Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Gift of Sistership

When I'm around other people all the time, my posts are much more narrative than philosophical. Hmmm. Not as interesting, right?

The days when big things happen often come about unplanned. Just before my guests arrived, I promised myself I would set aside all projects in order to have fun. Well. Yesterday, in the presence of a my guests: a Capricorn and a Virgo, and a dear friend who is a Taurus, (the triumvirate of earth) I received a rather overwhelming download of information, a soul retrieval, a major gift of earthy wisdom.

I'm so used to pretending I'm normal that I managed to carry on as if nothing had happened, at least for a little while. Within a half hour, swirling around in the energy of my shamanic experience, I found I was no longer able to be relational. It happens.

The triumvirate was so gracious, recognizing and respecting my experience. They were totally cool with me going home to try to integrate some of what had happened while they explored the American Indian Museum. Whew. These people are the best friends ever, I am serious.

Here's the cool thing. One of my friends took a pic (unbenownst to me) while I was so heavily spinning in the download that I literally could not even stand up. Wait till you see the pic (she will send me a copy when she gets back to St. Louis). I look like I'm sitting calmly, perhaps meditating. You would never know I was having a Major Experience.

Everything about these three days with my friends is a revelation. I am so blessed! Wow.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Splendor Among the Cherries

A friend of mine calls it "mojo" - the way in which a certain energy swirls around a group of ten of us, creating magic every time we come together. It doesn't have to be all of us together to make mojo - even a confluence of two or three, such as what I am now experiencing - makes magic.

Yesterday was a splendid day during which the weather gods smiled on us as walked around. We danced among the cherries around the Tidal Basin where there were NOT too many people, even though the cherries were fully popped. "Frothy" is the adjective one of my gypsy sisters used to describe the trees.

After the glorious walk we invoked the Goddess of Princess Parking (also introduced by one of my sisters) in order to find three seats at the Matchbox bar. Our first round was bought for us (unbeknownst to us) by two of our far-flung gypsy sisters who somehow knew we would be there.

Gypsy mojo is a real thing. I believe in it! L'chaim.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All Roads Lead to the Chateau

Does everything happen for a reason? I'm just wondering this morning because one of my houseguests broke her tooth last night. She's still coming - she's probably at the airport or on her way right now. It's possible - likely, actually - that she will be sitting in the dentist's chair upstairs at the chateau tomorrow or Thursday. I hope I can get her in to see my friend, client, dentist and upstairs neighbor Larry, who is the most awesome dentist ever, also tall, dark and handsome, smart, generous and wonderful.

I wanted my visitors to meet Larry and his wife Susan (who is a whole bunch of wonderful also) but given how quick the Cherry Amour visit will be, and the busy busy lives of Larry and Susan, I couldn't quite figure out how to get them all together - funny - since Larry and Susan work and live upstairs. It is not a matter of the logistics of space, but rather the logistics of time.

But apparently my houseguest is meant to meet at least Larry and his wonderful staff of workers upstairs. Otherwise, why would she break a tooth, on a piece of pizza, the night before her arrival here at the chateau?

I don't believe in a rational universe in general. I think reason has its place, but can not account for most of what goes down. I "see" patterns, I can connect the dots no matter what the occasion, but am never totally convinced that those connections are logical or rational.

This, though - well, wow. I'm sorry my dear one broke her tooth, but if you're going to break a tooth right before a journey, the bes possible scenario is to be travelling here to see me.

You can't make this stuff up!

Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm savoring a quiet morning here in the chateau because tomorrow is the day that two of my beloveds arrive for a quick Cherry Amour Midweek Vaca. I'm so excited. The weather has turned around a bit - we'll see sunshine, mostly, with temps in the '50's. Though it isn't what I ordered, it seems that the weather gods are going to cut me some slack this week. Perhaps they are more willing to negotiate than I give them credit for. Ya think?

In the meantime, my spirit guides have just begun to teach me a shamanic healing method in which I can deal with every kind of malady as if it were an entity. What western medicine calls "contact dermititus" (for instance) can also be seen as a "heat worm" that enters the body in one place, subsequently travelling to every dark, warm place on the skin (like the elbow crease - you know). The "heat worm" can be energetically removed by locating the place where the rash emits the most heat, then simply pulling it out.

Is the above interesting to you or just to me? Remember please that I spend most of my work life in silence, dancing with the physical bodies of my clients. A new way to look at ailments is so interesting - and ultimately harmless. I would never tell the rashy client to stop using her cortisone cream, never. I did insist that the next time she refinishes furniture, she should wear gloves. Oh yeah.

While my friends are here, I will put aside my notes on re-assigning the planetary associations in astrology, a project I've been working on for awhile now. It's based on what we actually know about the planets via all the probes and photos and other information we've been able to gather about the solar system in the last 20 years.

I'm busy right now, thinking, learning and writing - but not too busy to welcome dear ones into my home, my village of Capitol Hill, and the city of Washington DC. Even mystics, even shamans, even astrologers need to put aside all their ruminations in order to hang out, drink wine, dance around, and laugh with their near and dear ones, yes? I say yes.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Late Season Visit from the Snow Queen

Excuse me, but this is NOT what I ordered. I ordered temperatures in the 60's and 70's with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine.

The weather gods only laugh when I say things like this to them. They are not contrite, as a waiter in a restaurant might be, nor do they begrudgingly agree to make an exchange, like a salesperson at Macy's might. Nope. They just laugh.

Snow on cherry blossoms. It's so Japanese, isn't it? What I'm thinking is that there will be ample opportunities today, between clients, to capture very Hokusai-esque photos.


In the springtime struggle between seed pod and green chute, it appears that for this morning at least, the seed pod is in the dominant position. The snow is reminding me that I do not have control over the weather, the timing of the cherry bloom, whether or not the snow "burns" the blossoms, or just about anything else. I get to decide when to wash my hair, what to cook for dinner, that's about all.

Oh mighty Snow Queen, I am Reya, the small and meek. I surrender entirely to your vast power. So be it.

The truth is, if my friends weren't arriving this coming Tuesday, I would probably really get a kick out of the snow this morning. As it is, I can not quite get enthused. Instead, I'm aiming for acceptance. It's the best I can do. Que sera sera.

Obviously both pics here were taken a few days ago. And yeah, I altered the first pic to convey my sense of disbelief at the snow. I never do that but today I could not resist.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vernal Beatdowns

My spirit guides tell me that the essence of springtime is struggle. Think of the chick pecking her way out of the eggshell, or the germinating green shoot breaking through the seed cover. What they tell me is that spring is about both the eggshell and the chick, the seed cover and the germinating green shoot. Spring is about the struggle to re-emerge, which includes whatever we're busting out of, metaphorically as well as literally.

It's true that once I see cherry blossoms, I expect warm weather to settle in, I expect sunshine and gentle breezes, (aka the green shoot) even though I should know better because every year spring is a wrestling match between nice weather and blustery, cold, rainy weather (aka the seed cover). Same as it ever was. These expectations come out of the fact (so say the spirit guides) that I prefer to identify with the chick, with the green shoot. I want OUT of winter, as fast as possible.

The eggshell, the seed cover - they provide protection through the season of darkness and cold, and should be honored, I'm told, even as I'm pecking away furiously. The eggshell is a worthy adversary, after all. I guess. I know people who identify with the eggshell and seed cover, who batten down the hatches when spring arrives, who actually kind of dread re-emerging. I've resisted change in this way, metaphorically only - never literally when winter gives way to spring. Interesting, eh?

Instead of getting all pissy when cold weather returns (as it has in the last couple of days) it's possible I could remember the protection of the eggshell for the developing chick, the way the seed cover holds the plant carefully and lovingly in the cold ground over the winter.


I mean, maybe I could remember to honor the eggshell, the seed cover. I'm trying anyway. It's supposed to sNOw tomorrow. My friends arrive on Tuesday. I'm trying not to pout (such an unnattractive behavior for a middle aged lady).

As always my spirit guides have offered ways in which I could find my way towards wisdom and good behavior. They have offered an insight that could broaden my perspective. When, oh when, will I learn to listen to them? Happy Saturday from FREEZING Washington DC. Dang, man.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Luv Clouds

I know Rumi is talking about God in the poem at the end of this post, but he might as well be talking about Washington DC at the height of cherry blossom season. The pear trees have also popped (see above). This city looks like the happy ending of a sweet fairy tale, oh yeah.

My first spring in DC was a revelation. I spent a lot of time standing underneath the fully blooming trees, trying as hard as I could to breathe in the pinkness, the whiteness. It was like standing beneath clouds of happiness and perfection. I wanted to take it all in at a very deep level.

When the blossoms flutter down, it's almost better, as if being gently kissed by pink snow.

Shouldn't say snow. Nope. Sorry.

Happy Friday. Shalom!!

You have no idea how hard I've looked
for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to
the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
...Everything I came up with was like
taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my
soul because you already have these.
So I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

--Jalalud'din Rumi

Weeping cherry - so graceful, yes?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flummoxed, with a smile on my face

I wonder if that guy, sitting next to me at the Matchbox bar last night, was telling the truth. He was spinning all kinds of crazy tales about covert ops and the politics of international "intelligence," and his role within that system. I would have guessed CIA but he said some disparaging things about that organization. He seemed to know a lot about a lot, but who knows? At the bar, people tend to exaggerate a bit - or a lot - unless they're there all the time, like I am. I really can't spin tall tales of my feats of extraordinary massage therapy ... as if there is such a thing ... because any number of my clients might show up at any second. Hmmm.... keeps me honest.

So, though this man went on and on about his exploits, I wasn't concerned about whether or not what he was saying was true. I was a lot more interested in the fact that I was having a lively conversation with a tall, broad-shouldered, smart, charismatic, handsome, sexy man who did not appear to be too young for me. That never happens to me. Usually the men who find a seat next to me (in bars and in life), are complicated, neurotic, and freakishly Woody Allen-esque.

A big ole manly guy. Wow. I was basking in the manly glow, feeling mighty girly. Yeah.

I was flirting, I guess, though I'm very rusty in that department, having not flirted with anyone for a number of years. But I must have been flirting because he was genuinely surprised when I said it was time for me to go home. He was so shocked that he wasn't coming with me. He'd been drinking which I believe is why he blurted out, incredulously, "You don't want to have sex with me?" The idea that I might not take him home was inconceivable to him. I started laughing. He was confident, wow. There was nothing Woody-Allenish about him.


On my way home, the sky opened. Lightning flashed, thunder boomed, and the rain poured down. This of course gave me the giggles, oh yeah. It's spring, and though I did not take that guy home to seal the deal, I really had fun last night. What, I ask you, is NOT to love about the Matchbox bar?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Try, try again

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
--~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Last night a friend and I were talking about why we're here, you know, here, in a body, on this beautiful planet. I think often about my soul's purpose, which (according to my spirit guides) I'm lucky to have access to. They tell me that most people don't have any idea what their soul is up to, and furthermore, they don't have to know consciously in order to further their soul's work. Hmm. It's interesting to think about.

I believe that in this form, in our human bodies, we are capable of working through so much stuff, furthering our soul's purpose (whether we know what it is or not) in ways we could never do outside of corporeal existence.

Of course no one knows for sure, including me, but my theory at least is that in corporeal form, we clear karma for ourselves and our families, clans and such. I think we also create karma for ourselves and our families, by undoing, redoing, regluing, unscrewing, unwinding, rewinding the energy and events of our life stories. Goodness, we are very busy while alive. Everything we do contributes to the soul's purpose, according to my cosmology, from scrubbing the kitchen floor to laughing out loud, in our relationships or lack thereof, good deeds as well as the things we do that we regret after the fact. Even our suffering seems to be a part of how we clear and create, at least it looks that way to me.

Besides creating/clearing according to the soul's purpose, during incarnation, we serve the life force. I perceive life force as a mighty oversoul in this realm. It is so powerful! We hang on, hang in, push through, as hard as we can, don't we? All I can say is: wow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not so Equinoxesque

Can I share a secret? I really dislike spring. Well ... I LOVE spring, but I also hate it. Spring here in the American midatlantic is such a Thing, it goes On and On, it produces So Much Color and there's So Much Life Force that I find it overwhelming. Spring is so In My Face, it makes me feel fully alive on all levels. And ... it gets on my nerves.

I feel like a teenager in springtime: moody, I mean. I move from the highest high to the lowest low, sometimes within a matter of a few minutes. Then I look in a mirror and realize I'm 58 years old which gets me even moodier. There will be a perfect day of 70 F. weather with a soft breeze which both seduces me and makes me self-conscious because I know it's time to get the first pedicure of the season, shave my legs and GOD, they're so WHITE and so OLD. And FAT. Sounds just like an adolescent, eh? Such unnattractive thought forms for a middle aged lady.

Then a stormy series of days comes up so then I'm bitching about having to wear shoes and jeans again. Cranky cranky cranky ... also: laughing, jumping around, dancing like a maniac ... that's me in springtime.

I'm allergic to spring. Ever since I started seeing the Sufi acupuncturist, my allergies have become much less virulent, but nevertheless there is a period that lasts several weeks, just as the roses are blooming at the end of April, when I itch and sneeze, grind my eyeballs into my skull, blow my nose incessantly. Oy vey. Spring!!

Of course: I love spring, too. The bursting of the the beautiful blooms mirrors the way all the people get outside like animals leaving their burrows at the end of winter. It is so great. I hear people talking and laughing, Eastern Market is bustling. It's a season of hope and cheer that I welcome, especially after the long, cold, discouraging winter just past.

There is no time of year when I feel less in balance than at spring equinox. Go figure.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Forward Motion

What a weekend. Holy cow.

However, in the spirit of onwards and upwards, instead of continuing to mull over all the energies and events just past, I'm looking forward to next week when I will play host to out of town visitors.

Though my apartment is extremely small, it is designed to be visitor-friendly. I believe the soul of the chateau loves having visitors, much more so than the house on Tennessee Avenue. Hmmm ...

The cherries should be in full bloom or close to it when my friends arrive; you can't plan for that kind of perfect timing. Though there's no way to predict what the weather gods will be up to, for in fact they are just as moody in springtime as we human beings, the city will be dressed up in pinks and whites. My guess is that the daffodils will be declining, but still cheerful, while the tulips will be opening in gardens up and down E. Capitol.

If the weather isn't perfect, we'll spend our time cooking together, visiting museums, sitting at the bar at the Matchbox, listening to music and dancing around the chateau living room.

It's always great to have something to look forward to, never more than right now, today, the first day of spring, following the supermoon weekend. Onwards & upwards. Oh yeah!

My friend's mother died yesterday, leaving her life on earth this time around riding on the energy of the supermoon. What a way to go! Wow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Numinous tremendeum

"Knowledge is frightening, but if a warrior accepts the frightening nature of knowledge he cancels out its awesomeness. Knowledge is a most peculiar affair, especially for a warrior. Knowledge for a warrior is something that comes at once, engulfs him, and passes on." --from "Tales of Power," by Carlos Castaneda

Sometimes a good scare is just the thing. It's cleansing, everything shakes out. Sometimes it's OK to feel the wind that accompanies the opening of the gate of life and death. It's a heads-up, carpe diem reminder of the truth of mortality. At least that's what I'm thinking in the aftermath of the near-miss on Friday. I feel very clear as I integrate the experience. Instead of the usual pattern in which I would be working with the experience as if it were a dream (i.e. what does it mean that one car was black, the other white, etc.) I'm just letting the experience be.

I am somehow capable, don't know why, of perceiving the near-miss as knowledge that came at once, engulfed me, then passed through. Right now, somehow I am able to sit with it instead of trying to transform it into something that means something. It's kind of miraculous.

It was a big deal. Wow. Happy Sunday to all. Shalom.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Here but for the grace of God - literally!

According to the cosmology of Reya, there's a gate of life and death. This gate exists everywhere and nowhere, it opens at the right time (whatever "right" means) to allow souls to enter and exit this manifested reality. Sometimes it feels tiny, as when babies are born. Sometimes it feels huge. The Golden Gate, in the Bay Area of California, is one place where the gate seems gigantic, and to my sensibilities at least, almost palpable. I think that's why the bridge has been such a popular place to jump. My guess is that crossing through the veil would be fairly easy there.

A wind blows through this gate; it's such a weird wind, not (of course) a physical wind, but you can feel it when the gate opens, even inside a hermetically sealed hospital room, you can feel the wind when someone dies or is born.

For awhile, some of my cohorts and I did rituals in which we literally cut the gate open, with sewing scissors, in order to allow ghosts to pass through. After these rituals, we sewed the gate shut with ethereal spider threads. They were very powerful rituals, but needless to say, crazy making. We gave up the practice after awhile - wisely, I think.

Yesterday morning it occurred to me that my friend who is sitting vigil with her mother in hospice, had somehow gotten too near that gate. I thought I could feel the stirrings of the wind coming from the gate, which is on the verge of opening so her mother's soul can pass. In my mind's eye, I took my friend's hand so as to lead her a few steps away from the gate. Then I stood between my friend and the gate, to protect her.

After this vision, I headed out of the chateau to go to work. I was crossing an intersection at which the lights were out. Something happened. I saw a white van coming from one direction, a black jeep coming from another. Neither one of the drivers were slowing down as they approached the intersection. Maybe they didn't notice the lights were not functioning, maybe they didn't care. Who knows? I saw it coming.

I screamed and closed my eyes. I heard the sickening sound of the crash, felt the wave of energy, and a spray of dirt. When I opened my eyes a micro-second later, I was at least 6 feet away from where I had just been standing. The jeep was still spinning. It stopped moving less than 2 feet away from me. I called 911, then tried to convince the driver of the jeep, who was coughing and bleeding, to hold still (he wouldn't - of course he was in shock). Then I went to work as usual. Of course I was in shock, too.

Initially what I focused on was the way in which some combination of adrenalin, survival instinct, and angelic intervention had lifted me up and moved me (just) out of harm's way. If I hadn't moved, I would have been hit by the spinning jeep, maybe killed. Amazing, yes? Whoa. Later in the day what came to me is that I was standing too close to the gate, way too close. The timing of this collision, happening as it did precisely at the moment I was standing there, can't be planned, should not be ignored.

The gate will open for my friend's mother when it's right. I'm still holding my friend in my heart, but keeping myself, even in the astral, at a safe distance from the gate.

Life is good and I am grateful. L'chaim, y'all. L'chaim.

Friday, March 18, 2011


"Priestessing" is a verb we used in Reclaiming to describe the act of grooming and shaping energy. Of course we are all priestesses (or priests - it's not a gender specific thing). As we cut through time/space every moment of every day, all of us have a hand in shaping the flow around and within us. Sometimes we shape energy consciously, sometimes it just happens. We are skillful sometimes, other times, not so much. There are awkward moments when we trip over energy bumps, then fall flat on our faces. In other circumstances we rise to the occasion with grace. Don't ask me why sometimes it's so clumsy, sometimes not.

All of us all together, shaping, grooming, being conscious or not, skillful or not - well - that's why our "reality" is so complicated. I'm annoyed with all the people who try to make us believe that holding a singular intention is the only thing we have to do in order to make the world behave the way we want it to. For heaven's sake. Each individual intention is just one thread in the weave of consciousness, no more, no less. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, eh? Oh yeah.

Not that it's bad to form intentions, oh no. Intentional living cultivates a state of awareness and clarity at least within the person holding the intention. That's not without merit, not without power. But it isn't the end-all, be-all of what goes down. According to the cosmology of Reya, everything is ridiculously complicated.

At the moment, my intention is to sit with a friend who is one thousand miles away, at the hospice bedside of her mother. Her family is with her; she is well supported. It's not like she needs me to hold this intention, but I figure it doesn't hurt to think well of her, to send her a little juice, a steady stream of Reiki. Right?

One of the amazing side effects of this heart-felt, long distance vigil is personal healing on a very deep level. I wasn't going for that, but as it turns out, I am benefitting from sitting with my friend as she sits vigil with her mother. I'm kind of blown away. In my dreams (for many years), I'm often in my mother's kitchen (not the real one, you know how it is in dreams). It's a mess and I'm cleaning it up. None of the anonymous dream people help; in fact they spend their time throwing pizza crusts on the counter and such. But just this week, I'm making headway in this dream. I'm making progress in cleaning up my mother's kitchen. It's very exciting and quite odd to be proud of my dream progress. Who knew that thinking lovingly of another would come back to me with such potent healing?

Love is powerful. Happy Friday. Shalom.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When is it OK to be old?

I'm still thinking about this article from last week's New Yorker, about G. Stanley Hall and the study of old age. One of the ideas from the article continues to provoke and intrigue me: that old age catches us all by surprise because no one can survive it, no one can look back on it and reflect upon it.

In a perfect world, we would embrace old age, claim it, take it on. If we could do that, rather than feel ashamed, we could reflect on it in the moment. Maybe we could then write or teach something USEFUL to those who haven't yet become old. Ya think?

In societies in which there are very few people who survive to old age, old people are revered. In societies such as the U.S. in the 21st century, in which there are tons of old people, they are reviled.

Am I old? I'm 58. One hundred years ago I would have been considered well on my way into old age; the average life span in the U.S. was 50. In the year 2011, women in my society live into their 80's, men into their late 70's, on average, which I guess makes me a late middle-ager. I guess.

I'm supposed to be proud that I don't have very many wrinkles, but why would I be proud of that? It's genetic, I didn't do anything noble to have smooth skin, just as I didn't do anything wrong by aging. I just haven't died yet. Why is that so disgusting?

I love my gray hair which is why I'm always surprised and mildly insulted when people hint about how young I could look if I went back to coloring it. I could get away with claiming I'm ten years younger than my actual age. Wink, wink. It's so weird.

Every time I try to claim old age, someone tells me I think and behave like a young person. I'll admit I want to admonish my friends who do that generational thing of rejecting technology and such, which proves that I buy in, on some level, to the idea that thinking like an old person is "bad."

So what should I do? Should I refuse to claim old age until I'm so decrepit that I can no longer reflect on it, write about it? Is it wrong to prematurely claim old age, try to get a jump on it? What age is old age? Can someone please explain?

It's going to be warm in DC today. I plan to take a long walk, snap some pics, and ponder all these impossible questions. Happy Thursday. Shalom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trying to see the big picture

This morning I remembered that after the Loma Prieta earthquake, the only pictures floating around (mostly on TV, there wasn't an internet then) were of the worst aspects of the destruction. I googled "Loma Prieta earthquake" - this link shows what came up in the mix.

I lived in San Francisco then. I experienced the earthquake while waiting to pay for a pizza at a groovy restaurant in San Francisco's civic center. I saw the ground turn into a wavy line, I dived under a table along with everyone else in the groovy pizza place. It took me an hour to drive home, even though I was on my scooter and had the option of riding down sidewalks. My commute, ordinarily, was 10 minutes.

I can tell you that though we were scared out of our minds for awhile, most of the Bay Area was only slightly affected by the quake. There were no pictures on TV of my neighborhood (Bernal Heights) where the impact of the quake was minor. In my house, a few books fell over. There were no televised pictures of our neighbors, sitting together every night for awhile after the quake, drinking wine and telling stories. There are no published pictures of how well we treated each other after the quake. It actually scared us out of our San Francisco attitude. We made eye contact, talked with strangers, we were careful with each other.

Of course what happened in Japan is hundreds of times worse than what we experienced in 1989. Still, there are parts of Japan that are unaffected, where the buildings are standing and people are going about their business as usual, especially in southern Japan.

Looking at all those terrible pics and videos frightens me. If I spend too much time with images of destruction, I begin to spiral downwards into a dark place that is no good to anyone. Without ignoring the suffering and destruction, I'm trying to find a place of balance that includes the knowledge that the entire country has not been destroyed.

I'm singing, mostly just Ohm Shanti over and over again until my sinuses rattle, singing and holding in my heart and mind the idea that there are other stories unfolding in Japan. It isn't just destruction. Struggling to entertain a variety of stories, other than what we're being fed here on the network (and no doubt, on TV) helps me cultivate hope for recovery and healing.

Against everything I see/hear on the network, I will cultivate hope. I will. Do you believe me? Shalom.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ides

Yesterday it was tsunami devastation and birdsong, today it's radioactive clouds and birdsong. Bloody hell, what next? I have a dear friend whose mother just died, another dear friend whose mother is in hospice, another dear friend who was just laid off, another dear friend who was just kicked out of his office space. Still: the birds are singing, the buds are opening on the tulip magnolia trees, the dogs are frolicking. Tra-la-la.

Me? I'm cleaning closets, almost compulsively, pulling everything out, dusting the shelves, putting everything back. I'm keeping an eye on my friends, sending love in the direction of Japan, baking cakes, softly singing prayers for healing. What else can I do but try to stay grounded?

This era is all about uber ups and uber downs, I know. It's OK. I'm not against upheaval, I'm not against radical change, but I really hate all the suffering, I really do.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sing it, Sing it, baby

A football field next to a high school. It looks so neat and orderly, unlike the world at this chaotic moment in time.

It was quite the juxtaposition yesterday, looking at photos of the devastation in Japan while simultaneously listening to loud birdsong right outside my window. The thought came to me that birds will keep on singing until the day their species comes to an end. It's spring, hence time to chirp, time to sing.

I remember reading that just prior to the tsunami in 2003, the animals in Sri Lanka and other places moved to higher ground. They felt it coming, and did what they could to avoid it. I wonder if they were frightened. I wonder if, on the morning following the tsunami, the birds in Sri Landa chirped again, as usual, as if everything was normal.

Don't know about you, but I feel that in some way my personal shoreline has been moved slightly by the earthquake. I feel the center of my personal rotation has shifted on its axis by an increment or two. Maybe because I'm a shaman, maybe because I'm a human being, I feel connected to the people in Japan right now, connected to the landscape.

I've read some pieces that refer to the "retaliation" of Mama Gaia, as if the earthquake had anything to do with us. The earth shakes and rolls, erupts, floods, dries out. She always has since long before us. Birds sing and the earth shakes. Same as it ever was. For heaven's sake, though it has its terrible impact on us, this is not about us. My, my.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan. And the people of Egypt, Libya, Wisconsin. A friend suggested that those of us so inclined might sing calm prayers for healing. Kind of like the birds, that is my plan for today, between clients. I'll be singing because it's the only thing I can do. I'll be singing. Shalom.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shake it, shake it baby

7th Street SE at Eastern Market. See the Capitol Dome in the distance?

The good news is that my friend who is in Japan is OK. She's OK. Thank god.

There are quakes and then there are super quakes. According to CNN, yesterday's earthquakes shifted the coast of Japan by two and a half centimetres, and the tilt of the earth's axis by ten centimetres. This link includes footage of the tsunami as well. Bloody hell.

My heart goes out to everyone affected directly by what happened yesterday. That said, I'm relieved this happened in Japan. Unlike Haiti or New Zealand, Japan is a place where they know how to deal with earthquakes, even devastating events like yesterday's. The cities are built to withstand huge shocks, the infrastructure is much more likely to survive, people are far more likely to have the training to deal with the aftermath.

I'm not saying it's GOOD that this happened. No way! I'm simply saying at least it happened somewhere where they expect earthquakes and are prepared. If life were a dream (and it is, it really is), then this event signals the need to step up, be prepared, expect the unexpected. Like I said the other day, for those of us who remember the '60's, the era of radical change (from now to 2018) is going to feel familiar. For kids, it will be what it is - they have nothing to compare it to. For y'all in your 20's, 30's, and 40's, I have plenty of advice, though of course everyone will deal with the energy of change in his/her own way.

Back in the late '60's, the way I dealt with societal upheaval was through serious commitment to sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. The altered perception from doing drugs opened my eyes to the possibility of various forms of reality. The sex was life enhancing. Music was the surfboard on which I rode that crazy wave of change.

These options are no longer interesting to me, except for the rock 'n roll part, of course. What I'm thinking about this morning is doing everything I can to open up the structure of my routines. I need wiggle room in order to negotiate this era. I want to let go of all the ideas I have about who I am and how I like to live, just to see. I want to experiment with new patterns, find out if there's a "lifestyle" (hate that word) that might fit better than the one that has congealed around me since I moved to Capitol Hill ten years ago. Relocating from the house on Tennessee Avenue to the chateau last summer was prescient; now I'm wondering what else I can re-shape in order to meet and greet this era of change.

By 2018, we'll all know how to roll with the punches. I'm inclined to jump head-first into personal reinvention as my dance of shamanic alignment with this historical moment during which we will see vast collective reinvention.

Will you join me? C'mon, you can do it, you can roll with the punches. Yes? I say yes. It's time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A dear one, a sister of spirit, someone I am friends with, have taught with and who comes to see me for massage, one of the only people I enjoy spending Thanksgiving with, well, she's in Japan right now, on a teaching gig. She's teaching pregnancy yoga on one of the northern islands.

I haven't heard from her yet and I'm scared, though one of her students tagged her in some photos posted on Facebook early this morning. Before or after the earthquake? I don't know.

Marianna, until I hear that you are safe and sound, I will be sending a steady stream of love and protection.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Indefinite Intentions

It's a rainy day in Washington DC today, a great day to launch into projects I've been putting off, like cleaning out closets before my out of town visitors arrive later this month, or finally sitting down to write about how I would re-assign the planets in astrology (based on what the planets are actually like, from what we've learned about the solar system in the last twenty years or so).

Of course I could clean the chateau - there's always something that needs to be cleaned. Or I could indulge my newly discovered love of baking - though - I've already baked one cake this week. Do I really need to bake TWO cakes? Hmmm.

Or ... I could sit around, watch movies, read blogs, put my feet up and just do a whole lot of nothing.

That last option is tempting, I'll admit it. The week has been exhausting (energetically). As it turns out, I'm not the only one to have sensed the big rush of energy that precedes Uranus's assay into Aries tomorrow.

Sometimes it's good to sit still for awhile. Or not. Clearly the jury is still out on how this day will unfold. Que sera, sera.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Buckle your seatbelts

Can you feel it? A big ole change is coming - even for you, Tom (of Half-Moose with a Twist). The times, they are a-changin'. The energy of this shift is so powerful that my hair is literally standing on end this morning. Whoa. Or should I say wow? Astrologically what it looks like is the planet Uranus moving into Aries on Friday. Sudden, dramatic, unexpected changes will be knocking on your door very soon, unless they're already ongoing.

The tower of power is coming down. Not the Washington Monument, or any manifested tower (that I know about), but the metaphor of the tower of power is about to disintegrate before our eyes. Truth is, it has been coming down for awhile now. In Egypt, Yemen, Libya, in Wisconsin, right here in Washington DC down the street in the Capitol. Holy cow, what a time!

For a visual and some classic interpretative associations with this kind of energy, seen through the lens of the tarot, check this out.

The common wisdom around historical moments like this is to try to relax your body. Breathe, drink water, stretch, get enough sleep. Laugh, please, as if you were riding a big roller coaster.

I think this time of personal and collective re-invention is likely to be hardest for those in their productive and reproductive years. Those of us who are older (and remember the '60's) already know the drill. For children and very young adults, this kind of energy will be easier to negotiate because it just is. They have no other kind of energy to compare it with.

For the 30- and 40-somethings, and the early 50-somethings, cultivating not only the ability to use your iphone while thinking about something else, but also doing yoga and meditating, will help a lot. Embrace the spectrum of calm to fractured. You'll need to call upon every one of those mind/body/spirit spaces to get the most from this time.

Today I'm laughing, kind of hysterically, from the rush of energy. Oh my god. One thing is for sure: the next few years will not be boring. Onwards & upwards. Let's go.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


And so it begins. Spring, I mean. In earnest, the real thing. Spring. Whew. The trees are popping at last. From now on I'll find so many different things to take pictures of. No more stark shadows of branches and trunks. No more pics of the Capitol dome just to make a picture dramatic.

Yesterday was the first day of DC's vernal lushness. It's baby lushness of course, and, too, nothing happens fast in any season here. Spring unfolds slowly, gracefully.

I've got a lot of things rolling around in my mind/heart, so many things I could write about this morning, half formed thoughts, kind of like the almost unravelled buds on the tulip magnolia tree. Almost all these ideas revolve around pain, healing, and the miracle of true forgiveness, but I'll let them take form today while I run errands, walk around, and make dinner for friends tonight.

Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all. Carpe diem!

Monday, March 7, 2011

From the inside out

It's field trip season in Washington DC. I do NOT miss being a teenager. No way!

Over the holiday season, I mistreated my poor, valiant, noble body. I worked too much, didn't stretch enough, ate too much, didn't receive bodywork often enough. All that stupid negligence injured my shoulder. I could feel something bad was going on, but I just kept pushing pushing pushing without seeking treatments to help me heal. Some days it manifested as a terrible stiff neck, other days my shoulder hurt, sometimes both. I kept ignoring it until I was in so much pain I finally broke down and went to see the osteopath.

That was a few weeks ago. Since that first visit I've been diligent about getting top notch therapeutic massage and osteopathic treatment. I've been walking around more, remembering to stretch between sessions at work.

I've also been taking internal arnica, that homeopathic stuff I usually use in the form of a creme or gel smoothed over sore, stiff muscles. When I place the arnica tabs under my tongue, I imagine its essence finding its way into the heart of the injury (wherever that is) and subsequently working its way out to the surface. My mantra is from the inside out.

The arnica has pushed not only the deepest essence of the injury out to the surface, but also a rather monumental cache of emotional injuries I have unconsciously (and inadvertently) stored at the deepest levels of my skeletal structure. Old grudges I've held (without even knowing about them) have arisen into consciousness, people I've been pissed at for years have appeared in dreams and visions, seemingly from out of the nowhere.

I'm a bodyworker so I should know better than to ignore physical pain, yes? I say yes. But sometimes humans ignore pain, I'm not the first and I won't be the last. We always have our reasons, don't we? In working through the healing process, perhaps we are able to access wounds on many levels, as I am at this moment. I'm unclear I would have known there was so much submerged grudginess if I hadn't ignored my shoulder for so long.

I am impatient with clients who don't attend to their pain, but I'm thinking I've been wrong to insist they address what's going on as soon as possible. Maybe they, too, are working through something so deeply ingrained that there's no other way to heal it than to just hurt for awhile.

My shoulder is much better, and I am experiencing forgiveness at a profound level as well. All I can say is: wow.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last Lap of Winter

I look like a spokesperson for point and shoot cameras.

Bewitched, bothered and bedraggled: yep, that's me in the midst of the final dregs of winter. Though I saw one tree yesterday that has popped, and one precocious tulip in bloom, it's still not quite spring.

The uprushing energy is powerful and - because spring has not yet sprung - exhausting. I know in two weeks this city is going to be gorgeous, but right now most gardens still look beat down, brown and rather forlorn. The trees, oh man, they are SO READY.

I think about the chick in the egg, pecking her way out. It must take tremendous strength, determination, and will power. Spring, too, has to punch her way out of the ground, out from the tips of the branches. Rebirth is hard work! Whoa.

The birds are singing, so that's encouraging. And I guess feeling bedraggled is absolutely appropriate in terms of dancing in shamanic alignment with what's going on. I guess. Ya think?

Happy Sunday y'all.