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BlogShare: Why the World Needs the Gifts of Celt-Gael Wisdom

I appreciated Robert Alan Rife's InnerWoven musing, Why the World Needs the Celts -- the always timely (and pretty inspired) gifts from the ancestral Celt-Gael wisdom and ways of being. As ever, the core ways and values find commonality with... Continue Reading →

BlogShare: Active Hope and the Spiral of Transformation

Jessica Davidson has an inspired and ever-timely post about Active Hope and the Spiral Transformation that I'm really happy to share with you. When I hear the word hope, I always think of the great writer, statesman, dissident, and transformative... Continue Reading →

Blog-Share: So Few Degrees of Separation – Finding Gifts in the Family Tree

Blog-sister Leigh Gaitskill, through her Not Just Sassy on the Inside blog, shares a wealth of discoveries from her Ancestry DNA test and subsequent sleuthing into her roots. As Leigh writes, she learned of family tree roots and branches that she'd... Continue Reading →

Blog-Sister Refeature: The Handless Maiden (and the Dark Night Journey)

Blog sister, Jessica Davidson, has posted a beautiful musing on the powerful story of The Handless Maiden, emphasizing how potent and meaningful this story is just now. Jessica writes: "The Handless Maiden is a myth that speaks powerfully to our... Continue Reading →

The Hidden Meaning Behind Neglect and Vandalism

We see (and hear, and feel) a lot of what many might call 'ugliness' and acting out these days. While that's far from a new phenomenon, there are also spikes, or "Monstah Muck Waves," of it. Here's an interesting way... Continue Reading →

Restoring the Heart – a reblog from Janet Chui

The heartful, soulful quest. The heart's yearning is its primary language. In her fresh musing, "Identity, Purpose and Destiny in Moana," Janet Chui writes, "The Sacred Feminine is strong in this movie. The female relationships are strong, supportive, and incredibly... Continue Reading →

Oh Those NarciPaths – Shahida’s “20 Narci Tactics”

I'd usually just reblog this one, but the reblog format is funky. So I'm just going to say this: Shahida Arabi, via her Self-Care Haven blog, recently posted an excellent summary of 20 often-used Bully and NarciPath tactics. I shared... Continue Reading →

QuoteWorthy: The Courage to Follow Inspiration

“I used to think I wasn't compromising enough. Now I realize in making the leap from mainstream technologist and marketer to an artist, I've consistently compromised vision and inspiration to the point its power is diluted. Following inspiration isn't sissy... Continue Reading →

BlogShare: Who We Invite to Tea – From Janet at M+M blog

I appreciated the collection of musings and blog-shares that artist and fellow blog-sister Janet Chui shared in her blog post. Janet gathered up a few of her favorite web-finds and musings of recent days, and the selection includes an invocation... Continue Reading →

Rewriting the Story – From Weathered Wise Man

This is a really excellent reminder about the stories we tell ourselves, and live, so I wanted to share it with you, too, after I came upon it a few days ago. What I appreciate about this story is that... Continue Reading →

The Rebel and Mystic Sell

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Greece. Image from the Monks and Mermaids Benedictine blog. Do learn more about Elder Paisios ... beautiful.
Modern-day Mystic, Prophet, and Monk, the Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Greece. Image from the Monks and Mermaids Benedictine blog.

Earth Energy Reader (in The Shift Has Hit the Fan blog) shares an interesting comparison from Chris Hedges, on the similarities between mystics and rebels, and a few related musings.

In a time and culture of Spiritual Entertainment and commoditized, (sometimes referred to as) ‘plastic’ or faux, surface-skimming spirituality, or spiritual bypass, it’s a good distinction to make.

But actual transformation, or transformed nonconformists as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of it (more on that below)? That’s a vital type of engaged spiritual or mystic activism, as it’s called.

It’s messy, though; gritty, difficult … inconvenient … so there’s a reason why it’s a more rare bird that flies in that direction.

Perhaps that’s why it’s a calling rather than a choice if you are so called; it’s a call you can’t ignore or hang up on when it gets inconvenient or downright ugly, and it definitely gets inconvenient and downright ugly at times.

As I think of several of my Mystic Heroes and Heroines along the way, I’m inclined to agree that yes, there are ways that true mystics — definitely outside the ‘normal’ of their (our) times — are like rebels. And vice versa, in the ways Chris Hedges describes.

St. Theresa of Avila, 1827, by François Gérard (1770−1837). Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
St. Theresa of Avila, 1827, by François Gérard (1770−1837). Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

If you follow the Mystic Breadcrumb trail, you’ll see what I mean (Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, and most assuredly Theresa of Avila … and others). Perhaps a followup post on those inspiring Mystic-Rebelles is in order, because they deserve it…okay, it’s on the writing list.

In the meanwhile, Earth Energy Reader’s post is a very worthy, and heart-and-thought-stirring, read.

It also reminds me of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s evocative phrases: Creative Maladjustment and Transformed Nonconformists (I wrote about that here – definitely Mystic-Rebel goin’ on there, and very inspiring if you are one!).

And a recent article sharing contemporary Mystic and Teacher, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s recent interview in Parabola Magazine (scroll a few posts from the Sophia’s Children home page and you’ll see it).

Mystics. Rebels. Transformed Nonconformists. We have a theme brewing here …

Big Love,
Jamie

The Shift Has Hit The Fan

“Rebels share much in common with religious mystics. They hold fast to a vision that often they alone can see. They view rebellion as a moral imperative, even as they concede that the hope of success is slim and at times impossible. Rebels, a number of whom I interviewed for this book, are men and women endowed with a particular obstinacy. Willing to accept deprivation and self-sacrifice, they are not overly concerned with defeat. They endure through a fierce independence and courage.  Many, maybe most, have difficult and eccentric personalities. The best of them are driven by a profound empathy, even love, for the vulnerable, the persecuted and the weak….There is nothing rational about rebellion. To rebel against insurmountable odds is an act of faith, without which the rebel is doomed. This faith is intrinsic to the rebel the way caution and prudence are intrinsic to those who seek to…

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The Truth of the Matter …

Anais Nin and the Mermaid Quote. Image courtesy of Creating Ecstasy.
Anais Nin and the Mermaid Quote. Image courtesy of Creating Ecstasy.

I deeply appreciate Laura’s perspectives shared here in her blog post.

As I jotted in her comments section, this post in itself (as are so many) is a portal or potential doorway into dialogue with “those who have ears to hear” and can actually have conversation on such things.

It made me think of a favorite Anais Nin quote (shared in the image) — a very “Scorpio-Pluto” notion with which I and transformation-catalyst kindreds resonate deeply.

And it makes me think of what the Black Madonna symbolizes — and resolutely and with fierce compassion, stands for — and what the Great She evokes in us and stirs into embodied remembrance.

It also makes me think of the Power of the Word and the actual, real magic of presence, intention, attention, imagination … the very things that have gotten burgled and co-opted, unless and until we wise up to that and claim them back.

And it brings to mind the straight-talking, provocative, and evocative phrases — and invitations — from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King about Creative Maladjustment and Transformed Nonconformists.

That whole Gen-X (and Kindreds) Phoenixing thing I wrote about recently.

Yep, I’m an associative thinker like that, but I think you’ll see what I mean.

Have a look; see what Laura’s blog musing stirs for you.

Lots of love,
Jamie

Laura Bruno's Blog

…lies somewhere between this:

The United Nations 2030 Agenda decoded: It’s a blueprint for the global enslavement of humanity under the boot of corporate masters

by Mike Adams …
And this:

Yes, pun intended. Truth upon lies upon truth upon lies — a mise en abyme. Yes, I agree with Mike Adams (except his comment that only male energy can save us — imho, we need a return of the Sacred Masculine, as well as the Empowered Feminine.We’ve got plenty of patriarchal BS, thank you very little, but we need the Male Principle to get back in touch with the sacred, and we need women to become empowered in ways beyond putting on a pantsuit and out-aggressing all the men. We also need to recognize that masculine and feminine energies are bigger than sex or gender, and that we each have some masculine and some feminine begging for expression…

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The Way of the Warrior Defined ~ Where Have All the Warriors Gone?

Sir Galahad Discovers the Grail, c. 1890, by Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Sir Galahad Discovers the Grail, c. 1890, by Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This seems a very fine time for anchoring ourselves in the sovereign “ground of All Being” and rejuvenating our discerning Spiritual Warrior juju.

I’ll be sharing a few musings on just that “ripe timing” in a day or two (maybe even today), since the Virgo-Pisces archetypal energies are getting activated in a big way moving forward.

In the meanwhile, I’m happy to share this blog post from blog-sister Laura Bruno, since it speaks to this Spiritual (Shambhala) Warrior archetype that many of us are ‘here to be’.

Check this out, and read on for more:

Morihei Ueshiba meditates on top of Haleakala, Maui, 1961. Shared in Spirituality & Health magazine and sourced from the photo archives of Maui-Ki Aikido.
Morihei Ueshiba meditates on top of Haleakala, Maui, 1961. Shared in Spirituality & Health magazine and sourced from the photo archives of Maui-Ki Aikido.

Budo (way of the warrior) is not a means of felling the opponent by force or by lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means.

True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world, as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form.”

~ Moreihei Ueshiba, founder of the art of Aikido

That’s what my Qigong Grandmaster called healthy yang or the Sacred Masculine, which is very much in alignment and partnership with and honoring of the healthy yin or Sacred Feminine.

Power with versus the toxic old Dominator Culture norm of power over.

That’s what I’m talking about (whatever the spiritual tradition from which you gain Wisdom and inspiration) — and it’s the energetic we’ll have plenty of cosmic and Earth help with as we move forward, starting now. Stay tuned …

Big Love and more soon,
Jamie

Laura Bruno's Blog

Thanks, Bill! This video arrived so very synchronously, just seconds after I hung up the phone from a “Healing Skills Reclamation” Session discussing the spiritual path of the Warrior. I had just described this very dynamic of becoming so strong that you bypass the “need” for violence.

This video gives a passionate description of the differences between a Warrior and a soldier, as well as why our world needs a return of the Warrior. Lately, I’ve felt led to read both “The Upanishads” and “The Poetic Edda,” and both traditions share an appreciation for the role of true Warriors. It’s not about bashing heads or bombing civilians into oblivion. Reclaiming the values, courage and skills of the Warrior has deep implications for spiritual development, human sovereignty and, indeed, the fate of our world. This is 22 minutes well worth the listen:

“Budo (way of the warrior) is not…

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Gary ‘Z’ McGee ~ Turning the Tables on Unsustainable Systems

Fierce and Fiery Wisdom -- 16th Street Goddess, Mission District, San Francisco. Photo by Jamie Walters (Use in accordance with Creative Commons - cite credit and link to this post. Merci.)
Fierce and Fiery Wisdom — 16th Street Goddess, Mission District, San Francisco. Photo by Jamie Walters (Use in accordance with Creative Commons – cite credit and link to this post. Merci.)

This is a powerful perspective from Gary ‘Z’ McGee, shared by Laura Bruno.

Gary Z’s article includes some of my own favorite themes and insights, like the fierce-and-fiery wisdom of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King when he spoke of creative nonconformists or rather creative maladjustment and transformed nonconformists to be specific.

These sorts of insights and inspirations are intimately linked with the Transformation-and-Phoenixing theme in my previous Sophia’s Children post — it’s always helpful to renew our remembrance of just why that whole ashes-to-Phoenix process might be purposeful if it births the fierce-and-fiery wisdom and transformed-nonconformity required of a ‘David’ (or a Davida, as it were!).

Here are a few bits from Gary’s article; read on and you’ll find more:

“The hope of a secure livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and spiritual freedom have always been nonconformists. It any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist.” ~ the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

and …

“It takes courage to stand along, especially when standing against Goliath while also attempting to show others how they are not Goliath. Diane Grant said it best, “It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.” But it’s even better to point others in the right direction as you go.”

Amen to that!

This would be the very discerning-yet-fierce Jupiter in Virgo ‘Service Thing’ I mentioned in the recent post.

More on this whole fierce-discerning-Phoenix topic coming up … it’s brewing up strong in the creative cauldron right now.

In the meanwhile, thanks for sharing this one, Laura. Perfect medicine for now.

Big Love,
Jamie

Laura Bruno's Blog

Another good one from Gary Z McGee! If you don’t know what Rope-A-Dope is, please click here for references and explanation.

Turning the Tables on Unsustainable Systems

Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Turning the Table on Unsustainable Systems is Like Playing Rope-A-Dope with Goliath. 

“Withdrawal in the face of moral complexity is no answer. Withdrawal in the face of atrocity is no answer. Two hundred species went extinct today. When faced with those committing atrocities, it is incumbent upon you to stop those atrocities using any means necessary. If you were being tortured to death in some basement, and I knew this, would you want me to walk away? Would you accept it if I said, “Oh, here’s an answer, I will walk away.” What would you call me if I did that? What would you call anyone else who did that?” –Derrick Jensen

In a…

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Say Hello to My Little Friend: True Boredom

Loved. This. Musing. Truly I did. And do. From LeebyGeeby at Shamagaia. Well-written, insightful, and funny as hell ... o ... operator. Have a look; see for yourself. Thanks L.G. This was good, fun, and yes, wise, medicine this afternoon.... Continue Reading →

Lion’s Gate, 888, and Intel on Internet Trolls and Angry Fellas

As ever, I've been enjoying two recent articles from my blog-sister Janet Chui's Magic & Meditation blog, and want to share both with you. Have a look and you'll see why. Each is like a mini feast, each in its... Continue Reading →

A Disturbance in the PsychoSphere – Guest Post

My friend Molly Hall at the Wild Bee Farmlet has shared another insightful and heartful perspective on the energies, questions, and opportunities of now. She writes of a "disturbance in the psycho-sphere," and asks, "Do you believe everything you see... Continue Reading →

Redefining luxury

Kitten, 1900, by William Clarke Wontner.
Kitten, 1900, by William Clarke Wontner.

I’m happy to share this lovely musing from Nimue Brown on ‘Redefining Luxury’.

One part of reclaiming our mojo in various areas of life involves reclaiming and redefining words (and the corresponding actions) that have been co-opted and put in service of the Rat Race.

By reflecting on and reclaiming our own definition of ‘luxury’, we’re also centering in on what truly has value and worth to us (rather than what we’re brainwashed to value regardless of whether it contributes to our own and the collective wellbeing).

This is a natural question for those of us exploring the Taurean-Venus ‘mystery school’ (aka Taurus Rising) in this lifetime, since the soul-expression of Taurus is to explore, define, and take root in what’s truly of worth and what expresses the deepest and truest of all values (vs. the more superficial and transient ones defined by consumption-driven culture).

But regardless of the soul explorations and adventures we’re immersing in, these are questions that invite us all to come home to what matters most to us.

What has value, what feels (and is) of real value and worth to us, and in what simple, often-overlooked ways might we rediscover real luxury and decadence?

Many of my ‘Top 10’ (or 20, or …) simple and rich luxuries would overlap the list that Nimue shares (you’ll find the link to her post below).

Confidences, 1869, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
Confidences, 1869, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

I’ve added another recent discovery in the comments on Nimue’s post — going ‘minimal or sans electricity after sundown at least several (or more) days a week.

I’ve found that, as much as I love and appreciate technology, this practice feels truly decadent in our over-tronned times!

Another simple-pleasures practice of mine in recent years has been to reclaim the wisdom of my wise woman/man ancestors by learning the ‘wild plant allies’ around me and their nutritional and medicinal gifts to us. Truly rich, and very abundant.

My ‘about Jamie‘ musing includes more of my own appreciated, simple and rich luxuries.

Thanks to Nimue for this lovely post and invitation to reflection and the power of redefining and reclaiming ‘luxury’. You might also want to check out some of her other posts, like “What’s it Worth?”

How about you?

What simple pleasures and natural luxuries have you rediscovered or renewed your appreciation for?

Big Love,
Jamie

Druid Life

Western culture tends to define luxury around items that cost a lot of money, or at a pinch, experiences that cost a lot of money (luxury holidays, mostly). ‘The Good Stuff’ is all about objects, and to afford the objects, or cheaper replicas of the objects, we have to work very hard. The culture of things is not sustainable, our planet cannot keep everyone in the style of an average western household, much less in the style of a household that can afford a lot of luxury goods.

What do you consider to be a luxury? Is it the price tag? Is luxury defined by scarcity? Is it an emotional response to something indulgent? If so, what feels indulgent? If we can redefine luxury, perhaps more of us can get off the treadmill and enjoy living, rather than chasing after objects that will soon become obsolete. Here are ten things…

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The Real Agenda of “So-Called” Education Reform

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)

In the spirit of the reblog, here’s a powerful piece of truth-speaking from a fellow blogger, Christopher Chase at his Creative by Nature blog.

It reminded me of Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows, which made a case for how the unmindful overuse of tech-gadgets was making people, well, stupid.

The book was based on an Atlantic Monthly article Carr wrote, which I blogged about way back when.

But you’ll have to read more of Carr’s work to see just what he means by that (it’s something you’ll likely have noticed yourself).

For now, check out Christopher Chase’s excellent, ‘plain-speaking’ blog post about “the real agenda of so-called education.”

Read on …

Big Love,

Jamie

Creative by Nature

 “What if I told you that the hidden agenda of those controlling public education policy has actually been… to snuff out young people’s natural creativity, curiosity, independence, freedom of thinking and love of learning?”

morpheus

For a long time now, we’ve been told by our leaders and the media that our nation’s education problems are caused by bad teachers, low expectations, lazy students and/or unclear national standards. They tell us that by setting higher standards, making school more rigorous, testing students frequently and then firing “bad” teachers we will be able to “fix” our schools.

To put it bluntly, this is nothing but a Big Lie. What if I told you that the hidden agenda of those controlling public education policy has actually been to crush innovation, make children more obedient, force teachers to “dull & dumb down” their instruction, and do whatever else is needed in order to snuff out young people’s natural creativity, curiosity, independence, freedom of thinking and love of learning?

How could this be so? It is so…

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The essence of a house

Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden (1905, John William Waterhouse)
Psyche Entering Cupid’s Garden (1905, John William Waterhouse)

This is such a lovely musing about the places and spaces we live in, how they have an essence and living heart(h) of their own, and how we’re very much in relationship with them … whether we realize it or not.

(And if you’re an empath-sensitive, you’re probably very much aware of it!).

I’m a few weeks from making a new house my home, so will be getting acquainted with it, and the spirits of place, soon.

It’s a lovely reminder that each place, each thing, each being, is Holy Ground in and of itself.

And as Andrea mentions, at the warm and fiery heart, hearth, and core of every place, we find Vesta (Hestia to the Greeks) — the very core of the Feminine.

Thanks to Andrea for sharing this musing via her blog, Harvesting Hecate.

Big Love,
Jamie

Harvesting Hecate

SAMSUNG CSC

Old houses are filled with stories.  We live in them knowing that others, long dead, have lived here before us.  We may never know exactly who they were, what their lives were like, how they lived and died.  But we know that their history has soaked into the walls, their voices have filled the rooms, their journeys have helped the house become what it is today.

I remember the autumn evening, ten years ago, when this house became our home.  We hadn’t yet moved in, so it was empty of furniture, but we lit the fire and sat on the floor in the sitting room.  The décor was dark and ugly, there was much to do to make it ours, but I remember the feeling of contentment at knowing this was our home.  When we moved in we set to with paint before we even settled, divesting the house of its last…

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Meet Naoto Matsumura, The Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals

The power of kindness, wherever we are …

Thanks to FiestaEstrella for sharing this one. Beautiful.

Big Love,
Jamie

Kindness Blog

Naoto Matsumura is the only human who now lives in Fukushima’s 12.5-mile radiation exclusion zone in Japan.

Naoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals

At first he fled the radation-riddle area, but he returned soon after to feed his animals.

Naoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals

Matsumura then realized that there were thousands of other creatures that needed to be fed, as well. The 55-year-old says he knows the radiation levels are dangerous but refuses to worry about it.

Naoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals

“They told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less,” he said.

When he first returned, he saw that thousands of cows had died after being locked up in barns. He freed the creatures that had been left tied up by their owners and takes care of all of them.

Naoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s AnimalsNaoto Matsumura, Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals

Today, most of the creatures rely on him for food, and he works entirely on the support of donations and…

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Energy Weather. Sacred Spaces. Black Madonna

I'm sharing a couple of things today - a bit about the current 'energy weather', plus my fellow blogger Anne Whitaker's musing and beautiful photographs from her recent 'travel therapy' visit to the cathedral of Salisbury, England. Anne's lovely post... Continue Reading →

Magic and depression

"The hope of the world lies in the restoration of the ancient magic that is part of your lineage." ~  Steve Nelson Yes, yes, yes! So much of what we're doing is re-discovering the magic of place, of Life, of... Continue Reading →

Subtle and Overt Attacks on the Goddess, Nature, and the Sacred Feminine

The Virgin of Guadalupe at a wee local restaurant near Asilomar, CA, in 2007. Photo by Sophia's Children blog keeper, Jamie Walters.
The Virgin of Guadalupe at a wee local restaurant near Asilomar, CA, in 2007. Photo by Sophia’s Children blog keeper, Jamie Walters.

There are so many good points in this post from Laura Bruno, that rather than excerpt and link, I’ll just let you dive in and see for yourself.

I’ve noticed this very phenomenon she’s highlighting in recent weeks (and even months) as well, where even in the (so called) consciousness- and engaged-spirituality communities we see not-so-veiled attacks on the Divine Feminine.

So I don’t know what’s up with this trend (because we’ve been there, done that … not that it’s ever gone away). The re-emerging Feminine must really be gaining ground if such attacks are coming from these corners.

Fellow oracles, astro-intuitive kindreds, and keepers of the flame — what’s your sense and your observations?

Here’s Laura’s post – so important for all of us who have been devoted to reclaiming, embodying, and midwifing the re-emerging Feminine and also lifting the lid off the smear- and false-history campaigns (see the previous Sophia’s Children post, Un-Erasing ‘Women Who Know’ for more on that topic!).

Read on for Laura’s post, and share your thoughts.

Big Love,
Jamie

Laura Bruno's Blog

In an uncharacteristic pattern, I’ve been working on this post for a couple weeks. Normally, if I don’t finish in one go, then the post gets deleted or forever floats in limbo. I signed on yesterday with the intent to delete this one as too obvious, too alarmed, or too unnecessary. Then, I stumbled upon so many attacks on Nature, the Goddess and everything associated with the feminine that I realized I needed to finish this piece and post it. You see, the attacks weren’t just coming from men and the military industrial complex; they were also spouting from the mouths and keyboards of people who usually recognize and honor the Sacred and Divine Feminine, especially the Mother Goddess energies responsible for creation, seasons, nurturing, and growth. I post the following links as examples of just how insidious and desperate the attempts have become to eradicate the very principle of…

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Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice

The Sower of the System, 1902, by George Frederic Watts.
The Sower of the System, 1902, by George Frederic Watts. Public domain image via Wikipedia.

“Authoritarian societies recognize the power of art, which is why they so brutally censor their best artists. Free market societies, on the other hand, adopt a strategy of suppression by appropriation.” ~ Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice (via Elegant Mystery)

Read through the excerpts from Elegant Mystery’s post for some powerful insights about the shaman, the prophet, and the artist … the power of the dream — and the power of homogenizing, soul-deadening engineered mass communication — in a culture of non-dream.

Very stirring. Are we waking up yet?

Big Love,
Jamie

An Elegant Mystery

“I think the weird is present in all great artworks, if by that we mean works that lays reality bare instead of placating us with illusions.” – J.F. Martell


(From the publisher)
“Part treatise, part critique, part call to action, RECLAIMING ART IN THE AGE OF ARTIFICE is a journey into the uncanny realities revealed to us in the great works of art of the past and present.”

“Received opinion holds that art is culturally-determined and relative. We are told that whether a picture, a movement, a text, or sound qualifies as a “work of art” largely depends on social attitudes and convention. Drawing on examples ranging from Paleolithic cave paintings to modern pop music and building on the ideas of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Gilles Deleuze, Carl Jung, and others, J.F. Martel argues that art is an inborn human phenomenon that precedes the formation of culture and even society…

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A Flower

Churchyard Posey, Woburn, England. Photo by Jamie Walters. Share under Creative Commons with source attribution and a link to this post.
Churchyard Posey, Woburn, England. Photo by Jamie Walters of Sophia’s Children.

A lovely bouquet and very sweet reminder from Laurel Loves on this auspicious day of Friday the 13th. Enjoy.

Big Love,
Jamie

Sugar Free with Laurel

roses

There was a flower in her heart, it just needed more room to bloom. And when she let it free, she showed the world that sometimes the most beautiful things can grow in the darkest of places without the need of light. – rm drake

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The Ways Narcissists Get Inside Your Head – from Self-Care Haven

My Bad Hair Day, by Anissa Bryant, April 2013. Generously shared in the public domain.
My Bad Hair Day, by Anissa Bryant, April 2013. Generously shared in the public domain.

I linked to Shahida Arabi’s excellent “Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Headin my Sophia’s Children post on “When Withholding is a Toxic Tactic” (part of the ongoing Resources for Empaths & Sensitives Series).

But it’s so relevant on a number of levels, reflecting some of the less savory interpersonal dynamics that are considered normal in our interpersonal experiences at home, at work, in the community — and even moreso with a variety of research studies showing a disconcerting rise in Narcissistic behavior over the last 10-15 years.

And Narci (Etc.) tactics are well-honed and very, very effective.

They can leave even the most centered, confident, skillful, aware, and ‘successful’ people feeling spin-cycled, fogged-out, confused, upset, ashamed, and ultimately, a mere shell of themselves (as one Narci-abuse survivor, in our conversation, phrased the effects of being in a relationship with such a person).

As Carrie Barron, M.D., writes in her Psychology Today article aimed at those who were targeted by Narci-Abusers:

“Recent findings indicate they take pleasure in successful manipulations. Putting down unsuspecting, soft-hearted souls in their midst is a sport.”

In hindsight, those who became Narci-prey and were thus Narci-manipulated end up wondering, often with no small degree of internalized self-judgment and shame, “How the heck did that happen?”

Dr. Barron continues: “The transformation of a hopeful, can-do enthusiast into a dismal, wary withdrawer is a form of soul murder. But to those thus violated, take heart. Understanding the complexities of what/who you were dealing with might make you feel better.”

Even people who encounter some of the classic Narci-Abuser behaviors and tactics — if not full-tilt Malignant Narcissists or Socio/Psychopathic types — at work, at home, or in their communities (or online, for that matter), can benefit immensely from recognizing the tactic, becoming more aware, and stepping into more empowered choice rather than unconscious puppet-reaction.

So I wanted to share a couple of other links highlighting Shahida’s work from her Self-Care Haven blog.

She spotlights some of the specific toxic-tactics that, while normalized in a ‘tough love’, bully-centric culture, are actually abusive and harmful.

So it’s wise to have a look and be better able to recognize them as they come up, which gives us the option of practicing into more healthy, self-and-other respecting ways of relating (or choosing to disentangle from chronically disrespectful relationships).

I particularly appreciate that Shahida includes ‘Triangulation’ in her list of toxic-tactics to recognize, along with other common toxic-tactics like ‘gaslighting’ and ‘Hoovering’ (part of the recognized ‘stir and repeat’ Abuse Cycle), as Triangulation a common ploy and yet not as frequently noted.

Find another of Shahida’s Narci-Awareness posts here: 20 NarciPath Tactics to Be Aware of (and awareness is empowering)

https://sophias-children.com/2017/02/24/oh-those-narcipaths-shahidas-20-narci-tactics/

Check out Shahida’s most recent Self-Care Haven post: 5 Powerful Reality Checks for Survivors of Narci-Abuse.

Thanks to Shahida, and to you, my very dear and much-appreciated readers and fellow empaths and Sophia-kindred-spirits!

Big Love,
Jamie

Self-Care Haven by Shahida Arabi

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In popular culture, the term “narcissistic” is thrown about quite loosely, usually referring to vanity and self-absorption. This reduces narcissism to a common quality that everyone possesses and downplays the symptoms demonstrated by people with the actual disorder. While narcissism does exist on a spectrum, narcissism as a full-fledged personality disorder is quite different.

People who meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder or those who have traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder  can operate in extremely manipulative ways within the context of intimate relationships due to their deceitfulness, lack of empathy and their tendency to be interpersonally exploitative. Although I will be focusing on narcissistic abusers in this post, due to the overlap of symptoms in these two disorders, this post can potentially apply to interactions with those who have ASPD to an extent.

It’s important in any kind of relationship that we learn to identify the red flags when interacting with people who display malignant narcissism and/or…

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