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  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020 4:03 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Inviting Happiness into Our Lives, Using Reiki Precepts

    by Catherine Bastedo


    In 1923, when the great Kanto earthquake in Japan killed 140,000 people, injured 180,000, and left a half million homeless, Mikao Usui was practicing Reiki, the hands-on healing method he had developed. He saw how much Reiki was needed and he began sharing his art. Today, as we face unsettled times in many countries, the energy of Reiki and the precepts are helping countless people.

     

    While certain aspects of Reiki must be passed on in class, and some insist that it be in person, there are aspects that I can share with you, and offer here. Mikao Usui called Reiki “the secret art of inviting happiness”, and recommended that the principles be repeated morning and evening. The very act of reciting these principles prayerfully, whether with hands held in prayer, lying in bed upon waking, or even in the shower, sets us up for a better day.  Here are the precepts:

     

    Just for today, do not be angry.

    Just for today, do not worry.

    Be grateful.

    Fulfill your duties.

    Be kind.

     

    By reciting these principles, we remind ourselves not to be vexed or aggravated by daily challenges, to be open to change and not worry unduly about things beyond our control, to be grateful for our blessings—and indeed to think about them because even in the midst of challenges or suffering, there are blessings to be found. By reciting these principles, we remind ourselves to continue with our work, whatever it may be, doing the best we can and progressing spiritually as we do so. We remind ourselves to be kind, not only to others but just as importantly, to ourselves.  We begin our day by setting our intentions.  And this affects all we do and all those whom we encounter.

     

    I live in a “red zone” in Quebec, Canada. Restaurants are closed, schools are open but “may” close next month, masks are obligatory in public spaces, and I cannot invite anyone into my home.  Like others, I live with closed borders, and taking flights and buses to visit family in other places is not advised.  We visit virtually. Polls continually bombard us with figures showing how Covid-19 is causing more anxiety, for women in particular. There is mental fatigue—people are worried, anxious for themselves and their loved ones, trying to cope with on-line work, or no work, cramped quarters, kids at home, and teenagers who are not motivated to study and have fewer outlets for sports and the group activities they usually thrive on. Is happiness still possible?  I believe it is. Let’s go back to the Reiki principles, and some concrete examples of how they can help.

     

    “Just for today…” I think that Usui Sensei was teaching us that happiness comes from inside, and is fostered by concentrating on one day at a time.  Of course we have heard this from many great teachers and wise ones.  In 1913 Sir William Osler, a Canadian who is often described as the father of modern medicine, gave an address to Yale students. He suggested that young people cultivate the habit of “Day-Tight Compartments”. “Do not be discouraged,” he said, “like every other habit the acquisition takes time, and the way is one you must find for yourselves.”

     

    “Just for today, do not anger.”  This is a challenge, particularly when we think of it in terms of daily frustrations and aggravations—remembering the mask, waiting in line, not being able to do so many things. We need to accept change, as hard as that may be. And if we smile at the cashier, if we invite someone to move ahead of us, we feel better. Often it helps to concentrate on our breathing and exhale deeply, letting go. A mantra can bring us back to a place of balance; thinking of something happy or someone we love can bring a smile. Remember Mary Poppins and how Uncle Albert and the children laugh so much that they literally levitate and end up floating up to the ceiling where they have a tea party? Laugh, and the world is better. We can explore laughter yoga, and the simple act of laughing without waiting for a funny occurrence, or a joke or an amusing show.

     

     “Just for today, do not worry.”  This also can be a challenge! Again, remember, “just for today”—in fact can say, “just for right now.” If we can banish our worries in the moment, they stay away longer. We can go for forest walks, Shinrin-yoku in Japanese, and take in the atmosphere of the forest. These have been shown to be helpful for reducing stress. Or take an “Awe Walk” https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/awe_walk.  Leaving the phone behind, we go out for 15 minutes and look for amazing things—in the sky, on the road, in the woods, wherever we are. This awe walk can be done in the mind as well. When we look for awe and are grateful, worries tend to disappear. 

     

    One time with my grandson, who is five, I found groundhog dens, a dandelion still in bloom in the cold, a Monarch butterfly, a hill to roll down, and clouds in the sky—shaped like dinosaurs, of course. Another time, it was a heart-shaped rose petal on the driveway.

     

     We can try to slow down—turning off the phone and the television and allowing time for reflection. Or take a bath; or do nothing. We can connect with our inner wisdom, our inner voice; and meditate. A meditation deck like Bird Vibes can lead us on new paths where our minds can wander.

     

    “Be Grateful.” A Gratitude Practice is a wonderful way to increase the energy flow in your heart. We make a list of all the things we are grateful for, even the difficult aspects of our lives that have taught us some tough lessons. We can practice gratitude every day, at the beginning of the day, by counting our blessings, by naming the people we are grateful to have in our lives, by noticing the weather and appreciating it in all conditions, remembering that the rain nurtures the earth, the snow adds moisture and protection, the storms clear the path. Let us be grateful for our health, our body, our mind, and our emotions. Whatever our family past, we can be grateful for those who have gone before us—our teachers, our ancestors, and the spiritual masters.

     

     “Fulfill your duties.” This one requires some thought… what are we really meant to do these days? Maybe it’s time to look after ourselves better, so we’re able to help those around us. Now may be the time to do something we have not had time to do before—read a book, finish a project, create something, learn a new skill using one of the free learning opportunities sprouting online. Is it time to improve our physical condition?  We may not be able to go to a gym, but we can do yoga or other online exercise programs at home. We can dance in our bedroom!  Perhaps we cheer people up, or inspire them with our smile. And maybe our duty is simply to be the best that we can be!

     

                  “Be kind.” We have to start with being kind to ourselves. Try listening to the words and watching this wonderful film, How to be at Home, a five-minute National Film Board of Canada production, poem written by Tanya Davis, directed, animated and edited by Andrea Dorfman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT40Rmjwd-Q.  It shows us that we are not alone. 

     

      Be kind to others—do something for someone else. For example, with a dry erase board we can write an uplifting note for our partner, or a thank you. We can call a friend or thank the delivery person, or use an affirmation such as, “Today is going to be a great day. I am full of hope and I will be kind to myself and everyone who crosses my path.”

     

    We need to take responsibility for our own happiness and not expect it to depend on someone else, to seek it actively and let go of outcomes. Before going to bed at night, we can send loving thoughts to all our dear family members and friends, remember the good things in our day, and set the intention of having a peaceful night’s rest. We can smile and let happy thoughts float in our minds.

     

     Tomorrow morning, let us set out a “day-tight compartment”, so that we focus not on what happened the day before, not on what may or may not happen in the future, just on looking forward to that day. And think of Mikao Usui’s precepts for “the secret art of inviting happiness”!


    *************************


    Catherine is a Reiki Master and teacher whose classes and sessions with clients over the years have shown her the power of the mind and spirit.  Her northern island retreats have helped many women heal and rethink their lives. Her online class with the Wise Woman School on Healing Your Chakras has been much loved. Last summer, in a gesture to help those having difficulties, she offered this class free and it was taken by hundreds. 


    Catherine is the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck based on the chakras and our connection to birds and nature available at the Wise Woman Bookshop and teaches Healing Your Chakras though the Wise Woman School. She welcomes your communications by email: cbastedo@visionreiki.com and invites you to follow her on FB https://www.facebook.com/VisionReiki/ or visit her website: https://visionreiki.com/ for more information.


    Inviting Happiness into Your life in Tough Times: Teleseminar with Catherine Bastedo and Susun Weed.   ~ Register Here ~


  • Monday, November 30, 2020 11:17 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Full Moon Soul Reading

    by Kathy Crabbe


    Dear Moon Muser

    Tune into to my extra long, juicy, rich and intuitively guided Full Moon Video and Blog Soul Reading to help you attune with your week ahead, the curious energy of this Gemini Full Moon and the deeply satisfying and meditative time that accompanies the darkest time of year as we head into the Winter Solstice here in the Northern hemisphere.

      To read more about the intensely passionate Moon Channeling I did to create these paintings click here: Art Magick: I Paint Zodiac Goddesses (Part 1 and 2).

    Sparkly Blessings!
    Kathy Crabbe

    Full Moon in Gemini Soul Reading Video



    Zodiac Goddess Cards for the Week Ahead & the Full Moon



    Gemini Goddess (Zodiac Goddess Power Deck) Full Moon in Gemini Nov 30 and Moon in Gemini until Dec. 1

    Gemini Mantra: I am a dancing, rainbow spirit.

    Gemini Meditation

    Lighten up that heavy load,
    Release your baggage centuries old,
    The philosopher within
    Wants to sing!

    Gemini Affirmations

        I am adaptable and inventive

        I am curious and on the move

        I have a radically open mind

        I am a dancing, rainbow spirit

        I communicate well and teach that skill to others

        I let go easily and quickly

    *

    Read the rest on Kathys Blog:
    www.kathycrabbe.com/blog/full-moon-soul-reading-cyber-sale






    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman School so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.



  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020 3:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    ENERGY HEALING: Getting to the Root Cause

    Seeing the Patterns of Life, Illness, Death and Transformation with Suzy Meszoly


     

    Over the last 25 years seeing clients I have learned a few simple yet profound things about life, about sickness and about death. Working with people who consider themselves physically or emotionally unwell, or working with people who are dying or on their death beds, the same picture always presents itself: we have deep mental processes, evolving from spiritual understanding that create "our state". To clarify, I am seeing all illness coming from an internal energetic state. This may clearly be obvious to some but for many people, illness seems to take them by surprise, it seems to come from out of nowhere, from "outside" and they are unable to see the root cause and thus unable to really deal with it in an effective or wholesome manner.

     

    Ourenergetic state (mind, body, spirit) creates our conditions for life, even so far as being susceptible to a virus or having a "random" accident. Our energetic state determines our lifestyle, our job, who we choose to have relationships with and how we have those relationships. How we interpret the world and how we act in the world is determined by our individual and unique energetic blueprint - which is always changing as well, as we learn from experience, adapt, accept, transform and one might even say, evolve.

     

    Decades ago when I did the four years of education to become a professional homeopath, I learned that the father of homeopathy, Dr Samual Hahnemann, talked about the "vital force." In homeopathy we recommend homeopathically prepared remedies made mostly from plants, minerals and animals to address the vital force, so that then the vital force brings the spirit, mind and body back into a healthy state. This vital force may be also seen as Life Force, Chi in Traditional Chinese Medicine or Prana in Sanskrit. It is a dynamic energetic field, that animates the body at conception and departs from the body at death. We are able to recognize the vital force by its actions only, as we do with electricity or magnetism, as the actual force itself is invisible to us.

     

    In my understanding, from this inner core, this energetic state arises from the spiritual, then mental, then emotional and finally the physical state. Imagine a stone being cast into a pond, the stone is the vital force and the closest circle to the stone is your spiritual state, the next circle out is your mental state, followed by your emotional state and the last and biggest circle is your physical state. As the circles move outwards from the center which is intangible, energetic only, they become more tangible, more 3D. We have learned from recent science for example that even thoughts have weight! With the last circle our body is the most 3D version of who we are, the most dense, material, manifestation of the blue print. 


    In my experience this understanding of "how things become material" has been corroborated by concepts I have learned from my Indigenous teachers from the Amazon, from journeys with plant medicines, from channeled states of consciousness, from profound deep meditations and also what I have gleamed from decades of studying "the mind" with my precious Tibetan Buddhist masters.


    That is to say, we are originally, initially and always a state of energy, that comes first; and this energy is beginning-less and endless (reincarnation). From this energy state arises reality as we know it. At first it is experience - what I call spiritual, then thought, the mind, which is the mighty creator of much it seems. Then these thoughts initiate the chemicals produced and released in our bodies, different chemicals for different thoughts, and these thoughts and chemicals will create the emotional states. Oxytocin for example releases into the bloodstream as a hormone in response to love (also released in labor which helps with birth and with milk production, but also helps with bonding to the new-born baby). 

     

    Who wants more oxytocin floating around in their body daily? Imagine always feeling love, bonding with the people around you, accepting them for who they are, and perhaps yourself as well? 

     

    Our bodies are more or less a big watery sack of chemicals, stimulating states of awareness and providing an energetic-magnetic frequency that allows our world to unfold. And just like with a lot of other types of chemicals we get addicted, and it becomes a chemical catch-22,  we are in the loop of creating the situation to allow the release of that chemical which we have become addicted to, or rather that emotional state we have become accustomed to through birth and nurture. Hence the pattern. This is why it takes a lot of patience and attention to address change and why so many people have found muted solace temporarily or real deep transformation in the consumption of chemicals (pharmaceuticals, plant medicines, food, etc.)

     

    But behind the chemical is the power of the mind, the power of thought and the magnificent potential of comprehension, understanding, wisdom, knowledge, you know that "aha" moment that each and everyone of us has all had at least once. When you place the final piece in the puzzle and you see what the picture is. When you get it and you know finally why this is happening or has happened. You take full and complete responsibility. And with this knowledge you then carve out a new route for yourself changing direction and moving forward or what I prefer to say "you deepen."

     

    Through my work with clients, ranging from non-verbal autistic children, to cancer, allergies, IBS, acute illnesses, depression, many, many different conditions, I am looking not only at the suffering, at the symptoms, but at the whole picture, the entire human being. I am looking at their history, relationships, work, lifestyle, what makes them happy or angry, what makes them tick, and what makes sick. This work is about the overview, taking a birds eye view but also coming in real close, like under a microscope and seeing the responses, the reactions, the way we deal with ourselves and our environment. From all of this information I am deducing a pattern. When teaching I explain to students it is like being Sherlock Holmes, being a detective and finding all the clues: every single word or gesture, everything is connected to the whole and tells us why there is illness, disharmony or suffering. Pay attention.

     

    Mostly in life, we are so busy being trees that we cannot see our forest; so busy and caught up in our day-to-day, the details, or our issues, our history, or projecting into our future that many of us do not see our own patterns. These patterns that are deeply ingrained and we might say nearly completely automatic. We have very relevant excuses for our personality and our choices, but we do not see the blueprint patterning that expands through our physical symptoms, our thoughts, emotions, responses and reactions. Our melody or "our song" as one of my great homeopathy teachers calls it, Dr Rajan Sankaran, is the way that we are in the world, our frequency and it informs all that we do.

     

    If you have an understanding of previous lives (this is now scientifically proven- see multiple major university studies) or parallel lives, you will find that many aspects of our "past" are jettisoning us towards this life, these experiences and this situation, these parents, this body, etc. We call this karma. I see karma without emotion, a simple cut and dry neutral state, it is like an equation, this plus this, equals this. There is no judgment, no blame, only cause and effect. And as we understand, there have been countless lifetimes leading to this one and thus countless causes leading to the effects we are experiencing now, different karmas "ripening" at different rates, with varying intensity, being altered by a plethora of actions and mind states constantly. Much of this karmic information is way beyond our reach, no matter how intuitive we are and no matter which excellent guides we may have. Apparently not even the most enlightened Buddhas can see all the lifetimes worth of karma; so we should not expect all the answers here and now. Thus we can never identify the extensive root cause of illness, but we can get close.

     

    We do have a fairly big movie screen here and now and we have a lot of clues to work with and some very tried and true methods to understand and improve on our situation. 

     

    Compression and clarity of the state has been a crucial tool for my clients to work with in the road towards healing and a balanced healthy life.

    Understanding the disharmonious emotional states and the disruptive mental states as sparkling crown jewels, as respected forthright teachers that have arrived to help us to grow. We have created these teachers for ourselves to evolve into higher states of being so we can be free of suffering and help others also be free. 


    Recognizing the pattern, finding the lesson, redirecting the vital force is the key to health and happiness and beyond even happiness, to mindfulness and meaningfulness.

     

    So essentially in my work, I am seeing the pattern, rooting out the cause of suffering and identifying how the individual can learn from this. We understand that we are the only ones creating our reality, in my worldview there is no victim, no accident, no blame. We are constructing our world with every breath, every thought, every word we speak. What words and thoughts are you using every day, how are you building brick by brick your reality?

     

    Listen to the words people use so casually talking about their conditions, such as "battling or fighting this disease or that" or being a "survivor." And now with the global pandemic, seeing the descriptions of a "virus attacking us." I find these descriptions unhelpful and incorrect, dualistic and a set-up for an unfortunate predicament. 

     

    Our energetic construct will create situations for us to learn. From speaking to those that have crossed over, from work with Indigenous teachers, spiritual masters, it is clear to me that we are here to learn, to evolve, to transform, in this precious human life, not just to hang out and be comfortable.

     

    In my upcoming new course offered online, I am sharing my experiences and techniques on working with clients remotely. We will be exploring how to work with individuals, to find their patterns and help establish health and wellbeing. Webinar attendees will be offered a special discount!

     

     

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020 3:11 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Bird Vibes in Sedona
    by Catherine Bastedo

     



    One of the highlights of my recent trip to Sedona was surely lying on my back on Airport Mesa, feeling the reverberations of the drumbeat of our guide, an “American born Toltec,” coming through the rock right into my body, passing down from my eardrums as far as my toes, hearing the coyotes call back, the warm sun on my body, colours dancing in front of my closed eyelids.

     

    A raven flew right over my head as I lay there, and called to me. I felt as if I were one with the raven, shape shifting into that powerful symbol of magic and mystery, ready to fly off the edge of the high rock mesa.

     

    My colleague Julie Desmarais and I had led a spiritual group on a visit to Sedona for a program called “Tribe of the True Self,” where individuals profoundly connect with their true nature, in nature, deepen their connection to the Creator, and purify body, mind, emotions and spirit on energy vortexes.

     

    The program includes meditation, hikes, energy work and visits to ancient and sacred aboriginal sites. We stayed in Oak Creek Canyon, in rustic cabins by the beautiful creek at Lo Lo Mai Springs Outdoor Resort, a rich oasis in the midst of the desert, surrounded by huge cottonwood trees and a myriad of birds, lizards, raccoons and even gentle skunks.

     

    One day I heard a Red-winged Blackbird, but thought it sounded a little odd. I assumed that, as with some other birds, the song varied somewhat from one part of the continent to another. But still I thought it was curious as the creek was not the kind of territory that the blackbirds at home sought. The question was solved when to my delight I spied a Northern Mockingbird in the tree branches and realized that it was imitating the Red-winged Blackbird, and so well that it just sounded as if it were just having an off day!

     

    Another morning I took a few people bird watching at Lo Lo Mai, a special treat for me as so many birds in Sedona are different from those I see in Quebec, and so colourful. We were fortunate enough to spot, amongst others, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks at their nest, Gila Woodpeckers feeding their young in the cavities of the cottonwood trees, a beautiful Black-headed Grosbeak, a flash of orange as it flew, and Wood Ducks with their amazingly vibrant colours.

     

    The most magical moment for me that week was at Montezuma Well, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water, where more than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. Prehistoric Hohokam and Sinaguan cultures lived here and the foundations of the dwellings can still be seen. The ruins, the water and the huge Arizona Sycamore trees have a very special energy.

     

    I was sitting on a beautiful flat rock at the top of a path that led down to the well, absorbing the atmosphere, the water running over the rocks below, the little lizard that joined me on the rock. There are barely words to describe the serenity of this place–the sun-dappled rocks, the old stone walls, the sycamore trees with their large umbrella-like leaves and grey mottled trunks, like elephant skin, the lush greenery near the water. On the far shore of the stream the ground rose, arid and brown.

     

    A sense of calm came to me, inside as well as outside, a sense of peace that came from the Well of Spirit, whispering to me, and that was the only voice I heard. The sounds of people talking, their footsteps on the path, these floated by me. The truth lay within, the oneness of all things. This shook my being so that all else disappeared except for calm, serene peace—the sun on my back, the scent of honeysuckle, the gritty surface of the rock. The earth spoke to me, as it speaks to each of us if we are open to listening.

     

    I lifted my binoculars to my eyes to take in the details of the scene, and as I watched, a gorgeous hummingbird flew into my line of vision, a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, I believe. It had dazzling, iridescent, green upperparts, with a glossy emerald head, and I was able to follow its flight back to a crook of a tree, where it lit and sat in its tiny nest, head peaking out.

     

    I watched it for a long time, lost in its beauty. When I finally lowered the binoculars I wanted to see it again, but it was impossible to find. The green feathers blended perfectly with the leaves. The tiny nest made of plant down, held together with spider webs and barely two inches wide, was not meant for human eyes.

     

    What better way to connect with our true essence than to visit these sacred places, surrounded by the beauty of nature? And now Sedona bird vibes live in my heart, at my Centre.

     

  • Tuesday, November 03, 2020 7:51 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Journey of Spiritual Discovery
    by Ruth E. Danielson



    photo by jplenio


    As women we have the wonderful opportunity to experience many things in our lives. One of them being the opportunity to feel life growing within our bodies. This gives us a unique perspective on the value of life. It also gives many of us the peace within our souls that there is a higher power, a Divine, a God and or Goddess. Ultimately, we have the ability to create, just like our Divine did in the beginning of time.

     

    If we look to our journey of faith and discovery as an expectant mother in labor, we know there is a lot of pain and work ahead that is involved in each process. Some women seemingly coast through the birthing process with ease and very quickly.... some women do not. Much like our journey of spiritual discovery for the path to our Divine. Some women cry with pain and joy simultaneously. At some point in the process of labor, a lot of women feel they cannot go any further...they cannot push one more time.... they feel like they want to give up because the pain is so great.

     

    Again, much like our spiritual journey we have embarked upon. Our faith is challenged by others....(each contraction of labor), til the point comes when we must overcome our fears and our doubts in ourselves and in our journey.....(the final push of labor).

     

    In the end, the laboring mother has a beautiful baby...and in the end of our doubts about our Journey...we have discovered our Divine...But to any of the parents out there....this truly is where the challenges start, just as it is when we begin learning and growing in our beliefs. As parents we have a new life to protect, to nourish, to encourage and to love.... Just as we must do with our Faith and our Divine. With both, we will have even greater challenges ahead, with many disappointments and frustrations along the way. On the brighter side, we will have many beautiful discoveries in life and the process of living. Raising children and enriching our faith are journeys that all should be privileged to experience. So many challenges to face, discoveries to make, and wonders to happen.

     

    One important factor to note within the birthing process is that it can be experienced in different ways. Some women choose to do it without pain, some all natural, some at home, some standing, some lying down at the mercy of others.

     

    Perhaps if we were to compare the differences to our journey in discovering our faith, are we on our backs at the mercy of others?? Doing everything they say and want?? Or do we choose to stand on our own and take control of the direction our lives will lead, because it is what feels right for us.


    We all come to our Path differently. Not everyone believes in the same Higher Being, God, or Divine. Some of us have more road bumps than others, while some coast with ease on their chosen path. We must learn from the failures and the successes that we alone experience.

     

    We must follow what feels right within our heart. We must embrace the Journey....much like you do a newborn babe.... and defend your faith with vigor.... but also with love, just like a newborn babe. Embrace your Path with love, and live it with love, and your Journey will be one of beauty and joy.

     

    Our Divine loves us unconditionally. This is something we must strive for. We need to love each other and embrace each other’s hurts and help to heal those hurts. Let us move forward to a place others will want to be because they see the miracles and magick working within the lives we are living.

     

    Let us lead, with the light of the love of our Divine shining brightly. By choosing this, others will see what is going right in our lives and be drawn to it. They will want it, will seek it, and hopefully mankind will benefit from the outcome of others choosing to seek their own path to the Divine.....

     

    Blessings and love to all who read this and are seeking.

    May your lives be enriched and full of joy and wonder....

  • Tuesday, November 03, 2020 7:34 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Root Stew
    by Lori Nicolosi




    In need of grounding and warmth on these increasingly cold autumn nights?

    Try this hearty root stew, it will warm up your toes, thicken your blood and get you ready for winter.




    ~1 large yellow onion chopped
    ~2 Tablespoons organic butter

    ~4 good sized red beets with greens, grate beets and clean & chop the greens
    ~4 potatoes peeled and grated
    ~4 carrots grated
    ~4-6 cups bone broth or spring water
    ~sour cream
    ~celtic sea salt


    Saute the onions with 1 teaspoon sea salt in the olive oil until transparent. Add the broth, beets, carrots and potatoes...making sure the liquid covers the veggies. Bring to a boil, cover pot with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Add in the beet greens and allow to cook for just a few more minutes. Add more salt to taste and serve with sour cream. This is also delicious with a splash of chickweed vinegar added.


    note about broth: A storehouse of nutrition waiting for you to come and get it!
    Want to learn more about broth? Need a few good recipes?
    Click here to read "Broth is Beautiful" by Sally Fallon.

  • Tuesday, November 03, 2020 7:22 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Medicine Bags
    by Nora Beeman



    Though I use the term medicine bags for what I make they are not traditional bags. They are loosely tied into the Native American tradition of medicine bags through design and materials used. My bags are probably considered more trendy and of a wild woman or witchy woman nature.

    Medicine bags, as I have come to understand them, are deeply honored and sacred to their caretakers. There are several different types of medicine bags for different purposes.

    Medicine bags are pouches or bundles of sacred objects that are tools for doing specific jobs.

    Medicine bags are considered ‘living’ things and honored as such. Objects kept in the bag are often referred to as power objects and all are considered sacred. Medicine objects may also be kept in medicine bowls.

    Generally speaking most medicine bags through out history contained a clear quartz crystal. This is a stone that most shamans feel is the most powerful to use. The quartz is usually referred to as ‘living rock’ because it has memory and can be programmed. Now a days you find quartz chips in radios, televisions, computers, watches among other things.

    Other sacred objects kept in the bags range from stones, gems and minerals, herbs, teeth, claws, fur, feathers, corn, beans, squash seeds, (the Three Sisters; corn, beans and squash, represented abundance and a deep connection with Mother Earth) Objects that connected you with your personal totem were the ones that found their home within the medicine bag. (A totem is something you strongly identify with and you feel an undeniable kinship to).

    Traditionally, personal medicine bags were worn around the neck (and out of sight) or on the belt close to the body.

    Native Americans felt that by wearing the bags close to the body the sacred power of the bag was stronger, and that your personal power was enhanced.

    Objects kept in the bag are often referred to as power objects and all are considered sacred and treated with respect.

    This is a quote from Loren Cruden’s book ‘The Spirit Of Place’ that I think is quite fitting-

        “The quest for spiritual foundation and direction stems from the natural desire of life to unfold in a purposeful manner within transformative manifestation. When consciousness awakens to purposefulness, there is awareness within participation”
    .

  • Tuesday, November 03, 2020 5:35 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Solomon’s Seal: Adapting to Stress and
    Achieving Flexibility in Times of Change
    by Thea Summer Deer



    Solomon’s Seal in Flower, photo by Thea ©2020



    On a recent field trip to H Mart, an Asian supermarket near Atlanta, Georgia, I drove south from my mountain home in anticipation of new discoveries and old treasures. Having previously lived in San Francisco, I knew the excitement of exploring an Asian grocery store, large or small.


    Asian markets are a great way to save on medicinal herbs, exotic foods, seaweeds and fungi — an experience not to be missed. Lost in extensive rows of mushrooms and seaweeds between a fish market and food court, I could have easily spent an entire day at H Mart. The “H” in H Mart is short for Han Ah Reum, meaning “One Arm Full of Groceries.” One of the medicinal herbs I brought home is Polygonatum, native to east Asia. It is also a plant that grows in my backyard, in the surrounding woods where I live in Asheville, North Carolina.


    Polygonatum is a perennial herb that belongs to the Asparagaceae (Asparagus) family, and in older classification systems, like many of the lilioids, was placed in the broadly defined lily family. A genus that contains approximately 50 species of flowering plants known as Solomon’s Seal, it is a common plant in the Appalachians, and can be found flowering between May and June.


    Some species are considered medicinal, most notably; Polygonatum biflorum, odoratum, and sibiricum. The species common to Eastern North America is Polygonatum biflorum, referring to the pairs of flowers growing along the leaf axis. The young shoots are edible and may be cooked like asparagus.


    The medicinal part of the plant is the rhizome, which is harvested in the fall, then dried and sliced. Native Americans used it as food and medicine. Early settlers valued the rhizome as a food for its starch content. Young shoots can be collected in the spring, not unlike asparagus, and added to soups and stews. Roasted rhizomes can be ground into flour. Solomon’s Seal can be ethically harvested by leaving the portion of the rhizome connected to the stalk intact. New shoots will grow from where the rhizome had been cut.



     

    An elegant Native American woodland plant, Solomon’s Seal likes to grow at the edge of moist woods. Its foliage is poised along a graceful arched stem with dangling pairs of creamy white, tubular fairy bellflowers. These are followed by attractive black seedpods.


    The name Solomon’s Seal comes from the healed over scars of the rhizome left by old leaf stems and which resemble a wax seal, presumably the official wax seal of King Solomon. Stem scars also tell us how old the plant is, with one scar for each year of growth. When the rhizome is cut, the cross section reveals a 6-pointed Star of David. Solomon became king during the reign of his father, King David, and was credited with possessing the precious quality of wisdom.


    “The Medicine Wheel Garden as it exists on Earth is a three-dimensional representation of the ‘as above, so below mysteries.’ It is in the shape of a circle
    that contains a six pointed star, and it is a mirror of the heavens. As it sits on the earth in three-dimensional reality, it represents the six directions: east, south, west, north, above, and below. Within this garden grows all the food and medicine that sustains us in our current form while simultaneously feeding our evolution
    into our light bodies.”

    Wisdom of the Plant Devas: Herbal Medicine for a New Earth


    Medicine Wheel Garden, ©2020 Thea Summer Deer

     


    When Solomon prayed to God for wisdom he did not pray for wealth, nor did he wish death to his enemies, but rather he longed for discernment in the administering of justice. The metaphor is one of wise governance and possessing the ability to distinguish between good and evil through an understanding of the universe. For this reason, “The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” (1 Kings 10:24)


    Wisdom and Heart (Heart-Mind) both correspond with the Fire Element in Chinese Five Element Theory. The Fire Element rules the nervous system, and Solomon’s Seal helps us adapt to stress by restoring the cooling fluids of the deep feminine yin, which keeps masculine Fire from burning out of control. Solomon’s Seal relaxes the nervous system and treats yin deficient conditions, especially when they involve emotional disturbances and stress. In this manner, Solomon’s Seal acts as an adaptogen.


    The key actions of Solomon’s Seal are demulcent, expectorant, sedative, and tonic. In Chinese Medicine it is known Yu Zhu, and is most prized as a yin tonic. Yin tonics work by restoring the Water Element (Kidney), which cools the Liver (Wood Element). Tendons and ligaments are the body part that correspond with the Wood Element, and this is why Solomon’s Seal is used to help heal injured tendons, and restore proper tension to ligaments. It does this by its ability to nourish yin, moisten dryness, and to nourish and moisten sinews. Solomon’s Seal also quells wind, relieving pain and spasms due to wind generated fluid deficiency.


    Connective tissues that are dry lack flexibility. Yin fluids must be adequate if we are to remain flexible, especially in times of change. Otherwise, an overheated Liver from lack of fluids will cause Wood to break when the winds of change blow, no different than a tree from lack of Water. By increasing synovial fluid, Solomon’s Seal also helps to reduce inflammation in the joints.


    Historically Solomon’s Seal was also used for respiratory and lung disorders. It has an affinity for the lung and stomach. Yu Zhu is used in Chinese herbal soups to relieve dry coughs due to lung yin deficiency. It moistens dryness in the lungs and acts as spleen and stomach tonic, improving appetite and reducing fatigue.


    We would not want to conclude this discussion of Solomon’s Seal without mentioning False Solomon’s Seal. False Solomon’s seal is a completely different genus and species, Maianthemum racemosum and should be avoided, as it resembles other deadly plants when young. It produces terminal flowers in a feathery plume while Solomon’s Seal produce non terminal flowers from the axils of the leaves. The way to know the difference between the two is like knowing the difference between a true and a false friend. A real friend you can depend on to be true through and through (the way the flowers are dispersed on Solomon’s Seal) and a false friend puts on a good front (feathery flowers at the end of the stem.)



     

    By coming into relationship with the healing power of plants we become empowered to be our own healers. Solomon’s Seal is an especially important ally for these transformational times, beckoning us to enter the forest’s hidden secrets on a lesser-traveled path, a path lighted by breaking waves of Polygonatum’s fairy-like lanterns. Enter…


    Energetics: Sweet, slightly cold, Neutral

    Preparations:



    Dried Polygonatum



    * Nourishing soup stock: Add dried Polygonum to your favorite soup stock and simmer for a minimum of two hours. Rinse and soak briefly before using. Choose dried herb that is soft and has a white yellowish color. Can be found in most Asian markets and herbal shops.
    * Decoction: 1 ounce dried rhizome to 1 quart water, or 2 tablespoons per pint. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, then steep for 40 minutes, strain.
    Dosage: Drink 4 ounces, three to four times a day.
    * Tincture: Fresh root – 1:3 in 95%. Dried Root, 1:5 in 50%.
    Dosage: 5-10 drops, 3x/day, or follow product label directions

    Contraindications: Polygonatum is considered safe: The American Products Association has given it a class 1 rating, meaning that it can be consumed safely when used appropriately. Due to its sweet and cooling nature, Polygonatum is contraindicated in spleen deficiency with dampness, or coughs with profuse phlegm, stomach deficiency, phlegm-damp, phlegm stagnation, or qi stagnation. Do not use in case of loose stools due to cold.


    Resources:

    Plum Dragon Herbs
    The Alchemist Kitchen
    Learn more in Thea’s Five Element Classes online at Wise Woman University

    References:
    Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians, Patricia Kyritsi Howell
    Wisdom of the Plant Devas: Herbal Medicine for a New Earth, Thea Summer Deer


    ************


    Thea Summer Deer, D.S.P.S., is a clinical herbalist, author, educator, licensed minister, and former midwife who holds a doctorate in Philosophy and Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies. Her involvement in Alternative and Holistic Medicine spans 40 years. She currently teaches Energetic Medicine and Chinese Five Element Theory online at Wise Woman University, herbal medicine schools and conferences, and writes a popular herbal medicine blog
    ( www.WisdomofthePlantDevas.com ) and food blog
    ( www.TheasKitchen.com ). Her book, Wisdom of the Plant Devas: Herbal Medicine for a New Earth is a spiritual guide book that bridges botanical medicine with plant spirit medicine and was published by Inner Traditions International/Bear & Co.. Thea is also an award-winning singer-songwriter who performs in the acoustic duo Thea & The GreenMan. Born in Miami, Florida, she lived with the Seminole Indians for the first eight years of her life. All of her childhood summers were spent in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina where she currently resides. Thea is the former Executive Director of Resources for World Health, and owner of Mindbody and Evolutionary Press. You can learn more about Thea at www.TheaSummerDeer.com.

     

     

  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020 4:22 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Halloween Full Moon Soul Reading + Samhain Blessings
    by Kathy Crabbe

    Every Moonday I share a Soul Reading Video and Blog with the help of my hand painted oracle decks to guide you through the week ahead. This week there is a Full Moon on Saturday in conjunction with the Witches’ New Year: Samhain (or Halloween). This is a time when the veil between worlds is thin and we welcome in our ancestors and wise guides from the Other Side to share any messages they might have for us as we in turn honour them with gifts of food and drink, photos, memorabilia and memories, heartfelt and magickal.



    The beloved dead surround us, the unborn future waits…in this darkness we birth the eternal Now, for all time is one and magick awaits, awakening our intuitive heart in tune with Mama Moon. Blessed Be.

    This Samhain I will be remembering my big dog Abby who passed away on Sept. 21. She was my best friend and I miss her terribly but know I will be with her again one day. I see her now with Goddess Diana roaming free and shining bright in the sky.

    Full Moon Soul Reading Video



    Zodiac Goddess Cards for the Week Ahead & the Full Moon



    Card 1: Pisces Goddess (Zodiac Goddess Power Deck)

    Pisces Meditation

    To feel love is pure warmth, wholeness, open-ness, selfless-ness, shameless, guiltless joy – that is love.

    Pisces Affirmations

        I believe

        I relax in solitude

        I am a mystic of the spirit realm

        I create to my heart’s content

        I open my heart to other’s realities

        My dreams, visions and intuition guide me

        I am the mermaid





    Card 2: Aries Goddess (Zodiac Goddess Power Deck)

    Aries Meditation

    Fire God, Fiery Goddess,
    Red the path to your heart’s desire,
    Lead the way to your soul’s fire.

    Aries Affirmations

        I embody spring fire

        I am true to my path and my inner convictions

        I am erotic and independent

        I am a primal, revolutionary rebel

        I am adventurous, assertive and courageous

        I am the Divine Warrior

        I remember who I truly am even if it bothers others





    Card 3: Taurus Goddess (Zodiac Goddess Power Deck)  

    Taurus Meditation

    I am of the earth,
    Gaia feeds me,
    I worship her body as I worship my own.

    Taurus Affirmations

        I am practical, sensible and earthy

        I am sensual and loyal

        I am grounded and fulfilled in the arms of Mama Earth

        I am creative and persistent

        I grow deep roots

        I am slowing down and enjoying myself

        I take time to pamper and nurture myself

        I indulge my senses on a regular basis





    Card 4: Hawthorn (Cat Herbal Deck - Coming Soon in 2021)

    Hawthorn is a heart chakra herb that can help you express love even when full of anger. It can help one both give and receive love. Helpful for those with a broken heart.





    Card 5: Flying Fish (Elfin Ally Oracle Deck)

    Keyword: Free
     Meaning: Your heart is free to follow your delight.
     Reversed: Things are taking way too long and your patience is wearing thin.

    Affirmation: I am daring.
     Astrology: Cancer, Moon, Neptune, Pisces
     Element: Water

    Medicine: Your secrets reveal a way forward.

    Lore: On air or in water, she could swim with Flying Fish, her ally, by her side. Sunshine and blue depths healed her inside so that she could dream, dance, and splash her cares away.

    She was a dreamer AND a doer and Flying Fish led the way: to sunnier shores, where magic and lovers danced and swayed.





    Card 6: Mel (Lefty Oracle Deck)

    Mantra: I dance.
    Affirmation: I am free to be me.
    Element: Air

    If this card appears in a reading it’s definitely time to try something new. Perhaps step out of your comfort zone or get out of your own way. Whatever helps you shake things up and gain new insights and a new perspective. Be wacky, colorful, free, flamboyant for a change, or if you’re naturally this way try being quiet, contemplative, and/or inward.

    In my own life I observed how this card helped someone very close to me as she was dying. Finding some lightness, humour and colour in your day can mean a whole lot to you when you are afraid and in pain.

    Purchase Oracle Decks
    https://www.kathycrabbe.com/oracle-decks




    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman School so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.



  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020 9:40 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Sacred Spaces and Places
    By Catherine Bastedo



    When was the last time you were so excited and awed by the scene around you that you wanted to jump up and down, or dance, or just gaze and take it in with all your senses? When was the last time you were just so grateful to be alive that you wanted to shout to the universe and share your joy?

     

    These are the feelings that we get in sacred spaces and places – whether they are ancient sites, special buildings, or landscapes that touch your soul. And these feelings can be a gift, not just of travel to foreign places or costly adventures, but a gift to you and to your spirit, in your own surroundings.


    People have been visiting sacred places forever and erecting monuments like Stonehenge and Delphi and the pyramids. We travel to these places today seeking a respite from our busy lives, looking for answers to the turmoil around us and within; sometimes we travel to distract ourselves from the tough business of really getting to know ourselves, facing our truth and seeing our true essence.

     

    I have been fortunate to have travelled for business and pleasure to many places and sacred sites. Some of them were famous and chock-a-block with tourists, like the Roman baths at Bath; others hard to reach and lonely, places where I could wander freely and absorb the mood of a long gone civilization, such as the ancient sites of worship at Anuradhapura.

     

    Some sites may not top anyone’s list of the world’s most sacred spots, and yet to me they conveyed that special mystery of the divine, the mouth-dropping wonder I felt walking over a swaying bridge through the cloud forest in Costa Rica with the clouds blowing in and caressing my cheek; watching the majestic sunset on Sanibel Island; or swimming in the Indian Ocean at Unawatuna, in water the temperature of a bathtub, and no one else in the water except the faraway fishermen perched on their high wooden stilts.

     

    Wandering amongst Sri Lankan ruins of the third century B.C., gazing with awe at the amazing 12th century statue of the reclining Buddha in Polonnaruwa – an 80 foot statue carved out of a block of granite, or running my fingers over ancient Roman columns in Tunisia, eroded by wind and sand, standing now in the desert, these are memories that stay with me, and create my inner peace.

     

    In places like this, with few people around to disturb the site, with warm air on my face, and the sun shining, I felt the joy of being alive, the wonder of a child seeing new and unimagined delights, and this is the magic I want to keep and help other people find or remember.

     

    I have had insightful moments walking along the Rift Valley in Thingvellir in Iceland, knowing that here the continents of Europe and North America are silently drifting apart at the rate of two metres each century, or when meditating amongst the vortexes in Sedona and seeing the salt left by an ancient seabed. These places where we can contemplate time that goes back so far I can barely comprehend it, put my day-to-day problems and concerns in perspective. And I have only to look at a picture of Sedona rocks to calm my mind.

     

    Sacred sites and special landscapes touch us in an individual way, and while one person may relate to a circle of monoliths or prehistoric rock drawings, another may feel the presence of the sacred in a cathedral, the forest or in a cave. Foreign climates and landscapes can help us escape and allow us to focus in a new way, yet it is also possible to remain at home and let time flow by, to allow the divine to speak to us, and make the effort to really listen.

     

    So stop and think about what elements in a landscape or in a sacred site give you that special feeling of awe – is it the rocks? the trees? the open spaces? the quiet? Is it the fragrance of roses or the sound of running water? the feel of the carved wood in an old church, the sound of music in a cathedral?

     

    How can you bring this gift of divine energy into your life? Start with visualizing your special place at home, whether inside or out, whether it is a special chair, an altar or a nook in your garden. In this place, you can meditate, sit quietly, and let in the feeling of the sacred. See yourself surrounded with love, and place objects here that represent this feeling – a photograph of loved ones, a crystal or stone that speaks to you, a shell or feather you picked up.

     

    You might wish to have a scent that carries you to other places and makes you want to stop and inhale the aroma – sandalwood or rose or sweet grass. And sitting there, you may wish to wear a shawl that symbolizes prayerful intention and the love and protection around you.

     

    Connect with this sacred space every day and be open to it. Go to it, or bring it inside yourself. Now and then add something meaningful – a plant of your favourite colour and shape, a candle, a dream catcher. Play music that calms the spirit. Know that this is your place for just being, for focusing and listening to your inner voice. And you will find that just thinking of this place, in the middle of a busy or difficult situation, will calm your mind and bring you towards a sacred place of peace and understanding.

     

    The joy of becoming clearer, more open, more ready to surrender to the divine is available to all of us, in many ways. Sacred places and spaces are the landscapes of the soul that reveal our true essence.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Catherine is a Reiki Master and teacher whose classes and sessions with clients over the years have shown her the power of the mind and spirit.  Her northern island retreats have helped many women heal and rethink their lives. Her online class with the Wise Woman School on Healing Your Chakras has been much loved. Last summer, in a gesture to help those having difficulties, she offered this class free and it was taken by hundreds.

    Catherine was born north of Lake Superior and has lived near the beautiful Gatineau Hills in Quebec for many years. She draws her energy and strength from the forest and the waters and her family. She has a M.A. in Canadian Studies and held many executive positions before branching into energy work and starting her company, Vision Reiki. 


    She is a Usui-Holographic Reiki and Holy Fire® III Karuna Reiki® Master, teacher, author and leader of retreats and workshops, as well as a Wellness Coach at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Her passion is helping people connect with their inner guidance in order to fulfill their dreams and follow their life path. The leadership roles she has held, her intuition and love of nature, all guide her in helping people deal with emotional and health issues, from workplace-related stress and the too busy pace of life, to the challenges of relationships, to life-threatening illness and the emotional shocks that go with that.


    Catherine is the author of Bird Vibes, a meditation deck based on the chakras and our connection to birds and nature available at the Wise Woman Bookshop and teaches Healing Your Chakras though the Wise Woman School. She welcomes your communications by email: cbastedo@visionreiki.com and invites you to follow her on FB https://www.facebook.com/VisionReiki/ or visit her website: https://visionreiki.com/ for more information.

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