End of Summer Rituals

Guys, it’s happening. Autumn is around the corner, bless Her beautiful gowns of glowing colors and chilly breezes. It’s time to review the season we have had, and make room for the next. In terms of our energy, the transitions between seasons are turbulent times, as light shifts and temperatures veer away from the previous highs and not-so-lows of high Summer. I always relish late Summer as much as possible…to trees as they *just* begin to shift into splendor, the cool nights, the humidity being cut by fresh air, and  even the beginnings of the scent of rot, as the Earth turns back on Herself, as such a pleasure to my senses. Tomatoes fall in droves from the plants, herbs are harvested and dried or made into pestos and frozen. The last summer squash get plucked and put into frittatas. It’s cool enough to bake bread again, and to want to eat it.

There is a tremendous amount of abundance offered to us right now, but many of us are distracted by planning for the next thing. hmmmmm….sound familiar?

So in hopes of bringing you back into your delicious, abundant present, I offer a few ideas for late Summer rituals, to offer both gratitude for what has been, and prayers for what will be. Take it all with a grain of salt, mix them all together, or make your own Way. It doesn’t matter…it only matters (and by that I mean, it only makes life more enjoyable) that you actually engage in a ritual that works for you.

Ritual Ideas:

First, clean. Use the fresh air and clear sunlight. Open all of your windows and doors. Clean with gentle, non-toxic products (Seventh Generation is a great brand, and I end up using vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice for most things). Clean your living space. Clean your sleeping space. Clean your altar space, making sure to dust any figurines, crystals, or special items you have there.

Cleaning gets rid of stagnant old energy. You are also paying attention to your dwelling space, and therefore, telling the Universe: ‘Get ready, I am making some changes here!’ It sets the stage for sacred work.

Bathe yourself. Take a hot epsom salt bath with some essential oils, or a nice hot shower. As the water drains off your body, set your intention: Dear Spirit of the Water, thank you for cleansing me of all that no longer serves me, and purifying me for the next season (or, part of this ritual).

When you’re done bathing, use a sumptuous body oil (my favorite blend is almond oil and avocado oil, with a drop of favorite perfume oil added in).

Dress in white, or whatever you consider your Power Color. What clothes make you feel totally alive and like the best version of yourself? Wear those. I like white because it is clean and a fresh slate. I like bringing nothing with me except my intention when I perform rituals.

Go to your altar. This doesn’t have to be fancy or big. Just a fresh flower in a vase, with a tea light candle, is perfect. The idea is that the altar gives you a focal point to work at. Grab a journal. Sit down and close your eyes, taking some deep breaths.

As yourself: What have I learned this season? Where have I been abundant this season? What lessons or challenges have I worked through?

Don’t dwell on negativity. This isn’t a pity party. It’s a time to simply take stock of your previous 3 months. Journal your answers.

Then, rest with closed eyes, and ask: What am I creating this season? What am I releasing, letting go of, and allowing its natural death? To what lessons do I intend to apply myself?

Again, journal. Make a plan. Set a few goals.

Write down 3 prayers, goals, or wishes on some dry bay leaves (yes, the kind you get at the supermarket, or your garden). Go outside and burn them on a fire-proof plate. As the bay leaves burn, your intentions are carried to the Universe.

Go inside, and give thanks at your altar.

Other ideas:

Draw oracle or tarot cards to help answer your future creation questions.

Make art symbolizing what you worked through in Summer, and what you anticipate for Autumn.

Gather some dry grass to weave as you focus on your prayers. Place it on your altar and let it hold your intention for the coming season. You can also do this with branches or other natural materials. Please be respectful when gathering such things, and thank the Earth for Her gifts.

Until the next turning,

Selah

On Containment

On Containment

Each year, sometime in the dark of winter, I choose a focus for the year. I prefer not to choose one word or one goal, but rather, I very intentionally choose a “modus operandi” of sorts…a mantra to touch base with, a lens through which I view my life unfolding.

In recent years, as I have opened and sustained my own business, my words have reflected that: Abundance, Prosperity, Courage, Perseverance…you know the drill. The major things I was looking for became the containers I chose to work through. And that was neat. I developed a strong relationship with non-physical Source energy, and I learned how to let go, stepping into a flow of energy and abundance that sustains me to this day. It felt deeply empowering, and still does.

But then I didn’t know what was next.

I mean, after you attain an understanding of Law of Attraction and start practicing, and you see the dynamic of co-creation unfolding daily in your life, what’s the next place to investigate?

Well obviously, there’s an entire universe to explore. But I wasn’t feeling it.

A conversation with my Mother changed everything. I have an excellent relationship with my blood mother, and she is often the source of incredible perspective and inspiration for me. We were talking about how I stress out about very small things, and really waste energy on big reactions. We talked about the concept of Containment.

Containment is a concept of how I hold my energy and resources. It’s tricky, because to contain, there must be boundaries, but as energetic beings, there is also a simultaneous flow and movement, inherent on every level of existence. So we don’t become hard in our holding of ourselves, or separate from the flow (impossible), but we recognize the wisdom of gathering and resting in a place of fullness. I recognize that I don’t HAVE to react. I don’t HAVE to give, or offer, or play into anyone’s expectations. I can contain mySelf. I can sit back, and watch.

And in the sitting back and watching, I am contented. I am having fun. I am witnessing life unfold, instead of pushing it forward.

So this is my main lesson and exploration for the year. It has started coloring and influencing the quality of my days. I am learning to be OK with Gathering and Holding, rather than Accumulating and then Letting Go. I am investing in quality, rather than quantity. I am taking more deep breaths before reacting. I am not reacting at all.

I am weaving Containment with Contentment and Harmony…knowing that I am nothing without the environment that I am in, and I am never cut off, even when I set boundaries and enjoy them. I am noticing the contrast as Old Patterns come up for healing, and I am blessing them and letting those go.

The interesting part so far, is that with Containment, I am learning what to HOLD ON to, rather than what to let go of, which is the opposite of how I have thought about my self-growth in recent years.

I have wanted to let go of fear, impatience, judgement, lack…all the demons that I imagine keep me small. But what if, instead of focusing on those demons (which keeps them active, and real in my present-self-life), I simply re-tune into what I want to hold on to?

Generosity. Empowerment. Fecundity. Compassion. Connection. Community. Laughter. Love. Service. Devotion.

Can I steep myself in those qualities, saturating my cells with Divinity, until there is simply no-where left for the other things to reside? Can I contain my potential to such a degree, that past-versions simply cease to be?

I’ll keep you posted.

Selah.

 

Crystal Page: Pietersite

Crystal Page: Pietersite

So, one of the things a Pixie loves is crystals…gemstones, minerals, semiprecious and precious…all the glittering and rough treasures that the Earth offers us to aid in healing, balancing, and renewing our connections to ourSelves and to Life around us.

I happen to work with gemstones and crystals to make jewelry, and my love affair with them has only deepened over the years of working with them. I remember  the first time  I stepped into a store that heavily stocked these treasures. They were all displayed on a wall, in clear shelving, and that part of the store literally buzzed with a delicious energy that called deeply to me. I needed to touch! I needed to hold, and gaze, and sing and dance and create with these special Beings! So in that vein, I want to start sharing the information I have  gathered and channeled over the years with you, my dear readers.

In the following publications of Crystal Pages, I will examine qualities, energetic properties, and healing methods of different stones. I will offer what insight I can, and I welcome questions and suggestions for more stones to explore!

To begin, I choose a stone called Pietersite, which I only learned about in the past year or so. In that time, it has become indispensible to me in my healing and meditation practices.

Pietersite is a naturally-occurring of Tiger’s Eye, Hawk’s Eye, and Jasper and it is also known as the Tempest stone and Storm stone because it actually protects us from bad weather (especially as we travel). Pietersite provides and amplifies strength and power, and can help us to express and release energy and emotion that had previously been tamped down or repressed.

Physically, Pietersite can help relieve headaches, dizziness, light-headedness, and issues with the brain and central nervous system. It also helps with digestion and breathing issues (think of the vagus nerve, which descends from the brain and innervates both the breathing diaphragm and all the digestive organs). Energetically, this stone aids us in getting “unstuck” and is amazing for people feeling as though they cannot make progress. It also calls forth a sense of confidence and strength, and activates the Solar Plexus and Third Eye chakras.

I personally find that Pietersite helps me keep a clear frame of mind and focus. I feel more protected when I wear it, from other peoples’ energies and thoughts, and I feel more able to discern what the truth of a matter is. It helps me cultivate a sense of inner strength and dignity, and I tend to be more patient with myself and others when I have it on. You can read much more extensively about Pietersite and its correlations to angels and various energies on this site.

How I work with Pietersite:

I wear a mala of Pietersite beads quite often these days. As soon as  I put it around my neck, I feel a settling and soothing of my energy. I use malas in my meditation practice, if  I am practicing mantra. You can meditate with Pietersite as well, simply seated and holding a piece of the stone in your hands, or on the floor in front of you. Ask the stone what it has to teach you and offer you. Ask how you can best use it and respect its vibration and offerings.

I also have a few pieces which go into my pockets when I want to be less obivous with my stone choice. Not that anyone really notices, but sometimes pocket stones are a perfect secret to keep with yourself. Only you know your intention with them, and that you are constantly receiving their support as the day moves on.

I hope that you find these little offerings inspirational and fun! Please let me know if you have a favorite stone that you would like me to feature. There are so many to choose from!

Blessings and Ease,

Selah

Pixie

 

 

 

 

On Sisterhood

On Sisterhood

The world is heavy these days. I find my pixie-heart…normally up-lifted and warmed by holiday lights and cider….is aching for the world and the atrocities being committed on a day-to-day basis.

What is a Pixie to do?

I would *like* to crawl into my loft, where all of my craft supplies abound. To make messes and paintings and jewelry, seems to me, the best balm for the soul. But I pause.

What has retreating into mySelf gotten me?

(Well…as a quick aside, I believe it has actually gleaned deep wisdom and compassion, but this isn’t that kind of introspection. There is a difference between hermit-ing, and hiding. My inclination right now is to hide.)

It doesn’t get me anywhere. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it gets me junk food, or alcohol, or any number of other agents-which-numb-me and feel old, safe, and comfy. Easy. And terribly inauthentic. I recognize, after years of these sorts of heart-battles, that superficial balms do nothing to ease the unrest of my inner Self…except they provide temporary numbness.

Which, for some (myself included) is occasionally part of the process.  Sometimes, I can’t handle the entirety of the shock or heart-break. Small pieces only, please, and hold on the rest until I can actually understand, or attempt to look at the picture painted of what is unfolding in the world.

So much ache. So much dark. Right now, it feels like every Mother is crying out, and I feel isolated, and utterly helpless.

It’s quite uncomfortable.

It’s also what makes me human: my ability to feel empathy, and to hear the cries, and hold space for the depth of suffering present in our world right now.

What do I do in the face of so many tragedies, of so much karma being expressed?

Of course, I reach to my husband, my kitties, and my cozy blankets. I make a lot of tea. I practice a lot of candle-lighting, spreading light and prayers and compassion…first to mySelf, and then to my community. But the most healing medicine, is the sisterhood I recognize and enjoy in the communities I belong to.

I have many circles. Pixies need groups who are like-hearted to survive. I have built them up around me. Some are near, some are far. Some are passing glances, some are professional, some are deeply personal.

But here is what is always true: We can hug each other, and know that the Web we create together, is one of Light and Magic. The more we as wombyn (and Pixies) choose peace, choose light, choose laughter, in the face of all of this angst and desperation, the more we shift those around us.

And I truly believe, down to the tiniest of cells of the smallest parts of me, that when we breed light in ourSelves, we allow others to Shine.

I turn to my Sisters for more than support and hugs. I turn to them to vent frustration. To recognize how uncomfortable vulnerability can be. To offer words and resources of inspiration and solidarity. Without these moment of Sanity, we are nothing. We are all spinning out of control and listening to the media and Fox news as though it was gospel.

We MUST create sanity, solidarity, and laughter. We must, as wombyn and light-bearers and truth-knowers, work on healing ourselves so that others around us may heal.

Take actions of peace. Put your burden down. Rest in the Truth of your conscious essence, beaming through you, showing you the Light of your soul. And, as much as you can, take the suffering of the others in the world into your heart, and know it as your own. Do not let it define you. Do not let it weigh you down. Just know that Witness is a Sacred Role. We must NOT harden our hearts. We must envelop the world with our strong love, and dig deeply to heal these wounds that humanity is carrying.

We can do this, because as wombyn, we are the ancient Source of Life. We are deeply connected to tides and ebbs and flows of the MoonLight. We are That.

Remember who you are, Sistar.

With Love….Selah.

Pixie

A Daily Practice Toward Solstice

A Daily Practice Toward Solstice

The winter solstice is on its way to us in the northern hemisphere, and it is a time I am learning to treasure.

While friends and family (and myself, at times) are lamenting an early sunset, I am revelling in evenings snuggling under blankets.  While many of us loathe this time of Dark, I practice USING it: I acknowledge what the Dark has to teach me. I honor the force of the inward pull, the drive to “turtle” mySelf away from others, and I listen. I listen to what it is I *really* need. Who am I, in the Dark, when no one else can see me? What do I need to thrive, when no one else’s heat can warm me? How do I survive, as structure after structure falls away into the Dark One?

I become my own Light. I surrender into the season, and take deep care of mySelf, and I weather each storm.

I also keep practicing on my sheepskin, every day, no matter what.  It is especially important for a Pixie like me, during a time that could easily bring me out of balance and into apathy, coldness, and isolation. I must practice drawing energy in, and moving what I have.

So tomorrow, I am beginning a 40 day Sadhana (spiritual practice) to honor the Dark. This is a Sadhana that has actually been going on since October, but since I am often missing the boat, and often changing practices to suit my needs, I decided “better late  than never” and made a commitment now, until the Winter Solstice to practice this particular pattern.

The mantra is Akal Mahakal, and it means “Undying, the Great Death”.  Cheery, hunh? Well, the idea behind chanting these two words over and over, is that as we access what is “undying”, what is “beyond” us (in the Dark, especially), that we access those aspects of ourSelves. We access and integrate the understanding that we are more than this life cycle we are in. We are the Light that holds Darkness. We are also the Dark that swallows Light. Our consciousness is expansive, beyond thought or word or quality. This practice gives us access to that awareness.

So I invite you to practice with me, starting tomorrow, for 40 days. Click the link below, and find something comfortable to sit on.

http://www.spiritvoyage.com/globalsadhana/undyingsoul

“Out beyond the fields of rightdoing and wrongdoing is a field; I’ll meet you there.”       -Rumi

Sat Nam,

Pixie

So….Why DO you cover your head?

So….Why DO you cover your head?

I thought this a fitting subject for the next post, considering my last post and how I can’t stand people going behind my back to find out about why I cover my head. Heh.

So here it is, Duckies:

The whole story: When I was attuned to be a Reiki Master Teacher, I was guided to cover my head whenever I leave the house. Before this, I had covered as a part of yoga and meditation practices, but not consistently.
In Kundalini yoga, men and women wrap their heads for a few reasons. 1. Energy stays protected. The energy center at the crown of the head is susceptible to the “noise” of other peoples’ energies, and some people are more aware of this than others. I happen to be quite aware of it. I can sense what someone is going through, or feeling, or how they are in a moment, when I tune in. The more energy work I do, the easier it is to feel. This doesn’t mean I go around intruding on people’s inner workings, it just means that I want to keep my energy grounded, safe, and collected, as much as I can. When I don’t wrap, I am more sensitive, and it’s not something I “want” to do all the time. Particularly with people who are suffering as I worked in the office, I used to become extremely depleted. I believe that my attunements as well as wrapping my head, have put an end to this depletion of energy, and they act together to protect my energy all the time.
2. It’s a gentle cranial adjustment, meaning that the support from the wrap actually cradles the skull nicely, and aids in the healthy pumping of CSF and the opening of Sushumna Nadi, the central canal of the spinal cord that is said to be the path of Awakening.
3. It promotes awareness of our commitment to a spiritual path. Yep, I have made a profound commitment to a practice larger than myself. That’s it: I am out of the closet 😉 It doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge in things like bacon, or alcohol, or chocolate…but it means that every day, I walk through the world, looking for connection and learning to love people. It means I move my body with awareness, and I feed my body with foods that feel nourishing. It feels good. There’s a lot of yoga, and a lot of laughter, and a lot of making mistakes and recognizing them, and moving on. When people ask, I say I am dedicated to Shakti, which is the Divine Feminine essency of all things.

Now, as I was covering, I was learning new ways to wrap, and joining groups on Facebook of course, of women who cover their heads, and I met Pagans, Christians and Jews who also cover. How exciting, right?! Well, for me it is.

I learned that sometimes a Deity asks that Her dedicant wear a cover, or veil, as part of worship. I learned that the New Testament says that we should cover our heads when praying, and that prayer should be constant. I learned that married Jewish women wear head coverings to keep their relationship with their husbands sacred. How beautiful, and how special, right?

I happen to be a married, Jewish woman. And while I don’t cover for modesty, I do LOVE to keep parts of my body covered, for only my husband’s eyes. It’s a small way for me to commit to us and the sacredness of our relationship, every day.

I agree with that snippet of the New Testament as well. Having the head covered in prayer makes a huge difference in terms of my awareness of the sacredness of the act I am performing. I know that there are plenty more not-so-feminist reasons for head covering, but this one, I like.

I also consider that Shakti (while not an incarnated Deity, other than incarnated in all the things of the world) DID ask me to cover. I am happy to have in-person, respectful conversations about that experience, but it’s too much to go into detail in a public blogpost.

Oh, and it makes me feel beautiful. I think it’s stunning, and that my hair isn’t much special, so covering it is a good way for me to go. I DO wear plain old hats, too…but having scarves wrapped around me makes me feel like a queen.

So those are my reasons. I am not growing dread locks. I happen to not be cutting my hair, but that’s because I am curious to see how long I can go without doing so. I do wash my hair because I’m not interested in growing gunk on my scalp.

Is this forever? Well….nothing is forever, right? But for the foreseeable future, yes. The longer I cover the more I like it. It’s not too hot in the summer. It’s warm and nice to wear a “perma-hat” in the cold months. I have an amazing collection of scarves. And, my husband, mother, and close friends are extremely supportive.

With love, and laughter, and knowing how silly I probably look to some of you,

Pixie

The ONE Practice to Unlock Your Power

The ONE Practice to Unlock Your Power

I see quite a few folks for life coaching, which I love…and the most common question I am asked, is “What’s the ONE thing I can do to fix….”

Right. Because human beings want ONE thing…even though, there are as many options out there as there are people milling around the world. Or Pixies, if you prefer. You get it.

But, it actually just so happens that I do believe there is ONE thing that everyone can benefit from, and that is meditation.

And I know that the word Meditation strikes fear and revulsion into the hearts of many…but it actually isn’t so bad. Don’t get me wrong…it can be tough, and it can feel like torture. BUT! But….when you stay with it, and you practice in a way that appeals to you, meditation becomes the greatest gift you give to yourself.

Recently, my husband asked me why I meditate.  The question sort of took me aback; I figured it was obvious. When I don’t meditate I am more of a lunatic than when I do. We argue less. I don’t shut down when we are arguing (which gives me room to receive what he is saying, and to actually get things moving in a constructive way instead of spiraling into crap). I take more deep breaths. Little things don’t bug me as much. I am more motivated by love, and less inclined to stay in a fear-based reaction.

So here is what I suggest:

Find a way of meditation that appeals to you.

Do you like sacred texts and reading? Choose one…poems, prayers, tests like the Radiance Sutra, the Tao Te Ching, or the Upanishads, and read ONE passage. Then set a timer (start with 5 minutes!), and let the essence of that reading flow through you.  Just let it mull around. Soften to it. Open to it.

Do you love oracle cards or tarot cards? Choose one before you begin, receive a message, and then allow that gentle message to direct your attention. Open yourself to other messages you might benefit from. Have a conversation with your higher self. Make sure to give yourself some moments of gratitude and silence when you are complete.

Do you love music? Are you quite sensitive in terms of your emotions? Find a chant or mantra to repeat over and over again.  Get a mala (you can check out thispixielife.etsy.com for some great ones that are super affordable!) and use the mala to count repetitions. Sing it or say it or whisper it…just do it. Let it resonate throughout your bodymind. When you are finished, spend another few moments in silence, noticing the changes you created.

Are you very visual? Set a time and visualize a stream of light pouring into your mind, and down your body. The light fills you everywhere. Use your breath to increase the flow. Notice how you feel. The light is full of blessings.

Do you simply want to sit in meditation? Set your timer. Follow your breath.  When thoughts come in, let them go and focus on the breath again. Simple. Let it be.

Are you exhausted? Try yoga nidra, which is a guided meditation into deep relaxation (deeper than sleep, actually). There are apps and youtube videos with free yoga nidra tracks for you to enjoy.

So, why meditation? Because it’s an opportunity for our system to STOP processing more information. We give ourselves time and space to process and integrate what our lives are dealing us. We ALL need that. In a world where social media is everywhere and our technology enables us to access the world 24/7, we need to rest. We need quiet. We need restoration. We need to let go and just be.

The benefits are tremendous, and you don’t need to do a lot.  Start with 5 minutes and work up to 15. I often sit for 11 minutes after several exercises that get me ready to sit. My whole practice takes 20-30 minutes depending on how my day looks.

The immune system gets stronger. Our minds become clear. We become more focused, thus making better use of the time we have in other activities. We carry less stress, which decreases risk for heart attack and high blood pressure. We become more of who we really are, and less of the junky stuff we get caught up in.

So please let me know what happens when you start. Commit to 10 days. See what happens.

Selah