Honoring those who have gone before

I need to put up my ancestor altar before Thursday. It’s time. I’ve got help in the office this week, doing a bunch of my back filing (and believe me, there’s a bunch). She came across the memorial card for my dear friend who passed in 2013; it’s sitting on my desk, his face staring at me.

It’s time.

It’s time because there’s an eclipse. It’s time because Mercury Retrograde is for tying up loose ends. It’s time because i want to set it during the dark moon, which is now. It’s time because the veil is thinning, with the peak being on November 7th (astrological Samhain).

It’s time because I haven’t been allowing myself enough space to grieve. Earlier in the year, I took down my ancestor’s altar, because it was too much. It felt like it was collecting cobwebs because there were so many people on it and the noise was unbearable.

Those that I honor, those that have gone before me, are not just blood relations. To be sure, there are some of my physical lineage there, most notably my father, who passed away just over a year ago. But my ancestor’s altar honors two of my best friends, several friends who have passed away from cancer, an overdose, and two suicides. It honors a friend whose legacy includes an amazing amount of love and being killed by pirates. This year, a friend who froze to death in a parking lot decades ago will go back on. A kitten I have not allowed myself to grieve properly will be added.

My ancestor’s altar honors those who have taught me something important and those I have loved; they are frequently the same thing. My lineage is not restricted to those with whom I share blood. I am not so insular, my world is not so small. It is important to me that I acknowledge everyone whose efforts have brought me to this place where I now stand – family of origin, family of marriage, family of the heart, as well as my spiritual lineage. I am blessed to have so many people I cared about that my number of those who have passed is high. I need to remember that as well.

2014 is a Universal 7, in terms of numerology; a spiritual turning point, a merging of the physical with the Divine. Even if you don’t normally put up an ancestor’s altar, this might be a good year for you to do so. Who do you honor? Who do you consider as someone who has gone before you?

Posted in Astrology, Meditation, Mercury Retrograde, Moon, Practice, Shamanism

Interesting Sun Flares

On Friday, SpaceWeather alerted me to some solar activity that, while significant, wasn’t aimed at earth. I intended to write about it anyway, but it’s a waning moon, and I’m not betting as much done as I would like. The, this morning, I awoke to this missive:

Solar activity increased sharply on Oct. 19th when huge sunspot AR2192 unleashed an X1-class solar flare.  The blast produced an HF radio blackout on the dayside of Earth and it likely hurled a CME into space

If you’ve been feeling like all of your energy has been drained from your body, or are having lower digestive issues, this may be the cause. If you feel like your spidey sense is going crazy but you don’t know why, you may be picking up on the Solar activity. All readings from Sunday through Tuesday may be a little “off.” You may be completely off schedule in weird ways. This feels less “jangly” than usual, and more exhausted, at least to me.

My advice?
* As always, drink more water.
* Make sure you are relying on your foundational practices, especially grounding.
* Doing the sun salutation exercises I’ve described before, where you align your heart with the Sun, will be helpful.
* Cut yourself some slack – don’t put too much stock in precise timing right now, and let yourself rest & recharge as necessary.
* Cut everyone around you some slack, too. They’re dealing with the same weirdness you are.

This too shall pass. Thursday is a partial solar eclipse, New Moon, and change in zodiac, so everything shifts soon. Plus Mercury goes direct on Saturday, so forward motion will be easier.

This does beg the question, however: Have you wrapped up all your loose ends? What remains unfinished? Because carrying as little of that as possible forward into the next cycle will be to your benefit.

Keep breathing!

Posted in Astrology, Mercury Retrograde, Moon, Personal growth, Practice, solar storms, Tools

Notes from the Labyrinth October 17th, 2014

Today’s labyrinth walk was mostly an exercise in being present. One of the lovely things about doing this in the Fall (and fall seems to have finally begun here in Southern California), is that I get to walk the labyrinth barefoot. In the summer months, the concrete is just too hot.

The labyrinth I walk most frequently is on top of a hill in the Glendale branch of chain cemetery, Forest Lawn. It is an eleven-circuit labyrinth, a replica of the on in the cathedral at Chartres. When they first installed it, it was made is white and black marble. The problem was, cemeteries have a lot of grass, and grass needs to be watered. Marble gets very slippery when it’s wet.  Personally, that just made me walk it more carefully, but there are people who walk across it, probably to visit deceased relatives, who aren’t as conscious, and it became necessary to change the surface of the labyrinth.

It is now cement, with some sort of smoother substance, which might be paint, for the markings. It may not be as attractive, but it offers me the opportunity to practice being very very present when I walk it barefoot, feeling the nuances in texture with the soles of my feet. I find I can do significant sections with my eyes closed, just by feel. It makes me walk much more slowly, but Spirit has been urging me to slow down lately, so it’s a feature, not a bug.

The inward pathway is about releasing, and I took the opportunity, as I always do, to consciously release all my attachments. While it’s challenging for me to be exquisitely present, it’s almost impossible if I don’t release my attachments first. We’re in a Leo moon right now, so my lower self has been indignant the last few days, wanting me to be recognized and honored for this and that. In other words, I had plenty to release.

My contemplation at the center was simple mindfulness. I allowed myself to feel everything that was going on in my body, my interaction with the breeze and the sun and the ground and my clothing. The best word I have for that experience is “soothing.”

My mantra for the outward path, that of receiving, was “I open myself to receive all of the gifts of the Universe, which come to me freely and easily, without struggle.” Same as always. I found myself playing with emphasis and interpretation, all while focusing most of my attention on the physical sensations of walking slowly, barefoot. Eventually I just returned to focusing on just the walking – I didn’t feel like I was receiving anything, and my mind started to get too involved. Before I was finished, I managed to find a place of compassion for someone I’ve been feeling negatively towards, and “I open myself to receive” had become “I allow,” with nothing after it.

My next labyrinth walk in Glendale will be on the day of the Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Scorpio, Thursday, October 23rd, at 1pm. All are welcome.

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Posted in Astrology, Events, Labyrinth, Meditation, Musings, Mysticism, Personal growth, Practice, Shift, Tools

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