Archive | February, 2018

trees are sanctuaries

Trees have always been a muse for me. Perhaps a Patronus of sorts. They have saved me and loved me and kept me happy when no other thing could. Trees are sacred to my soul.

 

Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

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“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farm boy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

 

 

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we are magic

Hey there, my friends! Did you miss me? Well, I missed you, too. <smoooooch!> It’s been a busy week- I’ve been sick (thank you JesusBuddha for antibiotics!) and life has just been it’s regular old self- happening.

I wanted to check in and say hello and leave you with something to think about. I’m taking a Divination course with Megan Potter over at LimitlessLiving and she shared this quote with us last week. It’s good to chew on, not only in terms of magic and divination, but also in terms of just who we are and how we use ourselves in the world (and maybe who we want to be).

 

In magic we don’t speculate, we don’t judge, we don’t doubt, we don’t exalt ourselves or lower ourselves. In magic we just ARE. And as we are, we act.

Successful magic is all about doing. Not thinking. And not feeling either. Magic is about doing and observing what you do and what others do. But the condition is that this observation must be exercised from the perspective of detachment. We use feeling as fuel for our magic, but the condition for successful magic is that you are not attached to your fuel… You are fully magical when you’re above judgement and evaluation of any kind. In magic you ride the wave of intention, as your intention aligns with the act of surrendering to the powers that be.”

| Camelia Elias |

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I was also reminded this week that smashing our altars is a good practice now and then. To take our spiritual practice out into the actual world and refuse to believe or act in ways that ‘spiritual’ is better or different than ‘real life.’ Because it ain’t.

Love you, fellow travelers.
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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mood :: i wish i could speak like music

You get a double post today because I am in a mood.

I am tired of hypocrites. [even though I, too, sometimes do hypocritical things.]
I am tired of those who will not look at their darkness
I am tired of what may be worse yet :: to look at darkness and refuse to engage with it
I am tired of guns and violence [even though I am sometimes violent and born to a violent culture.]
I am very tired of inequality. Very tired.
I am tired of willful ignorance. [it is not even ignorance; it is stupidity.]
I am tired of needless death and suffering.
I am tired of needless death and suffering.

And yet.

All I want in this moment, in this mood
Is to sit with someone
chest to chest
and feel the warmth of their beautiful human body

I want to look into their eyes
and smile
and cry
and let all the love that is within me
vibrate into them

To cup their face in my hands
And kiss their uglybeautiful soul
with my eyes
my smile
my lips

In this mood of darkness
all I want
is to set love free.

 

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Perhaps Hafiz said it better.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I wish I could speak like music.

I wish I could put the swaying splendor
Of the fields into words

So that you could hold Truth
against your body
and dance.

I am trying the best I can
With this crude brush, this tongue,

To cover you with light.

I wish I could speak like divine music.

I want to give you the sublime rhythms
of this earth and the sky’s limbs

As they joyously spin and surrender,
surrender
Against God’s luminous breath.

Hafiz wants you to hold me
Against your precious
body

And dance,
Dance.

| Hafiz |

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A similar mood. Because I need the way this feels tonight. [just tell me I’m good enough]

Sarah McLaughlin in the way only she can say it:

Just let me try
and I will be good to you

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I love you all, fellow travelers. May we be very good to each other, may we love as much as we can, even in our anger, even in our fear, even in our weariness.

Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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New Moon in Aquarius and Solar Eclipse

I consider it a personal gift from the planetary gods that the entire month of February is without a full moon. All the dark, all the time. And tonight is the darkest day of the month (one day after my birthday, too!)- the new moon. I’m all dance-y and giddy right now.

Here’s what you need to know to navigate the next couple of weeks.

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From TheGoddessCircle:

Change. Beginnings and Endings. Try new options. 
Make plans- stick to them. 
Moving relationships forward. Follow inspiration.
Positive change. Let go of the complicated. 
Open to new solutions. Don’t shut off emotions. 

 

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From The Hood Witch:
[Description of Aquarius is spot on.]

On the 15th is when things get weird. At 1.05pm PST there will be Solar Eclipse in revolutionary Aquarius. A Solar Eclipse happens during a New Moon, and this one provides an excellent time to get free. Expect some serious upheaval in your life, but don’t worry – it’s happening to help point you in the right direction, not to knock you off course. Pay close attention to the themes in your life this week, and also remember what was going on around January 31st because you’ll be integrating these themes until the next Solar Eclipse on July 12, 2018.

Aquarius is a sign that is concerned with humanity, even if it finds actual humans low key annoying. Pay particular attention to the gap between what you theoretically believe and what you can emotionally handle at this time. New Moons are openings – they’re beginnings of a new cycle – and the Moon is always concerned with the flow of your heart. Aquarius can be really heady, which is great for so many things, but not so much for feels. Don’t run after false ideas that only work for you in theory. If you can’t back your ideas up with emotional presence and material action, they’re just ideas and nothing more. This Eclipse is a chance for you to start fresh, but this can’t be done from up in the clouds or without clear intention. Show up. Be here for the uncomfortable bits, especially for your own feels and the emotions of the people you care about.

From the 16th-18th, irritable Mars will square escapist Neptune, and the self-centered Sun will sit on top of analytic Mercury. These transits are a big part of the Eclipse and are likely to muddle things quite a bit, so here’s a Pro Tip to help you through: you don’t have to do anything except for take care of your side of the street. It’s not your job to call out the wrong in others; all you need to do is what’s right for you. If you’re seeing things in people that you don’t like, try to sit with it for 72hrs before making a call or taking action. 

 

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From Empowering Astrology:

Each month the page turns, the characters change, and the story progresses. It’s the solar eclipses, however, that set a new chapter.

And here we are; it’s a new chapter.

When we reach Aquarius Season, we’re coming to the end of the astrological year. As the eleventh sign, Aquarius bridges the worldly ambitions and responsibilities of Capricorn and the liminality of Pisces. Aquarius is consciousness. It’s thought made manifest. It’s the systems that form our world. It’s the social fabric as well as the sense of belonging to something larger. Aquarius is connection. So, over the coming six months, we’ll be living out a story framed around this theme of connection and, by its polarity, disconnection.

Do you struggle to feel like you’re a part of something? What does tribe mean to you? What role does friendship and community play in your life? What does social justice mean for you? How do you balance your own needs against the needs of the collective? And, because this is a South Node eclipse, we have to work through our past karma as well as our past choices around these Aquarian themes.

When we look at the chart of the solar eclipse, we see the energy pointing towards Saturn in Capricorn. There’s something blisteringly real about the coming six months, an ultimatum — Saturn doesn’t sugarcoat things — to clean up our act, set boundaries, and take our responsibilities seriously.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Aquarius is consciousness — consciousness that forms patterns and shapes. This consciousness can either support and inspire or imprison. (If you know someone who is caught in negative thought patterns, then you know what I mean by imprison.) Aquarius is also anti-consciousness in its negative polarity, the times when we willfully looked away from reality. So, with that in mind, we’re working with consciousness over the coming six months, the systems and patterns that we hook into, the times we’ve disconnected or looked away.

 

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From The Sky Priestess:
[Click the link and check the title; it’s me in this post.]

Blessings. The Solar Eclipse / New Moon in Aquarius asks us to set the seeds for innovation, collective engagement, ideational breakthrough and networking. It is when we develop upon or dissolve older frequencies of thought and experience and step into newer modalities of being. We are asked to let go of more egoic notions of selfhood before accessing some of the higher-frequency stuff. This requires us to deconstruct and decolonize our minds of concepts, paradigms, and ways of seeing the world that make us invested in a particular ego-personality. It asks us to come back to the roots of our being and not the false self we have been conditioned to believe we are.

The way we do this is by engaging the energy of the heart and allowing the leadership of the Inner Child to light the way to the Heavens. Go back to what made your heart sing and do it. Repeatedly. Whether it´s watching a childhood movie, dancing, playing, singing, speaking on stage – let your emotional body engage with the mental body. One cannot exist in isolation of another. For those of you whose mother tongue is not English – go back to your mother tongue. You will access genetic codes unique to your culture and its connection with the Earth. Never underestimate the power of that connection.

Whilst Aquarian energy can be compassionate, that compassion stems from ideology – rather than emotional connection. Aquarian energy can be very headstrong in its understanding of the ideals by which humanity ought to live. It´s not very fluffy-cuddly, but is a lot more abstract.

With Mercury (25 Aquarius) and Juno (26 Aquarius) so close to the actual Eclipse (27 Aquarius) – expect a high degree of communication amongst members of (what looks like) your soul tribe. This may include romantic, spiritual and/or platonic soul-mates. This aspect of the energy is a little double-edged as Juno does not always indicate a positive marriage partner or soul-mate experience, rather she comes to show us the type of energy who can help us awaken the soul to other possibilities. In other words, soul-mates can help us grow through pleasure, nurture and healthy support – or they can push us to growth through pain, abuse and/or neglect.

Through my study of Juno in clients´ charts, I have found her to be a mixed aspect at best. Either way – whoever shows up now holds the key for your re-connection to the Feminine aspect of being. Just wait before you declare s/he´s ´The One´. Collect a little more data.

In terms of Mercury´s influence, say what you have to say with respect to your truth, be it through written or spoken form – and then let it go. There´s going to be a lot of energy present through social media channels, and not all of it is good. Do not expect others to share your opinion of the world – as one works with their own truths at the pace that they can handle it.

Remember that we are prone to choose truths that make us feel comfortable – and whilst that makes for a more consistent perception of the world, it´s not necessarily great for growth.

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It sounds like this next two weeks might be a doozy. But finding our way, finding our truth, and growing are always useful- even if they are hard. I hope you learn with ease this new moon season.

Big love from the trail,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Badass :: Defined

Hey loves. How are you doing? I’ve been thinking of you for the past week. For whatever reason, Cyndi Lauper’s song, “Time After Time” plays every time I think of sitting down to write. I think you all needed that song. If you’re lost and you look, you will find me…time after time, my friends.

 

 

Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

 

Today I was thinking about the people in my life who I wold consider ‘badass’ and it really came down to one thing: I define badass but how much you’re willing to work on your life. Yeah, badass can mean all kinds of things- daredevil, fearless (or stupid), carefree. But I think those all come down to breaking boundaries- that’s what makes them badass. In my realm, breaking boundaries for emotional healing and growth makes you a badass.

I think of people who:

  • say ‘this doesn’t work for me anymore’ to their spouse, job, or family
  • decide to work on the ‘shit’ they created in their own lives
  • decide to work on the ‘shit’ someone else left inside of them when they were too small to understand (which can happen even when you’re 33)
  • step outside a self-imposed box
  • decide to tell the truth :: about anything
  • cry for no apparent reason and decide to investigate that
  • reach beyond their usual relational habits to make something new :: or better
  • who open their heart when it still hurts and let someone else look inside
  • wonder why they do what they do and step bravely into the answer :: no matter how much it hurts
  • leave their family’s expectations of them and their life
  • dare to take one step towards a dream
  • leave behind even one script society has given them
  • believe in and protect their own hearts
  • who dance :: wherever
  • notice when the shadow shows herself and turn towards her
  • risk their heart + their love + their life to be true to their feelings
  • feel all the way down
  • dare to shine their light for someone new to see
  • make themselves small and then grow into their true self again
  • sit with their pain and let it flow
  • stay alive even though they don’t always want to
  • reach out
  • cry :: joy fear love pain
  • acknowledge the wound and heal it

I believe that everyone is doing the best they can- no matter how that looks to people outside the situation (cuz we’re all judgin’ someone!). But the badasses are taking it one step further and doing the work. They are breaking the boundaries of what their family told them, of what society told them, of the ways their heart has been broken, of the ways they feel broken. They are walking to the other side.

God bless the badasses. You’re making the world a better place.

Big love from the path,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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