Healing, Life Change, and Shifting Paradigms

I don’t often get what I call “normal people sick.” My health challenges require too much self care for that to be my problem. Usually. Every once in a while, though, my higher self needs me to look at something I’ve been ignoring; apparently the most effective way to do that is via my body. Honestly, I think it’s that way for everyone. Soul talks to the individual through chemical reaction, which are usually physical sensations, which become emotions once processed by the personality. Sometimes, the chemical reaction creates an imbalance and we get sick.

Anyway, I’m down for the count. After seeing a doctor, whining about it, and generally being uncomfortable, I eventually get around to throwing some woo at the problem and remembering to look for the underlying issue. I teach a course in the emotional root cause of disease, for gods sake, the least I could do us apply some of that to my own self, right?

I have a strong sense that the full moon was a bit of a change in direction, energetically (more than the usual cycle, I mean). I’ve been shifting gears in the last few weeks, and that makes sense. On Thursday we finally had the culmination of my husband’s 40th birthday present, and it was definitely worthy of a life change initiation/celebration ritual – skydiving.

So, of course, now I’m processing and adjusting.

It’s all air. My sinuses and lungs are what’s being affected, and skydiving is definitely an air ritual (if you’re doing it right, anyway). The traditional witch association for Air is the mental body; from a more organic place, it’s about feeding life force, putting ourselves out into the world, and movement. In tarot, it’s sword, which is about cutting away that which no longer serves. Swords puts in on the receptivity side of the spectrum, which is also about boundaries and limits.

Sinuses are 6th chakra – the upper mental body. Hindsight, foresight, clarity; elevated thought patterns; the endocrine system; processing sensory input, taking in information on all levels.

Lungs are 4th chakra – our point of connection. The seat of the Soul. Realness, integrity, authenticity. Self-knowledge. That which keeps us going.

The shift in gears I’ve been coming to terms with is that I need to slow down, to spend more time in nature and in quiet, to allow more blank space in my schedule. I’ve always been someone who wants to do all the things, see all the things, experience all the things. The truth is, though, that I need more empty spaces. I spent many years saying yes to everything so I could know my path. Now I need to start to say no again.

I have an ego-level resistance to the idea of limitations in my life. I want to be a superhero. But even superheroes take off the suit, at least the old school traditional ones do. I’m so invested in being the go-to person that stepping out of the role feels dissonant to me. The Truth is that I can’t do it all. I need to work smarter, not harder, because I’m just out of oomph.

I feel like I’ve been talking in circles around this issue for months. The more I process it, the more sensitive I become to requests (or even demands) for my energy. I had to ask a dear friend to stop talking photos of me at an event the other day, because it was starting to feel “grabby”.  I’ve moved away from doing readings. I’ve been caring less and less about deadlines; they don’t even really register anymore, and I’ve had to change my procedures so that get things done when they need to be done.

So I need help. I feel called to build a retreat on Maui. I have a goodly amount of the business plan done. The budget needs finishing, and I need to hand the research for that off to someone. Once the business plan is ready for public consumption, I will need help getting the word out there. I probably need help putting together a video for the funding campaign, since people seem to expect those. If these are things you can help with, please get in touch. The vision is complete, I don’t need any help with that.

It seems odd, I know to talk about doing less and then talking about building something new. I need to get out of the city, out of the pollution, out of the sensory overload. The retreat will do that. It will also allow me to bring all my skills together for one project, one venue. It will give me space to write and to just be out in nature. It really is the next right step.

Posted in Healing, Health, Musings, Mysticism, Personal growth, Practice, Shamanism, Shift

Called to the Labyrinth – Totem Visitation by Rabbit

As I was preparing to walk the labyrinth in Malibu today, a rabbit darted out of the bushes to my left, paused somewhat in front of me, and then darted back into the bushes to my right. According to ShamanicJourney.com,

Rabbits are guides into the shadow world, where our personal fears lie. When the rabbit shows up it is time to examine those deep reflexive fears that hold you back from growing. Do you keep bounding for the safety of your old patterns every time something new or challenging presents itself? If the answer is yes, the rabbit asks you to face your fears with compassion for yourself. You must accept that it is part of human nature to feel fear at times, but also believe that our fears need not paralyze our growth and movement.

I’ve been doing some shadow work lately, and letting go of some fears, so this speaks to me. Interesting that the direction was from the subconscious or receptive side over to the conscious or active side.

Lin, over at LinsDomain.com suggests

If a Rabbit totem has appeared in your life, it may indicate a need for more planning or to check those plans already set in motion. Do not box yourself in a corner.

A fitting message during Mercury Retrograde, especially during a waning moon, and it’s interesting considering the first interpretation.

I am probably going to interpret the omen as a caution against letting my fears, illusions, and shadow self block me from planning my actions and taking my actions. Follow through and completion are historically challenges for me.

The labyrinth itself produced no great, new insight, it was more of a wholesale releasing, alignment, and receiving ritual or meditation. So the call was probably about the rabbit.

I wasn’t sure why I felt called to walk the labyrinth today. Frequently I have a plan or a purpose, but sometimes the labyrinth just says “walk me.”

Posted in Journey Work, Meditation, Mercury Retrograde, Musings, Mysticism, Practice, Ritual, Shamanism, Totems


I am of an age where I and many of my peers are starting to move from the Motherhood phase of life (whether we’ve given birth or not) into the Crone or Wisdom phase of life. In our culture, that’s called “perimenopause” or “menopausal transition.” There’s a popular line of thinking that would indicate that this is a pre-menopausal phase, but it’s not. The Mayo Clinic defines perimenopause as “the time period during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause). ” So it’s the transitional phase.

More from Mayo Clinic:

Women start perimenopause at different ages. You may notice signs of progression toward menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.

The level of your estrogen — the main female hormone — rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, and you may begin having menstrual cycles in which your ovaries don’t release an egg (ovulate). You may also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness. Treatments are available to help ease these symptoms.

Once you’ve gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, you’ve officially reached menopause, and the perimenopause period is over.

Symptoms can include irregularity of cycles, hot flashes, night sweats and other sleep problems, mood changes, a lack of vaginal lubrication (which can make one prone to infections), changes in sexual function, loss of bone density, and a change in cholesterol levels. Exciting, eh?

I will often try natural methods of treatment before going to allopathic remedies, as those can be harsher, and my system doesn’t tolerate them as well. I’ve been asked for my list recently, and I figured a blog post was in order. I’m not a doctor. You should probably talk to a doctor or a nurse practitioner about your symptoms, rather than following the advice of a potentially crazy lady on the internet. Just sayin’…

Here are somethings that have worked for me:

  • For hot flashes, figure out first if yours come up your back or up your front. I apparently am in the minority, but mine come up my back. When you feel it coming up, visualize it, and, instead of hopping around, opening all the windows, and otherwise trying to escape the impending fire of doom that you’re sure is going to kill you, pull it around and send it back down the opposite side of your body and back into the ground. It’s been easiest for me to do this when I’m not wearing shoes and outside, but your mileage may vary. On an energetic level, part of what’s going on is that your kundalini energy is shifting, and consciously routing it seems to help. Working with the earth is also helpful. I have a teacher who swears by going out and bleeding into the earth in her garden. I haven’t really tried it, but doing moon meditations and spending time with my feet in the grass is magical for me.
  • Eat a cup of yams every day. I’m not a marshmallows-in-vegetables type gal, but Warren Ellis has an amazing garlic yam recipe that goes great with, well, everything. I like it for breakfast with rice, peas, and a fried egg. [As an aside, I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to be linked from an article on croning. Hi Warren!] Anyway, yams (not sweet potatoes, it has to be yams) help balance out the female hormone levels. This remedy works great for PMS, too, if you’re having both at once. Also, I’m sorry.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages, especially sodas. They block your ability to absorb magnesium and potassium as well as you need to at this phase in your life, and that’s going to contribute to muscle cramps, generalized pain, mood swings, and depression. Seriously. Drink something else.
  • Make friends with your pelvic bowl. Women in our culture are done an incredible disservice in that we are taught to hate anything having to do with our period. In doing that, we dishonor our feminine core and tend to ignore or actively push away any messages from our pelvic bowl. There’s a great book called Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent that goes into a LOT of detail about this, but what I tend to do is, when my reproductive system seems cranky or tense, I take a moment to ground, and I bring my attention inward, into the pelvic bowl, and I just breathe pink light (which, for me, signifies soothing love) into that space, asking it to relax, and asking it if there’s anything it needs. I know it may sound weird, but just focusing your attention into the seat of the changes you’re going through seems to do a lot for having an easier go of it.
  • Supplements! I take Vitamin D for my energy levels, Omega-3 for my cholesterol levels and my mood, and CoQ10 for my pain levels. I also have sublingual Vitamin B-12 on hand at all times, because it’s great for allergies, mood, and energy levels. If you’re not on an SSRI or an SNRI, I also recommend 5HTP before bed (maybe with a little snack) to help with sleep issues.
  • Soy is supposed to be helpful. I do consume a fair amount of it, mostly in the form of protein powder and miso soup. There are some concerns about cancers, but studies of Japanese women suggest that regular consumption of dietary soy is helpful as we age, the less processed the better. Other legumes may be equally as helpful, and I do try to eat at least a few legumes with every meal, because it helps me process protein over carbs.
  • Black cohosh appears to have better results, with fewer side effects than Hormone Replacement Therapy in studies done in Germany (where most of the best herbal research is conducted). Scientists have yet to pinpoint how black cohosh works. Unlike HRT, it does not influence blood levels of reproductive hormones, nor does it stimulate cells in the uterus or breast. In fact, it can actually inhibit division of breast cancer cells and enhance the inhibitory effect of the cancer drug tamoxifen. The implication is that black cohosh doesn’t seem to pose a risk for uterine or breast cancer. Taking smaller doses more frequently seems to be the most helpful.
  • Aloe vera gel and/or coconut oil both help with lubrication issues. Apply topically.
  • I am finding that using all-cotton products when I do menstruate seems to lessen all of my undesirable symptoms (other than the increased blood flow).

I also have some herbal teas and tinctures I use. Bear in mind you should check for allergies and contraindications with any medications you are being prescribed if you are thinking of trying these. Again, I’m not a doctor.

Adrenal Support (your adrenals produce estrogen after your ovaries stop, so supporting them is helpful):

1 part WILD YAM
1/2 part ORANGE PEEL
1/4 part DONG QUAI
Mix the herbs together and store in an airtight glass jar. For each quart of water use four to six tablespoons of herb mixture. Prepare as an infusion and drink freely throughout the day for three months.

For hot flashes:

2 parts SAGE
1/2 part ROSEMARY
1/4 part GINSENG
Blend dried herbs together. Pour a cup of boiling water over 1 tsp of herbs. Let steep, covered, for thirty minutes. Strain and drink in small amounts as needed throughout the day.


2 parts WILD YAM
1 part GINSENG
Prepare as a tincture. Take 1/4 tsp in a little water or tea three times daily or as often as needed.

I’ve found that, the more I can be excited about moving into my Crone phase, whether it’s from a wisdom point of view, or celebrating the fact that I soon won’t have to worry about pregnancy, the fewer symptoms in general I have, or the less uncomfortable they are at least.

Do you have things that I haven’t listed that work for you? Please let me know in the comments!

Posted in Goddess, Healing, Health, Herbalism, Meditation, Practice, Shamanism

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