TreeSisters

Let the birds take your clothes
Let the waves undo your holding back
Let the vines unravel your tired mind
And the earth savour your sweat and tears.
Let your stories burn off like rising mist,
As your past and the false floors of curbed self love
Dissolve into butterfly wings and fire flies
As your edges blur and your Planetary Self ignites.
Let the trees bathe your breath
Let the meadows embrace you
Let the mountains and the bees remind you
Let the sky flood in and allow the clouds to guide you.
Let your undoing be as total
As your becoming is beautiful –
And when the living world has climbed inside
Enough for you to feel four legs, scales and wings.
May you finally know yourself alive as all things –
Indivisible and responsible
Reborn into wholeness
Natural, Sacred and Wild

~ Clare Dubois, Founder of TreeSisters

 

The In-Between Time of Samhain

The In-Between

Certain times in our lives are filled with potency and magic. Twilight is such a time, as is dawn. These are magical moments when it is neither day nor night. Birth is another potent in-between time, along with death. These special times mark borders and transition zones. The in-between is a sacred time when magic is afoot.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we find ourselves on the boundary between autumn and winter. The light is slowly fading away as our Sun drops lower and lower in the sky and our nights grow longer. This is another potent in-between time. The ancient Celtic people would celebrate Samhain (Sow-in) at this time.  Some tribes chose to celebrate at the 1st new moon after late harvest (October 19th this year). Other tribes celebrated at the 1st full moon after harvest (November 3rd this year). The celebration of Samhain was a beautiful way to honor the seasonal  transition out of the light and into the dark.

The veils between the worlds grow very thin during this sacred in-between time.  Loved ones who have departed this Earth are believed to be nearby. Many people in Mexico honor this by celebrating Dia de los Muertos  (Day of the Dead) at this time.

Samhain is the perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the sacred cycles of birth – growth – death – rebirth that are an integral part of Nature.

Some suggestions for acknowledging and honoring the magical in-between time of Samhain:

Take a few moments to honor everything you have “harvested” this year.

Bow to your ancestors and thank them for giving you this life.

Offer love and prayers to loved ones who have transitioned.

Thank the brilliant light of summer and embrace the deep dark of winter.

Listen for spiritual guidance to help you in the coming year.

Celebrate the Magic of Samhain.

We Are All Related

“In Lakota culture, we give thanks, always, for everything. We wake up, greet the morning and give thanks for making it to another sunrise. We look out and give thanks for Unci Maka (earth) and all her beauty. When it’s time to eat, we give part of our breakfast and Wakalyapi (coffee) to the spirits with a prayer of thanks. We then offer up prayers for the gorgeous day we are about to embark on. By the time I’ve ingested my food and am ready to start my day, I’ve already offered up thanks for so many things.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Being aware that the creator is responsible for everything we do, we see, we experience, is innately part of us; it’s the fabric of our culture. It helps us to stay grounded, humble, Ice Wicasa, or Ice Winyan: common man or common woman. It reminds us we are no better than anything around us, we do not rule over the grass or the pebbles just because we are larger than them.

I feel this is a lesson for all human beings, Lakota or not. This is what seems to have been forgotten in wasicu society, or perhaps they never had it. Based on their past and present history with women, and other nations, I imagine the latter is probably true.

See, in our culture Lakota women didn’t have to rise up and have a feminist movement, because we were never discriminated by our men. We are sacred in our culture. We are rulers of the roost, literally. There are issues now, between women and men, but that is due to acculturation — and that is a whole other post for another time.

Back to what I was saying, this issue of equality between human beings has always been a dividing line between our cultures and it continues to be one; manifest destiny did not, and does not, mean the same thing for everyone .

For Lakotas one of our common mantras is “Mitakuye Oyasin” — we are all related. All of us, no matter who you are (person), or what you are (grass, trees, rocks), are the same. No one is better than anyone else. Our lives really are circular, and yes, everything REALLY is related to everything else…”

~Mary Black Bonnet

excerpt from Mitakuye Oyasin – We Are All Related

Autumn Begins with Balance

Today is the autumnal equinox.  Autumn has officially arrived.

An equinox is the moment in which Earth’s equator lines up perfectly with the center of our Sun’s disk. This occurs only twice each year, in March and September.

At the time of an equinox, our Sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. Day and night are precisely equal at the equator — and very close to equal everywhere else on the globe.

Metaphysical thoughts on the equinox from MysticMamma:

Symbolically, it can be viewed as the point when day meets night, where opposites meet on equal ground, where we can integrate the duality within the oneness of existence.
The ancients, who knew themselves to be at one with the Earth, honored these planetary shifts as important reflections of life. As above so below, As within, so without.
This eternal medicine reminds us of the equanimity necessary to reconcile opposites…

 

Thoughts on equanimity and balance from BuddhaNet:

Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight. Looking at the world around us, and looking into our own heart, we see clearly how difficult it is to attain and maintain balance of mind.

Looking into life we notice how it continually moves between contrasts: rise and fall, success and failure, loss and gain, honour and blame. We feel how our heart responds to all this happiness and sorrow, delight and despair, disappointment and satisfaction, hope and fear. These waves of emotion carry us up and fling us down; and no sooner do we find rest, than we are in the power of a new wave again. How can we expect to get a footing on the crest of the waves? How shall we erect the building of our lives in the midst of this ever restless ocean of existence, if not on the Island of Equanimity.

A world where that little share of happiness allotted to beings is mostly secured after many disappointments, failures and defeats; a world where only the courage to start anew, again and again, promises success; a world where scanty joy grows amidst sickness, separation and death; a world where beings who were a short while ago connected with us by sympathetic joy, are at the next moment in want of our compassion – such a world needs equanimity…

Spend a few moments meditating with Mama Earth today. May she help you find your sense of balance and equanimity in the midst of all the waves of change and chaos.

Harvest Cross-Quarter

Temple of Goddess Arinna    Image: Bernard Gagnon

In a few days, Earth’s northern hemisphere will reach the halfway point between summer solstice and autumn equinox.  This is one of four “cross-quarter” days that occur in our solar year.

Many of our ancestors celebrated the start of harvest on this particular cross-quarter day. The Celtic people of the British Isles paid homage to the Sun God Lugh at this time. But long before Lugh was known, Arinna was worshiped by the ancient tribes  living in the region that is now Turkey (1400 BCE).  The Solar Goddess Arinna was their main deity. Her consort was the weather god, Teshub. 

I love what Cayelin Castell has to say about worship of the Solar Goddess:

“Before the patriarchy this Cross-Quarter celebrated the Sun Goddess thanking her for the abundance of the ripened grain. As the Solar Feminine was diminished during patriarchal times this festival celebrated the Sun God. The Irish called him Lugh (Light). Lugh’s festival focused on celebrating the skills of the warrior and the craftsmen with less emphasis on the ripened grain or bounty of the mother as a gift from the Solar Feminine.

It is true that the Solar Feminine is returning to our awareness in many ways now. So it seems appropriate that the cross-quarter points are a time for remembering the original Solar Feminine festivals and their intent.

  • The February Cross-Quarter celebrated the Mother’s (Solar Feminine) power to give life including the life giving light of the lengthening days.
  • The May Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine in her passion for intimate pleasure and the beauty of life in great abundance.

The August Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine for her abundant life giving gifts of Food and sustenance for the coming winter season .

  • The November Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine power to live through death and be reborn to a new life.

The returning strength and power of the Solar Feminine is a reminder to honor and celebrate the gifts of life-giving nourishment that we all enjoy. If you feel inspired by this you might use the first week of August as a time to give daily gratitude for the Earth and all that she gives us everyday.

At the Turning of the Ages we might ask: What are the new emerging ceremonies and celebrations that are relevant now?” ~Cayelin Castell

Forest Dreaming

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

~Jack Kerouac
‘The Dharma Bums’

Sacred Solstice

Artist unknown

Turn your face to the Sun
And let the shadows fall away…

☀️

Summer Solstice is upon us!

Summer Solstice is sacred Sun time. Here in the northern hemisphere, it normally falls between June 20-22 each year.  It denotes the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Young children dance with the Solstice Sun.  They run and jump and scream with sunny joy. They beg to stay up just a little longer so they can squeeze every last drop of living out of the long sunlit days.  Children intuitively understand the power of this sacred Sun time.

Let’s follow their lead. Go outside!  Soak up the sacred rays that bring life to this beautiful blue planet.  Enjoy the green fields and flowers of early summer.  Revel in Nature’s abundance. Get up early and watch the sunrise.  Pause and honor the sunset at the end of another long luscious summer day.

Allow the sacred abundance of summer to bless you.