Search

Sophia's Children

Timeless Wisdom for Navigating Thresholds & Living Transformed.

1000 Things Went Right Today

Eirene, by Ludwig Knauss, circa 1850-1888 (Image courtesy of WikiCommons)
Eirene, by Ludwig Knauss, circa 1850-1888 (Image courtesy of WikiCommons)

“A thousand things went right today.”

~ Ilan Shamir, Storyteller & Artist

Even slight shifts in wording and perception can make a huge difference.

“A thousand things went right today” is from one of Ilan Shamir’s poems (find more on his writings and uplifting artistry on his site – link above).

It’s a good reminder, isn’t it?

It reminds me of a dry-witted quip made by a Rabbi years ago:

“Thank you God for all of the horrible things that could have happened but didn’t.”

Sort of like the even more dry-witted Mark Twain’s observation:

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

Sound familiar?

Hence the vital ‘high mastery’ skills of present moment awareness and nonresistance — more on those coming soon (see below).

For now, and Ilan Shamir’s wonderful reminder, “A thousand things went right today” …

Banford Rock Agama, India. Photo by Solomon Paulraj, PD CC-SSA Wikimedia.
Banford Rock Agama, India. Photo by Solomon Paulraj, PD CC-SSA Wikimedia.

Our ‘negative brain bias’ (and remarkable good)which I’ve written about here — click click — tends to have us much more easily moving into the fear, scarcity, problem zone.

It’s a Lizard Brain thing (as I also mention in the brain’s negativity bias article).

Lots and lots of conditioning in that, years and generations of it.

Not to mention the tendency of The Forces That Be to do (and benefit from) much epic fear-stirring.

In astro-wisdom language, ‘unconscious’ Saturn expressions would be a main culprit for the rock-and-hard-place fear thing, along with the tyrannical fear-stirring.

With Saturn recently retrograde and in the lovely square with Neptune — the boundary dissolving, Big Love reminding oceanic force — these themes are what we might call ‘up’ for many of us.

(For specifics, look at your chart or schedule a Sophiastrology reading for help with that).

William-Holman-Hunt_The-light-of-the-world-detail_c1900-1904As ever, reminders and focus and practice practice practice are helpful and necessary, really, to keep our center and break out of those fear-spin (vs. heart-mojo) and perceptual prisons (vs. present-moment intuition & genuis) that really do have high costs in health and wellbeing.

No matter how practiced we are, if we’re living in this particular time and shared ‘psychic soup’, we’ll know that it’s ongoing practice — and often deep practice at that — to stay centered and know that it takes a bit more effort to lean out of the brain’s long-evolved negativity bias and into the ‘remarkable good’ zone.

There are various practices that help with that — it’s important to keep our magic backpack of tools and practices well-stocked and current.

One little thing that helps a fair bit, though, is having the reminders … whether helpful bits of reminder-wisdom like “A thousand things went right today…” from Storyteller Shamir, or our Believing Mirror reflections and encouragement.

The sacred pool of the ancient Anatolian city of Hieropolis. [Photo from Wiki Commons]
The sacred pool of the ancient Anatolian city of Hieropolis. [Photo from Wiki Commons]
So for today, dip into the inspiration pool sparked by Ilan Shamir’s poetic invitation … A thousand things went right today.

What were some of them? What went right yesterday? What’s right just now?

On the Sophia’s Children next-up writing table:

The mysteries and challenges of present-moment awareness and nonresistance — Two more really important and valuable perception and skill to master in this wild, wild, chaotic times of ours.

For more Sophia’s Children inspiration, follow the links included in this post or below.

For the current Reader & Client Appreciation special offers for coaching and Sophiastrology readings, and other things, check out the current specials page here.

In the meanwhile …

Big Love & Wishes for ‘lots of things gone right’,

Jamie

Reclaiming Our Gifts and the Golden Thread of Destiny

Grass maze at Dalby, Yorkshire, England. Public domain photo from Simon Garbutt via Wikimedia.
Grass maze at Dalby, Yorkshire, England. Public domain photo from Simon Garbutt via Wikimedia.

“Our destiny is the golden thread that holds together the hearts of humanity and the heart of the world. We carry the heart of the world within our own heart, and through living our destiny we nourish the heart of the world.”

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Working With Oneness

Working with the Divine gifts — our Sophia gifts — that include our imagination, focused intent, and the remembering of the ancient-timeless wisdom and knowing that is accessible to us, we begin to live our destiny and thus more and more contribute to the wellbeing of all.

“When we begin this work,” says Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, “ancient memories will surface, memories that we carry in our ancestral self, of how this work is done.”

We already have these gifts encoded within us, along with the access-streams we need to do (or rather be and from that being do) the work for which we are here on this planet at this time.

For many called to these paths of awakening, experiences of various transformative events — Near Death Experiences (NDEs), kundalini awakenings; and other sorts of show-stopping, perspective-altering peak experiences — have already been happening to call us away from the false-conditioned life and into our destiny stream.

Rain and a golden reflection on a forest waterway. Public domain photo from Larissa Koshkina via PDpictures.net.
Rain and a golden reflection on a forest waterway. Public domain photo from Larissa Koshkina via PDpictures.net.

We just need to take a conscious, intentional step, and then another, in its direction, and cultivate the remembering and reclaim these ancient-timeless Divine gifts … or our Sophia Gifts as I’ve written before … and then be and do from that center of awareness.

The ancient, timeless, and current wisdom traditions have long given clues about how to make this shift — a renewal of heart and mind, a shift of perspective from fragmentation to wholeness, a shift from ‘stuck in time’ (which means always in the past or the future) to presence right Now.

Sounds easy. It’s not. But there we are. As the poetic prophecies go, “We were born for these times.”

Thankfully, there are ways and practices; there are reminders and clues. They’ve just been marginalized or buried deeply in our individual and collective psyche, waiting to be remembered, reclaimed, and renewed.

This is why, among other things, we reclaim the Feminine gifts of our being — the deeply intuitive, wisely instinctive, pattern-tracking, whole-seeing, connection-weaving, heart-and-body (as well as intellect) honoring, and creatively spontaneous (a.k.a. ‘outside the box’ or ‘genius’) ways of being.

Wooden gate in the high hedges. PD image from George Hodan via PDpictures.net.
Wooden gate in the high hedges. PD image from George Hodan via PDpictures.net.

Vaughan-Lee (and others) affirms:

“In the diffuse consciousness of the feminine, the patterns of relationship are more visible. … Now this wisdom is needed. It can no longer be hidden, but needs to become conscious. … We need to bring this feminine wisdom into consciousness so that we can learn to relate to the whole of life.”

We begin to relate to the whole of life, as LV-L and others have pointed out (and some of us have learned and remembered through our own journey of initiation and remembering).

This is our natural way of seeing and being; that knowing has just been hidden in the vaults of deep forgetting.

Then, Life and its wholeness — the Alaha or Unity, One in which we all live, breathe, and have our being (and that is within us and so expresses through us as well) — meets us and will flow more and more gracefully in and through us into right expression and right presence.

Nature abundance. Mountain stream in Matterhorn forest. PD Pictures dot net.
Nature abundance. Mountain stream in Matterhorn forest. PD Pictures dot net.

Questions to Live Into…

If you’ve been reading long, you’ll know by now that inquiry — the art of asking the right questions — is a key theme of mine and one of our ‘power tools‘ or gifts, you might say, along with the others I’ve mentioned above.

So here are a few good questions to help you open the insight-stream:

• How does the Golden Thread of destiny and purpose weave in and through you?

• To what is Life beckoning and calling you — where are the clues arising and to what are they pointing you?

• What gifts are calling to you to be remembered and/or strengthened into use on behalf of the wellbeing of all, and where your joy meets the world’s need?

There are many other artful questions to spark insight and remembering, but these help get the golden flow of inspiration started.

Green labyrinth in Luxembourg City. PD image from Lode Van de Velde, PDpictures.net.
Green labyrinth in Luxembourg City. PD image from Lode Van de Velde, PDpictures.net.

To Catalyze Progress & Momentum …

For personalized mojo-stirring, fresh insight, new inspiration, and Divine-Gifts remembering, check out the readings, coaching, and consultations … and then some.

Plus the Feminine Mojo programs.

There are some current specials offered in the spirit of sparking this much-needed work (and your much-needed presence and gifts!).

See the details about these invitations and possibilities here:

Current Reader & Client Appreciation Special Offers for Readings, Coaching, Consultations Etc.

Big Love & Joyful Remembering,

Jamie


Give, and Receive …

If you regularly get inspiration & insights from the gifts offered here at Sophia’s Children …

Give a Gift. Receive the Benefits. Support the Work.

Every bit helps to keep the Wisdom & Love flowing freely. Abundant thanks!

QuoteWorthy: Transformation Fatigue and Keeping Heart

Divers descending into the main cavern of Blue Hole, Palau_Islands, Micronesia. PD image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Divers descending into the main cavern of Blue Hole, Palau_Islands, Micronesia. PD image courtesy of Wikimedia.

For many horizon-edge walkers and vision-seeders, transformation agents, and similar culture-shifters, transformation fatigue and burnout are occupational hazards.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to become fatigued or heavy hearted at what seems a daunting task in the face of myriad epic challenges that roll in like waves from the ocean.

I’m pretty resilient (strong Saturn and Pluto in the chart!) and devoted to The Work and the practices that allow and support it, but sometimes I — like all of us — feel the bone-weariness of transformation fatigue and other occupational hazards.

I’ve learned from experience that dipping often into the deep, rich wellsprings of inspiration from our kindred-spirit edge walkers and vision-seeders is vital … as are other disciplines and practices that help us to be as we are (and as we’re here on this planet, at this time, to be).

Sharing that inspiration, and pointing the way to other wellsprings, is the other part of that reciprocity or ayni balance — and it’s one of the main purposes of Sophia’s Children – read more about that here.

Clarissa Pinkola-Estes. Media photo courtesy of Maven Productions.
Clarissa Pinkola-Estes. Media photo courtesy of Maven Productions.

In this deep-wellspring spirit, here is a much-shared and highly inspiring excerpt from Do Not Lose Heart, from the wise woman and author, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes.

“Believe the evidence of any one of your past testings and trials. Here it is: Are you still standing? The answer is, Yes! (And no adverbs like “barely” are allowed here). If you are still standing, ragged flags or no, you are able. Thus, you have passed the bar. And even raised it. You are seaworthy.”

“Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. ”

“Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. … To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both– are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.”

Read the full inspired message here:

~ Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, Do Not Lose Heart (Creations Magazine)

Find more of her wisdom, inspiration, books & other programs at her web site or Facebook page.

Big Love & Good-Juju Blessings,

Jamie

Emerald Green Butterfly. Image courtesy of Nature's Crusaders.
Emerald Green Butterfly. Image courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders.

To replenish your wellspring & rejuvenate your sense of purpose, choose a Sophiastrology reading/consultation and/or a Golden Thread or Graceful Communication coaching session with me.

Check out the special current offers for these (and the Feminine Mojo Wisdom School audio library) here:

Current Specials for Readings, Coaching & Consultations (and more)…

3 Museworthy Quotations: Invoking Humanity … and Courage

Here’s a trio of Museworthy quotations or excerpts from one eloquent and visionary leader, and two inspired writers of different generations, but all “born into interesting times.”

Two were born in the mid to late 1920s, and the third was born in the mid-1960s when the first two were writing and speaking, inspiring and planting consciousness seeds.

Each has inspired me and stirred that sense of heartful, core-deep ‘courage of one’s convictions‘ in the last week or so, as I’ve come back across their words and work.

The theme of humanity and that which invites, invokes, stirs, and reflects our humanity and innate humaneness is but one thread that weaves through these three inspired perspectives.

Another might be couragethat “courage of (y)our convictions” theme again, which all three of these men live(d) with and exemplify as well as write and/or speak about.

Given the rather marked lack of humanity and inhumaneness so often emphasized on ‘the news’ (and by many who deliver ‘the news’), it’s always a fine, fine thing to share inspiration on the virtues-in-action as medicine for the vices/shadow-in-action.

James Baldwin, September 1955. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, PD-US U.S. Library of Congress.
James Baldwin, September 1955. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, PD-US U.S. Library of Congress.

“But the conquest of the physical world is not man’s only duty. He is also enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of himself.”

“The precise role of the artist (creative seers of human truth), then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.”

“The human beings whom we respect the most, after all — and sometimes fear the most — are those who are most deeply involved in this delicate and strenuous effort, for they have the unshakable authority that comes only from having looked on and endured and survived the worst.”

“… a higher level of consciousness among the people is the only hope we have, now or in the future, of minimizing human damage.”

~ James Baldwin (1924-1987), as quoted in Maria Popova’s Brainpickings article.

***

The writer and professor Chris Abani, shared this in a TED Talk (and various other talks he’s given since):

Chris Abani, author photo from chrisabani.com.
Chris Abani, author photo from chrisabani.com.

“In South Africa, they have a phrase called Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes out of a philosophy that says, the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.

“…the world is never saved in grand, messianic gestures but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion; everyday acts of compassion…”

~ Chris Abani on Humanity (I shared this TED Talk here)

***

And the third of these inspiration-stirring Museworthy Quotations – a very Uranian-Promethean theme and wording:

The Rev. Dr. King [Photo image from Biography.com]
The Rev. Dr. King [Photo image from Biography.com]
“Do not conform” is difficult advice in a generation when crowd pressures have unconsciously conditioned our minds and feet to move to the rhythmic drumbeat of the status quo.”

“Many voices and forces urge us to choose the path of least resistance, and bid us never to fight for an unpopular cause and never to be found in a pathetic minority of two or three.”

“Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.”

“We are called to be people of conviction, not conformity; of moral nobility, not social respectability. We are commanded to live differently and according to a higher loyalty.”

~ The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his sermon on Transformed Nonconformists and Creative Nonconformists – read it here, and related Sophia’s Children posts here.

***

Very powerful, heartful, evocative, and stirring, yes?

Big Love & Stirred-Inspiration,

Jamie

The Power of Inquiry: Loving the Questions Themselves

Fertile and fruitful questions. Image courtesy of PD Pictures.net.
Fertile and fruitful questions. Image courtesy of PD Pictures.net.

I’m always amazed at the seeming magic of replacing a period with a question mark. Know what I mean?

If you’ve explored the power of inquiry — the art of asking the good questions — you’ve likely found, as I have (again and again), that it’s one sure way to open things up where they’ve become to stuck, too stale, and way too constrictive.

(That rock-and-hard-place or ‘strait-jacket’ place I mentioned in a recent Sophia’s Children article!).

This topic, and the magic of the well-asked question, came up in a conversation yesterday.

My dialogue partner and I both ended up smiling as we shared a couple of examples of what happens when you take a statement and change it into a question.

I’ve used inquiry and “the art of questions” in my work — including in the high-conflict communication consulting that was my specialty for many years.

I’ve used it in my life for a long time, too, yet always appreciate the reminder of the power of ‘inquiry magic’.

Colorful questions. PD image from PD4Pic.
Colorful questions. PD image from PD4Pic.

Have you explored or refreshed your ‘beginner’s mind’ joy in the art of inquiry recently?

In this spirit, stir your ‘inquiry power’ with this updated Sophia’s Children post from the archives:

Read The Power of Inquiry: Learning to Love the Questions

To ‘open the box’ and shift the momentum on an issue you’re exploring or a challenge you’re navigating, schedule a tailored Transformative Inquiry coaching consultation.

You’ll find current special offers here.

Big Love & Joyful Inquiry,

Jamie

Effortless Creativity and Uncompetitive Purposefulness

Crossroads at night in Winter. PD image courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.
Crossroads at night in Winter. PD image courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.

It’s no secret now that we’re at a bit of a craggy crossroads, we humans?

It seems that Life herself is more urgently stirring up the recollection, resurrection, and/or Phoenixing of whole areas of innate and indigenous-soul genius that were submerged, repressed, and/or oppressed in the hard-and-harsh lean into the (too-often heartless) intellect and left-brain ways of being.

This will be no surprise to those whose first-and-foremost purpose is to be (recognized or unrecognized) ‘frequency bringers’ — conduits for a certain consciousness frequency, you might call it, and the ideas, insights, and horizon-edge perspectives that come with it.

These ‘volunteer souls’ have been getting stirred, awakened, marinated, pushed, pulled, Underworld-initiated, and Phoenixed for quite awhile now. (Sound familiar?)

In her Brainpickings article, Effortless Creativity, Maria Popova includes some powerfully and evocatively worded musings related to this ‘urgent need’ for such culture-shifters.

Here are a couple that stirred the creative wellspring within me, and will perhaps stir you as well:

***

Pancho Ramos Stierle. Image - occupylove dot org.
Pancho Ramos Stierle. Image – occupylove dot org.

“To produce poets, in this largest Baldwinian sense of creative seers of human truth, seems to be among the most urgent tasks of our time.”

“… the nature of this clarified, magnified deepening of being — concentration as consecration …”

“… her insight ripples outward in widening circles (as Rilke might say) to encompass every kind of writing, all art, and even the art of living itself.

(She writes) “In the wholeheartedness of concentration, world and self begin to cohere. With that state comes an enlarging: of what may be known, what may be felt, what may be done.”

***

Illustration by Sidney Smith for The White Cat and The Monk (Anansi Press - see link below).
Illustration by Sidney Smith for The White Cat and The Monk (Anansi Press – see link below).

Popova also includes an illustration from Illustration by Sydney Smith from The White Cat and the Monk, a 9th-century ode to the joy of uncompetitive purposefulness.

The joy of uncompetitive purposefulness

Producing creative seers of human truth being one of the most urgent tasks of our time.

Very evocative ideas, aren’t they?

They’re clues as well — and those clues illuminate our truest values, intent, sense of meaning, and purpose.

Find the full Effortless Creativity article at Brainpickings via this link.

To stir your own innate genius alive and into greater strength — or for Believing Mirror reflections on keeping center and focus in the Phoenixing or transformation process — schedule a Golden Thread coaching series or a Sophiastrology consultation.

You’ll find current special offerings for these at this link.

Big Love & Stirred-Alive Genius,

Jamie

Image Credit link:

See The White Cat and The Monk at Anasi Press.

Big Love and Hard Places

A Tree Grows From Rock, Wittenoom Gorge, Australia. Image courtesy of Public Domain Images.
A Tree Grows From Rock, Wittenoom Gorge, Australia. Image courtesy of Public Domain Images.

You’ve probably had those moments or passages — the ones where you feel like someone or something has suddenly put shrink-wrap or a straitjacket on your life (and in your mind), making it hard to breathe and offering what seemed little ‘wiggle room’?

It occurred to me very recently, as I was immersed yet again in one of those ‘shrink-wrap’ or ‘between a rock and a hard place’ moments, that there is a very real practicality to what we call ‘spiritual practices’ (whether we practice them within or outside of a particular tradition).

Sound familiar?

While it’s actually very intuitive and sensible, in ‘dominant thinking’ of our culture this would seem counter-intuitive or ‘woo woo’.

In astrological language, this would be the essence and qualities of experience linked with Neptune (Expansiveness and Big Love) and Saturn (Constriction and Fear).

This is significant because these two energetic and archetypal ‘power players’ are currently squaring off in our shared macrocosm, and perhaps showing themselves in our personal experience, too.

The Bridge in the Woods. by Rafail Sergeevich Levitsky.(1885-1886) The Stavropol Regional Museum of Fine Arts, Stavropol, Russia.
The Bridge in the Woods. by Rafail Sergeevich Levitsky.(1885-1886) The Stavropol Regional Museum of Fine Arts, Stavropol, Russia.

I have the Saturn-Neptune square in my natal chart — meaning it was an astro-dynamic ‘headliner’ when I was born, so it has been a constant and demanding master teacher for me.

Here’s the gist, so you can see how this might play in your own life, and how you might engage with and benefit from it.

Traditional astrology often reduces big energetic and archetypal dynamics into pithy, and often negative, sound-bites.

Pluto is reduced to as ‘ruthless Pluto’; Saturn as the ‘punitive task-master’; Neptune as ‘delusional and dissolving’; Venus as ‘lipstick, hair gel, and lingerie ads’; Mars as the proverbial ‘hot-head brute’; Mercury as the grasshopper-minded flibberty gibbet; and so on.

While there can be some truth to these descriptions, they’re hugely incomplete.

Given that whole Nocebo Effect thing I wrote about recently, any such ‘word prisons’ are important to recognize and ‘open up’ into their fuller potentials, because we’ve all been conditioned with a saturation of fear-centric ‘word prisons’.

Zion Narrows, by Jon Sullivan. Photo courtesy of PDPhoto.
Zion Narrows, by Jon Sullivan. Photo courtesy of PDPhoto.

Traditionally, Saturn is associated with constriction, rock-and-hard-place circumstances, punitiveness, isolation or separateness, initiation through limitation and constraint, boundaries, and fear.

Neptune is associated with flow, grace, dissolution of form and boundary, surrender, trust, faith, imagination, dreams, and the Big Love, Agape.

Saturn is the rock (and thus the ‘hard place’), and Neptune is the water that flows onward, softening those hard edges … or the fog that obscures the ‘constructed world’.

If interpreted in the more limited, fear-centric ways, these interpretations shrink the ‘field of all possibility’ — like putting shrink-wrap packaging around something and sucking all the air out of it. That tends to come from, speak to, and heighten the fear-based conditioning in us.

“Expansion is the best way to survive any crisis. Fear deprives people of choice. Fear shrinks the world into isolated, defensive enclaves. Fear spirals out of control. Fear makes everyday life seem clouded over with danger.”

~ Deepak Chopra, SF Chronicle, 11/19/08

The Puritans [Image source unknown]
The Puritans – Very Saturnine!
[Image source unknown]
Neuroscience research shows that the fear-button-pushing activates the survival-oriented lizard brain and tends to squeeze off the passage to ‘higher brain’ that facilitates our connection to intuition, creativity, creative thinking (and thus ‘outside the box’ problem-solving), empathy, compassion, and other such gifts.

The more limited, fear-centric Saturn qualities have long been a dominant staple in our culture — and they’re the point of the neuromarketing that saturates us — while the Neptunian qualities have been downplayed, marginalized, or outright dismissed.

Gosh, I wonder why that is, and just who benefits from it? But I digress …

All of Life, and Life within us, cries out for the release of that shrink-wrap and the restoration of balance, that Ayni I’ve hinted at in recent musings.

Spiraling back to the insight that dropped into my awareness during the recent ‘shrink-wrap’ moment …

The first of the Voyage of Life paintings by my fellow Imbolc-born Aquarian Thomas Cole (1801–1848)
The first of the Voyage of Life paintings by my fellow Imbolc-born Aquarian Thomas Cole (1801–1848)

I was reminded of several previous ‘rock and hard place’ passages where Saturnine (and other Planetary Pals) constraint and shrink-wrapping felt intense and beyond my previous experiences — and so stirred fear and anxiety to heightened levels.

I was also reminded that in those passages, when I leaned into the Neptunian ‘spiritual practices’ — like simple meditation done with Saturnine discipline and constancy — the shrink-wrap seemed to loosen and the ‘tangled conditions’ eased as if by some Grace flowing in through the opening created by the meditation (etc).

Most spiritual root-wisdom has long emphasized this in the teachings, and if we take clues from the recent neuroscience and consciousness research — like the work of Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of How God Changes Your Brain, for example — we see the evidence for it there, too.

So the Neptunian power of the Big Love and its Grace, and the spiritual practices that remind us of our ever-present connection with it; along with the imaginal, the dream time, ‘vision space’, and flow, and approach those practices with the Saturnine gifts of respect, discipline, devotion, and consistency, the Neptunian (in alliance with Saturn) becomes very, very practical in the effects we notice within ourselves and then rippling out ‘into our affairs’ as some word it.

“Every day, you have to wade through a relentless surge of soul-less facts.
The experience tends to shut down your sense of wonder.”

“Every day, you’re over-exposed to cynical narratives that have been
sucked free of delight and mystery. That’s why you have to make such
strenuous efforts to keep your world enchanted.”

~ Rob Brezsny, Pronoia & Free Will Astrology

Stream in Sequoia National Park, U.S. [Photo courtesy of PD Photo via Creative Commons]
Stream in Sequoia National Park, U.S. [Photo courtesy of PD Photo via Creative Commons]
That’s one way to approach the Neptune-Saturn square-off as it might be unfolding within you and in your own life.

I can tell you that I’m doing just that, and at the very least, it gives the benefit and gift of supporting greater wellness, reduced stress, and increased ability to be centered amidst the storms and uncertainties.

And who knows, if we let some fresh air, Big Love, and Grace into that shrink-wrap, and therefore through as as within us, we might just become able to see-and-be more fully the  greater possibilities for healing, restoration, regeneration, and creativity in a world troubled by the imbalances in it. The Big Love, flowed through us to Earth.

It’s worth the experiment, isn’t it?

Have you had experiences in your life where the Neptunian gifts and practices — whether imaginal ‘work’, dreaming, or meditation (and connecting with the Agape, Alaha, Big Love, not the sort that keeps you circling in your mind) have, in hindsight, helped to invite what seemed like Grace and a loosening (or dissolving) of the Saturnine constraints and ‘straitjacket’?

Feel free to share below in the comments, or by direct email if you prefer the more private conversation.

Longboard Surfer On The Wave Crest at Huntington Beach, CA, 31 December 2007, by Andrew Schmidt. Public domain photo via pdpics dot net.
Longboard Surfer On The Wave Crest at Huntington Beach, CA, 31 December 2007, by Andrew Schmidt. Public domain photo via pdpics dot net.

For more personalized coaching, mentoring, and inspiration around these experiences, consider scheduling a Golden Thread coaching series, Sophiastrology reading, or consultation — you’ll find current Summer offers here.

The Feminine Mojo Wisdom School self-study programs are created to activate and strengthen these gifts, too. You’ll find more about those goodies here, too.

Big Love and “Neptune and Saturn as Allies” Blessings,
Jamie

Placebo Nocebo: Prediction and Word-Power

The Rat Race, from fbcdn-sphotos via Leave the Rat Race (find it on Facebook)
The Rat Race, from fbcdn-sphotos via Leave the Rat Race (find it on Facebook)

“Time-based prophecies that kept me from living,
in the moment I am struggling to trust the divinity … ” ~ Nahko Bear

This is a wee bit of a rant, though mild as possible rant-ampage can go.

In recent weeks, I’ve heard from several readers and clients who shared something with me that offers a good example of the Placebo or Nocebo Effect.

Each told me that they had, in the (sometimes very recent) past, experienced counsel from ‘experts’ that were (in the words of one client) “completely negative; nothing positive,” and shared in a way that was certain, authoritative, ‘right’.

Each in his or her own way told me that the effect of the dire, all-gloom-and-doom, “nothing positive,” expert-advice was deflating and discouraging at best, and depression-inducing at worst.

Why wouldn’t it be?

The Sower of the System, 1902, by George Frederic Watts.
The Sower of the System, 1902, by George Frederic Watts.

It’s an excellent example of the ‘nocebo effect’ in action, and it’s also irresponsible, for several reasons.

We’ve likely all experienced such Diminishing Mirrors (as compared to Believing Mirrors).

Diminishing Mirrors are thosenattering nabobs of negativity’ and/or enthusiasm-shrinkers that I’ve written of before.

This matters because, as it happens, such authoritatively (or otherwise potently) delivered words can be harmful in addition to just not all that helpful. The bit I shared here on some of the neuroscience research gives an idea of how.

There’s more, though.

The horizon-edge physician, Lissa Rankin, has researched and written much about the nocebo effect — the opposite of the placebo effect in which the mere thought and belief that some medication or procedure will help or cure produces effects in support of that.

On the other hand, the nocebo effect, Rankin writes, is pretty much the shadow side of that.

Rankin notes that prognoses of side effects or specific ‘time left to live’ often have the same sort of effect — to the degree that they’re delivered authoritatively and with certainty (and in the examples she shares, they are) and to the degree that the person receiving them believes it, they will experience the side effects even if they’ve been given sugar pills but think they’ve received the ‘real thing’.

Bela Lugosi as Dracula, 1933.
Bela Lugosi as Dracula, 1933.

If they’re told that something is chronic or fatal and given a specific ‘time left’, and believe it, that’ll often be the case.

So the ‘toxic expert-advice’ I mentioned above is a form of this nocebo effect — as would any other similar example be.

Various spiritual traditions include guidance (and warnings) that could easily be speaking, too, of the placebo and nocebo effects.

Rankin likens these nocebo pronouncements to being a type of curse — which is sorcery or ‘malefic magic’ (done wittingly or unwittingly).

Dr. Larry Dossey, in his work on the effects of prayer, including toxic prayer, and knowing the power of prayer in its very real effects, says the same.

For the moment, we’ll assume that those delivering the “all negative, nothing positive” nocebo curses are doing so unwittingly; that they actually mean well enough but perhaps aren’t fully aware or conscious of what they’re doing.

The Priestess of Bacchus (1889), by John Collier.
The Priestess of Bacchus (1889), by John Collier.

That leaves it to us to be more aware of this pattern and effect, and choose more consciously about what we receive (and believe) as such things as they come at us.

We see nocebo cultural norms reflected in just about every area of life where fear-based and fear-stirring is normalized ‘business as usual’. So we see it a lot.

For instance, I’ve definitely seen what I’ll call nocebo or toxic astrology, among other disciplines from which we might receive guidance or counsel.

I’ve long used astrology as one very helpful tool to gain insight into both my own cycles of experience, and for clients who are in the midst of a challenging cycle, riding the waves of transformation or change, or feeling the need for some renewed clarity and inspiration.

Hebe Giving a Drink to Jupiter, 1767, by Gavin Hamilton. Public domain image (date precedes copyright).I lean towards mythic, archetypal, and ‘shamanic’ astrology because it speaks best to these cycles and energy dynamics in a constructive, productive, fortitude and inspiration-supporting way.

I lean (decisively) away from the traditional ‘gloom and doom’ or predictive astrology for the very reasons Lissa Rankin emphasizes in her writings and research on the nocebo (and placebo) affects … that powerful mind-body-spirit interweaving.

I’m with Master Yoda on that one.

My own experience has shown me just how deflating and potentially harmful the dire, boulder-heavy prognostications can be when they’re uttered so authoritatively (as if they’re the only truth).

This is particularly possible if we’re already feeling a bit vulnerable, thin, shaky, discouraged, and/or challenge-fatigued so that the expert nocebo advice slides right in there under the radar like a poisonous seed cast into your garden.

Yes, there are challenging dynamics, patterns, and cycles of experience.

Sisyphys, Pushing the Boulder Up the Hill, 1548-49, by Titian.
Sisyphys, Pushing the Boulder Up the Hill, 1548-49, by Titian.

Most if not all of us knows that life will throw up challenges that sometimes bring us to our knees (or flat on our face, heaving and sobbing with fatigue and despair). Many people will likely travel those ‘rock and a hard place’ passages, too.

I should know … I’ve had no shortage of challenge, some of it extreme, in my life.

Those holes of muck-and-sharp-bits and rock-and-hard-place spots that you can’t at that moment see your way out of?

Yup, been there, more than once or twice, as often due to broadsiding events and external conditions as to my own misjudgments or inexperience. Seems those are some of the ‘mysteries’ I’m here to fully explore and share wisdom bits about.

But I also know this:

At the times of some of the most challenging passages or cycles, I’ve experienced some of the most amazing grace, allies, blessing, synchronicity, encouragement, and unexpected opportunities and aid, right along with the “bummer karma, dude,” “let her swing!” and flat-out diminishing mirror stuff.

Midsummer Eve, c. 1908, Edward Robert Hughes. (Image courtesy of WikiMedia)
Midsummer Eve, c. 1908, Edward Robert Hughes. (Image courtesy of WikiMedia)

I’ve even experienced what we’d call miracles — things that came up that I would have never thought possible, as they were beyond both my experience and my imaginings of what was possible. Yup, during the very same ‘horrible challenging chart’ (and experience) times.

The problem with only giving the most dire, negative, and often punitive ‘expert advice’ — whatever role we’re acting in (be it minister, astrologer, coach, physician, friend, whatever) —  is not just what Lissa Rankin shares about the very real effects of nocebo curses, or Larry Dossey shared about toxic prayer.

There can be a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ aspect to them if we really take them to heart and take them as gospel or if they slide in there under the radar when we’re feeling vulnerable, fatigued, or thin at that moment.

Also, such ‘predictions’ or ‘expert prognoses’ come through the lens and thus the limitations and biases of the person giving them.

It really does run very close to sorcery in its curse (nocebo) effect and potential, whether that’s intended or not by the probably well-enough-meaning person delivering it.

There is always constructive guidance and insight there to be seen as well, and there is always some bit of grace, inspiration, encouragement, and fortification to be seen and shared.

The Mirror, 1896. An exquisitely beautiful painting by Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee. [Image Courtesy of WikiMedia]
The Mirror, 1896. An exquisitely beautiful painting by Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee. [Image Courtesy of WikiMedia]
Similarly, we’ve likely all been on the receiving end of the Diminishing Mirrors and nattering nabobs of negativity (and perpetual catastrophe) as well. I surely have, which is likely why I write about it!

And it’s why I feel so strongly that it is absolutely essential to have Believing Mirrors in our inner circle (or who arrive by grace, just when needed).

If we don’t, we might resolve to become our own Believing Mirror (and one for others) until the Believing Mirror(s) that we need and seek arrive into our experience.

The responsibility (response-ability) and possibility ultimately rest with us, though:

• Just what are we choosing to believe is true? What do we take as gospel?

• What practices and fortifying believing mirror support do we have in place to clear that nocebo poison out and perhaps make ourselves less ‘sticky’ to it?

We always have access to other perspectives, other ways of seeing, and other possibilities — all, most likely, with anecdotal and perhaps even more stringent scientific research behind them.

In the Orchard (1912) by Franz Dvorak. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
In the Orchard (1912) by Franz Dvorak. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Like good journalists and writers, we do ourselves (and others) a service when we gather a variety of perspectives before settling on “what’s true.”

It’s not a matter of not seeing or acknowledging difficulty or challenge — that’d be an effort in futility and fairly delusional or ‘bypassing’, which is equally irresponsible. What’s buried just stays subterranean, haunting us.

It is a matter of looking for (or choosing to see and share) constructive guidance that will support one’s resilience, that is fortifying rather than diminishing, that helps to strengthen and shore someone up even if they’re moving through some challenging stuff.

And then looking for what inspiration, encouragement, and grace that may be present or possible as well.

They’re always there, those little flickering lights, pointers, bits of wise counsel, and notes of inspiration tucked along even the darkest passage we’re moving through.

They help. And that’s real.

The School of Athens (Detail) - Hypatia (1509-1510), by Raffaello Santi
The School of Athens (Detail) – Hypatia (1509-1510), by Raffaello Santi

As Albert Einstein allegedly said,

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

As the Persian Poet Hafiz said,

“What’s real? What’s not real?

That which turns up the corners of your mouth, trust that.”

Hafiz also offered up these inspirations (Neptune):

“Always trust what your heart knows.”

and

“When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes:

To love more, And be happy.”

You get the gist — there are always various perspectives to balance or inoculate against the nocebo-inducing predictions of gloom and doom and their ill-effects.

It’s important that we include such encouraging, possibility-opening perspectives in the conversation, and practical help if we have what’s needed, lest we believe the nocebo curses or even just one perspective of limiting possibilities are the whole truth.

Any helpful counsel worth its salt will include the believing mirror (or placebo effect) ‘intel’ as well.

Big Love,
Jamie

Needing just that Believing Mirror and Inspiration-Partner effect?

Here are the current special offerings for coaching, Sophiastrology readings, and consultations.

We Must Imagine It …

Sirene, by Gaston Hoffman (1883-1926). Public domain image {US-PD}.
Sirene, by Gaston Hoffman (1883-1926). Public domain image {US-PD}.

“We cannot think our way out of this crisis, we must imagine it.” ~ Becca Tarnas, Toward an Imaginal Ecology

That echos two of Albert Einstein’s insights. Here’s the first, and you’ll likely recognize it:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Imagination and intuition have at times, ancient and current, been called gifts and arts of the ‘right brain’, the Feminine, and/or part of the ‘intelligence of the Heart’ that were minimized (a.k.a. “soft” skills) and cast aside as the culture leaned far into its experiment (over)emphasizing the left brain, analytical, Masculine mind.

Well, we can see where that experiment has gotten us.

Cross from the Iglesia de Santa Susana, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. Public domain image from Froaringus via Wikimedia.
Cross from the Iglesia de Santa Susana, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. Public domain image from Froaringus via Wikimedia.

Life, ever-reaching for the restoration of balance, or Ayni in the Andean tradition (and other words for the concept in other traditions), has been stirring and calling us to remember, restore, and reintegrate the imaginal, intuitive, and Heart-intelligence that’s needed as ‘medicine for our times’.

Becca Tarnas muses on this in her lovely, inspiring essay, Towards an Imaginal Ecology, which speaks of the vitalness of tapping these imaginal and heart-centered intelligences as a way of whole-seeing, restoring our eyes to see the interconnectedness, where we’d bought into a lie of isolation and disconnection that has been part of the mechanical worldview.

This small smattering of quotes doesn’t do justice to the importance of our imaginal capacity — which is one of the Sophia Gifts, or part of our Divine Inheritance (read more about our Sophia GiftsDivine Inheritance in this Sophia’s Children post).

Moonscape over Water. Image courtesy of Public Domain Images.
Moonscape over Water. Image courtesy of Public Domain Images.

And we know that our imagination, like others of the Divine Inheritance Sophia-Gifts, has been pretty well co-opted or colonized (you’ll remember that theme in the recent Decolonizing the Imagination & Soul post here.)

Here are just a few excerpts from Becca’s essay, but do visit it for a full cup of inspiration.

“ (Joanna) Macy writes, “The imagination needs to be schooled in order to experience our inter-existence with all beings in the web of life.” For Macy, the imagination learns through meditative practice, through exercises that focus “on death, loving kindness, compassion, mutual power, and mutual recognition.” Such practices can expand one’s sense of self …”

and

“The deep ecology of mind (Christopher) Bache cultivates in his work allows us to envision our potentially dire future while learning to cultivate the strong spiritual center needed to stay grounded in such an unstable time.”

The Blue Bird, by Frank Cadogan Cowper (1877-1958).
The Blue Bird, by Frank Cadogan Cowper (1877-1958).

There’s much more inspiration and many worthy insights in Becca’s essay, so check it out.

So what did Albert Einstein say about imagination?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

We might say that imagination and her sister-gifts access from the vast ocean of wholeness, while knowledge and what’s already in our mind is a much more limited database in comparison.

The Feminine Mojo Mystery & Wisdom School includes audio programs and workshops created to stir and strengthen just these gifts … working with the imaginal, with energy, intuition, and whole-body intuition, and other practices that “expand one’s sense of Self” simply by helping to remember one’s Self.

You’ll find more on the Feminine Mojo Mystery School — as well as Sophiastrology and Golden Thread coaching & consultation options — on the Summer Specials page here.

In the meanwhile, be (and imagine) well.

Big Love,

Jamie

Energy Hygiene: Dispersing and Gathering Back

Pythia, 1917, by Jacek Malczewski.
Pythia, 1917, by Jacek Malczewski.

“Tell a wise person, or else keep silent;

for the mass-man will mock it right away.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Holy Longing

Many of us are conditioned to reach outward for confirmation, affirmation, approval, validation, and/or understanding from others, with mixed and often deeply frustrating results.

This is particularly true if we have been and are marching in any way, shape, or form to our own proverbial different drummer, which pretty much means that we’re in some way different from the cultural norm.

The different drummer category has long included introverts, empath-sensitives, psychic-sensitives, artists, creatives, innovators, and nonconforming horizon-edge-walkers of these and various other kinds.

In Human Design, those of the Projector profile, for instance, often live into greater awareness of this frustrating conditioned habit of seeking recognition, acknowledgement, understanding, and approval from those who cannot or will not give it.

The same is the case with empath-sensitives or any of the other types of constitution and expression mentioned above.

At Aphrodite's Cradle, 1908, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
At Aphrodite’s Cradle, 1908, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

The more we seek understanding, affirmation, recognition, acknowledgement, and/or approval from those who can’t or won’t give it (e.g. the withholding thing I’ve mentioned in recent posts and in the Empath-Sensitive Series), the more that one-way energy flow becomes a drain.

When there is a one-way energy flow, there’s a win-lose proposition afoot. There’s a lot of that in our culture.

When there is reciprocity or energy balance, called Ayni in the Andean tradition and by other words in other ancestral-wisdom traditions, there is energy balance … everyone benefits.

I’m always revisiting these reminders, and I’m glad for it.

With all of the churn-and-swirl in the psychic soup or collective ‘mind field’ now, it’s more and more important to tend this balance.

This is one of those ‘energy fundamentals’ that seems straight-forward and easy enough, yet can be one of the greatest challenges while also being one of the most important energy mastery lessons.

In Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins tells his old friend and wizard, Gandalf, that he feels like “too little butter spread over too much bread.”

That’s what being dispersed feels like. That’s what being dispersed is like.

We know this already — our energy follows our focus and attention.

Eddie Van W's Water Reflections (Creative Commons - thanks Eddie!)
Eddie Van W’s Water Reflections (Creative Commons – thanks Eddie!)

With so many people, circumstances, and an over-abundance of seductive distractions calling our attention (and thus our focus and energy) ‘out there’, we find ourselves again and again overly dispersed … ‘pulled thin’ like too little butter spread over too much bread.

When we’re ‘stretched thin’, we’re much less centered, rooted, anchored in our body and on the Earth, and we’re much more vulnerable to the chaos of all that’s swirling in the shared field or ‘psychic soup’.

It matters not how skilled we may be in being aware of and working with energy and the psychic stir that swirls in it, though the awareness, experience, and repertoire of practices we’ve gathered into our ‘magic backpack’ can help us to notice it and gather our energy back to center more quickly.

With so much upset and turbulence being stirred up on a regular basis, it’s become more and more important to tend to our own energy hygiene, and going back to the basics, the fundamentals, and drawing back from the over-complexity and into more simplified center-ground.

"The Goldfish Bowl" (c. 1870) by Charles Edward Perugini (1839-1918)
“The Goldfish Bowl” (c. 1870) by Charles Edward Perugini (1839-1918)

Needless to say, this also means drawing back from the conditioning of being in perpetual motion, busy-busy-busy, telling ourselves we don’t have time for the practices that help us to slow down, gather ourselves and our energy and our focus back, ground, and center.

It also asks that we draw back from and ‘re-condition’ from the old, deeply conditioned habits of being ever-‘nice’, ever-pliable, overly available, like the supply pipeline for others (and supply for the Narci-types as well!).

As a spiritual mentor once told me of her own experience, “When I don’t go to stillness, stillness comes looking for me.”

She meant that when she ignored the need to let the swirl settle and let herself slow, gather back, and center, she’d get sick or something else would very surely slow her down, but this forgetful way is much less pleasant, as we know.

Another ancestral-wisdom-traditions teacher reminded us that, “When we don’t consciously choose which energy stream we’re aligning with, we automatically align with whatever is dominant and swirling in the collective field. We know that’s not helpful.

Spring-water fountain. PD-US courtesy of absfreepic.
Spring-water fountain. PD-US courtesy of absfreepic.

When we choose to honor this energy hygiene need, and prioritize it, we’re reminded yet again that when we’ve slowed down, gathered back, and centered, we allow the chaotic swirl drain, calm, and become the ‘still, calm lake’.

From this, we tap the wellspring from which we restore and rejuvenate, and can be much more resource-full … and magnetic to what’s most aligned with us versus the strongest current of what’s wafting willy nilly in the psychic-soup.

We can’t control and sometimes we can’t even influence what’s ‘out there’, but we can choose to cultivate the quality of our own energy and focus, though it may take practice to overcome the conditioning otherwise.

In doing so, each time we do so, we not only feel better ourselves, and are able to be more resourceful and skillful in responding rather than reacting, but we’re more able to be a blessing and ‘good medicine’ by our very presence.

Reveling in the good-juju of a waterfall rainbow. PD image courtesy of Pixabay.
Reveling in the good-juju of a waterfall rainbow. PD image courtesy of Pixabay.

Here are a couple of related Sophia’s Children musings on this topic:

Calling Home Our Exiled Selves

Reclaiming Your Power from Unconstructive Criticism

… plus a few recent articles like Chiron Quest and Sensitivity to Energy Gunk.

You’ll find more inspiration via the links and tags you’ll see below — there’s a whole lot here on energy hygiene and energy mastery.

For more personalized counsel-and-coaching on these mastery areas, check out the Current Offerings — you’ll find the Feminine Mojo programs there, too, with audio-lessons on various energy mastery practices.

Questions or comments?

Share your comment or story below, or send along a direct email if you prefer a more private conversation (info ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com).

Big Love and Be Well,
Jamie

I Build a Lighted House and …

Ariakerou at Imado - Lighted House, by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). PD-US.
Ariakerou at Imado – Lighted House, by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). PD-US.

“I build a lighted house and therein dwell.”**

This is a musing on well-lit houses, inner (and outer) gardens, being refuge and/or refugee, among other things.

In his July esoteric astrology letter, Phillip Lindsay shared the above ‘keynote’ for the archetype of the moon-ruled sign of Cancer, along with other powerfully insightful and inspiring observations  and reminders.

(Thank you, Phillip. Kindred-spirit readers, you’ll find the link to Phillip’s full article below — highly recommended inspiration!)

We’ve recently had this Cancerian wellspring stirred, as the Sun did its annual meander through Cancer, along with Mercury and Venus.

Beyond these few weeks, the invitations and deep wellsprings of this deeply feminine, Yin-Water archetype are vitally important for these turbulent times we’re living in.

The same could be said for the ‘greater angels’ of each of the archetypes, and may it be so, but moreso just now for the gifts and good medicines symbolized by the Water and Earth signs as potential ‘waters that nourish the wasteland and cause the desert to bloom again’.

Darfur Refugee Camp in Chad, 2005, by Mark Knobil. PD-CCA via Wikimedia.
Darfur Refugee Camp in Chad, 2005, by Mark Knobil. PD-CCA via Wikimedia.

Lindsay, in his July letter, writes powerfully of refuge and refugees, both physical/material and spiritual, as well as of “inner gardens” as well as outer sanctuaries of various sorts.

True to the wholism associated with the feminine, this is an ‘and/both’ rather than an ‘either/or’ — inner and outer, both.

But if the inner garden and well-lit house are neglected, defiled, desecrated, or forgotten, the outer reflects that, as we can see all around us just now.

As in the Grail stories, or in Demeter’s mourning for her Underworlded daughter Persephone, the ‘seen world’ becomes a wasteland when Life is not honored, when “nothing is sacred,” when interior spaces are kept in the more toxic type of darkness — when the sacred balance (energy reciprocity) is thrown off.

Azerbaijani refugee from Karabakh. Photo by Ilgar Jafarov. PD CCA-SA via Wikimedia.
Azerbaijani refugee from Karabakh. Photo by Ilgar Jafarov. PD CCA-SA via Wikimedia.

As Thomas More has written,

“Frequently when we have lost a sense of the sacred, it reappears in a negative form. The work of dark angels is not altogether different from those who wear white. Here, then, is another way to interpret the abuse of things – as an underworld attempt to reestablish their sacredness.” (Care of the Soul)

Lindsay insightfully links the recent and current epidemic of refugees, for example, with those who are spiritual refugees — those who, “Instead of abiding in the refuge of the heart they have become – refugees of the heart – the homeless of heart, bereft of compassion by ignoring human plight; this is the festering sore in the world today and of course is the disconnect between the 1% and the 99%.”

He quotes The Tibetan, Djwal Khul:

“The great error of the neutrally minded” is a refusal of empathy and compassion that overflows into action in order to be complete, or to be ‘grounded’.

This requires sacrifice, though, and that’s inconvenient and undesirable to to those who hoard and withhold whatever they have that they might otherwise (and often, easily) share.

And so, “Sympathy which does not produce positive action of some kind becomes a festering sore.”

An abandoned house (public domain pictures).
An abandoned house (public domain pictures).

We see a whole lot of festering sores these days, and each is very much evidence of the Wasteland in which the sacred has been too long desecrated and ignored in favor of the “bread and circuses” that keep so many ‘entertained’, entrained, and entranced.

Hence the refugees of the heart, an epidemic of heartlessness and spiritual impoverishment that allows to grow and fester the myriad festering sores of misery that otherwise wouldn’t exist. And then demonizes and blames those suffering from the sores rather than those responsible for creating them in the first place and allowing them to continue festering.

That’s always been the modus operandi of Empire. If you look at the history, it’s there again and again, as if sourced from some hidden playbook (just look at the history of Rome’s genocide-conquests and you’ll see that nasty pattern glaring out at you).

For the ills and the sources of festering sores there is always remedy, though. We see the Golden Threads of their “greening,” (as Hildegard of Bingen called it) when we look.

“In your wake the living waters rise and flow over

the parched wilderness of the soul, and we are revivified.”

~ Mirabai Starr in Mothers of God

Psyche, 1890, by John Reinhard Weguelin. PD-US.
Psyche, 1890, by John Reinhard Weguelin. PD-US.

The root wisdom of every spiritual tradition of which I’m aware speaks of the importance and vitalness of turning within and cultivating the connection, tending the gardens of the sacred within, restoring that sense of right-balance and ‘fullness of joy’ that overflows into what we might call right thought, right speech, and right action.

And more and more research verifies that such practices also have plentiful health and wellness benefits as well.

Since we live in a culture that has long diminished and even demonized turning within — another desecration — while providing more and more temptations that skillfully seduce and draw our attention, imagination, and thus energy “out there,” restoring this balance is not the simple thing that the spiritual platitudes would suggest.

Still, while many of the most important spiritual teachings are simple rather than easy, they’re powerful, too … within and without.

There are epically powerful forces at work here and now, and epically powerful forces have both their benevolent expressions and their dark-side, sorcerous or ‘shadow’ expressions as well.

We have to acknowledge this head on, in a sort of courageous, fiercely heartful witnessing, if we’re to re-orient to and stand for (and as) the ‘good medicine’.

And yet the “greening” is possible — the wastelands and drought-stricken hearts can bloom again.

Zen Garden in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Photo by Jamie S. Walters, Sophia's Children.
Zen Garden in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Photo by Jamie S. Walters, Sophia’s Children.

Any garden requires cultivation and regular tending, lest it become defiled, over-run with weeds, polluted, litter-full, blighted, or altogether forgotten … a wasteland.

Any “lighted house” requires building and regular tending, lest it become similarly defiled and a center for unwelcome, even malevolent presence.

On this, Phillip Lindsay shares another insight and reminder from Djwal Khul:

“Is the house you are building yet lit? Is it a lighted house, or is it a dark prison? If it is a lighted house, you will attract to its light and warmth all who are around you and the magnetic pull of your soul, whose nature is light and love, will save many.”

Our inner gardens, the “well-lit house” that we tend and fortify within becomes not just as the refuge in the storm, or the calm ground in the midst of the storm, but also an offering of refuge or sanctuary for others caught in the storm, and overflows into outer expression in the physical-material world around us.

River of Fire Flies, by Kobayashi Kiyochika. PD-US.
River of Fire Flies, by Kobayashi Kiyochika. PD-US.

The challenge is to defy the false prophet-profiteers of sorcery, and gather back some of our focus, attention, will, and energy from all of the myriad distractions and ensorcelments, and draw it inward to cultivate the inner garden and well-lit house.

That’s a bit like breaking spells and addictions, because spells and addictions they are.

But it can be done and though it’s not easy nor is it instant gratification, its rewards are many — some we’ll see and feel (and sometimes we do notice these welcome shifts quickly), and some of its blessings are beyond our seeing and yet very real and very vital, Life-honoring contributions and ‘good medicine’ none the less.

To do that, and in doing that, we remember who we are and why we’re here, and I’m pretty sure that’s not to be one of the legion of the ensorceled, zombie-fied Walking Dead or bling-bling-bling addicts with two-second attention spans.

You?

An illuminated Way ... [Image shared in an e-message from the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism]
An illuminated Way … [Image shared in an e-message from the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism]
How might we tend our garden, and light another candle in our house?

“Come into this place of peace
    and let its silence heal your spirit;
Come into this place of memory
    and let its history warm your soul;
Come into this place of prophecy and power
    and let its vision change your heart.”

 ~ William F. Schulz **

For reflections and affirmations on your own greeninginner garden, and ‘well-lit house’ gifts, have a look at the current offerings for Golden Thread consultations and Sophiastrology readings – you’ll find them here.

Big Love and Be Well,
Jamie

 

Promised links:

** From Phillip Lindsay’s Cancer 2016 Esoteric Astrology Letter

** The Rev. Dr. William Schulz’s quote was shared in the church bulletin from First Congregational Church – U, Binghamton, N.Y. 7-17-16

Chiron Quest and Sensitivity to ‘Energy Gunk’

Divers descending into Blue Hole, Palau Islands, Micronesia. PD image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Divers descending into the main cavern of Blue Hole, Palau_Islands, Micronesia. PD image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Though I’m writing about sensitivity to ‘energy gunk’ and why that’s important, I’ll start with Chiron, since I mention him, too.

This insight from Brad Keeney speaks well to our Chirotic Quest, as it’s sometimes called:

“This is where the heart becomes an instrument of alchemy and transforms noxious odors into nectars of the gods. Here darkness is turned into the golden rainbow body of luminous wisdom.” ~ Brad Keeney, Shamanic Christianity

Chiron is one of the clues about where and how we turn poison into remedy or ‘good medicine’.

The Dagara wise woman, Sobonfu Somé, could be talking about the Chiron archetype when she said, “The wound is where the gift is.”

Circe the Priestess (detail), 1911-1915, from a trinity of images created by John William Waterhouse. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Circe the Priestess (detail), 1911-1915, from a trinity of images created by John William Waterhouse. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

I’ve written before about Chiron being one of the major ‘purpose clues’ in our astro-natal chart, and I’ll be sharing additional musings on more recent insights about Chiron in these whackasaurus times we live in.

We all live our Chiron story, and we can find specific insight and affirmation in the sign and house of our natal Chiron, along with how it relates to other Planetary Peeps and the cosmic imprint we embody.

Since Chiron is now in sensitive Pisces, and Chiron in Pisces peeps have been in the life-milestone Chiron Return passage, it’s relevant as an example of ‘sensitivity to energy gunk’.

I’ve also written before about Generation X — the so-called ‘Lost Generation’ — who were born when Uranus and Pluto were conjunct in Virgo, Chiron was in Pisces opposite Virgo, and Neptune was in Scorpio.

Alexandre-Cabanel_1823-1890_The-Druidess
The Druidess, Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1890). PD-US. Wikimedia.

This is the very embodiment of transformative dynamics, and most have seen that in the highly transformative, not all that ‘secure’ nature of their life experience.

With Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio — and with other highly sensitive constitutions — we have a combination that creates an innate and super-heightened sensitivity to the energies that swirl around us.

This heightened empathy and ability to discern and sense other energies makes for both innately gifted healers and a definite disposition towards getting cluttered up with astral energies, or what I’ll call ‘energy gunk’.

The link is the archetype and energy symbolized by Neptune in astrology.

Pisces is ruled by Neptune, and with Neptune in the transformative, psychic, and empathically sensitive water sign of Scorpio, there is both a purpose of bringing in awareness of how to work with and help ‘bring to Earth’ (and thus into the collective field) Neptune’s diffuse, unitive essence, and also the possibility of getting slammed by the energetic and psychic garbage that fills the ‘psychic soup’ we live and breathe in.

Mary Magdalene with the Alabaster Jar, by Anthony Frederick Sandys.
Mary Magdalene with the Alabaster Jar, by Anthony Frederick Sandys.

Even with awareness of how energy works, and how to work more consciously and skillfully with it, the sensitivity to all that floats in the shared pool remains.

So it’s essential for those with Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio (and other uber-sensitives) to become aware of it, learn to work with it, and cultivate a ‘magic backpack’ of practices that help to:

• stay afloat,

• clear the gunk, and

• cultivate the gift of access to and ability to work with these energies in a way that’s healing for ourselves, others, and the whole.

No small task, and no easy, instant-gratification-pill feat.

Taking care what we empathize with…

One thing I’ve noticed over recent years is that we have a great need to take care and be mindful about what we focus on, give our attention to, and identify or empathize deeply with.

Il Barbagianni, The Owl, by 1862, Valentine Cameron Prinsep.
Il Barbagianni, The Owl, by 1862, Valentine Cameron Prinsep.

Florence Scovill Shinn said, “You combine with what you notice.”

This is particularly true for those with Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio — and others who have a very psychic-empathic-sensitive constitution (you’ll see clues in your astro chart).

So bringing greater mindfulness and consciousness to what we notice, what we focus on, give our attention to, and empathize or identify with, is an important strategy for those with the heightened sensitivity to ambient energies and thus the energy muck in the psychic soup.

But there’s another layer to this insight.

What we ‘combine with’ and what we take into our energy field will affect how we feel, what we think, and horror of all horrors, what we manifest … or have challenge manifesting no matter the other external efforts.

That can be extremely frustrating, yes?

Learning to work more consciously and skillfully with energy in the various ways available to us is vital if we’re to bring our ‘good medicine’ into the world rather than be perpetually inundated with and manifesting from the ‘psychic and energy gunk’ or ‘mal-juju’ that’s routinely wafting around and purposely stirred up even more.

Boreas, by John William Waterhouse (1903), Image courtesy of WikiCommons.
Boreas, by John William Waterhouse (1903), Image courtesy of WikiCommons.

With Chiron in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio, the level of heightened sensitivity woven into the constitution makes this challenging, and also makes it important for our own health, wellbeing, and expression.

The same would be true for others with very watery astro-charts (and thus constitutions and one’s purpose on the planet). Those with other element balances that don’t include so much water would have other needs and soul imperatives in order to bring their ‘good medicine’ and live into purpose.

There are many ways to increase awareness and work with and ‘cultivate’ a healthier energy and thus psychic state, including those which are aligned with any specific spiritual or religious tradition, so our personal approach and ‘magic backpack’ or practices-repertoire can be aligned accordingly.

I’ve written quite a bit about some of the practices for working more skillfully with energy here at Sophia’s Children, and I share practices through the Feminine Mojo and Wisdom Ways programs, and in personal work with clients as well.

The Priestess of Bacchus (1889), by John Collier.
The Priestess of Bacchus (1889), by John Collier.

This is also something I’m always in deep and ongoing practice with, always tweaking and learning, for the same reasons I’ve shared above — because we’re living in a swirling and often toxic ‘psychic soup’ that we don’t and can’t control, and we are very much affected by that, for better and for worse.

I mused on this in a recent Sophia’s Children article:

Empaths & Psychic Pollution, which you’ll find here.

Feel free to send along an email if you have questions related to your own experience, or schedule a Sophiastrology or Golden Thread coaching consultation to delve in more specifically and personally.

Current special offerings on readings, coachings & FeminineMojo here.

Big Love and Good Juju,
Jamie

MuseWorthy Insights: Decolonizing Imagination and Soul

Lightning Strike, Brasilia. Photo by Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz, shared CC-SSA via Wikimedia.
Lightning Strike, Brasilia. Photo by Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz, shared CC-SSA via Wikimedia.

I share the following from Alastair McIntosh’s 2015 Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture (Canadian Quaker Learning Series #7), with Mr. McIntosh’s permission.

This reflection is also very much aligned with some of the archetypal macro-themes of the current Saturn-Neptune and Uranus-Pluto squares, and what I shared in my recent recent Mars-Yang reflections, among other astro-energy and archetypal stirrings in these times.

One macro-theme is this:

We are being invited and often pressed to transform those adopted, inherited, or conditioned norms that are really toxic normal; and reclaim the spirit, soul, imagination, and mind that have been co-opted, colonized, and packaged into toxic ‘perceptual prisons’ that have, in turn, created or maintained toxic, life-and-soul denigrating ‘realities’.

A great part of this invitation requires us to remember and reclaim sovereignty over our focus, attention, imagination, and thus our energy (this has long been the crux of ‘magic’, whatever it’s been called), and these have been very much and very skillfully co-opted by all that seductively draws our attention, purposely stirs our fear and sense of separation, and pours like garbage into our imagination and mind.

In alignment with this theme, Alastair McIntosh shares this:

Souls on the Banks of the Acheron, 1898, by Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl (1860-1933)
Souls on the Banks of the Acheron, 1898, by Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl (1860-1933)

“My theme is Decolonising Land and Soul. This intends to express a sense that it’s not just the land that’s been colonised, and on both sides of the Atlantic; the soul of the coloniser has also been colonised by the spirit of colonisation.”

“This spirit runs through most of us, mostly unconsciously, therefore decolonisation is a multi-layered process. I define colonisation as the presumption to take that which has not been given. Is that any different from a straight definition of theft?” …

“A colonising mentality can only be perpetuated when the soul of the coloniser has become a carrier for the spirit of violence. That infection, as I have shown with this brief case study of Scottish history, is infectious.”

“We need to make sense of the layers and layers of violence and privation that were often heaped upon our forebears, and became internalised, normalised and perpetuated by them.”

Hesiod and the Muse, 1891, by Gustave Moreau. Public domain image courtesy of WikiMedia and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Hesiod and the Muse, 1891, by Gustave Moreau. Public domain image courtesy of WikiMedia and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

McIntosh quoted the theologian Walter Wink, who wrote:

“To engage the Powers is therefore a redemptive process. The name of the game is not to destroy, as with the path of violence, but to wrestle the Powers that Be back to their higher, (Divinely inspired) vocations. Set in this framework, our activism for social, environmental and perhaps religious change becomes spiritual activism.”

“Such cultural psychotherapy is what the shamans, bards and prophets have always done. It is guided in part by the head, but the greater part is of the heart, thus often given voice through poetry, protest song and the other arts.”

~ Alastair McIntosh, CYM Learning Series, Decolonizing Land and Soul, 2015. Be inspired by reading the full talk.

Decolonizing isn’t a quick-pill or perpetually blissy-blissy happy-pill sort of process, but it is very much part, parcel, and point of the spiritual awakening process and the ‘transformative events’ that stir those alive and keep them activated.

A phoenix depicted in a book of legendary creatures by FJ Bertuch (1747–1822). Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.A Phoenixing kind of purpose and path.

These are themes I’ve written much about, as the pearls and clues from my own experience arise and are shared through me as little lanterns along the way for others traveling the path of ‘transformed nonconformist’ and transformation catalyst.

Alastair’s insight reminds me of a recent Sophia’s Children post in which I shared complementary wisdom from Brad Keeney and The Spirit of Radical Experimentalism. You can read or revisit that one here.

Big Love and Indigenous-Soul Stirrings,

Jamie

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,473 other followers