My contribution to the weekly photo challenge.
These were taken a few days ago, so I have been a bit pokey in posting them. Going to a familiar place at an unfamiliar time of day can totally alter one’s perspective of that place in that moment and overall. That is definitely the experience I have been having with going to the park in the mornings as opposed to the usual afternoons or evenings. Please check them out in full size and let me know which ones are your favorites!
This past month has been hard on me physically; anyone who has ever had mononucleosis (mono) can probably attest to it being a real kick in the arse. Strangely, in some ways it feels like my period of illness has allowed me to slowly realign myself. I tend to feel very removed from my own life, to feel like the currents of life are just pushing my passive form along to wherever, but as I recover from the mono and other accompanying ailments I have felt a much stronger sense of intentionality about my life.
As part of my continuing recovery, I decided to attend a short energy healing session at Holistic Care Approach that I had attended a few times before over the last couple years. This session felt quite different from the others in that I felt more open to receiving help in the form of energy, and that changed the tone of the experience drastically. Often after an energy healing people talk about how much “lighter” they feel. My experience is that it makes me feel heavier but not in a negative way; I feel more anchored in my own body, in my own place. It seems like I have developed the habit of avoiding syncing my energy with my physical body for various reasons, so the process of healing and realignment brings to me a sense of fully-embodied vigor.
After the guided meditation energy healing, a trip to my favorite park seemed in order. The sun was already pretty well set as I was driving home, so the park was thoroughly immersed in the darkness of twilight when I got there. Something that I had been missing all year was the presence of bats hunting in the evening. It seemed like I saw them much more often last year and in much lighter hours, causing me to worry if this past harsh winter had severely impacted their numbers. Relief washed over me as I walked beneath their shadowy, darting forms in the fading yellow-green light. The moon is currently waxing to just past half full (1st Quarter Moon.. half full = Quarter moon.. not very intuitive terminology), making plenty of light in the clear night sky to see my moonlit shadow beside me as I walked.
Upon reaching the lookout point, I had hopes of spotting a deer or a fox in the fields below. No such luck, however. It was nice to just stand for a moment watching the magical, winking firefly lights over the grasses and sleeping flowers. I felt blessed just to have the strength to go on this walk after being so weak the last fortnight.
Although summer feels like it passed much too quickly and murmurs of another strong winter lie ahead, I embrace this liminal twilight as we approach the Autumn Equinox.
So to start off, a pair of the same sculpture in different seasons (both taken with a meh cell phone camera):
Some white flowers: daisies on the Easter lunch table and glass art at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens
And finally, two perspectives on the same barn…
Hard to select just a few pairs to share; so many pictures have interesting dialogue with each other. I hope these were enjoyable :)
Lughnasadh has aspects of the death-rebirth process. The fertility of spring is coming to full realization with the beginning harvest. The light half of the year is moving toward darkness but we know that life will be reborn again; this is a time for celebration and gratitude…
As a contemplative practice, the construction of land art is an embodiment of sacred space. It is a physical manifestation and acknowledgement of the awareness of the reciprocal relationship between the human soul, place, earth, and the universe… Continue reading
The integrative mythdream is an archetypal meditation that has grown out of my depth psychology studies and my personal contemplative practice. It allows us to encounter the archetypes through their personification in mythology. It involves the experiencing of a mythic story through active imagination, and engaging the bodily felt-senses associated with the places and characters of the myth.
Last night I had the privilege of attending a workshop by Maureen Wolverton at The Coptic Center about Finding the Center: The Search for the Archetypal Self. The main focus of the workshop was to draw a labyrinth, seek out this labyrinth in meditation, and charge this internal labyrinth with your personal energy to reach your ‘immovable center’. This center refers to Jung’s concept of the archetype of Self, the archetype of wholeness. Afterwards we painted within the circle of a mandala to express aspects of our meditation experience from this idea of wholeness, with the circle serving as the infinite yet whole container for these experiences.
I chose a simple labyrinth design so I could easily trace the path with my mind’s eye. Besides activating this labyrinth with my energy, my individual intent for this meditation was to find ‘my’ symbol. As seen in the center of the colorful mandala up above, it was given to me. Though a very simple symbol, it demonstrates much about how I operate and the role I feel I am here to serve in for this lifetime. In its reflective shape I see represented a name given to me in a Sacred Grove meditation, scáthán (said ‘s-Cah-han’), meaning ‘mirror’ in Irish. I also see ‘as above, so below’ figuring in the symbol. Being rather empathic, I tend to reflect the emotions around me without even realizing it sometimes.
In addition to the symbol itself, I was given the distinct impression of scenting cinnamon in the air during the meditation. This seemed really random at first, but after doing a cursory search on the history of cinnamon I found that cinnamon has been incorporated into very valuable, probably sacred mixtures such as for anointing important individuals both living and dead. Even the shape of cinnamon sticks shows similar curls to the ones in the symbol.
It will be interesting to continue exploring the significance of this symbol and all the other things I gained from this wonderful workshop.
As Lughnasadh draws closer, we have been spending more time with the southwestern nemeton of Visionsong. Something that always fills me with a sense of wonder is the shift in the energies of each nemeton of Dreamvine Circle as the Wheel of the Year progresses. The visit we made today was particularly powerful for me for a few reasons, but the main reason was the way this nemeton’s energy has to me seemed to coalesce into a powerful and communicative consciousness in accordance with this time of the year.
I sense this building consciousness primarily as a chorus of ‘voices’, voices mainly consisting of the surrounding trees and stones. While most of the time the chorus is more of a subtle, blended hum of ‘sound’, today it was more like distinct voices speaking ‘languages’ I could not understand with the logical part of my mind. As I stood ‘listening’ today in the center of the nemeton, I felt an insistent surge of.. I hardly know what to call it. Feeling? Inspiration? I wanted to intone the Awen as a response to this surge of energy, but I am still rather self-conscious about using my voice as a mode of sacred expression. Settling for using my mind’s voice, I ‘intoned’ cascading Awens, lending my ‘voice’ to the voices of the nemeton. By the third Awen, it seemed like all the other voices had joined mine such that a chorus of Awens resounded through the woods and fields all around. It briefly took my breath away.
I read a quote from Carolyn Myss recently that struck me in much the same way: All life breathes together. It is times like those that I experience that reality firsthand, and I might never have come to these kinds of experiences without having come to a conscious practice of modern druidry. As I am sure many have said before me, druidry has ‘always been’ my spiritual practice, I just did not know it by that name until recently. Very much looking forward to celebrating the beginning of the harvest season on Lughnasadh once again!
A beautiful Otherworld poem
Originally posted on Treasure in Barren Places:
This is the space between Worlds.
The light is ageless and strange.
Dark pools the portals, those many Connla’s Wells,
doorways to Other places.
Here no river of fate can flow.
A hundred World Trees whisper to each other.
Yggdrassil’s branches touch those of a brother Tree
and somewhere on an alien landscape, a strange man looks up and shivers.
Slowly, the drip-drip-drip plays out a timeless, tuneless lullaby.
deeper into this place where Nothing happens.
The ground is so soft, so silent.
Just a few minutes more.
Forget who you are.
You can walk with the Great Ones here,
the stilled Forces behind time and tide —
But you might rather not.
They pass the pools and stare into them.
Sometimes they reach in and stir the waters,
From here you can look down and watch
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