Thursday, July 22, 2021

 Big Dreams Can Carry You a Lifetime

 


Today I was unpacking and storing groceries in my kitchen when I came across a rubber band, a small one, the size maybe of a communion wafer.  I didn’t want to keep it, but lately it seems insane that we just throw things in garbage cans and expect them to go away and cause no harm.  Most things we throw away on a daily basis cause the overload of waste we’re seeing around the world and a dire threat to ecological life on the planet.

 

I’ve also been listening to the spectacularly beautiful audio book by Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants”.  If you’re not mindful of the planet before her book, you can’t help but fall a little bit more in love with nature after reading it. 

 

Now, I’m standing there with this rubber band thinking I can’t toss it, as is, because what if an animal suffers harm from it? I’ll cut it I think. When I cut the rubber band, a powerful image from a Big Dream swims into consciousness.  I titled the dream “Howling Mary” ( I’ve written about it many times on this blog; here’s a link to the original.)

 

The last scene in that amazingly prophetic dream from my Senior year in college is of me having, in desperation at Mary’s distress, snatched the consecrated chalice from a priest who was about to give communion and began to serve each worshiper myself.  When I had first snatched the chalice and looked in, I was horrified to see writhing worms, but as I steadfastly began to hand them out to each outstretched hand, they were rubber bands.  

 

In an earlier post I described how poignant the dream still was for me, how I hear Mary howling and understand now, decades later, why she howls. I was writing about what happened to CBS 60 Minutes correspondent, Lara Logan while covering the Arab Spring demonstrations in Egypt, in February of 2011.  If you don’t know, here’s the full story, so now you know.

 

I wrote:

 

Why is Mary Howling?  The huge imbalance, injustice and under- championed status of women in patriarchies all over this current world, the one that is imploding of its own greed and wrong-heartedness, is causing more and more suffering.  She's mad as hell and won't take it any more.

 

Now, looking at this rubber band I cut in two, trying to figure out how best responsibly to dispose of it, the gestalt hits me; yes, Mary is howling about how women are treated AND She is howling about how the Earth, Her Body, is treated under world-wide patriarchal rule.  Of course She is! 

 

The Feminine Divine was banished along with a long list of human attributes deemed “feminine”.  Inner-knowing or intuition, compassion, forgiveness, sexuality, the spirit in the physical in favor of an other worldly cerebral spiritual and of course, women themselves were banned from full equality in the eyes of religion and the law.  


From this first enslavement of half of humanity to the will of the penis gender, it flowed  that enslaving whole peoples the ruling male class deemed lesser was also justified by their toxic paradigm.


The first peoples of North America were one group viewed by the uber-patriarchal colonizing settlers as weak and stupid because they respected the earth and saw Spirit in all things.  Patriarchies operate under a might makes right paradigm that allows for ever more horrific displays of cruelty and brutality. Patriarchal thinking also places great emphasis on knowledge as power but undervalues wisdom and understanding. 

 

The Feminine Divine Archetype is the repository for banished wisdom, understanding and psychic experience. Direct personal access to an individual’s inner world was dammed and diverted by patriarchal religions which forced us to look at all divinity as Male and in command. The Good News is that you can't stop humanity from dreaming and you can't stop dreams from revealing our personal and collective truths.  No wonder we've been taught to ignore rather than how to understand dreams. 

 

Mary is truly pissed and fed up with this needless suffering! All it takes is each one of us to let go.  Let go of the tons of bullshit that we’ve been taught. Let go of any idea that undervalues all human beings as one and the same. We’re all eternal beings having a human existence for a purpose known only to each.

 

Let go of the absurd anthropomorphizing of divinity. Recognize that the grand Mystery behind this amazing existence is much bigger than our puny projections. Recognize also that the prevalent projection of one sex on divinity is a power play that gained purchase in humanity and has lasted some 6 thousand years; a comparatively small fraction of our history on this planet. Unfortunately, the result is a dying planet and endless grief for all beings on it.

 

Dreams are calling many souls to a new awareness that is desperately needed in order to heal from the psychic trance patriarchy, especially its religions, induce. What is amazing to me once again is the power of a dream that is so very old; for an image in that dream to come alive to me in meaning so many years later is awe inspiring.  And for that image to teach me a lesson, for that dream to keep on schooling and sustaining me so many years later is deeply comforting.  My dreams are my best teachers.

 

 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Honor Your Mother


In 2014 I was asked to give a homily for a wonderful Unitarian Universalist community on the Centennial Celebration of Mother's Day.  Sharing it with you for Mother's Day

Today is Mother’s Day, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you about Mother. Actually, today in particular is the centennial of Mother’s Day in the US, first declared officially as the second Sunday in May by Pres. Woodrow Wilson in 1914.  This holiday, which probably has its roots in ancient Mother Goddess Spring festivals of Greece and Rome, was championed in the US by Anna Jarvis, who beginning in 1905, campaigned vigorously to establish a day where each family would honor their personal mothers in a special way at home and with church services.  Unfortunately, it took no time at all for the holiday to become so commercialized that she actually spent the rest of her life fighting to have the holiday removed from the official national roster.  Thanks, Hallmark.


What Anna Jarvis wanted was that on Mother’s Day we be reminded to celebrate the unconditional love, sacrifice, untiring care and selfless devotion of our personal mothers.    To give thanks to our mothers for having the courage to give birth to us, and thanks to every woman who after taking on that heroic biological task, in the majority of cases, did her very best to take on the moral/spiritual task of nurturing her children, as well.  

Moving from the personal to the collective, on this centennial of our national celebration of Mother’s Day, I’d like to invite you to remember with me not the personal mother of our own experience, but the archetypal mother of our collective experience as a human race, the Great Mother, the Feminine Divine.  

At the very core of our collective psyche as a human race on this beautiful, bountiful planet is the Great Mother, known throughout antiquity and across indigenous cultures as the Creator of all that is. Thanks to the work of exceptional scholars like archeologist Marija Gimbutas, we know that: “The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archeological records of the ancient world, a symbol of the unity of life in nature and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on earth.”

I was completely delighted to learn that Unitarian Universalists have for many years offered a very sophisticated curriculum about the ancient and indigenous Goddesses from history and diverse cultures, “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven”. I was going to spend some time with you sharing slides of many of these pre-historic and multi-cultural images of the goddess, until I realized I’d be preaching to the choir, many of you already know about HER.

Whether God as Mother is a familiar concept or a new one to you today, I’d like to invite all of us to reflect on the status of the Divine Feminine in our psyches, both personally and collectively.  Because for the last five thousand years or so, She has been persecuted, obscured, neglected and finally banished. This has had dire consequences for humanity.  The elevation of the masculine to exclusive divine status and the denigration of the feminine to subservient and inferior status has grave implications for our personal psychic health, whether we are male or female, for our cultures and for the well being of our endangered planet.

The Wisdom of the Feminine, personified in the many forms of the goddess, is essentially the understanding that Divine Light is not separate from creation, but inherent in creation, embodied and birthed over and over again by women.  For ancient peoples, woman was the matrix of creation, both literally and metaphysically. Moreover, to ancient and indigenous peoples even today, the Earth is our Mother, alive, sentient and interactive with our every thought, word and deed.  We are part of a physical and mystical web of life that is inter-dependent and inter-connected.   

History is the story as told by the conqueror and the stories we have learned are about the triumph of the masculine sky gods, giving birth without women, from Adam’s rib, the head of Zeus or even the spoken word.  Patriarchal mythologies have divorced divinity from nature, exhorting conquering, dominating and exploitive ideologies that have brought us to the very brink of our own annihilation.  It has placed divinity outside of matter and reduced matter to a mechanical science, devoid of soul. All ancient and indigenous peoples even today know this is a grave error. 

But today, we are in the midst of a spiritual revolution. Enlightenedl teachers from all over the world, across cultures and disciplines are pointing to a new/old paradigm for understanding our world and our purpose in it.   From subatomic physics to new metaphysics we are hearing that we are essentially energy; we are spiritual beings participating in a physical manifestation and each of us has chosen this manifestation with a purpose in mind.  Today’s spiritual teachers point to the need to bring balance back into our psyches by once again honoring the Feminine aspects of Divinity and recognizing the sacredness of the Earth as the embodiment of the Feminine Divine.

They’re telling us that our world is in serious trouble and at the root of what ails us is the terrible psychic imbalance caused by the inflation of masculine principles and the devaluation of the feminine.  In Chinese Taoist philosophy, these principles are known as the Yin, the Feminine and the Yang, the Masculine.  Taoism teaches that these opposites are in a continual dance, an ebb and flow that results in balance; neither is superior or inferior, each has its time and its purpose.  When one becomes too pronounced, the entire system is thrown out of balance to the detriment of the whole.

Mother’s Day is a fine time to consider what the consequences of shutting the Feminine out of divinity are.  I recently wrote here about the new, celebrated Pope Francis who has firmly stated that he won’t consider finally ordaining women as priests, although he is very concerned about their level of poverty and exploitation in the world.

But it’s a Catch22; the majority of the world's poor are women because women have no status in patriarchal government, patriarchal religion nor as the Divine Archetype.  In patriarchy men rule, make all the decisions concerning women and children and God looks like one of them. In patriarchal paradigms, woman's power is stripped from her and to the degree that it’s justified by “the image of god” her situation can’t and won’t change.  You’ve only to look at the status and experience of women in the most orthodox patriarchal cultures.  As Jimmy Carter recently put it:

“The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women.  They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.  Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.”

To change the status of women, we have to change the paradigm that devalues women by excluding the Feminine from divinity. This work begins at the level of the individual psyche, as psychiatrist Carl Jung taught.  The fate of humanity, he said, hangs by a thread, and that thread is the psyche.  As the mystical poet, William Blake, wrote, “mind forged manacles” imprison us.  What we believe at our deepest unconscious level is what really drives our behavior.

Like most of you, I grew up with the psychic imprint of God as male, God as Father.  Jesus, though his teachings espoused rather feminine values, was also a male representation of the divine and all his earthly ministers, up until the mid 1980s, were male, as well. As an on again, off again Catholic, Mother Mary did factor in, but definitely as an obedient helpmate, not a divine equal to His Holiness, Father God, and always a Virgin, despite marriage and motherhood, because another artificial separation of this paradigm is sexuality from the sacred.

I first met the Great Mother in a dream when I was 21, way before I knew anything about Her in waking reality. She came to me as “Howling Mary”; I talk about this dream here. 

I woke from seeing Mary howling in anger and pain, heart pounding and completely baffled.  I didn’t know then the value of recording my dreams, but I’ve never forgotten this one. It was a Big Dream with a Big Message for my life that proved prophetic. In a manner I’ve come to recognize from following my dreams, my waking life unfolded in a series of one meaningful coincidence after another, until the Great Mother embodied in my Psyche, out of the shadows and into the Divine Light. 

Though my original plan was to go to graduate school to study literature, I went to seminary instead, campaigned to be ordained a priest in the catholic church and when I realized that wouldn’t happen, despite the many other denominations opening the ministry to women, I abandoned Catholicism for psychotherapy and Women’s Spirituality and came full circle to marry my love of HER to my love of dreaming, where I first met Her. From my perspective today, I see what Mary was howling about. 

On this day of Honoring the Mother, I invite all of us to examine our paradigms, our deeply held, knee jerk beliefs inherited from our parents, family systems, cultures and belief systems.  Knowing about the Queen of Heaven is an intellectual exercise; healing the Wounded Archetypal Feminine, the Anima and the Feminine relegated to Shadow is the soul-searching challenge of our time that each of us has to accomplish individually. Recovering a reverence for the earth and all life based on a deep, intuitive understanding of our Oneness with Gaia is the test we face.

But we can’t create the new order we need using the old logic that got us into the mess we’re in.  We need to use the principles we’ve been told are inferior, heart, intuition and instinct.

Here’s an example of what I mean; close your eyes and imagine a prehistoric time, cave people, cave man, cave woman.  How do they relate to one another? Is it hard to dispel the caricature of the caveman with the club, dragging the cave woman by the hair, dominating her way back then?  At an intellectual level, we know it’s not politically correct, but is it a knee-jerk visual?  Can we imagine a pre-historic culture where women were revered for their personal magic?  A culture that deduced the Creator of humanity from observing the creator of the personal world, a culture that finds no problem in revering a Divine Mother as ultimate Creator?  In this culture, people exercise their talents for the good of the group; knowing that sticking together and loving one another is the way to survive?  Oh, and a people who are constantly in and out of psychic experience, one to whom dreaming and dream adventures meld seamlessly with waking and waking adventures?  A culture far more advanced in spiritual practices than we are today.

We are plagued by the tunnel vision of interpreting all of history, at least 40 thousand years back, through the lens of the last six thousand years.  We have a patriarchal, war obsessed mindset that tells us it always had to be this way; human nature is naturally contentious, greedy and selfish, anything else is wishful thinking.

Amazonian and Mayan shamans teach that “the world is as you dream it.”  We create the realities we live through our communal expectations. We created this paradigm when we banished the Sacred Feminine, and in order to break free of its unconscious hold on our psyche, we need to re-instate the Great Mother as she is embodied in the earth and in all feminine characteristics we have devalued.

Here’s another example of how knee jerk our denial of the Feminine Divine can be.  I taught theology in an all girls’ RC high school, back when there were enough progressive religious communities, especially among nuns, to allow me to teach a course I called, “Christian Feminism.”  On the first day of class, I asked the students; “Is God male or female?”  They were prepared, and gave me the bonafide answer from the catechism.  "God is neither, God is Spirit."  "Fine", I said, "In this classroom, for this semester, when we pray, we’re going to say, Our Mother, and when we refer to God, we’ll use the feminine pronoun, She."  They were horrified; "We can’t do that!"  "Why?" I asked; "Because God is Father," they replied. The masculine divine has been imprinted in our psyches, both personally and collectively; it’s hard to reshape that image. 

Until we heal our personal psyche, we can’t heal the collective.  Until we heal the collective, we remain alienated from the resources we need to create balance.  Here’s the good news as taught by Llewellyn Vaughan Lee, a contemporary Sufi master who wrote “The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul.”

“The mystery of the divine feminine speaks to us from within her creation.  She is not a distant god in heaven, but a presence that is here with us, needing our response.  She is the divine returning to claim her creation, the real wonder of what it means to be alive.  We have forgotten her, just as we have forgotten so much of what is sacred, and yet she is always part of us.  But now she needs to be known again, not just as a myth, as a spiritual image, but as something that belongs to the blood and the breath.  She can awaken us to an expectancy in the air, to an ancient memory coming alive in a new way.  She can help us to give birth to the divine that is within us, to the oneness that is all around us.  She can help us to remember our real nature.”
How do we reconnect with the Feminine Divine?  Turn off the TV and step out into Nature. Listen deeply to what you hear within you.  Be still and know that She is Divine, alive in the beauty of the simplest flower.  Follow the counsel of your heart over your head.  Listen to your dreams, your own organic spirituality, your connection to revelation and trust that you are part of the One, you are not separate and you are not Alone.  
I wish you all a very blessed Divine Mother’s Day.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Words and Reality


Words.  We give them a lot of weight; they prop up the paradigms that shape our reality.  We are given words to believe in, creeds, and we do.  And because we believe in words, we act our worst, towards others and even towards ourselves.  We theologize the words that bind us; the Word is made Flesh. 

Reality.  Should you base your definition of what is on words or on your experience?  Quantum physics assures us that we can't define reality using our five senses alone because what seems solid isn't, what appears to stand still is in constant motion.   Physicists' experiments have proven that much, though they can't explain it yet, not even to themselves.

The most precious gift over 50 years of personal and professional dream exploration has given me is the certainty that I can use my dreaming to find my center, to test my beliefs and to find my way home when I die.  There is so much power in being able to know what is true and what is right because you've lived it and not because someone tells you what to live.  

Words can be so damaging, especially when they are used to mislead and indoctrinate.  For instance, "Stop the Steal."  You know where those words led.   "Qanon", "deep state", we are awash in trigger words, words that bring out the worst we're capable of, hate and violence.  What is the basis of these words? Who is speaking them and to what end? 

Experience is different than belief.  I recognize I play a part in shaping my reality with my thoughts, words and deeds, so I want to make my experience as pleasant as possible, for myself and for others. There's much anger, vitriol and hate in the speakers of these trigger words. If I were to immerse myself in their headset, I'd be creating a dark experience for myself.  I'd rather create the best I can experience.  What is the best we can experience as humans?  Love, joy, bliss?  What words evoke these feelings?  

The most important aspect of reality is that we shape it, consciously or unconsciously.  Once you fully experience the non physical aspect of your consciousness that wakes in dreaming, and once you see how easily you can take control of your existence in dreaming, you know waking reality is just as easily, if far more slowly, shaped. Connecting to the dreaming aspect of existence puts perspective on beliefs. 

A new trigger word in Foxland USA is "woke". It's being used, like "cancel culture" was, in the most un-awake ways possible; I have to laugh.  As a dreamer, I can safely claim a woke experience is what you get when you have a dreaming practice.  One disclaimer, though, if your dreams are nothing but painful at the moment, I would suggest you get reliable help from a counselor you can trust.  Many of life's traumas can leave our psyche so wounded that we can't get through it alone.  But if you have only the garden variety neurosis born of what patriarchal culture has wrought, your dreams can be a good road to real "wokeness".

Let our words contribute to the manifestation of a wonderful reality, both in the waking and in the dream worlds.  







Friday, April 23, 2021

About Time


 It’s been a while since I’ve felt I had something I wanted to say, about dreams, about healing the wounded feminine, about smashing patriarchy. I firmly believe the patriarchy can be dismantled because it’s just a state of mind projected by the collective waking dream.  Unfortunately, judging by the current 85 percent of the global population following patriarchal religions under male dominion, god the Father, God the Son, we’re not waking up anytime soon. 

What can I possibly say I ask myself? 

 

What I’ve always said.

 

L.I.T.A. 

 

Love is the answer.

 

Love is the only cosmic force there is that can get our collective ass out of the monolithic sling that is six thousand years of Father Knows Best.

 

Despite the everyday shootings, despite the despicable men in leadership around the world, with their stone cold hearts, allowing, encouraging and perpetrating atrocities on humanity daily, there is a growing recognition in people worldwide that love is the only force that can save humanity from itself.

 

What love has over patriarchal power is that love endures beyond the moment of death and accompanies us through our journeys in the afterlife, hooking us up with people we love and who love us that have already crossed death.

 

As long as love accompanies me, fear can be overcome.  

 

Can hate be overcome?  I don’t know. I don’t know if the toxic level of male driven, father god condoned misbehavior on the part of so many can be righted.  Will the patriarchs give up their power willingly?  

 

I once had some wonderful dreams I titled Galactic Journey #1 and # 2.

 

In them I concede to uniformed guards questioning me that I am visiting here, actually, and will be glad to return from whence I’ve come.  

 

I see the dream worlds as gateways and windows to “from whence I come” and to "where I shall return.”  For that reason, I’m deeply committed to teaching about dreaming as organic spirituality.  Organic because it’s innate in each of us.  We all dream, despite the dismissal of the importance of dreaming in the prevalent paradigm of western culture.

 

I’m fond of saying that patriarchal religion is to spirituality what patriarchal pornography is to sexuality.  Spirituality and sexuality are the two libido drives Jung identified as the psychic motivational forces that propel human actions.  Patriarchal religions discourage or forbid, depending on how stringent the particular culture, individual spirituality based on one’s own lived experience or independent sexuality based on how good it feels when not demonized psychologically.

 

We can come to real truths by paying attention to our dreaming at the same time that we are paying attention, “being mindful” in our waking lives. The best thing about dreams is that you can answer many questions of importance to your waking and spiritual life for yourself.  You find friends, teachers and guides in dreams.  You are assured by the ones who love you and have died before you, that you are never, ever alone or separated when love is the bond.

 

Since hate, anger and fear are also potent energies, I think they might live on, too, but not for those who love.  Like attracts like; the rules of the non-physical aren’t rules, they’re energy.  If our energy is malevolent, we will continue in malevolence. Malevolence is not a happy place to spend eternity, especially if you get a taste of your own medicine, which is likely.

 

How do I know?  I’ve been respecting my dreams for some 50 years.  I’ve been learning what other dream explorers teach for all that time.  Dreaming is an art form like any other, it takes effort and practice, but it pays off big and quickly becomes a delight.

 

So, in the face of everything that must be done, in the face of all the ugliness in the physical environment we share, there is a reason we each are in it at present, that we are each alive.  It’s not one reason and one reason alone; it’s up to each person to open their hearts and discover it.

 

I ask myself, what have I learned in my life that I will take with me past death, and what can I do, now, while I’m still here?  When I’m dead, I know from dreaming that I can create my exit. I know from dreaming that the laws of the non-physical are all about intent, awareness and will.  Above all, they are all about love. And I know from dreaming the experience of true bliss, the wisdom of the soul, the pure light of love, that there's not much to fear of death.

 

I want to do what I can to activate love in myself and in anyone else who graces my path in life.  I want you to do what you can in the same way.  Talk about an epidemic.  What has hate become?  Why are so many people dying violently at the hands of angry guys with guns blazing?  Why is there so much self-righteous anger? Because the collective dream we’re living is deeply unbalanced; it threatens all that is good and natural.

 

The way I see it, I somehow volunteered to staff, for however long, the Love squad on this planet now, when it seems quite on the edge of implosion. I came because the answers are simple, even if the odds against enough people opening to this simplicity seem insurmountable. I came because I will, at some point be going back, when I die, and then I can apply what I’ve learned here working with the Love squads on other dimensions.

 

It’s a work in progress, as it is for you.  Maybe the 100thmonkey is a real thing; if enough of us speak out for a liberty that transcends those tired old paradigms, maybe we can make it the new normal.  Homo sapiens have been around, conservatively for over 200,000 thousand years; what’s a mere 6,000? We can do this; we can dream a new dream; one we want to see come true.

 

And if our efforts seem futile in this life, there’s more life to come after death.   We’ll be able to use the heart we’ve gained from our physical experiences to live the life we love where physical roadblocks to living our best selves do not exist.  


Meanwhile, dreaming the ordinary little dream and the prophetic, lucid or OBE get us beyond our ego driven physical obsessions, to seeing the bigger picture, the spiritual beings we are and always will be.

 

May we all do whatever we can to strengthen our hearts and follow through with our spiritual goals so that we leave this physical dimension better by whatever scale we can, little or big.  Making a difference, or even just making the effort, in the service of Love brings us to a much better place after death.  


May we all follow Love and may Love follow each of us.

 


Friday, October 30, 2020

The Rainbow Bridge Between Now and Forever



This is the perfect time of year to speak of death and of the departed.
  Yet we dare not speak of death and of the departed, at least not directly, honestly and unafraid.

 

Growing up, I can count on the fingers of one hand the very few times I was physically disciplined by either of my parents. Once, when I was a very little girl, perhaps five, a neighborhood child fell off his bike and broke his arm.  When the doctor left his house, my mom and I went to check up on him and his folks.  Walking back home I was thinking of how I’d seen the boy lying sedated in his bed.  I turned to my mom and said quietly, I thought he was dead.  SLAP! across the mouth; I was too stunned to cry.  My mom had never hit me, but with the slap came the clear message, we do not speak of death.

 

What is your personal myth about death?

 

We’ll go to heaven?  Whose heaven?  There are three patriarchal, militant religions in our reality right now that will fight to the death for the right to claim their heaven is the only heaven, their Father God is the only God.  Which are you cheering for?  

 

I don’t think we need religion.  In fact, I think, especially for women, these religions are a detriment.  It is mind bending to think that a Justice of the US Supreme court would, in private, by the code of her “faith” have to ask her husband permission for anything.   Justice Amy Coney Barrett is not just a Catholic, she belongs to a fringe group of the Catholic church, “People of Praise” that requires this of women based on St. Paul’s chestnut, man is head of woman as Christ is head of the church. Go figure; I doubt, based on his teachings, that the real Jesus would have much to do with many so-called Christian churches.  The Roman Catholics still won’t let women be priests, their official representatives of the “Lord” to the people. Incredibly, it’s because women don’t have a penis and Jesus did, though they swear he didn’t use it for anything except peeing.  In contrast, in the Gospels, Jesus was constantly breaking patriarchal laws in favor of women’s equality. He is my favorite Feminist.

 

The Orthodox branch of Judaism has a long history of controlling women; these soul numbing mores are poignantly depicted in movies like “A Price Above Rubies” or the current Netflix special, Unorthodox. Some Hasidic women shave their heads, part of a code of modesty that requires them to cover up, so as not to tempt the men.  Although this story has gotten old in some religions, the chastity of women paradigm is very much alive and well in all three patriarchal superpower religions.  In radical Islam, men who martyr themselves in their battle against the infidels will have access to 72 willing nubile virgins in the afterlife.  Apparently, in their macho heaven, virgins are currency, as above, so below. 

 

Yes, these are extreme examples of the intractability of patriarchal religious rule, but THEY EXIST!  They exist NOW! And they are one of the forces that is destroying humanity. Tell me, what is climate change denial based on?  Why are so many wanna be Christian soldiers so itchy for a righteous civil war in our beloved America?  Can’t wait for Armageddon and the rapture; certain of their just reward? Abortion is murder but god doesn’t mind you trying out those excellent lethal weapons on non-believers.

 

Patriarchal religions deal out death and destruction, when they’re strong, they're aligned with the state.  People adhere to them because they don’t have an alternative that will fulfill their spiritual needs. Any form of internal reflection, meditating, self-reflection and especially dreaming, can connect anyone to their spiritual core, their inner reality. It’s important because that inner reality is the one we experience at death and after. As Jesus put it, the kingdom of god is within.

 

At this time of year, many ancient indigenous peoples celebrated the turning of the Wheel of LIFE to the cycle of DEATH, because death is equally part of our experience.  We come into the physical through birth and we exit the physical through death, still the same SPIRITUAL BEING ready to move on.

 

I’ve written this message in different ways often in my posts, but now is the time to say it again.  Religion is not your friend.  The more you give your autonomous will over to someone else’s restrictions, without first consulting your own experiences and your own intuition, the more you lose your organic connection to your own spirituality.

 

Religion is a vast patriarchal mind fuck that has had us in it’s grip for millennia; but before religion was spirituality, innate, organic and a birth right.  Religion is the driving rational of war and cruelty.  Look where we are now! I marvel that people don’t more readily see behind the OZ to the manipulators of this Father God image religions have created.  Of course, without some deep personal connection to the spiritual realms, it is hard to free ourselves from this psychic tyranny. But that connection is innate in each of us, a snooze, a dream away.

 

Each of us knows that LOVE is the supreme force in the universe.  Religions talk God is Love, but rarely do they walk that talk.  I’m saying Love is God. Love is the physics that drives all creation.The simplest way to connect to spirit is to think, feel and act from Love. It helps to focus on your heart, to open your heart to your mental, emotional and spiritual truths. There are revolutionary discoveries happening about our experience of death and the afterlife in the field of Medicine, in the study of Physics and in the exploration of Dreaming.  Why not tune in; explore for yourself?  You can start tonight when you go to sleep.

 

Have you never had a dream about a loved one who died? It’s the number one subject of the many dreams I hear from students, friends and family.  What you believe about these dreams can make a huge difference in your attitude towards death and the dead.  To simply dismiss them as weird or spooky but unreal can shut a door that opens to your own soul.  

 

Our culture has taught us to fear and caricature death and to cling to external codes fashioned to sell us safeguards against our fears that at best are useless and at worst, inflame our fears and fuel our misconceptions.  Why is Halloween always about ghouls and blood and fear?  That’s not how it was for our pre-patriarchal Pagan ancestors, who without TV or internet to distract them, may have lived more connected to their inner realities.  Honoring the dead was an act of loving remembering.

 

Our ancestors valued dreaming far more than we do.  Dreaming is our built in rainbow bridge to the dimensions we may travel after death, to the places our beloved departed travel now.   Our dear departed visit us and we go visit them.  They show us how they’re doing, ask us for what they may need and give us comfort and advice.  Our relationship to those we love who cross over does not die; it transforms into a long distance, dream-facilitated bond that continues to grow and change. Of course it’s heart wrenching to be physically without the person who has crossed and it’s not the same, but it is something. 

 

Dreaming with our departed allows us to stay connected to those we still love; I know from my own experience, that the communication is valuable to me on many different levels.  The beauty of it is that you can test this knowledge out for yourself. There’s nothing to believe.  There are wonderful teachers available that with their books or classes can help you understand your dreams, but only you live in your dreaming mind.  The rainbow bridge is a connection only you can make for yourself.


 


 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Autumn Equinox: A Time to Honor our Daughters for their Courage

 

As the ancient Greeks first told it, Persephone volunteered to go shepherd the dead in the underworld out of her deep compassion for the suffering of those lost souls.  A young woman with a passion and a mission is an unstoppable force. 

 

So Demeter, mother of all living beings and of Persephone, herself, relented and said yes, she may go, but only 6 months at a time because she would miss her beloved daughter too much to let her go full time. Persephone promised to take a break from Queen of Death duties for half the year and return, along with Spring and Summer, because Mamma Earth is so happy to have her back that she blooms and flowers and perpetuates all sorts of joy in life.  

 

On the Autumn Equinox though, Persephone, also known as Kore, goes back down and Mamma Demeter loses her vibrant energy and goes inward, to her dreams, where she can keep in touch with Persephone in that other realm.

 

You may have heard that Persephone was raped and abducted by Hades, the Unseen, the underworld god of Death, also called Pluto, giver of wealth, who forced her to be his sex slave and queen and would have kept her there unhappily forever.  In this later myth, Zeus, his older brother and king, is alarmed by the power of Demeter’s wrath over Hades' violation of her daughter. Knowing Mother Earth could destroy all living things with just her basic elements, Wind, Fire, Water and Earth, he bargains with his hairy underworld twin to release Persephone.  Hades relented to his brother’s nagging, but tricks Persephone with pomegranate seeds so she has to come back, year after year, for half the year, in the season of death and decay. This  version is the patriarchal retelling of the original Greek myth of the seasons; can you spot the patriarchal alterations?

 

September is a bittersweet turning inward time of year in the northern hemisphere; starting with the Fall Equinox the light of day dims, moon through moon, to All Hallow’s Eve until the Winter Solstice.  I like to think of it as the Season of the Witch.

 

The Witch is an archetypal symbol of woman’s power. Patriarchy has created a charicariture of this ancient archetype, regularly trotted out at Halloween and in fairy tales. She’s ugly, old, scary and evil.  

 

Yet witch burning was a real thing in patriarchal European history for centuries! Somehow, that is one patriarchal genocide that we never learned about in school books.  In the history of patriarchal regimes, religious or secular, perhaps millions of women and a smaller percentage of men, were tortured and brutally, cruelly murdered for having their own beliefs. The crime was called heresy; failure to believe what must be believed by law.  So, if as a woman, you were raised with wise understanding of herbal healing, passed down through your family, and now some priests, cum doctors, are telling you what you may or may not believe, what you may or may not practice, you might be inclined to tell them to go fornicate themselves. Sanctioned by church and state law, church henchmen retaliated with such cruel devices for torture and murder that it must make Jesus weep, still.

 

If you took a survey today, in most places around the world, among most populations, few people have any awareness that there was so much death, pain and destruction, wreaked by the church and state, in order to vanquish women’s place and authority in culture.  The European witch burnings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance never invoke the horror that the German Holocaust or American Slavery rightly invoke; yet, the male created and male executed persecution of women in all walks of life, based on spurious religious justifications and totalitarian rule, is just as historical, just as monumentally widespread and just as deeply tragic.  Why don’t we know about it?  

 

Let’s remember that the young Persephone of the compassionate heart acted of her own accord when she chose to lighten the struggle of the lost dead and help them find the light. It took courage, self-sacrifice and vision to do what she did, and in gratitude the dead called her their Queen.

 

It took courage for Demeter, her doting mother, to let her go.  Her gift to her daughter was to continue to love her, even as she let her go.  No guilt, obligation or pressure on her daughter to live out a script she herself might have chosen for her. Instead she grieves her own loss, but support’s her daughter’s mission.

 

The death of our beloved Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminds me that now is the time to support young women, older women, women of color, all women who want to make a difference and help us end this dry, dusty, deadly era of patriarchy.

 

We are spiritual beings having a physical experience on a tremendously challenging physical plane of existence.  As spiritual beings, we live beyond the expiration date of our physical expressions of consciousness.  Gender doesn’t matter.  Skin color doesn’t matter, neither does ethnicity.  Spirit isn’t physical and doesn’t just express itself that way, so why limit ourselves so drastically while we’re in these earth suits?

 

In my dream of Persephone’s descent, she is the warrior princess who refuses to allow injustice to exist on her watch.  Persephone is the patron saint of real women; she doesn’t give a fig or a pomegranate about anything others think.  She does what she feels in her heart is right.  When she returns from her mission, she reunites with Demeter, her loving and supportive mother.  They share the secrets of above and below, life and death.  They’re a team.

 

I see so many strong, wise and brave young women coming into their own in the social justice movement happening now.  I see so many mature women taking the challenge to offer better service and better leadership to the American people, from VP to federal and state legislatures. I see so many older women claiming their power, owning the role of Crone and continuing the good fight for women’s rights.  Despite all we’ve been through or will go through, women are stronger now than ever. 

 

Think of how much Persephone can teach us.

 

Shout out to all the incredible young women, moms, sisters and crones who are standing up to power, 

 

Monday, August 10, 2020

In Gratitude to the Storm

The Calm After the Storm, August 4, 2020    AC
When a force of nature happens to us, there's no question who is boss, who is calling the shots.  Try as we might, the force of nature is mightier than man.  That's the bad news; the good news is the same, but seen from a different perspective.  To know that nature is boss is ancient wisdom; to think we are superior beings to all other aspects of life on earth is a hallmark of patriarchal madness.

Respect for nature is respect for something grander than ourselves; if we forget that, nature has ways of correcting our mistakes.  There's no arguing with the storm.  Isaias swept through the northeast this week hitting many states unaccustomed to tropical storm fury.  This storm was a wind event for many communities in CT and Wow; they call the wind Mariah!  The force and the howling were top notch thrilling, but the number of trees toppled, the power lines they snapped and the subsequent widespread power outage experienced by people throughout the state makes me take special notice of how delicate our way of life is.  


Our infrastructure is fragile; there are things that could strengthen our infrastructure and cultural practices, if we had the collective, global will, to make them happen.  Ask the great climate activist, Greta Thunberg; we could turn things around to sustainable co-existence with our planet and fellow beings if there were those in leadership who would make those changes happen and if all of us acted individually to change our life styles.  Since patriarchy has taught us that the earth is for the taking, subdue and conquer it; we're in this very real pickle with nature.

How do we grow a global will to cease and desist the abuse of natural resources? I can start by cleaning up my personal beliefs and extending the change in my perspective to the collective beliefs I hold.  How is this nightmare, this contemporary madness which is held up by the projected beliefs of so many people, brought to a good conclusion, not dystopia?   Jung predicted that the survival of human kind was in the healing of the human psyche, personally and collectively.  We must banish the ancient demons created by patriarchs to cower the soul's independence and claim our own connections to a divinity far greater and kinder than ourselves.

We can learn from our ancient ancestors to see ourselves as part of nature.  The more we respect our physical existence and our spiritual existence, the two halves that make us whole, the more we can respect nature and turn our horrible habits that are unsustainable, to good habits that enhance individual wellbeing and collective wellbeing - humans, animals, Earth.  

But that's not patriarchal mentality, which is a tycoon mentality, a cigar chomping, mucho, macho mentality.  Look at world leaders; who stands out to you as self-important and cruel?  Before we can get back to a relationship with our surroundings that isn't greedy and self-serving, and worst of all, lacking in human compassion, we need to rid ourselves personally of the notions that blind us to our part in it all.  As a joke I remember from my childhood says: "Remember, in an avalanche, no one snowflake feels responsible".

But everyone is responsible to the degree that they are able, to connect with the spiritual truths we're here to learn: We are all One and Love Is The Answer.  Patriarchal religions and patriarchal regimes are not very loving,  Patriarchies promote the brutality of might makes right, so systems of physical and psychological control exist under the auspices of legitimate  "government" and "religious" institutions through which we are all governed and educated and brainwashed. 

The good news is that, as spiritual beings connected to our true spiritual guidance through dreaming, we are our own spiritual authorities.  I say that thinking of Jesus telling the pharisees off, the religious leaders of his day.  By whose authority the patriarchs ask him, do you say these things about God?  Jesus answers, by my own.  To be connected to our spiritual existence that is co-existing with us in the physical is to have no need of organized religion of any stripe.

Especially any religion governed solely by old patriarchs, mostly old white patriarchs, like the Vatican, the Catholic Church, for example.  In the 21st century, in America, women are still denied ordination to Roman Catholic priesthood; and it's not like we haven't been asking for ordination for centuries.  Even today, with all our technology and science, our collective psyche around the world allows for this prohibition to exist and persist.  A vast percentage of "Christendom" around the globe is Roman Catholic. People continue to support this avenue of patriarchal rule, to allow that teaching to fill the pathways to our soul with obstacles.  Religion is guilt with different holidays, is another joke I enjoy sharing.  

The beliefs promulgated by "churches" have long continued to inculcate self-hating beliefs in our psyches. For instance, the doctrine of original sin: Fancy believing that the Divine makes arbitrary lines in the sand that require brutality and banishment to enforce and are more important than love and forgiveness!  Imagine believing that of the two genders, the one that actually gives birth to us, is seen as lesser, inferior and to blame for all our moral problems! She who must be controlled.  Patriarchies promote this misogynist mythology; we get taught it so young that many adhere to it blindly. Who is Eve or Pandora to you?

What does religion give us?  A certainty of safety after death? A reason to love ourselves, others and the Divine?  Dreaming gives us that without demanding that we march to another's rules.  Some of the rules Catholicism teaches are down right awful, as are those in the other two big patriarchal religions, Islam and Judaism.  I remember when it was a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays?  Not a mortal sin to eat meat, that might have done us all more good, but a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays.  One would go to Hell if one did that and didn't confess to a priest and do the proper penance.  Then, the Vatican decided that the mortal sin of eating meat on Friday was to be treated as a venial sin now.  My question was, what happens to everybody already in Hell for eating meat on Friday?  Do they make an announcement in Hell; "Ok, everybody here for eating meat on Friday line up on the left, you're getting out."

Ridiculous.  Look to the way religion treats women, look to how we see God as the Father or Son only; no women allowed in the divine boys club.  No Mother Goddess; how is that possible?  Patriarchal religions justify all kinds of control over women and peoples not wielding the patriarchal power at the moment.  Slavery, a tool of patriarchy, is experienced both by women and men of races subjugated by the ruling patriarchs.  Witness the contemporary global "sex trade" or women's lack of rights in regimes like Saudi Arabia, where, even today, women are imprisoned and tortured for demanding autonomy.  

White patriarchal supremacist racial hatred fuels intolerance, injustice and violence in countries like the USA where Americans are being called to choose how to treat each other and to decide what kind of a society we are to be.  In the 21st century, we must demand justice for citizens regardless of their pigmentation or cultural background. Racism is a disease of the soul, as well as a disease of the society, a weapon promulgated for thousands of years of patriarchy. The brutality that past white patriarchal societies inflicted on black and brown peoples is beyond belief, but more unbelievable is it's persistence in power today.   We have a  government that wants to roll back the rights that Blacks, Latinos, and Women have earned these past decades with our blood, sweat and tears. First degree patriarchs are installed in our highest offices trying to suppress the growth of the last fifty years in gender and race relations.  

Americans have a small window of opportunity, this upcoming presedential election, to restore this train wreck of a collective reality to a track where we can build the good and dissolve the evil. Personally, culturally and collectively, we are responsible for the reality our existence is on this planet.   We need a very different way of doing things; we need saner beliefs about ourselves, each other and the "afterlife."  I put afterlife in quotes because it's more accurate, if you're connected to the spiritual aspect of your life through dreaming, meditation or other positive avenues, to say that you experience it now, parallel to your own life. It's the AlsoLife, the Right Beside Me Life. if I choose to develop my inner life, the one I find in dreaming, meditation and mindfulness, and see it as important to me as anything in my waking life.  The inner life is the one I'm going to inhabit when I die.  Here is important, but not to the exclusion of there. It's not either or; it's Both And.

I'm very grateful that the hardships I endured during Isaiah were both relatively brief and easily remedied this time.  I'm also grateful for the lessons the storm brought about what's really important.  Sometimes the lessons aren't available due to the devastation of a storm or other natural event; sometimes they are fatal.  Not this time, but how can we learn to be more responsible citizens of this planet?  

Gratitude to the spirit behind nature for what she gives and using her gifts responsibly would go a long way to changing some of the things we so desperately need to change.  Also, electing leaders we can be grateful for instead of subject to; ones who lead not by coercion and deceit but with heart and soul.  Leaders of both genders and all cultures and backgrounds that represent we the diverse people, and who govern in collective and responsible ways.  

We are born spiritual as well as physical beings; we are all body and soul.  Each of us can go within through our dreaming, with gratitude to the organic spirituality we're born with, to find the connections we always have to the divine.  May your dreams comfort you and help you grow.  May we learn to be co-habitants with all life on earth.  May we save our own day, individually and collectively.  May we find joy in living every dimension of our existence on earth.  May patriarchy fall from the weight of it's own falsehood.  May love rule in collaboration and never by force.  May we dream a better reality for ourselves and our future generations.  May we have hope and practice kindness.  May we dream strong.