The Joy of Sadness

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

— Chinese proverb


A post in Beth Owl’s Daughter about Seasonal Effective Disorder started me thinking once again about the way our culture attempts to medicate all emotional reactions out of its citizens (and thank you Beth for that wonderful proverb!!).  She 

When I was many years younger, I used to be hit hard by what later came to be known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. As Autumn proceeded from its kaleidoscopic colors into rusts and browns, and finally into Winter’s endless grays, my own spirits would slump accordingly. As the days grew darker, my moods followed along, bringing bouts of tears, withdrawal, and lethargy. By the time I crawled into late February, I would often be struggling with outright despair.

But, thankfully, that changed. Perhaps, it was in part that I fell in love with a man who truly revels in the cold time of year. And maybe as I got older, my hormonal changes helped. But the truth is that, long before I was perimenopausal, my Autumns and Winters were beginning to pass without loss of emotional equilibrium.

Was it just coincidence that this shift was in synch with the deepening of my Pagan spiritual practice? As I attuned myself to the seasons of the Earth, and embraced the cycles of life and death, growth and surrender, rather than dreading the darkening of the year, I learned to love it.

Don’t get me wrong. … I am well aware that for many people, it is a very painful and serious problem.

But I wonder if there could be any correlation between SAD […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:35:26-04:00January 18th, 2009|Consciousness, Health & Healing, Psychology|Comments Off on The Joy of Sadness

Astroshamanism by Michael Erlewine

Michael Erlewine has recently returned to the Matrix Software company that he started, and he is making a big splash on the web.  He has started  over there as well.

The site has posted a series of articles by Michael on AstroShamanism (since taken down but you can ).  The shamanic process is a core component of the work that I do with clients to help facilitate transformation, and this is where the modern and more psychospiritual styles of astrology differ from traditional astrology.
Michael describes a shaman as “one who has attained some degree of spiritual realization and awareness–in particular awareness of the other worlds, the next life stage or planes.”  When we observe our life from this perspective, handling the crises of our lives takes on a different perspective.
I particularly like the way Michael describes the shamanic process here:

The shaman helps others accept their changes or deaths on one level, and obtain rebirth and to develop familiarity on other and new levels. It is said that the shaman restores the road between earth and heaven, a road that has been temporarily lost or has become unclear or uncertain. Another way to say this is that the shaman knows the way from one state of being or chakra to the next state, and is able to guide or prepare the initiate for that journey. The shaman often guides the would-be initiate from an unstable or dangerous state of mind to stability and future productivity. In the esoteric literature, the Shaman traditionally escorts the souls of the dead away from their corpses and dying places and on into the next world. The shaman is capable of entering and holding an altered state of consciousness at will, and can act […]

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By |2018-07-15T10:11:22-04:00January 17th, 2009|Consciousness|Comments Off on Astroshamanism by Michael Erlewine

Autism and the incarnation process

Sorry to be a bit stuck on this topic, but I found this while researching the astrology/autism connection and thought this might interest my readers.  It’s from an article written in 2000 by astrologer Sandra Weidner:

We are all incarnated. Any one who has looked upon the body of a deceased loved one–unless too shattered from grief to see–has the clear sensation, “he/she is no longer in this.” We are Life which has assumed material form in order to enter a material world. For a time. For certain purposes. The spiritual is never as limited as the material. To come here, we have to take on limitations. For one, a body is required. It represents one part of our admission ticket. The other is formed by our group as well as individual reasons for coming….

So, yes, we are all incarnated. Some of us, however, are more incarnated than others. Our physical bodies make it appear we are all equally here. We are not. Autistic children are one of the groups of people who are less here. Their physical bodies are here; their identities are considerably somewhere else. Most families of autistic children already know that. They just cannot explain why. Here, using this universal language of creation–astrology–it becomes understandable. …

Here’s where it gets really interesting:

I borrow from the work of Jungian psychologist, Erich Neuman. It is from his book, The Child:

The young of the higher mammals are born in a state of relative maturity; either immediately or shortly after birth they are small adults which not only wholly resemble adult animals but are also capable of living unaided. In order to attain a similar state of maturity the human embryo would require a pregnancy of from twenty to twenty-two months. In other words, the human child, after the […]

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By |2009-01-07T07:37:33-04:00January 7th, 2009|Consciousness, Health & Healing|Comments Off on Autism and the incarnation process

The “I” Within

The "I" Within

One author who has had a profound affect on my personal evolution and my client work is Stephen Levine, author of the magnificent book Who Dies which you can find in the Recommended Reading list in the sidebar. Stephen, a practicing Buddhist, writes about the softening of the hardness that we build around our hearts when our lives are under stress, and how to relax into a sense of presence and that-which-is.  These are Buddhist concepts, but they transcend Buddhism or any religious or spiritual definitions.  This presence is also what is taught by Eckhart Tolle, who has become one of the leading spiritual leaders of our time.

Dharmaruci at was a practicing Buddhist for many years and has an interesting article up today on this subject in a follow-up on an article about a Buddhist nun.  He begins:

There are certain things I love about Buddhism. Its philosophy of emptiness makes complete sense. It is saying that everything is part of an interconnected flux in which there are no separate ‘things’. That includes the sense of ‘I’ – hence the famous ‘no-self’ doctrine.

I have to say that this “no-self” idea has always perturbed me.  I myself practiced a disciplined form of meditation for about 18 years and found when I entered psychotherapy that I had spent much of that time using meditation to numb myself from my painful feelings.  I actually quit meditating during the time I was in therapy so that I could more fully awaken to myself and begin to process a lifetime of discomfort.  When I began to meditate again I no longer worked to […]

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By |2008-08-20T00:30:18-04:00August 20th, 2008|Consciousness|Comments Off on The “I” Within

The Agony and Ecstacy of the Kundalini experience

Beth Owl’s Daughter has a wonderful on the experience of the Kundalini awakening:

[T]he unplanned, or explosive kundalini awakening can be life-shattering and may result in years of difficulty, as we try to integrate and stabilize our changed sense of identity. This is why most yoga practices that work with this soul fire attempt to teach the seeker to gently raise the energy through meditation and awareness of the subtle energetic body.

Still, these awakenings may result in profoundly erratic behavior, speech, and emotional states in the individual experiencing them. Observers have noted that the subject may exhibit involuntary and spasmodic body movements and postures; pain; abnormal breathing patterns; paralysis; tickling itching; vibrating sensations; hot and cold sensations; inner sounds, such as roaring, music, whistling, and chirping; insomnia; hypersensitivity to environment; unusual or extremes of emotions; intensified sex drive; distortion of thought processes; detachment; disassociation; sensations of physical expansion; and out-of-body experiences (OBEs).

This article is part of a series Beth is doing on the three Graces, but an understanding of the way Kundalini energy operates within us is very linked to the Chironic process. I have come to see that Chiron rules the Kundalini energy that flows within our body, and many of us that were born between the mid 1950s and the mid 1980s have an opposition of Chiron to Uranus that accelerates the rising of Kundalini, sometimes in a way that is difficult to manage. Chiron’s goal in its rulership of this magical energy is to free us from the blocks that we place in our energy field to keep us safe, but which also keep us stuck. Sometimes the freeing of those blocks unleashes a flood of energy that we are not always ready for.

Psychoanalyst Stan Grof […]

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By |2008-01-25T13:40:00-04:00January 25th, 2008|Consciousness|Comments Off on The Agony and Ecstacy of the Kundalini experience
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