Friday, May 30, 2014

"Good grief" working with the energy of a Trickster Moon Cycle; Maui Hawaiian 'Superman'

I am writing about the process of grief, and the loss of my brother, to make my way through the many feelings and confusion. Astrology gives me a rope to hold to as I flail against the bowl as grief, sadness, anger, guilt, alternately boil up. But sometimes all emotions simmer me like soup slow and long. This post on the Gemini, Trickster Moon, helped to see how the collective energy in general is tricky add to that my personal grief work and there it is "Oh, Good Grief!" Schultz's Charlie Brown says it all with his expression of resignation ... yes, resignation not acceptance. For that character was never what I'd call P.C. Charlie Brown is every man and every woman whose known life includes a lot of the G word.

Dietrich Varez's woodcut 'Maui Snares the Sun'

My good friend, and medicine woman had lunch the other day. It was the first time I had gotten out and needed the comfort and company of a compassionate mirror. We talked of many things, and approached the subject of grief from several angles, but in particular it is the mystical perspective that we can share that does me such good. Mystical and indigenous perspectives look at the Trickster as the one who will point out the attachments we have: to ideas, beliefs, ways of shoulds. At one point my friend related a story that exemplified Tricksters unpredictable antics. Much chaos could come from the Trickster. In talking about the role of Coyote-Trickster-and my brother who is among the clan, I thought of Maui in my own Hawaiian mythology. The Hawaiian Superman who snared the sun so his mother, Hina (the moon) could dry her kapa (bark cloth). I considered the untapped energy that Tricksters can have when they shed their skins during the movement from physical to spirit form. We talked about how often I feel my brother's presence in pointing me in unlikely positions. I remember how he turned me upside down one day when I had chicken bones stuck in my throat. He took action. He probably saved me life.

The grief work I experience now is messy, often, more messy than is elegant. But I am not trying to describe grief as elegant. Instead, I find some grounding in experiencing the grace and grateful responsiveness to grief. I take a lesson from this quote from St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, "Let us learn to skillfully draw good out of what would otherwise cause us harm." I am slogging through the experience of Good Grief, by writing grateful posts at The Safety Pin Cafe. It seems a perfect way to more firmly establish just what that cafe is all about. You might like to see what I mean by going there. In the right hands, in the right place, a safety pin is common magic at its best.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Today's New Moon in Gemini, May 28th, 2014: start, stop, start, stop

 …this New Moon is square Neptune (almost exact)- bringing a confusing, illusory, deceptive energy into the mix. We want to start new things and we think we know what we want- but along comes Neptune to throw up some Neptune fog that is hard to see through.
From the insightful Divine Harmony via

I spent yesterday in Silent Retreat. Awakened from sleep with heavy waves of grief and confusion, the last thing I wanted to do was talk. My emotions have been coming out side-ways with guilt throwing itself into my area left and right. With Saturn transiting my 10th House of Public Persona, maybe its a matter of self-protection ... I needed to close down to get even a semblance of clarity. There are few people in my area, but to save myself the energy I safety pinned my intention for the day onto my deep sea blue sweater and took time to go even deeper. The quote that begins this post is a small excerpt from a very nicely assembled astrological sampling of the New Moon in Gemini happening (in the US) at midday today. Having just read, and reread Mystic Mamma's gleanings it helped me to swim and rest through the watery experience of grieving the death of my brother, and admit to the collateral effect of grief (and astrology) as other deep, hidden and karmic lessons demand attention. With a powerfully occupied 8th House (Karma, Family Inheritance/Death and Shared Resources), Saturn and Mars are in opposition to the transiting Saturn in the 10th House. With the death of my brother all my 'First People' ... my family of origin are now on the other side. If there was ever a doubt, and there has never been, that my brother was a Trickster, his energy is palpable now. He is every where, and he is now without boundaries as far as meddling goes. He stirs things up, and as has been our history, I have all too frequently 'taken the bait' as if it were the turkey dinner with all the trimmings I am so desperately craving. Crazy-making, ha? Not so crazy if you know what ties a family of origin can have.

New Moon is a time to create new dreams, set new plans and evolve just a little (or a lot). The perspective of considering, and attending to the ground of things helps me to swim gently with the sandy bottom within reach of my tiny toes. I am being given things to reexamine in my life, and the area of health and relationships are prime among them. Being unable to travel in a plane because I am sensitive to multiple conditions/environments is limiting. To move beyond feeling guilty for being me, I am having to dive deeper to get at some other approach. Ivy Baker Priest,  said, "The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." Okay, so I'm going in ever bigger circles. You might get a real kick by clicking on the link to once-treasurer of The US Ivy Baker Priest for comic relief. My circular journey, is probably more like the spiral of circles that grows larger, or contracts depending upon the direction of travel. There are issues that are coming up from my past: past decisions, choices about my relationships and dependencies (that's big 8th House territory). I'm the last one of the family of origin still in the body this time around. My angel, Angeles Arrien (who has also recently joined my family on the other side) teaches this about what all traditional people believe about their ancestors. Angeles says the Ancestors all stand behind us saying, "Oh, maybe this one will bring the Best, the Beautiful, the True. Breaking the harmful patterns of our legacy. Oh, maybe this one ..."With this new lunar cycle beginning, this new time of Mahina moving around the Earth, I pray for the courage to truly believe I am the one to bring the best, beautiful and true patterns and legacy. My brother, the Trickster, has made the leap into the mystery. He often referred to himself as a chameleon, changeable with the environment. Maybe this time, he will help me to live peaceably with the environment while staying truly who I am without having to disappear or abandon myself. Maybe this time.

This is a Trickster New Moon. Be it known!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Making marks

Early this morning, rain came. Instead of heavy boots I slipped into the soft, light slippers meant as bedroom slippers. They soak up the damp forest floor and the gravel sticks to their under-sides. The pitch an efficient glue. Pausing to go from here to there I laugh at the marks I've made.
On the hooks outside the vardo evidence of common magic-- the safety pin-- holds a pocket, not yet stitched back in place. The magic works, like a transition between I don't notice it while it holds my keys in place or makes for a cozy nest when my hand needs warming.
Time passes. Things change. Some things stay the same. From the rusty but secure metal box the old sepia-tones of times long past draw memories to the fore: the Valley, the blue and white Nash Rambler station wagon, Dad with his chamois cloth, Ma, the Safety Pin Queen, telling my photographer brother to "wait" ... but of course, my brother never waited for anything. Me before I knew I couldn't really see things clearly; before glasses made life appear differently.

As Mars begins to pick up speed, my son and I are working on a mo'olelo pokole a short story, and a eulogy to celebrate my brother David's life. The ceremony and service will be back on O'ahu. My son is in Paris, and I am in the woods of Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. We will make our marks present thanks to the bridgework of the Internet, a network my parents could not have imagined. Slowly, I step through the process of grieving, sorting and experiencing the feelings of sadness and sorrow hopeful to find places to squeeze joy and transformation for the telling.

Leaving marks >>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>Safety Pins in the right hands, 
>>>>in the right place>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>Seeing life differently>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mars (Action) turned direct in Libra (Partnership): May 19, 2014

"Mars stations to turn direct on May 19 and continues to travel through Libra till July 25.  Between now and the end of July, you’re putting in place all the plans you’ve been working on and struggling with.  It’s important to be clear and define how you want to partner. How do you want to partner with everything!  Your food, your cat, your coworker, your child, your job, your house.  You get the idea. Your life is full of relationships and partnerships.  Since December,  Mars in Libra has been making you look at every relationship you have.  Now that he’s going direct, you’ll be asked to implement the various plans you’ve been forming, doodling, dreaming or stirring around in for the last 6 months.  His station can mean it feels like nothing is moving for the first five days of the week.  Underneath, though, there are earthquakes.  Big things afoot beneath the surface as he shifts his direction." - Anne Ortelle, Astrologer

Sorting through the deep explorations this is what comes ...

Mars and Pluto (the close-to-Earth planet and the far-from-Earth planet that scientists have 'demoted' to a not-real planet) rule the sign of Scorpio, a sign that is famous or infamous depending on your thinking. Famous for the depths, secrets, and power experienced in a day, a night or lifetime Scorpio is the sign of intensity. Infamous in part because of the animal association, the scorpion looks much like a dragon with powerful claws and a stinging tail. Many fear the Scorpion, and yet if you're in battle the Scorpio as your backed-up is to know loyalty uncommon and unmatched. Pluto, is the planet that embodies death and rebirth: what is not working/serving growth in the collective energy of Earth, as well as the energy of personal evolution will go through the process of dying. Whether in your natal chart (you were born with this signature) or during transits (when the planet moves in the sky in 'real-time') Pluto, or in my Hawaiian mythology, Pele, will bring up deep and powerful magma in the process of making new land/new self.  Mars is the embodiment of action: he wants to go, go, go after whatever he wants. With Mars, the planet of action in the part of the sky where Libra resides, individual actions have been caught in the scales of balance ... not Mars' favorite position! Consideration for other (people, situations, processes) has been the order of the day for several months. Earlier this week, Monday, May 19, 2014, Mars from our vantage point on Earth looks and feels different. The movement begins to turn direct, rather than retrograde.

Everyone and every process or system, project and growing cycle has been slowed up. For people, like me, with heavy Scorpio influence, the slow up has been magnified. Depending upon where Mars transits (which house in your chart?) the business of weighing and considering how you relate to people, situations, challenges will have a flavor associated with the house. In my case, Mars in Libra means Mars is transiting my 9th House of Higher Education. In all levels of the phrase "Higher Education" has been my additional training ground for many months. On a technical level, my learning about communication on the internet, the use of blogs, and the formats that allow my work/writing to reach people is a challenge. I have learned how to include other people in my audience as I write and share mythic-medicine stories: I get feedback and integrate what others have to say with gratefulness. The new style of writing bridges non-fiction with that of mythology, personal myth and the ancient myth that feeds me outside of logic. Sharing this way makes me vulnerable, different, unsure. That uncertainty is probably just what Mars in Libra demands of us. Are the actions I resume when Mars goes direct the ones born from Higher Education (that which is more than materialistic)? The other part of that question is: Will others understand the story/message when it gets out there?

While Mars moves through Libra through July, giving us ample opportunity to come up with a clearer sense of an action plan (Mars acts with Libra's deliberating nature) Saturn continues to demand Earth School of Hard-knocks discipline. Are you the one you have come to Earth to be? Are you using the gift of Life everyday? Angeles Arrien, the teacher I have come to call "My Angel" is one of the Saturn figures and guides for me as I deliberate my plan of action as a makua o'o ... an elder in training poised on the crossroads of applying what I've learned so far. How will I act with the lessons I am learning about being a public figure? I ask myself this question as Saturn transits Scorpio in my 10th House, the 'career' or public face position. While I grieve the loss of my brother, and come to terms with my physical limitations to travel on a plane and be in environments my immune system cannot manage, I continue to study: I am reading Angeles Arrien's The Four-Fold Way and ask myself the hard questions necessary to be the person I came to be. To be the one who brings the good, true, and beautiful that is my ancestral legacy, I look at the shadow of myself, the dark and light and pray to be open to outcome, not attached to outcome. Within the community in which I live I have reached out for help from the bone-mover, a local chiropractor. After more than four years, I am able to ask for this help, step into an office for his service, and he moves the ribs in my back into place. "Ah, thank you," he says as I relax and give over the resistance and tension that has displaced my balance. Together we move the bones, together the ancestors who sit in my left-side find their rightful place within me. I soften the ground of my being and my heart opens to the goodness.

The passing of my brother challenges me to feel the grief of loss from a distance. The test of distance is both yin and yang. Though far, I am never-by. As Mars prepares to move into his normal fast-pace I pray for the wisdom to act responsibly, truthfully, with a full-heart of gratitude for the life I have, where I am. Saturn in Scorpio is about deep and hard lessons. Mars acts. Libra deliberates. There's more in the heavens and on Earth to boot. But for now, that is plenty. I am grateful.

"What we mistook for a limit proves to be a horizon."

- Br. David Steindal-Rast, OSB

Friday, May 16, 2014

Time of mourning

My family and I mourn the loss of my brother, David, who passed on the night of the Full Moon in Scorpio, May 14, 2014. We grieve, and will prepare to celebrate my brother's life.

In English, Dennis Pavao (who sings this beautiful song) says, "There are three important things in life. Hope, Faith and Love. Of the three the most important thing is Love." And so it is for us.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

a note from MAX

I sent this e-card to myself today, Mother's Day, to encourage me in a wholesome discipline. A challenge presents itself to me: travel in a plane. It has been many years since I have done this. I quake in my resolve but want to be back on O'ahu for my brother who is in critical health. The details involved in me traveling are many; the reasons for being with my brother singular.

Elsa my astrologer described this week in the universe as "STUBBORN AND UNCOMPROMISING" and one which includes a Full Moon in Scorpio, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. She ends that description with "failure is not an option."  Reflecting on the astrology and the challenge I face with travel I put this here to encourage the mothering-nurturing nature within (me as a mother). The quote that goes with that beautiful graphic of a Chambered Nautilus is from MAX Ehrmann. There are things I can do, and I will do those. There are feelings I don't like ... maybe Grace, God or Max will bring me other feelings, and I can let go. This post may not make much sense, as it reflects my swirl of emotions and angst. But there/here it is. 

Can anyone relate?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nature's pace: slow to medium

"There are two things we cannot do in the fast lane: We cannot integrate our experiences. We cannot deepen our character" - Angeles Arrien

I first heard the pace of nature described as 'slow to medium' many years ago when I wrote a regular column Makua o'o. Donnella Meadows was still alive, and on the pages of that small, independently-owned press we wrote together. "Dr. Donella H. Meadows, a Pew Scholar in Conservation and Environment and a MacArthur Fellow, was one of the most influential environmental thinkers of the twentieth century." Meadows' Global Citizen Columns were printed weekly, my columns were printed twice a month in The Hawaii Island Journal. In retrospect, as well as while I was privileged to write that column sharing my thoughts and life as a maturing adult, my experiences and my character were unfurling as naturally as the fern: slow to medium. My life and observations were undergoing an unfolding of mystery which was not about to be controlled by my impatience. Though I have never given up being impatient I get regular clues that tell me when impatience is not serving me. Perhaps, the question of service is really "What is true service? What does it look like?"

The look
This morning I write with my nose and mouth masked against something(s) that make it difficult for me to breath. The mask and the unidentified something(s) have become part of the unfolding mystery of my life. The exterior world of allergens or chemicals challenge me to breathe. The mask helps, so I wear it. The allergens and chemicals are sometimes clear to me, and I dodge them, clear them, pray, rest; usually in that order. When I am out of energy, or spoons, rest is alpha dog. No more dodging, I sleep. Even in my sleep, the thing about people like me is there is the dreamtime the dreamworld applies its answers to the interior world of an elder in training. Questions beget answers, old unfinished business shows up as more unfolds. Over time the answers come. Over time the same answers get a new translation. The metaphor of my life as an elder in training is turned on its head like the Hang Man in a deck of Tarot, and I see things differently.

One interpretation

With the pollen season fully in place where we live in the Pacific Northwest, the question of how long I can continue to dodge, clear, pray and rest as my practice challenge me. I get tired of this! Where do I do for answers when the loop tightened? Dreams. I wrote quite a ramble here about dreaming and more wants out. Let's see whether the mask helps or hinders the process of integrating experiences while also deepening character.

Now, this Tuesday by the calendar is also the second of the 'Ole Phase Moons according to my ancestral time keeper Kaulana Mahina. 'Ole moons are times to weed, reflect and pause between projects/planting/fishing. 'Ole moons at this stage of the moon's rotation around Earth, are the fattening Crescent moon phases leading to the full moon. So as an integration process, it's good to reflect on the journey.

Astrologically, Saturn (my chart ruler) is mid-way through the second year of his approximately two-and-a-half year occupancy in Scorpio. Deep(Scorpio) pressure(Saturn) is being applied to us humans and the systems that we have created. What is unable to sustain the pressure will crumble; what values what roles one has assumed as valuable will be/and are being tested. Where ever Saturn in Scorpio is in a person's natal chart will be feeling that deep pressure. For me Saturn transits my 10th (public reputation) and 11th (relationships/affiliations) throughout 2014. The primary characteristic of Saturn in astrology, as it applies to human evolution is the planet's affect over time. There's nothing quick about Saturn. Lessons learned spread themselves over time, and weave into situations like the coil of the serpent or the shape of the human DNA.

What I question is what role I play NOW as an elder young in my wisdom years, yet seasoned enough to have lessons integrated as well as lessons that are best recycled/burned up and prayed into the cycle of life and death. When I am challenged again with being unable to breath the interior and exterior landscape of being ultimately bring me in. I am deeply Scorpio.

We homo sapien sapien, I am listening to videos and reading two books simultaneously. The teachers/books are those of Angeles Arrien and Robert Moss. From each of these teachers (one who has passed in spirit) and the other who Dreams, I explore the deep interior world while I wear my mask, dodge pollens and clear myself of the obstacles to breath. My impatience surfaces when I cannot breath easily ... impatience and breathing really don't mix. So, I slow down and nature helps. My dreams have intensified, and the guidance from Moss' book Conscious Dreaming A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life suits my Capricorn Moon's need to be comforted in the darkness like an oyster's shell. While I cannot go out freely to be with people, in places, doing what so many others can I practice the pace of nature and appear to be slowed to a halt. But the opposite is true. While I am slowed, my adventures within are at least medium ... or through the medium of dreams I unfold deeply and self-correction seems to be in the making. Julia Cameron wrote this for today, May 6, in her book Artist's Way Every Day

"Artists love other artists. Shadow artists are gravitating to their rightful tribe but cannot yet claim their birthright. Very often audacity, not talent, makes one person an artist and another a shadow artist--hiding in the shadows, afraid to step out and expose the dream to the light, fearful that it will disintegrate to the touch. Shadow artist judge themselves harshly, beating themselves for years over the fact that they have not acted on their dreams. This cruelty only reinforces their status as shadow artists. Remember, it takes nurturing to make an artist. Shadow artists did not receive sufficient nurturing. They blame themselves for not acting fearlessly anyhow."

Dear Readers you cannot see me at the screen behind my white lace with the red rose mask, but I will tell you I have removed it long enough to finish my oatmeal and close in to conclude this morning ramble. Rest calls. Slow to medium is good. Enough now for this 'Ole Moon day. Out of the shadow into the light the art is made. Love an artist. Love your art. Love your life! You are the one.

The pace
Slow to medium ... a great mantra. (click here for another place for daily good words).

Thursday, May 1, 2014

"May your best dreams come true." - Robert Moss

We are all dreamers. In the recent time I remember more dreams than at, perhaps, any other time. Several events are conspiring to guide me into the spacious realm of imagining, it began with trauma and disassembling of physical reality but that was just the beginning. I will put myself into the flow of those events and let the words come from an open heart to express the goodness like mother's milk.