Archive for October, 2009

Approaching Samhain

On and around October 31, many people honour the festival of Samhain or Halloween.  It’s a time to respect the ancestors and recently dead, to leave one year behind and enter another, to remember the final harvest of the year, and to really enter the more dormant/dark time on the cycle of seasons.  Just to find out, I worked out a more exact half-way point between Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice to see when a “truer” Samhain might occur.  This year, November 6 is where it falls.  This doesn’t mean I’m fussy about it, just curious.

One of my favourite renditions of the Death card in the tarot is from the Motherpeace deck.  A birch tree sheds its leaves.  A snake begins to shed its skin and forms a womb-like circle around part of the tree and around a skeleton that’s in fetal position.  Several people (myself included) associate the Death card with Scorpio — an instinct to transform, intense experiences of death and rebirth, the unseen realms, sex (the “little death”), composting, regeneration, organs of elimination and reproduction, etc. 

So, as we enter the deeper, darker part of the year:

What in your life needs to be transformed?   What in our world are you willing to transform?   What needs to die?   What might grow out of the humus of that dying?   How do you connect with the unseen worlds?   What old life stuff is being composted?   How might that be regenerating to you?   What is acting as both tomb and womb to you?

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Emerged from Circle

This has been a rich and heart-filled weekend.  Gratitude to Bev, Hele, Line, Pamela, Betty, Peter, and Elaine for being my circlemates.  It was an honour and privilege to offer the lineage of PeerSpirit circling to others and to really live it for three days.  The greatest gift I received is a real sense that I carry certainty of purpose.  Teaching others about council circle and weaving community, whether short- or long-term, is right for me.  I have entered the next right thing.  Also, I received some cool ideas about my tarot book as I asked these questions:

  1. How can my tarot book be more of a circle, a council, an interactive experience?
  2. How can the language of circle/council infuse this book?
  3. Whom does this book serve?

How can I serve you and your group through circle process?  Let me know.  We’ll see what we can do.

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Ready to Enter Circle

Bev and I set up the circle space downstairs and set all of our tools, sacred and mundane, in place.  I made a few extra notes on the importance and significance of the circle’s centre.  Then we did a short reading using the Mythological Goddess Tarot to help us remember what’s important to each of us, to us as a teaching team, and what the energy of the circle is itself this weekend.  I won’t publish Bev’s tarot insights, as they’re hers, but here are the other three cards:

2.  What’s important for me to remember as we enter the first session of the circle practicum?       Maiden of FireCentre my passionate, volcanic energy and enthusiasm for the subject matter.  Connect with each person’s essence rather than with their personalities.  Bring innovation and a cutting edge perspective.  Burn through the status quo with my heart of fire.  Be conscious of first impressions.  Ask, “What is the most revolutionary thing we/I/you can do with circle process?”  Dedicate myself to this session.

3.  What’s important for both of us to remember as we enter the first session of the circle practicum?       XX.  The Great VoidThis is the next right thing in the evolution of our lives and our work.  Body, mind, and heart need to be aligned.  Engage in a reciprocity of energy.  Circle is the mother of all methodologies.  Empty ourselve so that Circle can be born.  Be an open void.  Empty ourselves to make room for what wants to come through.

4.  What’s the energy of the circle itself this weekend?       XIV.  AlchemyThe co-existence and healing of perceived opposites.  Synergy, creativity, insight, and regeneration.  The inspiration to find one’s own divine spark.

I now enter circle time and circle space, and won’t be doing email or blogging for three days or so.  Please feel free to leave comments and to interact in the spirit of council.  Cheers and blessings, all!

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Dreams Weave the Circle

Today, I arrived again at Lakeside Retreats ready to co-teach a weekend of circle process to a small dedicated group who will arrive tomorrow evening for the first session of the six we’re offering from Friday through Sunday.  This is exciting work for me, the real “next right thing” for what I offer to the world.  Bev and I have gone over our various parts and feel quite good that this weekend will be rich and wondrous for all present (ourselves included!).

For the past week and a half, I’ve dreamt of circle methodology-related things every night.  The dreamweavers are working overtime to ensure that I’m aligned with the archetype of Circle.  Sometimes the dreams have shown how not to be in circle, sometimes they’ve taught deep, non-verbal stuff about how to be in council mind.  A few of the dream beings in circle have been human and others have been from the more-than-human community.  I pray to Life that I’ve integrated the images and teachings of circle in dream.  Blessed Be!

I’d like to take a moment to honour people who have inspired and mentored my circle experience.  Blessings be to Christina Baldwin, Ann Linnea, and Deena Metzger.  Equal blessings to the folks of the Whidbey Island Circle Practicum of 2007 and the Canterbury Hills Circle Practicum of 2008.  Gratitude also to my spiritual brothers and sisters in the Toronto Daré as well as those in the Body-Mind-Spirit-‘preneurs group.  You’re all beautiful and powerful people who make a great difference in our world.  Thank you!

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A Question from the Universe

Today, I posed some questions to the reiki class.  They came to me in meditation some time ago as I contemplated one of the shirushi (symbols) of reiki.  The one that still stands out for me is this one:

There is a question beyond all questions.  What is it?

Any thoughts on this?

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First Evening of Level Three

Here I am at good old Lakeside Retreats to teach Level Three Reiki to a lovely group of people this weekend.  We began this evening and will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  Level Three is a doorway to a deeper spiritual awareness and richer personal empowerment.  Much fruitful discussion took place tonight about innate wholeness and how what we’re doing this weekend is one way to peel away the layers that contribute to our forgetfulness of this natural perfection, wholeness, and holiness.  Even those who commit repugnant acts have in them the spark of goodness.  The spiritual practice is to do our best to find that spark, even if we perceive the person as a real twit or worse. 

  • Whose divine essence is obvious to you?  What does s/he teach you?
  • Whose divine essence is less than obvious to you?  What does s/he teach you?
  • Whose divine essence seems to be non-existent to you?  What does s/he teach you?
  • How might you thank all of these people appropriately?

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Limited Edition Gaian Tarot special!

For those of us who’ve been watching and waiting, Joanna Powell Colbert’s full 78-card Gaian Tarot has just come out in a limited edition form.  Lots of extra goodies included if we order before Nov. 3.  Check it out here:


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The Land in Milton Speaks

Saturday was a delightful day with friends Jeannette and Renato.  Neither J. nor I had been to R.’s place in Milton before.  He bought it earlier this year.  Renato provided a delicous feast of nibbles, baked salmon, potatoes, and more.  He enjoyed our gifts of a Robert Place print of the Magician and a honey pot for his countertop.  Tarot-based magick and sticky sweetness — yum!

In between main course and dessert, we went walking around Rattlesnanke Point, a gorgeous part of the Escarpment.  It was a delicious stroll in the woods at the edge of an escarpment overlooking an autumn-hued valley. Rocks and trees and all who live in and around them.  Heaven! For two breaths, I listened to the land below.  For one breath, I offered non-verbal sound to it, then repeated that pattern several times (thanks to Wende Bartley for teaching me this way of being with the land, water, trees, or whomever). On the last sounding, coyotes down below and coyotes somewhere behind began to call to one another. I was moved to tears by this dialogue with the more-than-human community.

When you stop to listen deeply, what do you hear?  How do you respond?  What do you learn from this listening and responding?  Who or what in the more-than-human community is calling to you?  What is their request?  Can you honestly meet that request?  If not, how else might you respond?

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A Day with the Reiki Family

Just finished a day of reiki with people I’ve trained over the last few years and months.  We meditated together, I offered reiju (attunements), and people offered two-on-one treatments to one another.  There was a pot-luck meal afterwards accompanied by conversations that ranged from deep to hilarious, from serious to silly.  For me, the core of reiki is the Five Precepts, a series of reminders about how to live a daily peaceful existence.  The group held council around this question:  What precept for daily living would you create, live, and teach that’s based upon your own life experience?”  People’s responses were remarkable, because we each have had challenges and gifts grace our lives in different ways.  Truly we acted as one another’s teachers today.

How about YOU?  What precept for daily living would YOU create, live, and teach that’s based upon YOUR own life experience?  Please join our circle of peers by sharing your own wisdom in the comments.

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The Well-Prepared Consultation

It’s very helpful for both tarot client and tarot practitioner to prepare before the actual consultation.  If we’re focused beforehand, there’s a greater chance that the session itself will be focused.  Not a guarantee, because unexpected turns can take place as a particular card or symbol invites us to peek through a side door, but it certainly helps. 

Some astrologers I know take great care to ask preliminary questions of their clients and to make notes about items in people’s charts that really stand out.  This keeps their consultations on track, ensures that their clients’ areas of curiosity or concern are covered, and helps them to avoid falling into “astro-babble”. 

Likewise, I like to do a bit of preparation so that the people who come to me or chat with me on the ‘phone get a more helpful reading through the lens of the cards.  By asking some preliminary questions, I can ascertain what the most important issue(s) is, design a layout(s) that can serve the exploration of that issue, and figure out if the person and I are a match.  Sometimes people are looking for something that I don’t offer through tarot or any of my other modalities.  That’s OK.  We each have a niche and a preferred way of working, so there’s a consultant out there for just about every readee.

Here are the questions I ask people over the ‘phone or by email to help us get clear ahead of time:

  1. Why do you seek a tarot consultation, and why now?
  2. What goals and heart’s desires would you like to create?
  3. What issues and challenges are you currently experiencing?
  4. What are your expectations about what a tarot consultation can do for you?
  5. What are your objectives for our time together?

If it’s going to be a ‘phone session and the person has hir own tarot deck, I ask hir which one it is.  S/he will pick the cards on hir end and I’ll match them up on my end.  If the by-telephone client doesn’t have a set of cards, I simply pick them.

This process is proving to be valuable for me and for those who consult me.  We only need five minutes or so at the beginning of the appointment to affirm that this is indeed what we’re going to talk about, to tweak any questions, and away we go!

How do you, or how would you, keep your own professional sessions focused (regardless of what your tool or process is)?

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