by Winter on February 13, 2017

Some say that the Civil War was a war the South can’t forget and the North can’t remember.  Growing up, I thought the Civil War happened sometime during the 1940’s.  I didn’t realize it was 100+ years prior because my family, cousins, and Southern friends talked about it as though it had happened yesterday. Thinking about it, I realize these memories of my family history are important. They make up a large part of who I am and what I see in the world around me.

Sherman and his troops stayed in the family home on his march from Atlanta to Savannah. The story I was told is that for weeks Sherman sent spies ahead. One of their stops was at my Great Grandfather’s store.  He would offer them food and on their departure, give them money.  (I know this is a rabbit hole we could go down. Was he a Union sympathizer,  a clever businessman anticipating the future, or simply a nice guy?)

Family history says that the horses were taken to the woods, gold was buried, the men went off to fight, and my Great Grandmother was left to meet Sherman when he arrived. Who knows? Maybe it was the fact that my Great Grandfather was kind to the spies. Maybe it was the food and the money he gave them. At any rate, they didn’t burn the family home and as a result, I have an iron bed that was in the home when Sherman and his troops stayed there.

On more than one occasion I have wondered what it must have been like, to live at a time when brother fought against brother, when strangers took your food, when your home could be invaded at any moment by your own countrymen. What was it like to see Sherman and his troops marching down the road toward you?

Until recently, these thoughts have been in the back of my mind, occasionally popping into my conscious awareness. Now, I frequently wonder if we are living in another pre-Civil War time? We certainly aren’t civil to each other. We don’t listen, we think our point of view is the only point of view, and there are no gray areas.

Everyone has the right to an opinion.  But how do we cease to cooperate with what we find offensive?

Our world is noisy. We talk all the time. Can we listen? Can we listen, really listen, to someone who has a differing viewpoint? Can we remember how to feel, to sense? I worry that if we cannot, we will know the suffering of a Civil War up close and personal.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.“(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

The Master observes the world but trusts his Inner Vision”. (The Tao)


Winter Solstice 2016

by Winter on December 16, 2016

Many of you have asked me why I have not posted since the election.  You long for something I would offer that is uplifting, that will help you make sense of what you see; something that will make you feel better because everything will be OK.  Perhaps you long to know that tomorrow will be just like today. It won’t be just like today, but that doesn’t mean I know what it will be like.  I just know it will be different.

Frequently during times like these, times of confusion or unease, I turn to the Tarot, to see what I am not seeing. In an odd sort of way the Tarot, astrology, sometimes the I Ching, help me see more clearly—they help me refocus on the big picture. These oracles show me there is a mystery to the universe that I do not understand.

For the past year the Tower, one of the clearest cards when it comes to Tarot card meaning, keeps showing up. It means that false structures, false institutions, false beliefs are going to come (or have already come) tumbling down, suddenly, violently and all at once. In practically all renditions of the Tower card, disaster is striking or has just struck. The demons of madness and despair are released from ancient hiding places, and nature conspires with human failings to destabilize a society. The upheaval is collective and impersonal.

The Tower card shows a bolt of lightning, a fitting karmic payback for those whose fortunes come from the exploitation or abuse of others. This is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. It is a card about anything we believe to be true, but later learn is false. I find solace in the fact that nothing built on a lie, on falsehoods, can remain standing for long. Better for it to come down so that it can be rebuilt on truth-or not rebuilt at all.

This awareness usually comes as a shock. It is fitting that it shows up before and after the election, which says to me, it is far from over.

Almost half of those who voted voted for change.  What they get may not be what they anticipated. This rude awakening is not going to be pleasant or painless or easy, but it will be for the best in the end.

The good news is that it could portend  “revolution,” indicating that through drastic social change, oppressed people can find renewed hope of better times. But right now, instead of avoiding  our discomfort and heading for the light, let us consider staying uncomfortable, unsettled. Let us go fully into the dark. Let’s not race to our “hopeium,” which we are so good at doing.

In a recent Rebelle Society post, Vera de Chalambert summed up all of my thoughts in a precise manner.  She spoke of the Dark Mother, of Kali. (I highly recommend you read her entire article.)

“Donald Trump might already be picking his deplorable cabinet, but it is the Dark Mother, the destroyer of worlds, oracle of holy change, the tenderhearted be-header, that won this country. Kali has brought down our house in a shocking blow; all the illusions of America, stripped in a single night. We are not who we thought we were. Now we must get ready to stand in her fires of transmutation. We need them.

Listening to Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, one had the impression that this was a different woman from the political candidate that we have come to begrudgingly accept as the champion of the Democratic Party, assured by the establishment to become the first Madam President.

Stripped of her hopes and lifelong dreams, speaking honestly and transparently about her pain, this woman in a dark suit was a far cry from the controlled, manicured version of her shiny political persona. Stripped of her agenda, stripped of her certainties, this Hilary might have won the country. This Hillary touched our hearts. This is what we look like after the Dark Mother has had her way with us.

We stop shining of the false light. As our heart breaks, as our veneer cracks, we open to more integrity, more truth, more tenderness. We stop trying to be all things for all people. We become this one small thing, feigning nothing.

“Only to the degree that people are unsettled is there any hope for them.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Paradoxically, the price of true hope, it seems, is being unsettled beyond repair. And this is exactly the opportunity our political moment is presenting to us all. Right now, from all corners of our shocked culture, there are cries of hope, demands of needing to become even brighter lights amidst the spreading darkness. I disagree.

Before we rush in to reanimate the discourse of hope prematurely, we must yield to what is present. Receptivity is the great quality of darkness; darkness hosts everything without exception. The Dark Mother has no orphans. We must not send suffering into exile — the fear, the heartbreak, the anger, the helplessness all are appropriate, all are welcome. We can’t dismember ourselves to feel better.

We can’t cut of the stream of life and expect to heal.

Cutting off the inconvenient is a form of spiritual fascism. By resolving to stay only in the light in times of immense crisis, we split life; engage in emotional deportation, rather than hosting the vulnerable. Difficult feelings need to be given space so they can come to rest. They need contact.”

It’s Winter Solstice and we have long, dark days. It’s a good time to embrace Kali, the Dark Mother.



Shaking up the senses

October 4, 2016

Much of my professional career has been spent teaching, writing and reminding others about the need to be aware, in essence, to “wake up!” There is no doubt that I teach what I need to learn. I constantly remind myself to pay attention, to be aware. Recently, I took a spill while walking our dogs […]

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Shaking up our senses….

October 4, 2016

Much of my professional career has been spent teaching, writing and reminding others about the need to be aware, in essence, to “wake up!” There is no doubt that I teach what I need to learn. I constantly remind myself to pay attention, to be aware. Recently, I took a spill while walking our dogs […]

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It’s always about the magic…

September 7, 2016

It’s been a while since I posted, and since I have several programs on Medical Intuition coming up, I thought I would give you my perspective on the process. First and foremost it’s about the magic…and we find magic through exploration. After my Gateway week at the Institute I kept returning, not only because of […]

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Spinning out of Time

May 8, 2016

It has been several years since I first started suggesting that we “walk with our knees flexed.”  This is because I hold the belief that so much in our lives is subject to change we need to always anticipate the unexpected. And so it is today, which started out (or so I thought) fairly well […]

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Who were the witches?

April 10, 2016

“Who were the witches? Where did they come from? Maybe your great, great grandmother was one!” So goes an old song I used to sing.  I remember telling numerous people who would ask if I thought I had been a witch that I had not, or if so, nothing happened to me. But then I […]

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What matters…..

January 27, 2016

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes My dreams give me many posts, almost daily, that never make it to this site.  Early in the wee dawn hours I frequently awaken with the entire […]

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Discovering Things We Do Not Understand

October 12, 2015

According to Einstein, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” Lately, it seems that most of us have fallen away from the mysterious, from miracles, and from events that cannot be explained. We are “spiritually offline” ignoring things we do not understand. The thought of the mysterious, or “how does the Universe […]

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Dog Days of August

August 23, 2015

Local corn, fresh tomatoes, fog-laced mornings, spending morning tea/coffee  and evening sunsets looking out over, frequently, a calm lake.  These are some of the things that I think about when I think of August. A  quick look in our greenhouse shows me that the “volunteers” are thriving.  If ever I believed in Devas, it is […]

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