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 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 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.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 72 Clearing the emotional body series day 2 the upper chakras

The three uppermost chakras continuing to move upward from the Heart where we left off yesterday are the Throat, the Brow, and the Crown. These chakras combine to form the higher self.

Food for thought – the higher self and the lower self are neither good nor bad, and should not be thought of that way. They are simply two different aspects of the human complex that take care of the business of life in the physical world and life in the spiritual world. The Heart chakra is the connecting link for both; the vagus nerve connects the heart and the brain. Our process is about becoming whole and this is done through unifying the disconnected aspects of our human psycho-biophysical complex.

As mentioned yesterday, the yogic chakras are a model for the energy body of a human being. Seven chakras are located moving up the body from the Root chakra to the Crown chakra. Yesterday we discussed the Root, the Sacral, and the Solar Plexus, and included a meditation and a prayer.

The Heart chakra deals with the emotions. The positive emotions of love and compassion have the power to open the door wide to the inner and outer worlds of perception, whereas the negative emotions of anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness can make us determine to close it completely. I believe my heart empowers the energetic quality of my life, and rather than obstructing my heart with chronic negative emotions, I choose to clear them. More on that later. It is an important topic, but the rest of this information lays the ground work for that. I need a certain amount of self-understanding before I can begin that clearing work. The element of the Heart chakra is air.

Today a mindfulness exercise. This can be used as a prayer or meditation.

Sitting comfortably either cross legged or in a chair, start your practice with a deep breath. Another. One more. Good. Now think of something beautiful or happy or something that makes you feel loved, makes your soul sing. Feed yourself with this thought. Feel your heart center expanding outward as this thought fills you with good and happy feelings. 

Now, think of something bad that happened to you. The day my cat died. The day my best friend said and did something really hurtful and the friendship ended. That awful elementary teacher who always cut me to the quick, saying things to embarrass me in front of the class, because I could not learn the way she expected me to learn. Watch what happens to your energy field. Has it contracted? Do you feel diminished? Have your thoughts switched from feeling good about yourself to bad about yourself? 

Bring your ideas back to something happier. The purpose of this exercise was to show  how the heart is affected by the adverse thoughts and feelings we randomly carry within us. Emotions and the biochemicals of emotions rise and fall within us in response to our thoughts and our circumstances – these are a result of the endocrine glands responding to what we think and what we feel. Explore the power you have to change what you think and what you feel. 

Creator, thank you for the amazing powers within my own body to respond instead of react to external events. Thank you for the guidance to perceive how my internalized thoughts can motivate my reaction to what is no longer real.

 

365 Days of Prayer – Day 51 Two personal favorites

“Just for today,” the words of Michao Usui, founder of Reiki.

And another of my personal favorites, that prayer of St. Francis of Assissi:

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, let me sow pardon. Where there is doubt, let me sow faith. Where there is despair, let me sow hope. Where there is darkness, let me sow light. Where there is sadness, let me sow joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

365 Days of Prayer – Day 48

I am sitting inside on a rainy day after a day of satisfying writing, looking out the window as night falls. It happens so slowly at first, with the trees darkening their silhouettes against the light fading from the sky, and then the many colors of sky dissolve into the black blue gray of night. This is a thing of beauty and it makes my mental color palette itch to get my hand on those colors and start a new painting… But for the fact that I have chosen to write instead of hold a paintbrush today. And now night has completely fallen, and my light reflects my own image back at me from the window instead of me being able to see through to the landscape outside.

Outer image to inner image. There must be a metaphor here. My body houses my spirit and provides the channels for me to perceive things of beauty through my five senses. How I judge and interpret those perceptions is largely a matter of my personal beliefs and feelings about a thing. It is as easy to see ugliness as it is beauty. Truly the thing lies in the eye of the beholder, or the mind behind the eye.

A meditation from a book I cannot remember the title of: An image is an idea that I have created. The book is no longer on my book shelf, so I cannot check the title, but what a great image for creativity, or the reminder that on a higher level we are Co-Creators with God.

Creator, I marvel at how many levels I can be reminded of the grace and goodness and beauty within Nature, within my own perception, and consequently the opportunity for ALL of us to participate in this amazing co-creation called LIFE.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 45 Small deaths

“I have so much to do, that I will never catch up, therefore I cannot die,” read a quote on my boss’s wall at an old job in 2011. Her clutter was legendary among her employees, and when she retired, her replacement supervisor quickly sorted out, tossed, decluttered, and painted the office and driver’s room area for a clean fresh look. The stuff to do was gone, just like that.

I have faced many small death moments in life wherein things or ideals I had placed great attachment to had to die in order for something new to be born. Most of the time I welcomed the changes, but some of them I am still grieving. It was difficult to know when I was in survival mode what the best outcome of the decisions I made would be, and hard later on to reconcile my conscience with the best choice I could make during those times. The analytical part of my brain often fusses at how things could have been better, yes, but I did not see it then.

Sometimes I have stood in the place where I have been almost too tired to go on, and how attractive death can seem when everything just STOPS. These are the points where I have to fall back, stop forward motion, and get what rest I can out of the faith that things can get better. True, sometimes they don’t, but nothing gained was ever ventured with a lack of trying.

There is a gift that awareness of my eventual death – eventual – brings me. I have seen this with every friendship lost, every death I have had to encounter. I am not celebrating that loss. What I have taken away from each encounter with death is a falling away of what momentarily seems important. Self-importance is a huge one on my list.

Some rich guy dies, he served in government or was important to the culture in some way. He pays a lot of money or arranges for the granting of a lot of money, and he gets his name put on a boulevard, or as a name plate on a huge expensive building, or even a bridge, and his feeling when he dies is that he wants to be remembered forever. Thirty years later another rich guy buys the right to have the boulevard or the building named after him, and who remembers the first guy. Everything he built, everything he accomplished will mean little to those left behind him in the world. He will live on only in the memories of the living while they are still yet alive.

The point is not whether that individual contributed positively or not. The point is what did he leave behind in the memories of the living? Did he treat people well or poorly? Was he thoughtful and kind, or a forceful bully so intent on leaving his mark that he overshadowed less forceful people?

The names that seem to actually live on forever belong to those whose life work made lives better for other people. Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela are among the saints. There are many more whose inspiring achievements in our fields of endeavors have made life better for many people: in the sciences, in the sports, in the arts. We don’t forget their stories.

How well or how little I think of my self, my needs, my wants colors the relationships I have with all the life forms around me, and whether my influence on their lives will have any greater meaning. Therefore, it seems imperative to let that stuff go, again with the hope and the faith that what is essential to my life will be there for me in divine time. As that is another whole topic, I feel quite free to end this topic here and now.

Dear Creator, to be in right relationship to you is to be in right relationship to my kindred, whether they be people or the smaller brothers and sisters of animal kind, plant kind, insect kind, or among the brethren that flies and swims. Let not the noise of self keep me from relationships of this kind. Let me be of use in the world. Amen – Aho

365 Days of Prayer – day 34

It’s been a while since I’ve added to this, since I’ve been in a whirlwind of activity since October. In October I went down to see my son graduate from Marine Boot Camp. They run an ordeal that they call “The Crucible.” The Marines are a tough outfit, and I am so proud of my son for his commitment to our country, and his capacity to make the most of himself. November saw me dealing with any number of obstacles that arose on the home front and the day job. I realized throughout these storms of activity, that any one particular problem would once drown me in anxiety, but prayer has become such a practice for me now, and in it the antidote for anything.

Being fully in my body, enjoying “Here and Now” makes for a sense of presence such that I can engage the fullness of myself in any emergency or exigency that arises. Defining the problem, getting the information I lack, and then taking steps to act on the decision made from that information frees me from anxiety while I wait for the solution to resolve. My habitual prayer to my spiritual guidance: “Help me to resolve this issue as simply as possible” surely facilitates things.

Creator, today I make the awareness to thank you for all that I have, the good things as well as the problems, for it is through the occasional troubles that we can be challenged to grow. Amen.