Posted on:  Aug 27, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer, Pathwork
Dreaming has been diminished in our modern Western society, relegated to a flat, limited version of its true, vast potential. We have been taught that dreaming is an activity reserved for the dark of night and the oblivion of sleep. Sometimes we remember snippets of our dreams, but even these we barely pay attention to in the rush of our demanding lives.
Half of our humanity — the part that connects us to our soul and the spiritual mysteries that underlie everyday reality — is lost in this truncated conception of dreaming.
Yet dreaming is what it is, no matter how we conceive or engage it. What is lost can be refound. It is as simple, and as difficult, as replacing one way of understanding dreaming with another.
You dream at night where the laws of physical reality slip away and open you to the unbound adventures of the realm of spirit.
You dream when you meditate, work magic or engage in other practices that shift you into an altered state of consciousness.
You dream when you go about the business of your daily life, drawing events and situations to you, especially those that are unusual, significant or emotionally charged.
This wider, wilder conception of dreaming invites you to broaden your awareness to include the workings of your soul and the spiritual mysteries that infuse and inform your life.
Dreaming is literally second nature. We have a physical body for engaging the material world and a dreambody for the wide, wild world of dreaming.
In our sleep-time dreams, where our mind and the laws of physical reality are turned off, our dreambody reigns supreme. In our daytime dreams, our dreambody is a guiding presence that helps us engage the soul-based energies and spiritual mysteries that direct our outer life.
These powerful dreaming capacities reside within us all, but for many they have atrophied through lack of attention and use.
At the beginning of my spiritual journey, I didn’t remember my sleep-time dreams nor understand the importance of dreaming in my waking life. Now my dreambody connection is as natural and ever present to me as breathing. How did I make this profound shift? First, and most essential, I fell in love with my dreambody.
Here is an exercise for reaching out to your dreambody with the intention of starting or deepening your relationship.
1. Set aside time to connect with your dreambody.
Your dreambody is most present and accessible in those initial moments between sleeping and waking when the tendrils of your dream still hover in your conscious awareness. So set your alarm a bit earlier to give yourself time to be with your dream energy and images before you need to get out of bed to start your day.
2. Work with your dream upon waking.
When you wake up, don’t let your thinking mind kick into gear. Stay with the movements and sensations of your breath, and open to the images and energy of your dream.
Imagine breathing the dream into your body and letting it fill and infuse you.
Say yes to the dream, yes to its guidance.
Don’t worry about intellectually understanding or analyzing the dream. Your intention is to connect and commune with your dreambody and its gifts of dream images and energy. Understanding will come.
If you don’t wake up with dream images, still stay soft and open in the hazy, delicious space between waking and dreaming, and know that your dreambody is present in this space. Keep practicing this exercise and dreams will come.
3. Record your dream.
When you get out of bed, write down a few key images and insights from your dream, and your emotional responses. Note any themes or issues that are present in the dream that speak to your healing and personal growth.
If you have time, record the whole dream because often it’s the subtle, background aspects of a dream that hold the treasures of insights and inspiration.
4. Bring your awareness of your dream into the rest of your day.
Whatever you were dreaming when you woke this morning is also present as you go about your daily activities. Remember that there is no separation between sleeping and waking; it is all one dream.
Pay close attention to the events and situations of your waking life, and see if they reflect and further inform the images, energies and insights that came to you from your dream.
Look for unusual, significant or emotionally charged situations. Think of these things as offerings from your dreambody that can further your understanding of the soul-based energies and spiritual mysteries that are directing your outer life at this time.
Set aside time to journal these events and situations, noting the details of what happened, the insights and emotional reactions that come to you, and the links to your dream.
5. Be changed by the dream.
Your dreams are not random. Your dreambody wants you to learn, heal and grow. The dream that came to you in this exercise, both from your sleep-time and the events of your day, is a gift from your dreambody.
Take in the images, energies and insights that have come to you from this dream. Let them change you, and commit to continue to follow where they lead.
But don’t take my word for it. The dreaming is unfolding at this very moment, just waiting for you to wake up within the dream that is your life.
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Photo Credit: Andalucía Andaluía
Posted on:  Aug 21, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer
What does it look like to live from a place of freedom, rather than fear? How do we make this shift when fear has us in its grip? These are big questions that are best answered through life experiences rather than words or theory. So the Mysteries conspired to give me these experiences, using their foolproof formula for engaging me: my sleeping and waking dreams.
Flying is a powerful metaphor for freedom. For three days in a row, I had intense dreams about flying. I don’t remember the details, and I don’t need to. Three is the magic number and the Mysteries had my attention: they were gifting me with one of their life-changing lessons, this one about flying.
At this particular time, I was flying a lot, commuting by floatplane from my island home to my City client on a weekly basis. The morning after the third dream, I found myself as the lone passenger seated in the cockpit beside my favorite pilot, a big-hearted man with a quirky sense of humor. Out of nowhere, he slid the control wheel to my side of the cockpit and said casually, “here, fly the plane.”
I was petrified. Operating mechanical vehicles isn’t one of my strengths. I’ve forced myself, out of necessity, to master the basics of driving a car, but flying a little tin can of a floatplane above a stunning, but lethal, expanse of ocean and islands, was way, way out of my comfort zone. My grip on the wheel gave fresh meaning to the expression white-knuckling it.
In response to my ramrod-stiff body language, my pilot friend simply said, “loosen your grip, listen from the seat of your pants, and don’t worry, I’m here.”
And I got, in the flash of that terrifying moment, that this was a waking dream of the most powerful kind. The Mysteries were speaking to me directly through my pilot friend, teaching me how to fly in my life from a place of freedom, not fear.
What a difficult lesson this is. Freedom is what we hunger for most, and yet seems most elusive. We’ve been conditioned to associate freedom with having more than enough money and things, which only further feeds the rigid fear and control-based state of mind that’s the antithesis of freedom.
There’s more to my waking-dream story. Within a week of my flying lesson, I was again commuting home by float plane, alone with another pilot, but this time in a winter storm of epic proportions. There was zero visibility and the plane was being tossed about in the wild winds, like a child’s toy in the hands of rough-playing giants. Though my first response should’ve been oh-my-God-I’m-going-to-die fear, it wasn’t; I knew I was still dreaming awake with the Mysteries, and that I was being put to the test on their lesson on flying, freedom and fear.
So I emptied myself of all thoughts and reactions; I entered my body, deeply, fully, and let it move and rock, soft and open, with the violent turbulence of the plane. I saw, very clearly, that this was a potential death moment, and that my fear would gain me nothing. Death didn’t care if it took me rigid and terrified, or supple and open; it was indifferent whether I was in a state of fear or freedom. But my soul did. My life did. And the Mysteries did.
It was my choice, in this moment, and in every moment for the rest of my life, whether to fly from a place of fear or freedom. I chose freedom. Then the pilot said to me, “do you trust me?” And I said, “yes.” And he turned the plane around, taking us back and safely landing at our point of departure.
Believe it or not, I got in a float plane the very next day and the exact same thing happened, and I made the exact same choices. Test and re-test taken. Test and re-test passed.
In those times when a rocky moment has you in its grip, and fear suffocates your freedom, remember these words from God, Goddess, Spirit, Love, Self, or however you name the Mysteries that guide you: “loosen your grip, listen from the seat of your pants, and don’t worry, I’m here.”
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Artwork by Athina Saloniti (deviantart.com/chrysalis)
Posted on:  Aug 14, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Path Basics, Pathwork
An edge marks a jumping off point, a cliff’s edge, or a moment of irreversible change. It’s also a border place, where one thing ends and another begins.
Transformative change is an edge. When you heed your soul’s desire to heal and grow in alignment with your deep, beautiful Self, you awaken powerful forces that will take your life in new, empowering directions.
It’s like jumping off a cliff, leaving behind the things that you know and opening yourself to what else is true and possible. And once you wake up to your soul’s desire and make this jump, you can never go back to sleep.
Your soul’s desire knows the parts of your beauty and wounding that are the keys to your deepest healing and evolution. They hold your secret longings that push you to claim a life in alignment with your deep, beautiful Self, and your best gifts and qualities.
Your fears are experts on your trigger buttons, and the inner and outer voices that order and control your life. From this mastery, they can deliver well-targeted, ‘what if’ poison darts that can paralyze your impulses to take your life in new directions: what if I lose my job?; my partner?; my sanity?; what if my mother never talks to me again?.
The push and pull of these competing forces may make you feel crazy, and cast doubts on your commitment and ability to heal and change your life. But the opposite is actually true. Strong fears indicate that you are truly riding your edge of transformative change, and getting somewhere new. This is a place of immense power if you know how to navigate its conflicting directives.
These ideas are best understood by trying them out for yourself. Here is what that process can look like.Making an Ally of Your Fears
For this exercise, work with something from your own transformative edge: what do you want to change in your life right now?
Choose something that is substantive and important to you, rather than a more surface level change. Then follow these steps:
1. Turn your awareness to your soul’s desire.
What is it your soul desires? What changes are being asked of you? What would this change look like in your life? What would be your first steps?
2. Turn your awareness to your fears.
What fears and resistance do these changes trigger? Get specific: what exactly in your life is threatened by these changes?; what ominous consequences is your fear suggesting; and, what issues and sensitivities are coming up for you?.
Engage your fears as if they are a valuable source of information, without necessarily believing in what they are saying. Think of them as focusing your attention on key aspects of your life related to the changes, rather than revealing absolute truths.
Your fears can show you: sensitive, challenge situations and personal hurts that need loving attention as part of your change process; outer roadblocks that need to be resolved; and practical consideration to help you make wise, balanced choices.
3. Consider both your desires and fears in relation to what you want to change in your life right now.
What would a wise, balanced version of this change look like? What actions will help facilitate this change? What resources do you need in place? What personal healing and development do you need to address? What roadblocks and issues do you need to proactively deal with?
What are your next steps? How do these steps offer a balance between your desires and fears? How have your fears positively contributed to this balanced approach to change?
Know that this is a border place, where the new and old, and your desires and fears collide. And it is this very collision of such potent, opposing forces that can give rise to brand-new, never-imagined options for healing and transforming your life.
Expect this process to be messy and uncomfortable, that’s why it’s called an edge. Open to your soul’s desire and make your fear your ally. Let both of these powerful forces guide your way to the life you are longing for.
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Posted on:  Aug 6, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Path Basics, Pathwork
Hansel and Gretel are lost in the woods and leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way home. Though this plan doesn’t seem to work out so well for them, it offers an evocative metaphor for those of us who are spiritual seekers on a journey home to a soul-based life.
My spiritual journey began in earnest the day I realized there was something essential missing from my life, that was somehow related to my soul. I was in the midst of my MBA studies, lost in a material, career-driven life, with an aching hunger for something I neither understood nor knew where to find.
No matter that I was lost, I had woken up to my spiritual hunger and decided that I needed to change. And that was enough. The Mysteries, those powerful, invisible forces that underlie our waking reality, heard my yes to change, and began to leave a trail of crumbs, in the form of life-changing encounters and events, for me to follow.
A few months later, I completed my MBA and set off on a solo backpacking adventure in Europe. Shortly into the trip, I landed on the wrong train in France, only to hook up with a fellow adventurer, who was also on the wrong train. She was a beautiful young woman from Hawaii, with an edge of wildness and burgeoning, feminine-based spirituality.
We decided to travel together, joining our itineraries. She took me to the subterranean caves of Dordogne to see Paleolithic paintings, and here I encountered the Goddess for the first time. Though I had no words or concepts to explain this encounter, I felt Her pulsing omnipresence the moment I descended into the womb-like darkness of the cave.
Somewhere along the way, I understood that I was on a Hansel and Gretel journey, and that the Mysteries and my soul were leading me home to the presence of being and soulful life that I longed for. My task was to follow the trail of crumbs, doing the soul work presented by each, knowing that the next crumb would naturally follow.
Your Hansel and Gretel Journey
As a spiritual seeker, perhaps you are also on a Hansel and Gretel journey. Whatever you have lost and whatever you are longing for, these things set you on your path of soul, leading you home to a richer, fuller expression of your Deep Self and the best of your nature and gifts
When you say yes to your soul’s longings, you are also saying yes to the Mysteries. With these potent forces at your back, opportunities and challenges show up on your path, gifting you with their impetus for healing and personal growth.
Through a Hansel and Gretel frame, you can conceive and consciously engage the Mysteries and your everyday life as guides for your spiritual healing, growth and evolution.
Here is what this pathwork looks like.
1. Start with your soul hungers.
What longings underlie your spiritual life? What are you hungry for? What are your deepest desires? What are you seeking?
From this awareness, name your longings and say yes to the personal change these soul-based desires invoke. You don’t need to know what these changes are; what matters are your sense of the rightness of your longings, and your readiness to follow where they lead.
This yes aligns your soul-based desires with the Mysteries, or powers of life, or Goddess, or God, or however you name and understand the unseen forces and energies that direct and influence waking-world reality.
2. Look for the crumb: the gift/clue from the Mysteries to direct your pathwork.
I sometimes call this pathwork: what’s in my face now? This is not an elegant turn of phrase, but an accurate one. The crumbs that the Mysteries leave on your path reveal themselves in the opportunities, challenges and unusual incidents that are right in front of your nose, and very hard to ignore.
Turn your awareness to what is happening in your life at the moment. What are you dreaming about? What challenges or positive opportunities have come your way? What is bothering you? Exciting you? What do you find yourself drawn to or repelled by?
Now widen your awareness to catch anything unusual, unexpected or attention-grabbing that has crossed your path. These can include social exchanges, synchronistic occurrences and physical objects. I am especially fond of found magic: unexpected objects that you stumble upon or that appear out of nowhere.
License plates can deliver messages. Books can fall open to specific pages. Unusual behaviors by animals can alert you to their totemic qualities. You can feel inexplicably drawn to something. Or have your plans waylaid, only to find yourself in some other, perfect situation. The possibilities are endless.
In this pathwork, look for common, reoccurring themes or messages. The Mysteries like to repeat and reinforce their crumb clues.
3. Pick up and claim the crumb: do the healing and personal growth work that the crumb has revealed to you.
This step takes commitment and courage, because soul work is rarely convenient or comfortable, and often takes you to the painful, shadowy places in your life story and experiences.
Yet there is great beauty and power in this work of soul. You are on the trail of your Deep Self and the best of your nature and gifts. As you heal and transform the old of your pain and suffering, you unleash greater love and goodness into your life. This is the hard, but wondrous work of healing and reclaiming your soul.
What this looks like will differ for each individual and at different times on your spiritual journey. And there is no perfect way to do the work, nor a predetermined destination or ideal state you are trying to reach.
There is only the imperative to do the soul work that has come to you, to the best of your ability, and with wisdom and self-care. You can go as deep and as far as is right for you, taking the time and gathering the resources (personal and professional) you need, with the knowledge that this is a journey of many steps, big and small, where one step/crumb naturally leads to the next.
4. Eat the crumb: let yourself be changed by your pathwork.
Though this may seem obvious: you do the work in order to be changed, this step can be the most difficult of all.
To truly change on a substantive, soulful level is to come face to face with fear and resistance, both inner and from your outer environment. These negative reactions are an expected part of the process. You know you are riding your edge and getting somewhere new when you come up against strong resistance and reluctance to change.
Listen to your fear and resistance, and let them inform your pathwork without derailing it.
Open and be changed, moving forward and deeper on your journey of soul. Again, give this your best, while acting with wisdom and ensuring self-care.
5. Begin again: look for the next crumb.
One crumb leads to the next, and the next.
Relax into and trust the journey. Play, keep your sense of humor, and stay with love, especially when the going gets tough.
Be curious and don’t over analyze, this journey will change you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. The more loose and open you are, the more profound and life-changing the adventure.
Follow your instincts and wisdom. Make sure you have the healing support and guidance you need, both personal and professional. Always put self-care first.
After almost thirty years as a spiritual seeker, I am still following my path of crumbs. The pathwork changes as I change, taking me deeper into the roots of my life story and experiences. With each crumb, I shed the old and become something new, coming home ever more deeply to my Deep Self and best nature.
It is still a path that requires great courage and commitment, though the forest is no longer dark and scary, and the challenges and struggles are tempered by the well-spring of love and power that has become my natural state of being.
I never cease to marvel at the wide, wild journey I have been on, from the profoundly unhappy and disconnected young woman I was, lost in a material, soulless life, to the woman I am now, comfortable in my own skin and beholden to what is best and beautiful inside of me.
In all these things, and so many more, I know that Hansel and Gretel have indeed revealed a great truth: that we can only ever find our way home one crumb at a time.
Artist: Ted Chin (tedslittledream.com)
Posted on:  Jun 18, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
There’s a powerful juxtaposing of realities going on right now. One is our human world stuck in a mindset of fear and scarcity that bears the fruits of poverty, social injustice, war, mass overconsumption and climate change. The other is a life-centered ethos revealed in Nature’s emerging summertime landscape of stunning beauty and overflowing abundance.
Two realities, two ways of living and engaging the world around us, two different outcomes for our lives, human society and Earth home. At this moment, both these realities are turned on high, in our face, shaking us awake and asking us to choose.
Photo by Loudge on Unsplash
This isn’t a comfortable discussion to have. It asks you to show up to the toxic brew of sexism, homophobia, racism, violence, environmental destruction and the myriad of other ills that pervade our human psyche and collective behaviors. These terrible events and human ills aren’t isolated, disconnected aspects of our society. They’re symptoms or outcomes of a reality of fear and scarcity that rules our world, where there isn’t enough food, money, jobs, power, social status, and even love to go around. In a reality where the dominant, aggressive and greedy rise to the top of the pile, gathering life’s goodies to themselves, things are going to get nasty and ugly.
Here are three simple, potent lessons from Nature that can help you revision your life and our collective reality in alignment with the powers of life in Summer.
1. Abundance is real.
In the sun-bright days of Summer, abundance isn’t an illusion or utopian ideal. It’s real and substantive, woven of the raw elements of sun, earth, rain, soil and seed that, through the wondrous miracle of life, produce the foodstuff that feeds the hungry bellies of this world.
Nature’s abundance expresses itself in an ethos of generosity, of giving more rather than less, and taking only what is needed. Take a single cherry tree, not only does it offer up delicious fruits for humans and creatures alike year after year, but the pits of the fruit provide the seeds of future plants and harvests.
Imagine living in harmony with Nature’s ethos of generosity by giving more of yourself rather than less, and only taking what you truly need by walking lightly on this Earth.
Imagine conceiving this same abundance in our shared society, where a decent standard of living is a given, and power, worthiness, love, and other markers of personal satisfaction and social value are infinite and available for all, each in accordance with our deep, true needs.
2. Life is good.
The powers of life are at a peak it the Summer, and the good things of the living world are on full display. The sun is hot. The sky is clear blue. Wild things are plump, healthy and busy tending their young. Ripe fruits weigh down branches. Gardens are overflowing with produce.
Sunshine caresses bare skin. Luscious flowers scent warm breezes. Wild music of birdsong and buzzing insects fills the airwaves. Flowers paint the landscape in bright colors and vibrant greens. Strawberries are soft and sweet. Life is very, very good.
Imagine living and sharing this same goodness inside of you by gifting others with your best qualities and nature.
Imagine a world in which Nature’s goodness is cherished, with its gifts and wonders received with gratitude and a debt of protecting these precious resources, and where people share their own goodness and best nature with others.
3. All life is beautiful and worthy.
Wild things don’t have self-worth or identity issues. A dung beetle doesn’t stop to measure its beauty and value against a butterfly. It goes about the business of being a dung beetle, in alignment with its unique dung beetle purpose and place in the great weaving of life.
Be it a dung beetle or butterfly, dandelion or rose, robin or turkey vulture, mouse or wild cat, no one is more beautiful or worthy than another. The summertime powers of light and life call every living being to blossom, flourish, and play their essential part in the balance and well-being of the whole.
Imagine honoring and claiming your beauty, gifts and sacred purpose, knowing that you’re truly beautiful and worthy, and that your contributions to life deeply matter.
Imagine living in a world where others do the same, where there is no better or worse than, just infinite configurations of beauty and gifts, all contributing to the balance and well-being of the whole.Visioning a New World
As I share Nature’s lessons and these visions of a life-centered reality, I want to be clear that I’m neither naïve nor someone who believes that light and love can banish life’s evils. Nature isn’t always gracious and generous. Winter brings scarcity and death, and the wild world can deliver up devastation through earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. Yet Nature always returns to abundance, goodness and life.
In the same way, our personal lives and collective humanity are plagued by the natural ravages of illness, suffering and death, as well as the countless ills and horrors of our collective reality of fear and scarcity. Yet we can choose a vision for our lives and world based on a reality that always returns to abundance, goodness and life, no matter what challenges and hardships come our way.
This isn’t an easy choice to make. It’s hard sometimes to believe in abundance, goodness and life’s beauty in the face of the pain, suffering and horrors that weigh down our personal histories and shared humanity, and the terrible, terrible things we humans continue to do to each other and our Earth home.
Believe me I know, because I’ve traveled into the depths of my own personal horrors and those of our humanity, and come out the other side. I’ve come to understand that I/we can’t undo the harm that’s been done to us, and to the people and things we hold dear. What we can do is look life in the eye, see and speak truth, and choose accordingly.
We humans are capable of immense horror and great goodness. We can build a world based on an ethos of scarcity and fear, or abundance, goodness and beauty. We get to choose, each moment and each challenge, which of these two realities will be our guiding force. Yet, in the end, only a life-centered ethos, love and the best of our nature can mend our hearts, transform our life and take on the momentous task of creating a new, better world.
Nature shows us what we’ve forgotten. It teaches us that abundance, goodness and beauty are real and ever present. It reminds us that nothing is forever; from the depth of Winter, life always returns to and unfolds into the stunning plenitude of Summer. So too we can emerge from the long winter of soul of humanity, and a collective ethos of fear and scarcity, to return to a life-centered reality that can embrace and nourish us all.
Imagine that there’s a place and purpose in this world for every person and wild being, each beautiful, worthy and precious, and that we each bring our best gifts and qualities to the communal table of humanity to solve the problems we’ve created and build a better world together.
Then shift into this living state of abundance, goodness and beauty; stretch out your hands and send this vision outward, like a prayer, into the suffering hearts of our human world.
Bring these lessons and the life-centered ethos of the Summer into your life through the Path of She Guided Journey – Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess .
The Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess offering is part of a Guided Journey Series through the seasons to help you seek and source the transformative, life-centered teachings of the Goddess and Nature. The Summer Journey includes: a Guidebook (pdf ebook), Journal (pdf ebook), and Guided Meditation (mp3 audio) that offer an integrated, seven lesson program with wisdom teachings, awareness practice and journaling exercises, and a guided meditation.
Learn More at: Summer Journey: Thou Art Goddess.
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