss of his presence in my life. When he went off to
college, we stopped eating at the dinner table - a place where his
presence would obviously be missed. For the most part, I did what
was necessary... and I truly didn't care about many things including
the care of my body. I had stopped exercising. I used to be such a
good cook... a quality I just couldn't seem to hang on to. If anyone
had told me as I was grieving, I would have laughed at the thought.
And yet, here I am in the realization that it was truly a time of
grief for me. Grief is an interesting thing... truly a "winter-time"
of life. And just as Spring arrives when it arrives regardless of
the date on the calendar, grief takes as long as it takes and no one
but you can decide when it's over. I am most grateful to those who
walked the path with me in love... with prayers and patience... accepting
me for where I was and not trying to push me into a life I was not
yet ready for.
began to question who I was becoming now that my children were leaving
the nest. During this cycle I joined an online retreat experience
through Abby of the Arts (which Sandra Mosley had introduced me to
some time ago - Mahalo!) and I found myself trying to introduce myself
to a group I had never met. "I am____" - the name usually
comes first and then we often define ourselves by any number of relationships
(daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother), occupation (church musician,
cantor), interests (leader of prayer, artist,) and way of life (contemplative,
Catholic.) I found that "I am ____" can also relate to descriptions
of body (overweight and out of shape) and feelings (exhausted, apathy.)
In this exploration of "I am_____" this cycle began:
first glance the words "The Light Within" came to mind.
Capricorn energy is focused, organized, responsible, serious. What
more appropriate time is there to strengthen our resolve by compiling
our New Year's Resolutions? I hope you've made some good ones - the
ones that really speak to your spirit! Colors associated with this
sign are black, dark blues, and greys, and earth tones. The color
of the spectrum is blue-violet. The gem is onyx or jet and the power
stone is quartz crystal.
sets of 5 - inner star, outer pentagon = manifestation, I often also
think of body
One set of 6 - (personal meaning) struggle, choice, decision; can
also relate to home and homing
Four sets of open-ended 3s - These look like triangles to me but the
tops are missing. I think back to the Gemini New Moon Mandala of June
1, 2011 - where the triangles were content to just be where they were...
static and unable to move without some type of outside influence to
urge them onward. This arrangement speaks to me of movement... of
taking the lid off and "letting something out" ... allowing
the divine to move in the world
3 vesica picsis/mandorla-like diamonds - (mandorla is Italian for
almond) a symbol for threshold, gateway, of birthing
An inner circle surrounded by 15 triangle "tops" or points
at the center- all pointing outward: 15 is a dynamic and creative
agent; it represents the blooming of life in the creation ~ridingthebeast.com
The inner circle speaks to me of potential...
mandala as a whole speaks to me of revelation... of revealing, or
more specifically giving birth to, the Light within.
is the measure of our ability to bear crosses.
~Teresa of Avila
me with miracles
Like rain soaking the cracked desert floor.
Caress my soul
With Your grace.
Steep me in Your love
Like peaches in wine...
For I am utterly and shamelessly
Your very own.
resolution I always make and try to keep...
Rise above the little things.
~ John Burroughs
do not need to know precisely what is happening,
or exactly where it is all going.
What you need is to recognize the possibilities and
challenges offered by the present moment,
and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
~ Thomas Merton
plans for you started long before you were born.
Trust Him. He's got this!!
~ FB/TGIF: Today God Is First
I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.
plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
wants to reach out and touch every person on earth.
He wants to extend the hand of love and friendship to all.
The problem is very often the only hand He has to use
is the one attached to the end of your arm.
- Mustard Seeds
what you value" seems like a great mantra for the next six weeks
What brings me pleasure?
What yields me experiences of inner harmony?
How can I create more beauty in my life?
What truly fulfills me in a relationship?
How do I treasure myself? Self affirm?
Move your attention away from the external as the arbiter of beauty,
and connect to the radiant sense of inner beauty that we all have,
accepting ourselves in a deeper and richer way.
~ Stephanie Gailing
is the first blank page in a 365 page book.
Write a good one.
~ Brian Tracy
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,
but manifestations of strength and resolution.
~ Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931) via Zodiac Arts newsletter
can become anyone you want to be.
It doesn't matter what happened to you or
what you've done!!!
What matters is WHAT YOU DO NEXT!
have a plan.
Do you trust me? - God
~ TGIF/Today God is First
your intentions be good - embodied in good thoughts,
cheerful words, and unselfish deeds - and
the world will be to you a bright and happy place
in which to work and play and serve.
~Grenville Kleiser, (American author 1868-1953)
at one another and see the goodness there, regardless.
Look for the good in difficult situations in the world that
seem difficult and so unnecessary.
~ John Morton
not let your life be like a shooting star,
which lights up the sky for only a brief moment.
Let your life be like the sun that always burns brightly in the heavens,
bringing light and warmth to all those on earth.
~ Matthew Kelly
for the Senses
your body be blessed.
May you realize that your body is a faithful
and beautiful friend of your soul.
And may you be peaceful and joyful
and recognize that your senses
are sacred thresholds.
May you realize that holiness is
mindful, gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching.
May your senses gather you and bring you home.
May your senses always enable you to
celebrate the universe and the mystery
and possibilities in your presence here.
May the Eros of the Earth bless you.
- John O'Donohue in Anam Cara
not to resist the changes that come your way.
Instead let life live through you.
And do not worry that your life is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better
than the one to come?
time to grow up.
~ George Sands, Being Human
A Blessing for Women's Christmas
is so much
I want to say,
as if the saying
could prepare you
for this path,
as if there were anything
I could offer
that would make your way
you step out
you will see for yourself
how nothing could have
made you ready for this road
that will take you
from what you know now
to what you cannot perceive
in your dreaming
or as it gives a glimpse
I can tell you
this journey is not
It is not about how far
you can walk
or how fast.
is about what you will do
with this moment, this star
that blazes in your sky
though no one else
open your heart
to these shimmering hours
by which your path
to the light that shines
on what you will need
to those who go with you,
and those known only
by their blessing, their benediction
of the road that is
Jan L. Richardson from the book Night Visions: Searching the Shadows
of Advent and Christmas.
Will it help you become the best version of yourself?
Make this question a constant part of your inner dialogue.
~Matthew Kelley, the Narrow Path
Storms make trees take deeper roots.
cannot become more like Christ and not become more perfectly human.
- Mustard Seeds
I trust in your plans.
Please show them to me.
- Mustard Seeds
most important thing in life is
to learn how to give out love and to let it in.
~ Mitch Albom
put the LIFE back into life.
accomplish great things,
we must not only act, but also dream;
not only plan, but also believe.
~ Anatole France
Act great, and
~Yogi tea bag label
I was reminded recently of a story from the desert fathers where an
Abba says to a seeker,
"Do not feed your heart what does not nourish it."
This can be easier said than done,
since we are inclined to so many "comforts" which only serve
to numb and distract us from life.
~ Christine Valters Painter
play a wrong note is insignificant.
To play without passion is inexcusable!
~ Ludwig Van Beethoven
soft. Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
I offer peace today?
Did I bring a smile to someone's face?
Did I say words of healing?
Did I let go of my anger and resentment?
Did I forgive?
Did I love?
These are the real questions.
I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will be many
here in this world and the life to come.
~ Henri Nouwen
hope you live a life you're proud of.
If you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
get tired of doing little things for others.
Those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.
Song to My Body:
Body when we dance we are hearing the earth
we are seeing its songs
we are its waves and its whirlings
and its rock bottom
when we sing we are huge inside
we are the first cave
we are the lighting of the stars
we are the sound of the river
flowing in the dark.
~ Elizabeth Cunningham, from her book "Small Birds"
soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience!
~ Emily Dickenson
most beautiful things in life have to go through a lot of dirt
before they get to blossom.
~ Will "Story" Rivera
knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and
look out to see who's there.
Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
guard yourself against excessive tiredness.
~Matthew Kelly, the Narrow Path
breath vibrates in yours, in your voice.
It is the breath of God that you breathe - and you are unaware of
~Theophilus of Antioch
is said that simple pleasures are the best.
Do what you can to keep a clear conscience.
It is the ultimate simple pleasure.
you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
This life is fleeting.
Make your life count.
~ Matthew Kelly
we heal ourselves, others are healed. When we nurture our dreams,
give birth to the dreams of humankind. When we walk as loving aspects
of the Earth Mother,
we become the fertile, life-giving Mothers of the Creative Force.
When we honor our bodies, our health, and our emotional needs,
we make space for our dreams to come into being.
When we speak the truth from our healed hearts,
we allow life abundant to continue on our Mother Planet."
women, we are continually writing the history of the Legacy of Women.
We cannot point a finger at men or each other without owning the
pain of past generations
who forgot how to give or teach human compassion.
Our own family trees are filled with teaching situations and with
that may have blinded our own Ancestors to the values of truth as
it is found in love.
Now, the destiny of wholeness of the human race falls to the Sisterhood
because all things are born of woman."
~ Jami Sams, The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers
am a feather on the breath of God.
~ Hildegard of Bingen
of Bingen offers this beautiful image of being a feather on the breath
This is a radical act of yielding ourselves, surrendering our expectations
about how our lives should go and embrace things as they really are.
Hildegard invites us to say yes to where God might carry us.
What would it mean to offer obedience to the divine presence speaking
through our bodies?
means the radical yes to God's daily invitations.
It means making space to hear and see those shimmering moments.
It means saying yes to what I discover there in the stillness.
Holy pause and holy yes seem to dance together.
~ Christine Vaulters Painter, Abby of the Arts, online Abbess
remember who you are,
you need to forget who they told you to be.
want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You're not a bad person.
You're a very good person, who bad things have happened to.
Besides, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters.
We've all got both light and dark inside us.
What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really
~Serious Black, Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix
you want to know who you are?
Don't ask. Act.
Action will delineate and define you.
~ Thomas Jefferson
is the reason of my life.
~Bl. Teresa if Calcutta
Are All Energy; New Study Offers Evidence That We Are Vibrating Frequencies
A new scholarly research paper reports the development of a new imaging
that gives credence to the importance of our "vibrational frequency"
being a key element of life.
The idea that proteins in our body vibrate has always been suspected,
but this new technology has given us the first verifiable evidence
that this is true
and is able to be observed on the smallest of scales.
are God's beloved...Yes, you!
~FB/San Rafael First UMC
arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.
When life is dragging you backward with difficulties,
Imagine that it is going to launch you into something great.
Lord, for the gift of who I am.
~ Thomas Keating, Daily Reader for Contemplative Living
Active prayer sentence 1/26-2/4
are constantly in a state of becoming... giving a fuller expression
to the gifts we are.
As I emerge from this winter-time of life, I
can look back over the past six months or so and see how God/the Divine
Beloved/The Universe... whatever name you give to the Source of all
that is... has been gently nudging and pulling me back into life.
I certainly have more energy and am more focused on what is life-giving
for me. But just as the ice must melt and the earth soften before
Spring truly arrives regardless of the date on the calender, I am
guided by mother earth to be patient with myself - to ease in and
not "run on the ice that is still in need of melting."
family recently joined a gym and I met with Sue Singer, fitness director
and certified personal trainer at Snap Fitness in Medford, NJ. She
suggested I create a vision board. I've done them before and decided
to give it a go. In the creation of the board, I found it to be important
to be totally devoid of what I thought should be on it and chose only
those words, phrases and pictures that grabbed me - made me say, Ooooo!
Ahhhhh! Ohhhhhh! Mmmmm... and Hmm... By keeping the mind out of it,
it is truly a message from my spirit. In it are images of a passionately
lived life - not to be held back by a body with limitations. It speaks
of being the best possible me I can be, aging well and in good health
- of being "well preserved", and (now that my children are
getting older and will soon all be out of the house) to making connections
with friends and a deeper connection to my Lovie-Dearest. It reminds
me that I am a work in progress and asks "How good can you feel?"
The doorway puzzled me at first. Why that picture? I've come to understand
that the doorway represents choice - my choice to "walk through
the door" - which has become code for taking care of my body,
the vessel of my spirit. Every time I see the door I ask myself, "Did
I walk through the door today?" It can also apply to life in
general and the question "Am I truly living? Or just taking up
space?" The central greenery was so important to me. In the online
retreat I am taking we talked about Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century
Benedictine Abbess, who was also a theologian, visionary, musical
composer, spiritual director, artist, preacher and healer, who was
recognized as a saint in 2012. One of her fundamental principles is
Veriditas or the greening power of God. This central picture
represents the desire for a life that has the life-giving lushness
of this greenery - a fullness of life that is cultivated in both body
and spirit. And the reminder "La vie est belle" - that life
is, indeed, beautiful.
of our life experiences form and shape us... through the experiences
we choose, those that are imposed upon us by others and those that
naturally occur because that's just the way life works (such as the
natural progression of having children and watching them grow into
the world). Through all of our experiences - all the different threads
that make up the fabric of our lives - like the weaving of a fine
tapestry we are constantly growing... developing... becoming. And
the more I contemplate the question "I am ____" the more
I have come to believe that I am, you are, we are GIFT - each one
God's special and unique gift to one another endowed with a myriad
of talents - some cultivated over time through concentrated effort
or life experience and others naturally inherent. And, when we choose
to be the gift we are, we become light in the darkness, given to bring
comfort, mercy, and love with tenderness, patience, and compassion.
have become so aware of the rhythm of this life and how much it reminds
me of the seasons of the year... All of life is comprised of these
natural cycles - of newness and growth, of fullness and ripening,
of quieting and letting go, and of stillness, waiting and the death
that is needed to springboard us into newness once again. I have definitely
turned the corner and am more sensitive and compassionate toward those
experiencing the winter-times of their lives for having had the experience.
I feel as though I am waking up. I am more myself than I have been
in some time... perhaps ever. I'm consistently exercising again and
back in the kitchen cooking (and baking) up some really delicious
and nutritious foods. My fatigue and the occasional sense of "overwhelm"
remind me to be patient with myself... to not take on too much and
to be especially attentive to those things that nourish me and to
reconsider involvement in those things that deplete me. But, I am
definitely moving toward a spring time of life once again. The circle
at the center of this mandala captivates me... and, I wonder what
it is that I am giving birth to at this time? One can only hope that
it is a fuller, more authentic expression of myself and the knowledge
of the gift of who I am.
Hugs and Blessings,
Aquarius New Moon Mandala
January 30, 2014
"You are the Light of the World"
are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
It is set on a lampstand,
Where it gives light to all in the house.
mentioned in last month's journal entry that I had felt that for 6
months or so I could feel like I was being pulled out of my grief
and back into life. One of the ways that happened was through the
formation of a new ministry at my parish. I awoke abruptly one early
summer morning... VERY early... too early to get up and yet sleep
would not come, so I decided to get out of bed and do some Centering
Prayer. What else is there to do at 2:30-3:00 in the morning? As I
sat, the thread that kept going through my mind was an invitation
to start a Prayer Shawl Ministry, the when, the how, and the why of
it... everything one might need to know to get one started. So many
times I gently brought my sacred word forward and yet the message
was persistent... unyielding. Since the prayer time was not at all
restful, I decided to do another 30 minute set. This time it was much
more peaceful as I could sit quietly, undisturbed and watch thoughts
float by. Feeling a little more refreshed yet still too early to make
noise in the house, I decided on a third set. Again, the "instructions"
were insistent. I finally said, "Okay, Okay! I got it! Will do!"
The sun began to rise and it was time to move into the day. September
came. I set the date of the first meeting, set up posters, put notices
in the bulletin and set up a donation bin where members of the parish
could donate their yarn. 22 women joined the group. We have been meeting
on 3rd Thursday of each month since to pray, craft, and consider avenues
for our talents and gifts. We've even set up another date in the month
for those that want to learn. The work of our hands and hearts has
gifted and blessed couples at their wedding rehearsals, the homebound
who feel alone and forgotten; they have warmed and comforted those
who are going through a hard winter, and those that grieve, they have
blessed couples who are preparing to welcome a child into their homes
through natural birth or adoption and at the end of January our youth
group took supplies, coats and our new, handmade scarves to the homeless
whose address is Tent City, Camden, NJ. So often these garments are
received with tears of gratitude and a realization that someone out
there cares enough to craft simple yarn into something warm and comforting
as a symbol of love, care and concern. We had our January meeting
two weeks prior to this new moon and there was no time in my crazy
schedule to bundle, label and get the newly made shawls ready for
our various ministries to pick up and deliver. And yet, on this day,
the day of the Aquarius New Moon - a time marked by brotherly love
and humanitarian efforts as well as innovation and ingenuity (I was
thinking I need to find a quicker and easier way to get these ready
"for market" LOL) I finally had time. Interesting synchronicity
don't you think? And so the month began...
first thought: You are the light of the world which is the title given
to the work. Colors associated with Aquarius are white, electric blue
and lighter shades of blue. The color of the spectrum is purple. Gem
is amethyst. Power stones are sapphire and black pearl.
I found this mandala to be very complex and profound! 10 is a reoccurring
number in this mandala... in the center flower, the 10-pointed circle,
and the outer petals. The circle is divided into four parts, which makes
it directional in quality... We can get a sense of the North, South, East
and West in the division. A large triangle is easily missed as the central,
crystal-like flower draws the eye.
then, being the symbol of matter in harmony; along with the triangle we
get a picture of the Creator and creation... coexisting in peace. I felt
moved to color the background different shades of purple, representing
the four directions and the seasons they represent: N/Winter, E/Spring,
S/ Summer and W/Fall. This indicates to me that this message of "being
light" through acts of brotherly love and humanitarian effort is
not just for a season - such as Lent for example when one might focus
on charity - but rather a year round, full time way of being.
can't help but think of the song made famous by the 5th Dimension
when I look at this mandala, particularly the third paragraph:
the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in...
rather than letting the sun shine in... this mandala invites us to
be the light that we are and let the light shine... out!
the Holy Spirit Christ himself is present in us and takes form in
Through us, he is the one who prays, forgives, spreads hope and consolation,
Serves our brothers and sisters, draws close to the needy and the
creates unity and sows peace.
were made from love
to be love
to spread love.
know myself by my acts of humanity.
Affirmation, Zodiac Arts Newsletter
New Year of the Wooden Horse asks: Are you awake?
always that you have not only the right to be an individual.
You have an obligation to be one.
You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.
me, to be a saint is to be myself. Therefore the problem with sanctity
and salvation is
in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my
what you long for and you will discover who you are.
Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage
meaningful life is not being rich,
being popular, being highly educated or
It's about being real, being humble,
being able to share, and touch the lives of others.
It is only then that we could have
a full, happy and contented life.
your little bit of good wherever you are.
It's those little bits added all together that overwhelm the world.
walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance
lean down, pick something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he
got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking
up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask
what it is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked
up, and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean." The
old man smiled, and said, "I must ask, then, why are you throwing
starfish into the ocean?" To this the young man replied, "The
sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll
die." Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented. "But,
young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach
and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make
a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then he bent
down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past
the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."
ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
But if that drop was nothing the ocean, I think that ocean would be
I do not agree with the big way of doing things...
To us what matters is an individual.
To get to love the person, we must come in close contact...
I believe in person to person, every person is Christ for me,
And since there is only one Jesus,
That person is the one person in the world at that moment.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
our busy lives we often overlook the simple acts of kindness and generosity
that we are able to extend and receive.
We don't realize that God is present in the good we hardly notice,
Yeah, it's a big ocean. But, in the vision of God, every drop of grace
Rev. Andrew Jamieson
Ill. (AP) Three waitresses at an Illinois restaurant say they could
only stare in disbelief when a woman over the weekend handed them
each a $5,000 check. The woman told the waitresses to use the money
for school and "everything else in life." The money will
be used to pay for a last semester for one of the waitresses to earn
her associate degree in criminal justice, which was too expensive,
but she will now return to school.
your bread with the hungry.
Shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothe the naked when you see them,
And do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
And your wound shall quickly be healed;
the world know why you're here
And do it with passion.
Dr. Wayne Dyer
awaken in Christ's body
As Christ awakens our bodies,
And my poor hand is Christ.
He enters my foot, and is infinitely me.
move my hand and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly whole,
Seamless in His Godhood.)
move my foot and at once
He appears like flash of lightening.
Do my words seem blasphemous? Then
Open your heart to Him
let yourself receive the one
Who is opening you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him
We wake up inside Christ's body
all our body, all over
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy as Him,
And He makes us, utterly, real,
everything that is hurt, everything
That seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
Maimed, ugly, irreparably
Damaged, is in Him transformed
recognized as whole, as lovely,
And radiant in His light
He awakens as Beloved
In every last part of our body.
Symeon the New Theologian, 9th-10th c Eastern Orthodox monk
Hurt people hurt people.
That's how pain patterns get passed on,
generation after generation after generation.
Break the chain today.
Meet anger with sympathy,
contempt with compassion,
cruelty with kindness.
Greet grimaces with smiles.
Forgive and forget about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.
the reason someone smiles today
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
say you are confused because it is complicated.
Allow Paul to clarify and simplify things for you.
This is the will of God: That you be saints.
Matthew Kelly, The Narrow Path
negative mind will never give you a positive life.
as Jesus loved?
Everyone, always, wholeheartedly.
Fr. James Martin, SJ
the thing about inner beauty?
Unlike physical beauty which
Grabs the spotlight for itself
Inner beauty shines on everyone
Catching them, holding them in its embrace
Making them more beautiful too.
not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless
It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less
cruel and heartless.
L.R. Knost, Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through
the Ages and Stages
does one fly?" she asked pensively.
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up
being a caterpillar."
Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers
is my teacher.
Some I see. Some I subconsciously attract.
Often I learn simply by observing others.
Some may be completely unaware that I'm learning from them,
yet I bow deeply in gratitude.
greatest strength lies in the
Gentleness and tenderness of our heart.
the tapestry of life, we're all connected.
Each one of us is a gift to those around us.
Helping each other be who we are,
weaving a perfect picture together.
on earth is a choice we must make,
Not a place we must find.
Dr. Wayne Dyer
will make you rich.
candle loses nothing by lightening another candle.
Go light the world!
Living with Christ
you're going to rise,
You might as well shine.
you not know that you are the temple of God,
And that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
...the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
1 Cor 3:16, 17b
a game changer and really very simple. Be the light that you are! No striving
to become... no working toward..."You ARE the light of the world."
When we stop instead of walk past... when we help instead of ignore...
listen instead of turning the other way... smile instead of scowl, we
ARE light and that light shines on everyone in the room. And yes, it really
is just that simple. And as I have said and written on numerous occasions
on a grander scale you can wear yourself out doing this work - There are
SOOOO many in need... so much to be done - so be mindful of your physical,
mental, emotional and spiritual needs and limits. Thomas Merton said,
"To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting
concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many
projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the
violence of our times." There will ALWAYS be a multitude of starfish
to throw back into the ocean. Know when to stop and take care of you so
that you can rise the next day and serve the many you will encounter with
patience, tenderness and love. So where do we start? Consider: What's
important to you? What makes your heart weep? What stops you dead in your
tracks with compassion, sympathy, empathy? What breaks your heart? What
feeds your soul? If need be, what can you let go of to work for that?
Ask God and be open to what comes... as crazy as it might seem to you
in the moment... be open and trust that The Eternal Light will guide you
to where you are to be, doing what is your purpose to fulfill, shining
a light that only you can shine. In the meantime, smile more, stop and
smell the roses - actually, don't just smell them but really look at them
and take in their beauty - that goes for people too! (Well, maybe not
the smelling part but you get the picture!)... hold a few doors, let the
person behind you in the grocery line with just a few items or the one
in a terribly hurry (or a crying child) go ahead of you... love your children,
your spouse, the people in your life and be the light of the world...for
Hugs and Blessings,
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