Archive for June, 2010

Subtle Activism

In the wake of Toronto’s G20 summit and all that happened in conjunction with it, I’m inspired by both the front-line protestors and the behind-the-scene protestors, as well as those who were a combination of both.

I journalled about what level of activism is honestly mine to claim.  It’s definitely subtle.  On my balcony, I offered burning cedar to the seven directions to create sacred space, then offered mental-emotional healing to the entire situation, asking that harmony prevail in all actions and decisions.  May it be so.

My friend Jamie’s sister, Lynn, visited me today.  She’s here from the West Coast for a few days.  Her activism was to walk close to the G20 site and offer Heart Cards (small cards with heartful messages from the universe on them) to police and other security officers to remind them of their humanity and heart-centeredness.  Lovely.

Another friend did sound healing and ritual with a few friends.  Thank you to them for this.  Someone else prayed to the waters of the world to carry messages of harmony and wellness to all nations.  Gratitude to them for this act.

Here’s  link to more info about subtle activism:  http://www.gaiafield.net/library/what-is-subtle-activism

I picked a Heart Card to answer the question, “What can subtle activism do for us?”  The response was, “Give your life new meaning.”  Blessed be.

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A Convergence of Signs Shakes Us Up

Today, my friends Andrea and Jeannette came over and we masterminded together in a council way.  A theme emerged for all of our work — we’re figuring out, and helping our students and clients figure out, how to track one’s own way within the Great Way.

After Andrea left, Jeannette and I were chatting in my living room while looking through the Gaian Tarot images.  We were talking about the upcoming lunar eclipse and grand cross (an astrological term) that will take place this weekend –the same weekend as the G20 summit here in Toronto — and looking up what these might be about in three publications, SageWoman, We’Moon, and The Mountain Astrologer.  I’ll spare you the details, but it all distilled down to this statement (papaphrased here from page 105 of the current Mountain Astrologer):

There’s good news and there’s bad news.  The bad news is that civilization, as we know it, is about to end.  The good news is that civilization, as we know it, is about to end.

As we talked about these themes and looked at the cards, we stopped at one point to notice that the Seeker (Fool) card and the Gaia (World) card were beside one another.  These first and last cards of the Major Arcana — the Alpha and Omega of the tarot, the new adventure and the culmination of wholeness, choice, and consciousness — showed what the astrological arrangements might be telling us about the impending summit and about humanity in general.  At that moment, the room began to shake, the piano began to shake, the lamps began to shake, and I felt a bit disoriented as I heard the sounds of other things shaking and clinking.  Then…silence.  We had just experienced a 5.5 earthquake epicentred in Cumberland, ON.

It felt, to me, as if Earth Herself was joining our conversation, affirming what head been read and spoken.  It’s a time for the old paradigm to be shaken up, to crack open so that we can find the New Way in the Great Way of Life.  What a powerful convergence of signs!

Dear fellow lovers of life, what do you feel that Life’s Way is?  What might your way be within that?  What way of being now needs to end?  What way of being do we need to enter?  What adventure can take you there?  What shaky ground might you encounter on the way?  What might conscious wholeness look like at the culmination of that part of your journey?  Please leave comments!

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Current Tarot Project

My current tarot-related project is the creation of a deck.  After almost 31 years of using the cards for insight, strategy, personal maturation, etc., I’m finally co-creating a tarot pack with my friend John Condotta. 

It’s going to be a round deck made up of simple black and white line drawings.  I’m doing away with court cards so that each suit reflects the process of beginning (aces) to completion (traditionally the kings, but now the fourteens in our deck).  Majors will be numbered only, so people can name them whatever they choose.  The flavour is that of the self-published black and white decks of the 1980s that I admire (e.g. Daughters of the Moon Tarot, A Poet’s Tarot, the New Amazon Tarot), sort of grass-rootsy.  We don’t have a name for it yet, but that will emerge.  My goal is to have all of the images completed by the end of this Summer.

Here’s our process.  I’ve planned to meet with John 13 times and do six cards per session.  We’ve had six of these co-creative meetings so far and we’re meeting again this Thursday.  I decide ahead of time which six cards we’ll work on, then sit down with my journal and jot down key ideas, words, and phrases that I connect with each card.  I sit again with each set of concepts and allow images to come to mind.  These get written or quickly sketched in my book.  When John comes over to my place, I offer him these ideas one at a time and he does a quick preliminary sketch for each.  He then takes them home and fleshes them out, bringing them to me the next time to look at so I can say “yes” and/or tweak things.  It’s great fun! 

Whether or not our tarot deck becomes a huge seller isn’t the point here.  I just enjoy the process of creating a set of cards that depict the interpretive system I use, which is that of Gail Fairfield as outlined in her books, Choice Centered Tarot and Choice-Centered Relating and the Tarot.  Stay tuned for more details.

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A Day of the Work That Reconnects

Yesterday’s Work That Reconnects experience at Lakeside Retreats went very well. Bev Haskins and I co-hosted activities by Joanna Macy, Molly Young Brown, and others to help folks remember their connection with one another and with all of creation.  People got a chance to express gratitude for all the more-than-human community, have a chat with Chief Seattle about what we’ve done to the earth, cradle each other to deepen their knowing on a cellular level, harvest their life experiences to prepare them for their life work, and commit to one action that can make a difference.  It was a day-long heart-centred council.  Thanks to all who were here!  Our next offering of the Work That Reconnects will be on September 25.

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Tarot Map Gave Me Courage

Today, I had to end a connection with someone.  Not fun, but best for all concerned.  For the record, just so no one gets into a panic, this was not my life partner.  We’re fine.  Before making my decision, I hemmed and hawed and hemmed and hawed some more.  Nice person, vague about relating, nice person, vague about relating.  Then, three tarot images came to mind — the Hanged One, Death, and Temperance.

I began to realise that if I didn’t end the connection (Death) we/I would wait, suspended in “what if”(Hanged One) for quite a while, wondering where our relationship was going.  The ending/Death process might sting a bit, but afterwards would come a sense of healing and integration (Temperance).  So, with this mini map in mind, I wrote what I needed to say, kindly and lovingly, but definitely.

Gratitude to the tarot structure for reminding me of what is and what could be.  Blessed be!

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G20 Tarot Thoughts

The G20 Summit will take place here in Toronto very soon.  For a brief moment, I’d like to get out of my crankiness about what a monumental bloody nuisance this event is to our city and province so I/we can take a quick look at it from a tarot perspective.

The letter G is the seventh letter of the alphabet.  The seventh Major card in the tarot is the Chariot.  It speaks of being in control, steering things, fast-moving processes, travelling, and/or being a warrior (with or without a cause).

The 20th Major card is Judgement, also known as Aeon or Awakening.  This is about rites of passage, graduating to the next level, stepping over the threshold to the next phase, maturing, honouring the next right thing, awakening our consciousness, a sense of our calling, and liberation.

When I pair the Chariot with Judgement, these themes emerge:

  • steering a maturation process
  • being in control of what liberation might be
  • a sudden awakening
  • a call to war (shudder!)
  • steering culture in a more grown-up manner
  • journeying towards the next phase of our evolution

7 plus 20 equals 27.  When we add 2 + 7 (because there only 22 Majors), we get 9.  The ninth tarot trump is the Hermit.  The deeper learning here seems to be about wisdom, knowledge, becoming more sagacious, learning who the true wayshowers of the illuminated paths are, and knowing when to step back and silently witness what’s going on from a larger perspective.  The Hermit might also be saying, “Become your own elders, because you need them now.”

I’d love some feedback on this, folks.  What’s your take on these cards in the context of the G20?  What challenges might they indicate?  What gifts?  Please leave comments!

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Why Have a Tarot Session(s)?

People often want to know why in the world they’d want to have a tarot consultation.  Tarot, as I practise it, has grown up.  The tarot experience is NOT about ooky-spooky predictions of sordid romances in exotic lands (although that sounds fun!).  It IS about having a meaningul, interactive conversation with you and partnering the symbolic cards with open-ended questions in order to catalyse that conversation. 

There are several benefits to having a tarot consultation, or better yet, a series of sessions, each of which builds on the previous one:

  • Conscious awareness of your current experience(s)
  • A sense of liberation through more effective choice-making
  • Personal empowerment through finding alternative, mindful reponses to your situation
  • Discovery and cultivation of your innate wisdom and guidance
  • The capacity to use your life situations to learn and evolve
  • An ability to carry challenges with more grace and meaning
  • A realisation that your story is connected with larger planetary/cosmic stories

Sounds good to me!  Let’s meet over the cards, my friends, either over the ‘phone or in person.

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Key Thoughts from Barbara Marx Hubbard Event

As promised, some more info about the Gaia Centre’s conference with Barbara Marx Hubbard on the weekend.  I’ll simply offer some points that really stood out for me.  Others who were present at the event may want to leave other ideas in the comments section.

In general:

  • Mother Earth is on the birthing table and she’s giving birth to co-creative/universal humans. 
  • The nature of Nature is to transform in order to survive.  Earth and her beings have been through many crises before and adapted in order to live.  If we look at that, then place ourselves in the story/process of cosmogenesis, we can become conscious of how to evolve to the next phase.  If we don’t, we can become extinct.
  • We are the universe in person, a continuation of the unfolding that began at the Primal Flaring Forth.  We are participants in cosmogenesis.
  • The shift from ego to essence is what the evolutionary/universal/co-creative human is about. 
  • To live our life purpose regenerates us, regenerates every cell of our being.
  • The great quest of our time is for the new story/image that will sustain us and move us forward.
  • The image/story of the resurrection in the christian bible is a foreshadowing of the radical next phase of humanity.
  • The economic benefit of carrying out one’s life purpose is freedom.
  • The quality of leadership is to discover connectivity.
  • It’s important to honour the meaning of the crisis rather than just call it a mistake.

On co-creative community:

  • It’s a group of resonance.  Each person’s core creativity resonates with that of others.
  • It’s in service to a greater cause.
  • It’s a habitat for consciously evolving humans.
  • Co-creative communities are cells of conscious evolution in the planetary body.
  • Members connect heart to heart, centre to centre.
  • It’s about returning to a local, tribal way of being, yet drawing upon global intelligence and global heart.`

On being an evolutionary elder:

  • It’s post-generational and post-chronological, a state of consciousness rather than an age thing.
  • It’s to be an elder of the new –> new indigenous people –> native to the present –> native to the noosphere as well as to the biosphere –> a guide through the transition to Homo Universalis –> a guardian of the tree of life –> a welcomer of all generations –> one who assists others to find their life purpose.
  • Elders can recognise each other, then serve the younger ones by really seeing them.
  • Eldership includes wholeness.
  • Do what you’re born to do with joy and resonance!
  • One’s life purpose is intrinsically self-rewarding AND it is of service to at least one other person/being.  This is how you’ll know you’re doing it.

My own contribution to the weekend was to take part in the opening and closing ceremonies and to offer a PeerSpirit-style council circle to help a group of 16 people explore what co-creative community might look like and what seeds of it we can plant in our parts of the world.

The whole experience was rich and empowering.  Thanks to Barbara Marx Hubbard, the Gaia Centre, Carol Kilby, and all who took part.

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Dinner with Barbara Marx Hubbard

Last night and today, many of us here in Toronto were graced by the presence, wisdom, and vision of Barbara Marx Hubbard, author, futurist, and proponent of conscious evolution.  I’ll write more details of the gathering in a future entry, but I’d like to get something posted here; the experience was truly remarkable.

After the conference, six of us who were part of the conference team had dinner with Barbara.  Let me tell you, dinner with Barbara Marx Hubbard doesn’t involve idle chit-chat about neighbours or the weather.  In between bites of excellent Chinese food, she shared with us an inspiration that she received during today’s spiral council.  She’d like to see a Synergistic Convergence (SynCon for short) here in Toronto that brings together people from as many professions, economic brackets, faith traditions, races, political parties, age groups, and gender identies as possible.  The purpose would not be to solve problems created by the old paradigm, but rather to encourage people’s life purpose and help Earth to birth the universal human.  We’d ask people what creativity they want to bring into the world and what they need to accomplish that.  Then they could listen to one another, asking for what they need and offering what they can (to borrow a phrase from Christina Baldwin).  The point would be to do locally/microcosmically what is needed in the world/macrocosm.  Whatever works in this endeavour could be applied to all of humanity.  And there are so many people with the skills to make this possible.  Exciting, isn’t it?!  By the way, Barbara is one of the most vibrant 80 year olds I’ve ever met.  Her sense of purpose constantly regenerates her!

What emerges for you as you reflect on this?  Barbara says there’s not much time for just thinking about it.  The current crisis is an opportunity to birth Homo Universalis.  What role might you play in such a convergence?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment (or two).

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Music Brought Us Together

Last night, I attended a centenary celebration for Walter MacNutt — Canadian composer, organist, and conductor who died in 1996 –at St. Thomas’s, Huron Street, here in Toronto.  There was a mix of his sacred choral works, an organ work, a piano suite (!), and art songs.  All gorgeous!  The place was full and it was great to see faces from my musical past (my previous career) who are connected to a particular heritage of music in this city.  Even though we were sitting in rows and being an audience, there was a sense of circle there.  Our common centre/intent was to celebrate W.M. and to be touched by his lovely music.  The sharing of stories about various parts of his life and career were charming and deepening.  It’s amazing where one can find a sense of community and circle.  I’m inspired to compose some music again…hmmm…

What’s YOUR most recent heartfelt community experience?

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