As I set my gaze on the Western horizon I watch as another beautiful day comes to an end. The sky darkens. Clouds change colors with the setting of the Sun and stars appear as speckles of glitter. I turn my head to the Eastern horizon in anticipation of Harvest Moon rise. The moment moves with a few eye blinks and the sky is now dark blue. I look directly above me and notice what looks like a cloud wisp streaking across the sky from north to south, but is none other than one of the arms of the Milky Way Galaxy. I notice a triangular star formation and all the constellations are then before my eyes. But still, no Moon rise. The night becomes quietly still with occasional sounds of crickets or the flight of an owl. I sit, breathe, and wait. My thoughts come and go, but my eyes are still set to the Eastern horizon. Several moments pass and a light appears. Something that is familiar, unlike a street lamp and more like a fire light. The moment of anticipation in seeing the first light of Moon rise on the last day of summer is similar to the Forth of July fireworks! This is time I take to be humble and quiet and to give thanks for all that I have received since Summer Solstice; And to send out my prayers of healing for everything, everybody, including myself.
There is something about the light of Harvest Moon, as it brilliantly glows orange and red. She calls attention to herself and mesmerizes all who catch a glimpse. There is magic in the air as I watch her climb high above the horizon. There are no thoughts. No where to go. No urge to be somewhere. Just simply with myself and the Moon. It’s always in the quiet moments when the answers come; when true insights are clear and strong. It is also these moments when I strongly realize my ancestors are with me.
Sitting by the Moon is as real as it gets. And then it dawns on me that I am happening to life. And this is real. And then another realization comes and I realize none of this is real… and then realization after realization. Things are certainly not what they seem. All of this unfolds sitting by the Moon; very subtle like a candle light, strong. Now I understand what Jack Kerouac meant when he wrote about the Moon… “In some cases the moon is you, in any case the Moon.”
When we are born the first element we are introduced to is water. In The womb we are protected by water. When it is time for us to leave the womb, the next element introduced is air. This is when we take our first breath. We then grow into our Earth form with the energy of fire to move us through life. All four elements, water, air, earth, and fire remain with us throughout life and leave one by one before we make our transition out of the Earth plane.
The four elements make up life as we know it. Mankind has fallen away from the natural world and has lost the connection to Spirit (creator), and has taken the position of creator itself, without the respect for the rest of creation. This play of false power without love has created an imbalance of the four elements, not only within Man, but all of life here on Earth. We did not create the web. We are merely threads in it, and whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. This is the collective consciousness. Since we can affect the collective with our thoughts and actions, there is also a reciprocal process with everything else.
Water is our emotions. Air is our thoughts. Earth is our physical body. Fire is our energy. What element(s) is out of balance within you?
Think about the region where you live. What element(s) is prominent? I live in Colorado. It’s usually a dry arid region, so fire is one of the prominent elements here. Fire is the only element that cannot be polluted. It purifies everything that it touches. Last year was the beginning of the purification process for this region. And as of a few days ago, it has risen to purify once again. This is what fire does. It cannot be anything else. And to ask or wish for another element to come by and interrupt the process would be a dishonor. All good things happen in all good time. It’s all about timing and if the Earth needs to cleanse herself we must come to understand her needs and honor that. Let Fire do what it does. And TRUST that the rains will come.
If there is a raging hurricane happening around you, sit with a cup of water and pray to it. Decree that what is in for the greatest good. And your greatest good, what yours is may be completely different. So, with all good intention, set your words for the greatest good of all. If there is a tornado happening around you, sit and listen to each in breath and out breath. Pray to your breath and thank it for giving you life. If there is an earthquake happening around you, stay calm, breathe and listen to your heartbeat. Connect your heartbeat with the heartbeat of the Earth and the Sun. It works. If there is a fire happening around you, sit with a candle and pray to fire. Thank it for purifying what needed to be cleansed. Everything is alive. We can have relationships and conversations with the four elements anytime we choose. They will teach us everything that we are lacking to understand.
Most of us know that things are rapidly changing on so many levels, but where we hold our attention will bring understanding more into clarity. We were taught that the Earth is here for our disposal. We generally do not pay attention to the elements until we need them. We are now in a different playing field here on Earth. We can no longer ignore life. Whatever element is out of balance in your region is exactly what kind of weather changes will be expected. We pray for well being, but at the same time we must be humble. Nature has let us live our lives out this far, as a return in kindness we must do the same for her. Let it be.
May your own life continue to expand into a loving compassionate mode of being for yourself and all of life, everywhere.
(Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/92605336059557371)
I was listening to the local classical music station this morning and the announcer came on as always to give a weather update. Temperatures will be dropping significantly tonight and another snow storm is on its way. He then gave a little bit of his thoughts and said, “winter will just not let go this year”. His thought inspired this entry.
It is a natural way to react when you are tired of winter and you just want spring to come on. Complaining does not make the winter blues go away, but somehow it seems to be a comfort at times. We have all done it and many still do continue to complain their lives away. Are we not all searching for that perfect day? That perfect moment when everything just seems to flow? When water flows it follows the path of least resistance. What we resist- persists. If the sun continued to shine day after day without the loving support of the rain, nothing would grow.
We are currently in a global water crisis. When we understand this, it becomes urgent to go forward from this moment and humbly give thanks for the water available to consume today. And, for the water that is coming in other forms, such as snow, hail, or rain. When we give as much as we receive, magic happens. We don’t know all the answers. Science will continue and try to figure out what is happening down here on Earth, but there is something deep inside every one of us that is stirring like a super storm. We intuitively know what is happening at the deepest level of our being. How can we not? Is not everything interconnected? Are we not merely microorganisms on this planet? We have fallen out of balance with the rest of nature and now something is stirring inside.
We must be like a log in the river and flow with the weather changes. Again, what we resist-persists. And so within our own lives, when we experience a shift in our weather we must flow with it or choose suffering. It’s always a choice. Even on a cloudy day the sun is shining!
I would like to conclude with this inspiring story of Buddha’s last words…
When Buddha was on his death bed he noticed his young disciple Ananda was weeping.
'Why are you weeping, Ananda?' he asked.
'Because the light of the world is about to be extinguished and we will be in darkness.'
The Buddha summoned up all his remaining energy and spoke what were to be his final words on earth:
'Ananda, be a light unto yourself.'
It was not too long after Buddha’s passing Ananda reached enlightenment. May your own light continue to shine through the rain, drought, wind, or snow.
The labyrinth is an ancient design found in several cultures worldwide. This pattern can be found on pottery, tiles, and artwork that date back more than four thousand years. Many patterns are based on spirals within a circle, which is based on basic patterns found in nature. However, there are more modern ones that have a square shape with a spiral maze contained inside. They have become more complicated through time and the result has brought the modern maze. Where there are dead ends if you choose the wrong path.
But in their simplicity, throughout time they have been used as a spiritual tool for inner enlightenment, a way to quiet the mind, find insight, self reflection, and to reduce stress. They are a non-denominational, cross-cultural blueprint to balance the body with the mind and the mind with Spirit.
The Medicine Wheel found in the Native American Culture mirrors this design, as a pathway of our life’s journey. The Celts believed the labyrinth as a never ending circle. It is also known as the Kabala in mystical Judaism. However, one commonality many of these cultures have is this: The way in is the way out. Its geometry combines the circle and spiral into a purposeful meandering path. There are no dead ends- only finding ones center and returning to the path with a clear mind and open heart.
As I ponder this simple pattern, quiet my mind, and meditate on it, I realized this is a representation of my journey, of our journey throughout life. Joseph Campbell talked about the Hero’s Journey and how this concept is found in mythology in almost every culture. We are truly the only one that can walk the path of our lives. And as we do, we wake to the understanding that we are the hero of our own life.
As we meander, and illusion comes as feeling lost, and then we continue to move through all the twist and turns of circumstance, we come to a place of inner knowing, the center. The answers to our questions are already inside of us. We know more than we know. But it is not with the mind alone. It is a balancing of mind and heart (intuition, creativity, and the feminine doorway to all that is).
There are some that travel far and wide to reach enlightenment. They search in books, teachers, ministers, Ashrams… everything outside of themselves for the truth. And as they do, the path meanders and they find themselves back to their center, their inner knowing… their truth.
One common premise of most religions and spiritualities throughout the world is that God is within and is closer than your heartbeat. But, we must sit in our silence and quiet our mind. As we do this simple yet very challenging exercise, an epiphany comes.
It is the space between the words...
or the silence between the musical notes where all genius resides. This is where the most beautiful pieces of poetry, musical composition, artwork, and technological inventions have ever come from.
Labyrinths are common places now. They can be found throughout the land in medical centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, cathedrals and retreat centers as well as in people's backyards. Find one close to you and enjoy the experience of heightened awareness and self exploration.
And if you are really creative, build one where you live. This can be done as a community project and a place that can be enjoyed as a sacred space for all who come your way!
Remember… The way in is the way out.
Many Blessings are your journey!
Blog/Musings by Muriel Shickman
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