365 Days of Prayer – Day 82

Today we had new snow. As luck would have it, the snow fell on a three day weekend, and I was happy not to have to shovel to get out to work. Yesterday we celebrated Alan’s 78th birthday with cheesecake and prime rib. I drew a Rune chart to experiment with a new way of reading the Runes with a pendulum. Today I caught up on book work. There is time that I need to spend earning money to pay for life, and then there is time that I need to spend celebrating life with the small tasks of living. The concept of prosperity truly encompasses all of that.

All-Father, I am grateful for the gifts of life today, for the chance to rest and catch up with myself on the living, for a chance to celebrate and honor my partner’s gift of long life, and the time to bury my nose in a sketchbook.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 81

I woke up this morning with a vague feeling of resentment. This was not a solid emotion I could put my finger on, but more like an old habit. However, since I do a weekly Rune draw (here for January 19 – 25, 2020) the message was definite: I needed to clear my negative emotions before I could be clear to read for others.

When  I am caught in a negative emotion, the most certain methods for me to escape it are prayer and gratitude. I turn it around. I take whatever upsets me and find the gift in it. The Gift is the Rune GEBO/GIFU and is a mutual exchange.

Dear Ones: Today I thank you for the snow I have to shovel. I thank you for the resentment I woke up with; this is an opportunity to practice turning around my emotional state. I thank you for the pile of dishes to wash this morning and for the good meal last night that dirtied them. I thank you for the dog to walk. I thank you for the rest provided by this weekend. I thank you for inspiration. I thank you for my home and my husband. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 80 – Day 9 of Chakra clearing

We have been talking about moving energy through the Root and into the Sacral chakra. We discussed the Wells of Yggdrasil and how each has a particular property. Hvergelmer is the “Roaring Kettle” of Niflheim adjacent to Helheim near the root ball of the Tree. Mimir’s Well is found at Jotunheim, or Giant’s home. Mimir was beheaded by the Vanir, and Odin by his magical arts kept Mimir’s head alive and placed him in the well on Jotunheim so that he might always seek Mimir’s counsel. Urd’s Well at Asgard is the area for law giving. The Norns law giving is the consequence of cause and effect reflected in our Wyrd (fate) and Orlog (destiny). This is not karma, which implies misdeeds and punishment that will catch up to you someday. Wyrd and Orlog are what we weave from the web of our choices and actions.

In the last blog I talked about the Solar Plexus in accord with the yogic chakra system and with the teaching on the “formatory apparatus” of my Gurdjieff teacher Donald Petacchi. The Worlds of Yggdrasil do not align quite so simply as the chakras of the yogic chakra system, but that system does help us to understand the function of Yggdrasil as a soul map for awareness. Let us assume for the sake of this discussion that we ourselves are a reflection of Yggdrasil. Let us image our self as the Tree.

Five Worlds of Yggdrasil climb from the base up along the vertical energy column. At the base Helheim (Hel home or holding place for the dead, this is NOT the Christian hell), next world up Svartalfheim (Dark Elf or Dwarf home), Midgard (Middle Fortress/ Middle Earth), Alfheim (Elf home), and Asgard (God-fortress). Rotating around Midgard (Middle Fortress), or Middle Earth, are the four worlds of Jotunheim (Giant home), Vanaheim (Vanir home), Muspelheim (Fire home), and Niflheim (Mist/Ice home). These four worlds are paired in two polarities – in the Norse creation mythology, Muspelheim (world of expansion) collided with Niflheim (world of contraction) and the resulting forces gave rise to life. Jotunheim and Vanaheim are polarities of chaotic transformation and process order.

I had been pondering for some time how the worlds could be like and yet unlike the tidy chart of the yogic chakras, and then I understood. The yogic chart has seven chakras rising from Root to Crown. The worlds of Yggdrasil have five worlds from Root to Crown along the vertical energy column. It is easy to see how Helheim, where souls wait like seeds in the earth, can relate to the Root chakra, and how Svartalfheim, home of the creative dwarves, could relate to the Sacral chakra. Likewise it is easy to see how Asgard, the realm of higher consciousness can relate to the Crown chakra and Alfheim, the land of magic and glamor, can relate to the Brow chakra, source of psychic power and intuition. What stumped me was Midgard, which would have to incorporate the Solar Plexus, Heart, and Throat chakra, until I remembered that the gods Odin, Vili, and Ve had given human beings breath (throat), will (solar plexus), and fire of the blood (heart chakra). The properties of the worlds, like the properties of the chakras, are things that we have as human beings. So the polarities of expansion/contraction and transformative change/process order are also qualities humans have. The worlds were designed in the stories to be like outer manifestations of life that people could understand. We have the property of expansion, so like fire we burn; or we contract, like ice.

These are all ideas that need further development, so just for today:

Creator, thank you for the powers that stories have to enlighten our understanding.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 79 The Chakras – Day 9 The Call to Rise Up: Solar

Today is an absolutely beautiful day after a night full of rain. I took a ski charter to Hunter Mountain, and although their skiing will be slushy, their day will be sunny and bright. The Sun awakens us and makes us feel good.

My Gurdjieff teacher Donald Petacchi used to have an expression he got from his Native American friends, “May the Sun always rise in your heart.” He knew how to say it in sign language too.

His point was this: The Solar Plexus is a nerve braid just around the inverted “V” shape between our ribs. This area is where our formatory learning is shared: not the higher functioning brain (neo-cortex), but the first fundamental things that form our personality from ages 0-7. These things include beliefs, how to conduct the self socially, how to interact with other people notably our primary caregivers, how I see myself (self worthiness) and how I project this image out into the world. This is not an area of reason, but of associated groupings of memories, beliefs born of my response to an incident, superstitions of what works to win my way, and stuff like that. The Solar Plexus is the chakra of Will empowered by the desires and emotions of the Sacral chakra. Solar, Sol, and Soul all share the same root word that is another name for the Sun.

Between the Sacral and Solar chakras there are twinned aspects to process impressions that are reflected in the head brain in the form of the left and right brain. These twinned aspects of the mind are feeling and thought, emotion and intellect, intuition and reason.

Don’s teaching about the Solar Plexus being the formatory center, or area of first thought, is important, because when our personalities are formed as children, we have not attained the stage of maturity to sort out, or to reason with the impressions we receive. I think of the formatory center as being the place from which I am “programmed.” The subconscious holds on to every perception we receive, and there is a lot buried there, from which flow our dreams and patterns of reacting to life. This is important to self awareness, I believe, because from the subconscious arises material that our waking consciousness cannot encompass.

In Wheels of Light, author Rosalynn L. Bruyere notes that it is at this chakra that many people stop the flow of energy moving into the Heart Chakra. This blockage of energy moving upward causes the energy instead to move sideways to the left and get stuck in the area of the pancreas. Is it surprising that America has an epidemic of diabetes and heart disease?

When we instead allow the energy to move upward, the vortex of our Heart chakra can purify painful feelings and toxic emotions through the contact it holds with our spirit. Like the Sun calls seeds to life out of the fertile ground, and the rain that falls upon those seeds nutures their arising and well being, is the call upward from our Root through our Sacral toward the Solar and even beyond, to the higher love of the Heart.

Dear Higher Self, like the Sun you call us to awaken and arise toward the work we came here to do. Root in me, make room in the Sacred places, let my energy respond to the Sun in me, and even beyond, to the Heart where my joy lives. Let me honor my love and my joy today.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 78 The Chakras one by one Day 8 – the Sacral chakra and the Wells

I was going to move on to the Solar plexus today, but upon awakening, Frau Holle insisted I speak about the watery aspects of the Sacral chakra and the Wells of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. (Yggdrasil is pronounced something like Eegg-dray-sul).

A brief take on the Trees of Life found throughout most world cultures: The Tree is Awareness. Because a tree’s nature is to be grounded, rooted, and present to its rooting and grounding, the Tree of Life exists mythologically to communicate this great truth to human beings. And what have we been working on for the past few days? Rooting, grounding, and centering.

Emotions are the key here.

When our emotions are out of synchronicity with our life purpose, we are blown all over the place. Our attention fastens on to one thing or another, and off we go, adrift again, perhaps before we have even completed one task, we are on to another.

So Yggdrasil, like other World Trees, reminds us to root ourselves, ground and find our center.

Three wells on the Tree of Worlds can help us to do that. Urd’s Well up in the conscious realm of Asgard, is the well of the law of cause and effect. I have said more on Wyrd and Orlog (not karma) today here. I want to expand upon that topic on another day. Just for today I am introducing the Wells.

Mimir’s Well is a well of memory located in Jotunheim, or Giant’s home. Mimir was Odin’s uncle who had been sent as a hostage to the Vanir, and when they were displeased, they cut off his head and sent it back to Odin, who maintained it by his magical arts. Odin then set Mimir’s head in his well, where Odin goes to consult Mimir’s wisdom. Mimir’s wisdom is the wisdom of memory. We all have our life experience to consult at need.

And there is another well called Hversglemr (if I have the spelling right) that is found in Niflheim close on the border with Helheim. This well might be considered a liminal place of potential, a point at which souls enter life or a place to which souls return from life. There is a mystery here, and relates to work that Hela does with the Norns on healing the traumatized dead. For we the living, this well can be a place to bring our most troubling memories or life experiences for resolution. I will have more to say about this in a further blog.

Meditation: Sitting quietly, relaxing into my breathing, I find my Sacral center, my womb. Continuing to sit quietly, I move my aware attention into this area, holding presence. Am I able to identify something being held here? It can be a creative inspiration, it can be a feeling or emotion I now can deal with, it might feel good or bad or neutral. I sit quietly and allow the feeling and experience it fully. I accept this feeling or emotion or creative inspiration of this moment. I note what it has to teach me or to offer me. Gradually I come out of trance and write down what I have learned. 

Frau Holle, as you have your sacred well which has been honored and cherished by women in your region of the world for many centuries, let us now remember to honor and cherish our own sacred well, that established for humanity in our own body, our own being. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 77 The Chakras one by one Day 7 – Sacral again

Yesterday’s was a long blog extolling the Sacral chakra. In Western society, thanks to the puritanical ideas that came down to us from our Protestant, Christian ancestors, many women have felt divorced from their own sexuality and sensuality. Consequently, personal power is something that needs to be reclaimed. Women give their power away as caretakers of their families, of their social groups, and at work. Speaking from women I have talked this over with, we become people pleasers, we look to others to see if we are pretty enough, nice enough, helpful enough, empathic enough, enough of enough… Woman who fall for the belief that personal power lies in beauty, give that power away to dolling it up to be attractive to men. Women are the harshest critics of other women, because we can never live up to the extreme perfectionist ideas we ourselves hold.

I believe it is easier for men to hold personal power, because they have been raised to it. Even this statement opens up a can of worms. I’m not certain that in the competitive corporate world that men find themselves embroiled in, for example, that they find it easy to hold personal power. After all there are standards to be met and not everyone is going to wind up as CEO of the Board earning megabucks a year.

Eventually it is up to the individual person to decide what their personal power is all about. Maybe we decide that the standards we have been applying to ourselves are too high or don’t fit us at all. I am too driven to express myself creatively to like the caregiver role at all! And yet the woman who adopted Patty and I felt most fulfilled as a traditional wife and mother. There are men who have given up a good paying corporate life to find satisfaction living close to the earth. We need to find out what makes sense for us, and what feels good to us. I noticed that when I stopped making what I thought others wanted of me my priority and began giving me what I wanted and needed, I felt good, and consequently I am more able to take pleasure in asking and providing what my loved ones want and need.

Personal power is what makes me feel good about being me. In the act of nurturing my own needs, I accept and support myself. If others have genuine need of me, I can be of service without sacrificing my personal well being. I can feel good being useful. 

Exercise: Take a moment to send energy up and down your vertical core, relaxing into your breathing, and breathing energy up and down your roots. Once that is going well, breathe energy up, and store it in your Sacral chakra. Let that energy spin and coalesce. Think of it as storing personal power in your womb or scrotum. How does this make you feel? Can you feel your center? Does this energy have color or form? Do memories or ideas come up for you? If anything is upsetting, breathe into it. Stepping into strong emotions and facing my fear has lessened their hold over me, however, memories may arise that address the need to get psychological help. There is no shame in this.

Creator, as I work with my energy body, I learn more about my self and what motivates and pleases me. Through grounding and centering myself, I have learned to have self acceptance and more confidence. I can retreat here, when I need to embrace my own well being and balance my emotions. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 76 The Chakras one by one Day 6 – Sacral

There is so much that could be said about the Sacral chakra. From the watery womb we all enter into physical life. The act of giving birth made me a mother, but raising my son was the act of creating a life.

Ideas gestate here, like seeds in the fertile earth. It is not coincidence that some ancient peoples buried their dead under the earth, positioning them like fetuses.

The Sacral chakra’s element is water. I find it poetic, almost, to think of the seed rooting at the moment of conception in the womb, and the watery womb nurtures that life into the realm of air, element of the heart. The baby rests and grows under mother’s heart, listening, the heart beat like the drumbeat of the earth. So it is here that we engage all of the chakras and all of the elements. The fiery thrust of the sex drive creating the new life, and the rooting in the earth of the mother’s body, the growth in the sacred, watery womb, listening to the sound element of the throat chakra, to be birthed into the physical realm surrounded by air, again the throat chakra, giving expression to life.

So it means one thing to a woman to have a womb, and another thing to a man. Wanting to get at a better understanding of this, I just asked my husband for his opinion. Alan states that the Sacral chakra is the seat of personal power. Sexuality and sensuality are driving forces. Chi/Qi/Ki is the engine that empowers. The kundalini rises up the spine and eventually crowns in the head. If a woman’s womb is her place for storing personal power, then it follows that a man’s scrotum is his. His sexual expression is standing up, thrusting in, spurting out. Hers encloses, is receptive, watery, and contained.

Alan further states that a man can simply scatter his seed where he will. A woman has to bear her seed and the changes that holds for her body. The nature of the sexes is different; he has noticed that men feel more confidant when they can have sex whenever they want, whereas a woman feels more confidant knowing she has a protector for her and the child. This line of questioning does not take into account one’s culture, social status, married or single states, or even what one believes about such things.

But what I do notice, moving up from the simplicity and grounding power of the root chakra, that we are entering into broader concepts. The watery realm of the second chakra holds emotion, desire, what we feel and what we need. If we were adequately loved and nurtured, our wants respected and understood, we certainly have more confidence than if we were unwanted, abandoned, or largely left to fend for ourselves.

The area of our bodies, both men and women, assigned to the Sacral chakra is the area of the tan t’ein in Oriental martial arts and Chi Gong medicine. This is our center of balance. If we were trees, we would be rooted in earth, and this would be the base of our trunk, from which the weight of our mass would support future growth up toward the sun. As human beings too, this seems logical and true. The sacrum is the base of our spine supporting our upright carriage.

Tomorrow will expand upon the rooting and grounding exercise of yesterday. Just for today, let’s practice sitting or standing quietly and centering. Sitting or standing, practicing intentional sensation, I am aware of my powerful gluteal muscles supporting my pelvis, hips and lower back. I allow my awareness to enter into the sacred space contained by my pelvis, below my navel. I allow myself to be aware of what this space is containing.

What does this sacral space hold for you?

Creator, today I am aware that I am containing feelings of __________. Guide me in accepting and processing these feelings. Make me aware of what I need to be aware of. If this is a transformative moment for me, guide the transformation. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 75 The Chakras one by one Day 5 – Root again

Yesterday I gave you a quick practice on running energy up and down the vertical energy column as a method to shed negative emotions, or hucha. That was for clearing. This similar method builds upon yesterday’s method as a way to more permanently stabilize your presence in the earth through grounding energy.

Standing upright or sitting upright, relax into your breathing, and practice for a moment yesterday’s exercise of running energy up and down your vertical energy column. When you feel ready, send your energy down into the earth as far as it will go. I usually tell people to aim for the core of the earth.

When you have that accomplished, pull energy up from the center of the earth and send it down again in timing with your breathing. With your thoughts, create one or more roots through which you can call energy up and send it down. I forget just now whether it was Sophia Richter’s book or Galina Krasskova’s that recommended maintaining separate “roots” for positive and negative energy. The reasoning was that if you needed to send down hucha in a hurry, you could, because the energetic structure would already be in place for it.

Next you can try the practice while moving. Alan and I use this method while we are hiking to keep a good flow of energy going. Think of the walking trees in Tolkien’s story, the ones carrying the Hobbits.

You can learn to maintain energy work at any and all times, but please remember to give to Nature as she gives to us.

This practice of grounding ourselves is useful anytime and any place where the emotional climate can throw us off balance. Here’s an example – a Liberal at a Trump rally. But more seriously, we can use this practice of grounding ourselves any time we feel overwhelmed by the circumstances occurring around us, we are overstressed, we need to find inner balance, or maybe even just being around family at the holidays. This is part of my energetic practice when I am creating sacred space around me for entering into communication with the Holy. Just sayin’

Today I honor Great Nature by remembering that I am part of the universal life force energy that flows within and around me at all times. In the act of grounding myself, I thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 74 The Chakras one by one Day 4 – Root

Let’s begin with the Root chakra, because I cannot say too much about the practice of grounding. We have this lovely Root chakra that serves to anchor us in the earth and to discharge excess and negative energy into the earth. The Peruvian Paqos call this energy hucha, and the earth feeds on it.

Whether I am sitting or standing comfortably, I can send energy up and down my vertical energy column comprised of feet and legs, spine, and head. There are minor chakras below our feet that connect us to earth as does the Root chakra discussed on day 1 of this teaching. Try it both ways – standing and sitting. With practice, this exercise of running energy up and down the vertical energy column can be done while walking. When you get really practiced at it, try it running, riding, or dancing. The exercise enhances your awareness of energy. Relax into your breathing and begin the practice of intentional sensation, running your energy from Root to Crown and then from Crown to Root. Somedays you will become aware of your energy running one way or the other without your conscious participation. I attribute this to the fact that we are transmitters of energy and we belong to the realms of Great Nature and the human collective, and our capacity to balance and blend the energy of our locale is needful. With practice, you can use this capability to diffuse your own excessive negative emotions or those of a group you are in.

Why is this important?

The human collective is in a time of struggle. We are meant to evolve toward higher conscious being. This seems to be a time where the shadows are being exposed, and each of us called to honor the code of integrity by confronting our own shadows and learning to live with more light. We cannot live with more light until we heal our own darkness.

One of the things that happens is that people get angry. We feel angry at the corrupt politicians whom we have been told will take care of us. We feel uncertain at the changing climate and whether we can do anything about it. We wonder if our votes count. Some people don’t vote at all in their apathy. One of the things that happens when we don’t deal with our own anger is that we project it outward as blame at one person or another. Some of us hate Donald Trump. Some of us hate the Democrats. We all realize that there is a problem, but instead of figuring out what kind of a stand we can proactively take toward solving the problem(s), it is easier to be angry and that anger then joins the human collective anger. We vent. We poison others with our venting. We are discharging negative emotions, but we don’t see it, because we feel better for a while afterwards.

But when we do learn to see it, we have the option of clearing ourselves of our poison so that it doesn’t contribute to the overall miasma of the human collective. So we take up that responsibility. Sometimes we get hit with the “stuff” of other people and accidentally take that in energetically. So this is a way to deal with that – I can send negative energy down into the earth, and the earth will feed on that hucha for its own dinner.

Mother Earth, Mother Gaia, please accept this energy that does not serve me. I send it down my vertical energy column and out my Root chakra and the chakras of my feet. Accept this energy offering and let me be clear. Thank you!

365 Days of Prayer – Day 73 The Chakras and clearing the emotional body Day 3

Today I want to finish describing the three upper body chakras.

The Throat chakra through which we manifest our expression in the world and its element is sound. Here such values apply as what I give my word to, promises I must keep, and other values of communication.

The Brow chakra, also called “the third eye,” is located about an inch straight up above the bridge of the nose and below the middle of the forehead. This center is related to the pineal and pituitary glands. Its element is chi/qi/ki energy. This very much relates to the sexuality of kundalini. Its gift is psychic.

The Crown chakra provides our personal and direct link to divine source. Every body has this, it is not the “special provenance” of a few select priests or prophets. (I am one who sees aspects of auras, and I see every one with a connecting link vanishing from this crowning point of their head into heaven – I do not see where the cord goes, but it is there in everyone of us!).

The Crown and the Root chakras are the ends of the vertical pillar of energy that runs along the spinal column. The other chakras, the Sacral, Solar, Heart, Throat, and Brow display horizontal funnels of energy to the fore and aft of the body that connect with the vertical energetic core. Through these funnels we take in and dispel energy. Intentional sensation is the development of a deep intuitive awareness of our body that makes us sensitive to the energies we take in. Although this requires practice, I feel it is very essential to my psychic harmony of mind and body.

Today I want to introduce the practice of Intentional Sensation. We began this a bit on day one, and this too can become as a prayer or as a meditation.

Sit as before, and for a moment focus on your breathing. Use your breathing to release any and all tension you are holding in your body – toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, lower back and abdomen, upper back and chest, shoulders – loose, loose, loose, and neck, arms all the way down to your fingers. Breath your relaxation into every area of your body holding your awareness of the sensation of your body as best as you can. Think about relaxing now the muscles of your face and head. Then, finding your center, hold this overall awareness and note what areas of your body are crying for attention. What is tense? What is painful? What feels good?

Take a moment to take stock of all this. Slowly, begin to breathe into those tight areas, concentrating as you do so on releasing what is stuck. Sometimes it helps to apply the stuck feeling a shape or a color. Let gravity take it, out, out, out of your body and into the earth. If your awareness allows you to perceive an emotion or associated thought, note that too. It is another facet of self knowing.

Creator, truly the workings of my mind and body are a miraculous thing. Thank you for the awareness that has occurred today.