How many of you immediately recognized that the word nowhere is a simple joining of the words now and here?
Being a nothingness freak and a serious word freak, this sort of thing rides around with me like a clue to the secret of life.
Be here now. Where, exactly? Now. Here. The present we are seeking, the moment, the oneness, that feeling of connection with all that is, the aha moment that happens when we let it all go and see what emerges, is where we want to be. And it is nowhere.
Nowhere man got a bad rap for being like nowhere, man. We were primed to be where it's at. Well guess where that is? Yep, something very much like the void. Which isn't a problem, because, when we examine the nature of matter and the nature of mind, there, um, isn't a lot there. The universe is a hologram, you may have heard. There's a black hole in the center of our galaxy.
The more scientific data confirms the illusion of separateness mystics, sages and shamans have explored for eons, the more we humans, right here, right now, can connect the dots and do the thing we can now do, more than ever. Break free from old programs and limiting, fear-based patterns and come from a place within ourselves that is in the oneness zone, the gap, the field. From here, or there, or the now here that allows this state, amazing things are possible, and preferable, to keep the orbs spinning in harmony and resonance.
Now is the time for this heightened, transformative shift. Some made the jump eons ago, and throughout our rough history. But now's good for a big swing of many humans discovering, claiming and enacting their own way out of fear, pain and misery. In my own work and in the work I do for others, this is the thing that keeps coming up. And doing the thing is often precipitated by things falling apart, no longer working, whether it's health, wealth, relationships, or the world around us. How the world appears around us and what we have to do with the perception. It's tricky but again, that's the illusion talking. For those free from all that, it's not tricky at all.
As we navigate our personal struggles and plot lines to the tricky-free zone of joyful creation, we get to play with our now here dials, and how they dial things up. That's what they're for. How near–or if you're into anagrams, how neer–is the tricky-free zone of joyful creation, for you, at any given moment? Is it dependent on externals? For the sages the trick was not to be swayed by externals, including when it's happening directly to you, as in ouch. Remembering the aha during the ouch takes presence.
Reading how positive thoughts and projections create positive results can, on a bad day, incite a rogue wave of incredulity, cynicism, or even anger when things go wrong, on the news or closer to home. But what if it didn't? What if you held firm, here, now, in nowhere where all is, and continue the altruistic, openhearted vibe? I'm pretty sure this is not a new idea. Like that story of the Buddha getting fired at by arrows while he sat there meditating in the zone, and the arrows turning into flowers. Nowhere is a place in which the 3D rules and regulations don't apply.
George Harrison's classic opener to Side Two of the Beatles' immortal LP Abbey Road, Here Comes the Sun knocked us all out on first spin. I was at boarding school in 1969, when Wheeler in Providence was still an all-girls boarding school going by its traditional name of The Mary C Wheeler School. Someone brought in the brand new LP and put it on the turntable. By the time we flipped it over, young minds forever blown, George's catchy singalong joy at the sun coming out after a long cold lonely winter, masterfully played on acoustic guitar in a complex time signature, won us completely. May Day – and May Eve – are all about this.
There are many ways to celebrate the coming – at last – of the darling buds of May, to the upper latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them harken back to the olden days of pastoral village life, a closer connection to nature, having only seasonal food to eat, and a deeper acknowledgement of and interaction with folk lore and ancient ways as a means of survival. Which, at May Eve included dancing with the fairies and sprites, shapeshifting and walking between worlds, in league with the invisibles. May poles may have been involved.
While I am a core shamanic practitioner, not a Celtic shamanic practitioner solely, I do have knowledge both experiential and academic; you could say it's in my blood. So I do refer to May Day also as Beltane (BEL-tenn-ah). And I thought I'd use this timely blog post to tell you a bit about it, using information from Celtic experts John and Caitlin Matthews as well as the Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, without going nuts so I can get back out in the sun and frolic with Sir Galahad. That's my horse, not the Arthurian champion.
Basically, the Celtic sun god, Bel, the Shining One, returns officially on May Day, and everyone's greatly relieved to be through the dark cold lonely winter. Darling buds are blooming, clothes may be shed, birds are singing, and hey! we survived. You may be feeling much the same; I know I am. Hence, 'tis a fabulous time for celebrations with libation and dancing and a certain amount of bonhomie having to do with flowers and phallic pole symbols.
But there's more to it than party party party. Or driving cattle between two bonfires, or eating special foods like May Eve bannocks (cool rolls). There is heightened awareness, an atunement with the natural cycles and our being influenced as a living part of them, a reverent knowing of the power of prayer, love and gratitude, and the expression of these things to the invisible forces and their third dimensional counterparts. We're talking flora, fauna, trees, stones, clouds, waters, and dare we forget: bees! The bees need us to protect them, and we need them to, well, stay alive.
Beltane (and its many derivative spellings depending on location and date) is one of the four Celtic fire festivals, welcoming the sun god back to rule and all. Remember another track on Abbey Road, John Lennon's Sun King, a strangely dirge-like mash-up of May Day-esque feeling and stately Louis XVI pomp (and opening crickets)? It really was a long cold lonely winter recording Abbey Road. Then, the world got the Summer of Love. Woo-hoo!
May Day is the midpoint between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, what is called a cross-quarter day. On these eight holi-days (spring and fall equinoxes, summer and winter solstices, Imbolc (February 1), Beltane (May 1), Lughnasadh (August 1), and Samhain (November 1), our connection with this world and the unseen is stronger. The Druidry.org site info hyperlinked here mentions that at Beltane the summer literally begins to buzz.
Just yesterday, on this fair and lovely emerald isle of Vashon, a local gardener mentioned that she's not yet hearing the familiar buzz of bees in her century-old apple trees. The blossoms are again returning, let's hope the bees do too. Maybe a little extra bee love would not go amiss this May Day.
While being outdoors, frolicking, giving thanks and tokens of love and gratitude to nature, for its beauty and sustenance and spirits, while enjoying being part of it all is apropos for Beltane, no matter what tradition or none guides your revelry, there's more to it, as previously mentioned.
The veil between the worlds is well known to be thin at these points in time. Beyond witchy superstitions and customs is the perhaps more shamanic appraisal of power times for the work. Shapeshifting is a very natural part of the work, which doesn't mean the raven you hear cawing from the wires, or the dragonfly on your hat is me. Necessarily.
Beltane is a 'work day' for me, and I'm grateful for it. I love my work in all its forms. The energy will be optimal for walking between worlds, within and without. And I love nature, especially the darling buds, and bees, and all the beauty of this world. May you enjoy and appreciate the natural and supernatural, visible and invisible forces that rule the universe, keep us alive and allow us to simply bee.
Four planets walk into a bar...
Yes, friends, here we are in the Grand Cross: can you feel it? While I'm not an astrologer, getting some info on alignments that might well be influencing your life right about now can be useful. Pam Younghans is an astrologer, and her take on the energies of the cross, April 20th (yesterday) through the 23rd, put me in mind of the classic start of a joke, which led to this post.
But this Grand Cross (or Square) ain't no joke! When Mars, Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter square off at table 13 (each at 13º) in mutable signs, (Libra, Capricorn, Aries, and Cancer, respectively), it's sort of like those old black & white TV cowboy shows, when the poker game in the saloon gets tense and everyone stops talking. Even the phrase squaring off can mean that kind of tension; I mean these are two pairs of hefty planets in opposite signs all perfectly squaring each other. We're talking 90º angles, a shape with four sharp edges and four corners to negotiate, with massive force fields and agendas to go with them. Whether you're talking geometry, architecture, physics, astrology, or dramatized poker games, you're talking balance amid tension.
How we balance ourselves is the thing here. I hadn't yet read Pam's metaphor of the four planets sitting at a square table, Mars and Pluto opposite Jupiter and Uranus, yesterday, when the topic of tightrope walking came up spontaneously. Now I do the math, I get it: balance and tension. Without both of those, the tightrope walker's out of luck. If they're not kept in harmony, the tightrope walker's out of luck. Moreover, they must be kept in harmony under changing conditions and circumstances. Crosswinds, for instance, or their metaphysical counterpart: fear. Even the word crosswinds has a cross in it; the long balancing bar the tightrope walker carries makes a cross with the thin line in the sky.
Cross, square, opposites, tension: a golden opportunity to rebalance. To cross from one mindset to another, release in order to turn tension into real ease. To negotiate real ease out of the oppositions, within and without, may I suggest turning the square into a square dance? The old program would be a standoff, a tug of war, for and against. If you win, I lose. In a more mutable stance, with movement and fluidity, think of the square dance, when the caller calls the partners to make a star with their hands in the center and wheel around. Now that's reel ease!
And yes, I'm having fun with words. But what you can do with pairs in a square, with balance and tension and fluidity and ease is a beautiful thing. You can join hands and swing your partner round and round, you can release and turn to the left or right, do-see-do, make circles and stars and figure-8s and promenade. Like the Traveling Hoedowners do! Watching them, and hearing the caller do that cool thing of singing On the Road Again with the calls as part of the tune is a hoot. And in our personal square dance, it's good to remember you call your own tune. You are the caller of your dance, and like this guy it seems handy to have some practice, know what you want to sing and then sing it with style. Yiha
Whether you take up tightrope walking, square dancing, astrology or – as Pam suggests, "we may find that balance through meditation and dreamwork ... shamanic journeys and psychotherapies" – I hope imagining oppositional forces as a swingin' dance, set atwirl with flounce and bounce, wordplay and natural fun lightens the work of realizing, releasing and re-patterning old standoffs ready to blow.
May you instigate lightheartedness, affection, and optimism to balance the intensity, sensitivity, and vulnerability.
I'm going to take a new trail today and see where it leads. And leave you back where this post started, with the lines of a poem of mine that came up talking about something, that came up from something else, that came from something else.
If you find yourself
on a tightrope
so thin it can't be
seen above a world dropped
away in a stiff wind
think Chagall, Philippe Petit
© 2014 Susan Lynch
Woke up from a night of intermittent sleep and howling winds to a clear blue sky and thick ice on Sir's water bucket. But in comparison to the extreme commutes I glimpsed on the morning news feed of friends, from my blanketed comfort zone, my work schedule on this blustery cold day is a dream. I'm working right now, in fact, as Alice Sara Ott plays Chopin piano waltzes for the delight of Tigs and Tux, destined to stay in until temps climb to today's high of 30. Mid-20's is quite a bit warmer than -11 currently playing in my hometown back in Illinois. Winter work for me today is centered on clearing channels, residing in open space, working with the energy of light, and learning the healing powers of sound. And writing of course, from a variety of positions. Starting here with the first blog post of 2014. Aloha!
The photo shows one of my main work stations: the pillow on the journey rug in the workroom, with the apophylite and amethyst that often hold the high chakra ground while I work, and are known to be effective in such a position for the work. The word work shows up four times in that sentence, and that's indeed the word for it. Doing the work is a real thing, as is the writing or editing work I'll also do today, from another work station in a comfy chair looking out at the blue. Which is a different kind of real work from the laundry, or the soup stock making also on the docket today. No driving required, no money spent, and I can attend to my old horse, Sir's, hydration by carrying out hot water buckets throughout the day. Simple, but effective, allowing perfect movement breaks. The simplicity and balance of today and today's winter work is a joy, and I am grateful for the myriad small and immense wonderments all around me. The light is phenomenal.
Basically, we're all doing the work of transformation on various levels.. Winter work here today includes turning bones to clear liquid; turning ideas into exchanges that in turn transform into checks in the mailbox; turning blue sky and ice into tankas; turning sound into healing. The foundation of all transformation is open space filled with light, and the different ways we real-ize and work with it through our minds and soul's knowing.
In journeying, I look in and out at the same time, with eye covering blotting out all light. Headphones feed my mind with repetitive drumming by a group of fellow practitioners, keeping the theta waves going in a sound-generated lifeline to this world, the lifeline I literally journey on so I can get back. Doing the work requires being in multiple dimensions at once, going into other worlds or realms at will, interacting with the assistance and guidance of helpers, and bringing back energy to this world. In remote work, that energy gets transported through Middle World to the client wherever he or she may be.
So, as in dreaming, there's a lot of traveling, which is why it's called journeying; a lot of interactions and transmissions. The mind receives an amazing array of information through many channels, visual, audible, sentient, metaphysical; yet to the ordinary reality eye, nothing happens. There's nothing seen, eyes are closed, there's nothing said, and nothing done. A dance of embodied spirit with disembodied spirit that medicine men and women have danced through the world for hundreds of thousands of years.
In meditative practices, such as with the Warrior Syllables I'm doing at present, another kind of relation to open space is happening. Mind is stilled, channels in the body where the chakras spin clear and open, obstacles are removed, and groundedness in space allows positive qualities to spontaneously manifest. Doing this type of practice before journeying, and others such as discharging energy through placing my hands on the crystal clusters set up for that job, readies me for the work. Doing it for my personal attunement is, I'm discovering, essential. And as a practice for healing, it is most effective. I am just beginning to learn this technique. The ability of masters to affect cellular structure through this practice is astonishing and seems miraculous; it is in truth an adept use of open space. For me it is another area of work in progress. To the ordinary eye, naturally, it appears as if nothing is happening.
Which brings me to the famous line by the poet W. H. Auden that poetry makes nothing happen. Nothingness is the primary field of interest in my poetry and critical work. I can't help it, it enthralls me. Here again is the awareness of open space as the stuff of life, what the universe is made of, what we are made of. Looking out on this clear blue sky day, it appears there's nothing happening. The wind moves through the high treetops, and they respond with their own movement and sound. The wind chimes on the porch play a few notes, in tune with Chopin. In open space what arises arises, what disappears disappears. Without open space nothing would happen. Nothing does happen. I love my work: to let the arisings come through, let the open space fill with light, and energy transmit and transform. When I do my work, I aspire to be a hollow reed the wind blows through, creating sound and resonant vibration that affects matter across time and space. I myself do nothing.
Okay, back to work! May your winter work be warming and transforming. Oh, and speaking of those two things, it may be a perfect day for this alchemical medicine: Jane Grigson's Celery Soup, a genius recipe from Food52. May your journey home be magically assisted by helpers in many forms.
There's magic in the air, or to be more accurate, in the solar system, the galaxy, the universe , and we are part of it! We are needed, loved, and supported in raising our frequency and creating new direction for our lives. Moving into new light, new realization of choice, new self-knowledge and out of fear is fully supported by the heavens today, tomorrow, New Year's Day, and into the year ahead. The key is to know and to choose and to practice, so the outer appearances of the exact opposite lose their authority. A little info can really help us do that with gusto.
Remember The Wizard of Oz? All that way and all those trials and tribulations (all those scary flying monkeys!) to get to see the Wizard, and what happens? At first it appears he's the great and powerful authority, as he intimidates them and tells them to get lost. But that's not really true, is it? Same deal here, if we pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. And the Source of All is with us on this. It is us on this one.
Said another way, we are aligned with the Source of All That Is if we know we are. Aligning conscious choice and subconscious mind takes, well, alignment. It's key to disempowering the old conditioning, and it takes doing, but it's doable. And the alignment of the planets and the energies available to us now makes alignment the thing to do. This week we are getting a super boost with the Super Moon and other alignments. Here then are some ways of furthering that, for maximum uplift and forward motion in this turning of the year.
If you want to know more about the planetary alignments, one source is astrologer Pam Younghans, who writes her NorthPoint Astrology Journal weekly reports. This week is a corker! And might well put you in the mood to feel supported in removing the chains of fear and servitude from your personal belief system and taking your rightful place as authority in your own life. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain who is working overtime to keep you in the old paradigm. And boy is it getting old. Unsubscribe for the New Year!
Another boon to this important work, for your personal life, the care of the planet and all creatures, and the uplift of the human race, has just been published. It is the third channeled text from Paul Selig, The Book of Knowing and Worth. All of his work is of great benefit in this personal transformation call to rise.
And from my services, I suggest that now is a powerful time for divination work. Here we stand a moment in stillness, poised between past and future. When you think about it, we are every millisecond of every day, and that's a lively perspective to keep in your pocket. But on these last days, we are inundated with looking back at the year in review. And if we choose to go there, I suggest we focus on the positives; the negatives are hurled at us and obsessed over in our own minds quite enough. We have been conditioned to focus on what we don't have, what we don't look like, can't do, can't afford, haven't done, aren't allowed to do. To feel powerless and unworthy, not as good as those we imagine have everything they wish. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, and shift focus. You'll discover you did a lot of good stuff and have made progress. With what you learned, experienced, accomplished, or even failed at, you know more now what means the most to you, what you want for your self and your life now, what feels right and good and lovely, even if it seems a major leap from where you are. Even discovering your areas of deepest fear is work well done, because it's much more ready to be transformed. Now now now.
Now we look ahead and create what we are dreaming of. We choose to lose what keeps us in fear and servitude. Because we can, and we have a lot more to give that way. Journeys and divinations are excellent for this at this time. During this powerful Super New Moon, they are especially potent. What is your question? Ask the oracle. (To clarify: it isn't me, I am just the receiver.) A full strength divination can be done as a journey, or with divination tools, as an in-person or Skype reading.
Another idea is a new service, just hatching. As of, um, this morning. It will soon have its true design and form on the website, but I don't want to wait for its official launch, because the time is so gonzo, and it could come in really handy for you or those you wish to gift. So here is a special offer, in this blog, for whomever stumbles on it. The oracle. A flash divination. Boom.
For this stupendous week, here's what to do. Email me or use the Contact Form on the Scheduling & Payment page to let me know you want a flash Oracle, when, for whom, and what about. Give me the email to whom it should be sent and your email as well if you are not the recipient. Pre-pay for the oracle by choosing the $40 Phone Conference service for each oracle ordered. That's it! I will do the rest, with my bevy of divinatory tools. No journeying in the flash oracle. Here's how the flash oracle goes.
I will pose the question, intuit the divination method, draw one answer or divine a single oracle. In a flash, the oracle is given. Photos are taken of the process, and the email with them is sent. Done! It's a flash path to guidance, done in a sacred state in sacred space.
Yesterday's inaugural oracle received this feedback from the recipient: WOW! This blew me away. Thank you so much for this thoughtful, useful, wise, wonderful, brilliant gift. Magical!
I offer this oracle service as a special offering for this powerful time, and am available for a flash flood of flash divinations through this Super Moon week.
However you interact with the universe this week, may it be magical, powerful, harmonious, and full of love and light.