New Moon and Eclipse in Pisces

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Chum salmon jumping. Photographer unknown.

Last moon cycle was about learning how to tend to one’s emotions and the riverbed in which they flow, so as to avoid flooding and destruction if one so chose.

This moon cycle is a time of great purging, and will include staying in control of one’s emotions in the face of deluge and destruction. As a water sign, Pisces dives into deep spaces…particularly with the emotions. The end result of this cycle will be to usher in a significant shift, as signified by the solar eclipse in the sign of Pisces. All the work that one has been doing to slough off the old and heal the scars and wounds of the past, is now finishing up, as in the final rinse cycle of a heavily soiled load of laundry. As the water comes in, all the muck is surfacing and releasing so it can rinse out.

In addition to flushing out the dirt and grime, this emotional deluge will probably lead to destruction of some kind…most likely relationships between people, but not solely limited to this scenario. It will also include destruction of relationships between institutions, governments, corporations, and larger organizations. However, if one doesn’t know about the rinse cycle, it appears as though one will drown in the darkness of destruction. If one has such a perspective, it will be easy to fall into a state of alarm, panic, and fear. But, be brave, for not all is as it seems. In fact, things are ever rarely as they seem, in this dimension.

Imagine a fish (Pisces) swimming in the river in the spring. The river is muddy and fast flowing, giving the illusion that there is much destruction. And, to be honest, there is a bit of destruction the Spring, in order to make room for growth in new ways. In this way, the process of destruction also includes renewal. The muddy waters bring fresh soil to an area that either might need more, or perhaps, never had any. This fresh soil brings nutrients so that the seeds that were planted can sprout and grow with strong support.

Observe the fish in this river. The fish doesn’t fight the mud…the fish just allows it to be. The fish doesn’t fight the floods or strong currents. Instead, the fish uses those currents to propel it higher or lower…whichever is needed at the time. If you watch closely, the fish almost appears to be enjoying the rush…maybe even dancing.

Be the fish. Stay contained withinin your Divine Line, and do what you do best…live your life with grace, humility, intention, and awareness. Do not allow your emotions to be pulled into one extreme or another for then you will lose balance, and the planet has enough of that going on already. Be one who practices balance and self-assuredness in the face of what appears to be chaos and catastrophe. Trust that the muck is lifting up and out, and you know how to swim through it unscathed.

Additionally, for those who choose, there is an opportunity for great evolution of consciousness. You can choose to use the current to make leaps over obstacles and fly to new heights. It will take a little effort on your part, but not much…just a leap. It’ll feel a little uncomfortable…as a fish feels when leaping out of the water to jump up a cascade of falls. But once the fish is back in the water, all is well. You can be that fish too. If you choose.

All is well.

Have faith in the unfolding of a bigger plan.

You are never alone. In fact, there are thousands of beings surrounding the planet, aiding in the evolution of consciousness so that what has happened before will not…cannot…happen again.

Watch.

Observe.

Do not react.

Respond when appropriate.

Until then, simply live a life of compassion and love to all you meet.

This is the work.

And so it is.

~Gysela

New Moon in Aquarius

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Photo courtesy of poster publisher Kenspeckle LetterPress

If there could be a theme song for this year, I would say it would be, “A Whole New World.”

Indeed, I know that many people, particularly in the United States, feel that what is happening in the political arena is moving us into the middle of last century. And, if we were only looking with the eyes this dimension provides us, such perceptions would seem to be true.

However, we have the opportunity to see from a higher vantage-point…a place that sees a bigger picture than our wee selves, on this planet, can see. As Animal Communicator, Joslyn Zale, channeled recently:

Message from Hawk: Fly high to get a bird’s eye view of the situation before making a decision. This clarity is important for you to move forward effortlessly and joyfully. Peace.

This message is so perfect, not only for the energetic beginning of this calendar year, but also because it highlights the pitfalls of the Aquarius nature…relying solely on intellect from the vantage point of our bodies.

Aquarius is known as an air sign…the sign of the intellect, and correlated with the tarot suit of swords. And yet, its name refers to water, and means “water bearer,” the images showing a man carrying a vessel containing water. To many, this sign is confusing, due to its seemingly dual, or even misleading nature. And yet, it can be a symbol of the perfect balance between the Sacred Masculine (vessel/boundaries) and the Sacred Feminine (water). How? Through detachment.

Embracing the qualities of detachment is what Hawk is inviting us to do this year. This does not mean that feelings and emotions are bad and should be ignored or repressed. Such experiences are energy in pure form and have tremendous capacity to heal and create movement, so it’s important to allow them to exist and listen to what they have to tell us.

Detachment does mean that one doesn’t allow those feelings and emotions to consume us and carry us away into a river of tumult and destruction. The difference is subtle to those seeking to master this, so perhaps the following will help:

Water is the preferred element to represent feelings and emotions in spiritual, alchemical, and astrological circles, so let’s imagine that that one’s feelings and emotions are a river. Sometimes the river is a trickle, or even dry, and sometimes the river is full, or even a raging torrent. A river is identified by the space in which it flows…a river bed and river bank…the edges and boundaries. So long as the river stays within its boundaries there can be much joy in witnessing the ebb and flow of the river…some even enjoy wading or swimming in it. But, when the river overflows the banks and floods the space around it, destruction occurs.

Destruction isn’t necessarily bad or good either…the old must fall away before the new can emerge, and sometimes destruction can be so massive that it’s hard to see what is being created in the background. Remember, destruction and creation are both qualities of the Sacred Feminine…also represented by water. However, there are always consequences to destruction. Connections are severed, foundations are broken up, wounds are revealed, and life as we know it is damaged…sometimes in ways that can never be mended or repaired. Again, such measures can be beneficial, but in this dimension, when one experiences such extremes, there will also be a sense of loss and grief that must be processed before the new can emerge.

However, if one doesn’t wish for the destruction to occur…at least not to such extreme degrees…keeping the river within the boundaries of the banks is important. This can be done most effectively by maintaining the river bed and banks during low flow so that junk doesn’t pile up, causing obstructions to the flow of the water…for as the river rises, junk tends to appear. By keeping the riverbed and banks clean and clear, one can allow that junk to flow, unimpeded during high waters, resulting in improved health to the river and all who depend on it for life.

As someone who has lived a large percentage of her life in her head…only allowing the emotion of anger to burst through…I appreciate the insights and wisdom of those who are much more comfortable and familiar with the experiences of the heart. One such person is Karol K. Truman. In her book, “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die,” she discusses the process of emotions as first beginning as thoughts, which, when allowed to exist and are given energy by engaging with them, bloom into feelings, which, when allowed to exist and are given energy by engaging with them, bloom into outward expressions, or emotions. This is the beginning of what Mike Dooley means when he says, “Thoughts become things.”

Learning how to recognize the thoughts that lead to undesired, destructive, and overflowing emotions is the first, and biggest step, towards learning detachment and discernment. It is also the first, and biggest step, in creating something new and different…because one has chosen a different path, the result will naturally be different.

Additionally, since passing the tipping point of 2012, the energetic terrain of the planet has shifted tremendously, so that the old strategies of power of intimidation, distraction, lies, and secrecy, will be blatantly obvious. And, because they will be so blatantly obvious, people will act in ways they never have before. The old must be destroyed before a newer, higher frequency way can be created and established. So, there will be a while of uncertainty and instability as the destruction and creation takes place. 

So, as our outer world presents us with many, many opportunities for our rivers to overflow and exceed their boundaries as old patterns are destroyed in magnificent ways, we can practice disciplining our thoughts. In doing so, we can choose a different outcome…first for our inner reality, then reflecting that inner reality to our outer world. Indeed, how we respond or react to these situations will determine the direction in which our world goes.

It’s up to us.

Avoid floods.

Go high.

Find clarity.

Choose your path.

Travel purposefully down that path, towards an as-yet-unknown destination.

Create your inner world.

Reflect it on your outer world.

Recognize and celebrate the new world.

It’s up to us. 

And so it is.

~Gysela

 

Creating in the Void

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aether-loading

Have you ever moved?

If so, then you know that feeling when 99.99% of the stuff is packed and moved, but then there are the odds and ends of a bizarre collection of things you have absolutely no idea what to do with…some of it you may not even have a clue as to what it is or how you got it.

Once you finally do make those decisions and the house is empty, there’s all the cleaning, vacuuming, filling in the holes on the wall, and maybe even some painting.

During this time, you’re probably not living in the place you once called home. You may be living in your new home, or you may be staying in a hotel or with friends as you wrap up your life in this place.

This is the time we’re in now…that in-between space of moving from one home to another. We’re not ready to unpack in our new home, and we’re still finishing up the remaining muck from the last one. This in-between-ness I call The Void.

Another word for The Void could be Aether…the fifth state of matter that includes all that is and all potentials for what could be. It has no specific form, yet could take on any form based on one’s intentions. Then, as one’s intentions are given a thought-form, it gradually filters through the layers to the more dense layer of matter…earth…where it manifests in this dimension.

This specific period of The Void is approximately six weeks long. It began around the beginning of Mercury Retrograde on December 19, 2016, and will end at the first crescent moon on January 28, 2017. So, even though our calendars technically say we are in 2017, energetically, the year won’t begin until January 28. This is due to Mercury Retrograde and its post-retrograde shadow, which ends on January 27.

The year 2016 felt like one massive Mercury Retrograde…of purging, organizing, redoing, re-evaluating, renewing, and realizations. And, really, it’s no surprise that it has been such a year. Numerologically, it was a nine year…the end of a cycle that began in 2008. During this cycle was the five year of change in 2012…the midpoint of the 36 year shift towards the light. A lot needed to be processed this year, and yet, despite all the work that we have done, there is still a little bit left to do…the odds and ends, some of which we have no idea how it got there or that we even had it.

So, use this time out of time to finish purging as you create…creating the future you wish to see for this coming year. Sit in The Void of the potentials…the Aether…and allow the Sacred Feminine to show you what is possible. Once you choose your potential to manifest, spend a few seconds to minutes feeling what it would feel like to have that possibility be a reality. The longer you can spend in that emotion, the stronger and more powerful an effect your manifestation will have.

We are always creating, beginning with our thoughts, so choose carefully!

And so it is.

Transitioning

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Moving from one way of being to another is not a simple process…at least for me. There are no clean lines or delineations marking the ending of one part of my life. Neither are there specific moments of announcement that another part is beginning. It’s all muddled up together…my existance straddling the old and the new…constantly shifting in percentages from one moment to the next. So, I’m never quite certain when an epoch truely begins in my life. More accurately, I simply have a vague sense that something is ending or has completed, and the replacement is emerging in some way.

This is certainly true for me at the moment…the vague feeling that something has completed, and the simultaneous uncertainty of what is unfolding to fill the void. What has completed for me is the process of reinventing myself and raising my consciousness and daily living vibrations in order to attract and manifest the life I have desired.

This process can be marked in many different ways. It could have begun when decided to change careers, go back to school, and gave myself permission to finally fully explore who I am and what I want from life. Or, it could have begun when I finally chose to leave my childhood religion because it couldn’t support or enhance the me that I was discovering. Or, it could have begun when I converted to a religion that aligned more fully with my identity. Or, it could have begun the morning when I experienced an awakening through a conversation with a complete stranger. Or, it could have begun when I decided that I would not date anyone until I had healed my inner wounds to the degree that allowed me to attract a different kind of man.

Any and all of these have been significant points of transitions…of beginning and endings for me. And, there have been more of these moments. However, when I look back at the sequence of events, it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific moment that wasn’t connected to or the result of previous decisions and experiences…for they all lead to this moment…this present reality of finally having everything I have wanted in my life. So, the best I can say for now, is that the manifesting process has completed, and now the living and maintaining begins.

Consequently, my focus is shifting. Prior to this completion, part of my process included teaching and facilitating healing in others. It was a very expansive way of living and included many people. I learned through my interactions with others and experienced support through teaching others as I journeyed on my path. Now, I realize that my focus is much more specific, and, in a way, restricted. I am less willing to share myself with others, desiring to conserve large portions of myself and my energies for me and my manifested family. It is a more inward way of being…much more the solitary and secluded life I once craved. And yet, I am not in a convent or a hut in the mountains. I am simply a suburban woman who no longer needs to work outside the home, is focused on her evolving relationships with her mother and Beloved, and is unexpectedly expecting her first child in a few weeks.

In this environment, I get to practice my tools in new ways, and find my new expression of purpose by containing my energies…using them on me and for me rather than allowing them to flow outwardly in all directions. It’s an odd feeling, this balance of masculine and feminine within me…the creative flow and the boundaries co-existing in a dynamic fashion. And yet, I am so deeply grateful to experience it, for this was one of the many desires I had throughout my manifestation process…the balancing of the two sides of my nature…the masculine and feminine…the light and the dark…the expansive and the contractive…the damp and the dry…the outward and the inward. And, I have a feeling this is where my foundation begins for this new life…the inward connection to this dynamic balance of harmonizing opposing forces as I move through my daily routines and address the inevitable challenges that this life offers.

And so, because I am now aware of the shift, both inwardly and outwardly, I will mark this point as the beginning of the new…allowing the remnants to fall away and into place in their right times.

With gratitude,

~Gysela

Mercury’s Phases of Retrograde

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by Gysela Gervais

by Gysela Gervais

This evening I had a lovely, and unexpected opportunity. Due to some internal conflict and subsequent wise suggestions from my Beloved, I took some time to create space for me…away from everyone and everything going on in my life in this moment. This opportunistic space took the form of working in the backyard.

It’s been many years since I’ve had the responsibility of caring for a yard. The last time I experienced this, I discovered an unknown passion for gardening and landscape design, resulting in connecting with the rhythms of nature. In many ways, that time spent in the garden not only supported me through the transition from my childhood religion into my soul’s home, but also began my journey into a spiritual practice that has brought me to where I am today.

One of the many things I learned while gardening many years ago was that I really don’t like the motorized gardening tools. Yes, they make things easier, faster, and more efficient…all things that I value highly. However, when connecting with the Higher Realms, those values, I’ve discovered, often clash with the process that works best for me. Manual labor allows my brain to turn off and I enter a heart space, creating a peace-filled, dream-like experience. In that space, without any jarring sounds or sensations or time constraints, I can easily find not only myself, but the soul of the Earth around, in, beneath, and above me. The wisdom flows, and harmony is easily achieved.

So, it surprised me when, instead of purchasing a gas-powered lawn mower, my mother chose a rotary mower. After assembling it and making the desired adjustments, I took it out to the backyard tonight to mow the bit of lawn. The rhythmic movement and the sound of the blades instantly provided the respite from my churning mind. All I thought about, as I mowed, was the dance of the African men in my childhood who used slashers to cut down tall grasses and maintain lawns.

These slashers were very simple, primarily constructed from a long strip of metal. At one end the strip inserted into a carved wooden handle. At the other end, the strip curved, similar to the style of a golf club, so that the last six inches became parallel to the earth. At this end, both sides of the strip were ground down to a sharp edge potentially cutting whatever came in contact with it.

The men would take the handle in one hand and swing the slasher, first up to gain momentum, then down and across the front of their bodies, cutting the grasses in front of them. As they swung back up, preparing for the next swing down, the blade would trim whatever had been missed with the initial swing. Back and forth they would go, patiently, rhythmically, slowly moving through the field…often singing as they worked.

This same methodical and intentional process consumed me tonight as I mowed…no roar of engine filling my ears or exhaust filling my lungs. Only the sound of birds singing their good-night melodies and the smell of the grass, errant herbs and wildflowers mixed with the scent of the approaching rain as the blades whirred with each step and push through the tall grass.

I felt a sadness when I completed mowing…I wasn’t ready to be finished, I had enjoyed the process so much. So, I pulled out my pruners and set to work on the few plants that had survived the long move to this house with my Beloved. As I worked through the pots, I felt a bit ruthless, cutting back deeply and even pulling out a few of the smaller plants in order to make room for the stronger ones to expand. Some pots I cleaned out altogether, making room to plant something completely new.

As I worked, I realized that this is exactly the work that this Mercury Retrograde has been accomplishing in my life…pruning, cutting, pulling out, and preparing for the new and the strong to flourish. Most of my practices through the past eight years have been specifically designed to accomplish manifesting very particular things in my life. Now that those things have manifested, my practices need to be adjusted. Some need to remain, in a slightly altered fashion, in order to maintain and support my manifested life. Others have completed and need to be allowed to die away.

The difficulty lies in discovering which is which. And, because one of the laws of the Universe is that a vacuum never exists for long, anything that has completed indicates that something new is coming to fill that space. I have no idea what that something is at the moment, and there is a simultaneous sense of loss and gratitude in that realization and understanding.

Part of the gratitude comes from remembering that I experience Mercury Retrograde in three stages: Pre-retrograde shadow, Retrograde, and Post-retrograde shadow.

In the Pre-retrograde shadow, I experience hints and an introduction to the areas of my life that are about to be addressed. Sometimes the hints are subtle…so subtle that I don’t recognize them until I’m in the middle of the second or third phases. Other times, the hints are extremely loud and strongly unsettling.

In the Retrograde period, the addressed areas experience an unraveling…an undoing…a falling apart. These areas may be long-standing patterns, or they may be areas reconstructed during the previous Mercury Retrograde process. In such things, I’ve learned, time is irrelevant…what matters is whether I’ve accomplished what I’ve intended to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if it takes three months or three years to accomplish…if it has been completed it will dissolve.

Once it dissolves, there is space for something higher and better to be planted, created, and grow. The Post-retrograde shadow time is when the energetic grids which will support this new construction are put into place. Often during this time, I experience hints of what this new construction will bring to me and the specifics of where I’m heading.

No, I don’t always know the specifics of where I’m heading…I learned that lesson several years ago. To be too specific in setting intentions for manifesting is to limit the gifts of the Universe, stifling the potentials of abundance and my greatest happiness. Instead, I recognize that I may not know what is possible or what my greatest happiness could be, so I focus on the emotional energy I want to feel, always requesting that this desire or something better is manifested…then I let it go. And, in letting go, I release control, opening myself to the delights of surprises, awe, and the magic of life.

And so, once again, I step into this space of uncertainty. Mercury is slowing down his retrograde motion and on Thursday will begin moving forward again through the Post-retrograde Shadow process. I don’t know what’s coming or what has ended. But I do know how to support myself through this particular restructuring, for as the above understanding came to me while gardening this evening, I felt a few rain drops…and looked up. When I did, this rainbow greeted me…growing into a full arch around my backyard…becoming ever more brilliant…assuring me that all is well.

May it be so for you.

And so it is.

~Gysela

 

New Moon in Taurus

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If your life feels anything like mine lately, it’s been a tad intense. The simplest tasks have required an incredible amount of effort…more so than it seems they should. It’s taking longer to accomplish anything than I think it should, or than it has in the past, and after completing only one or two items on my list I’m ready for a very, very long nap.

Additionally, I’m feeling a lot of emotions…intensely and sometimes in a blender…all muddled up so that I’m not entirely certain what I’m feeling…just that I’m feeling something and it’s really really strong. And those strong emotions happen in the oddest of moments…something very insignificant and small brings up all kinds of crap that seems to be unrelated to the situation at hand, and I have, on occasion, found myself feeling foolish and embarrassed afterwards, uncertain exactly as to what just happened.

Some clients of mine are feeling something a bit different. They’re experiencing a profoundly deep sense of loss, abandonment, fear, and uncertainty. There is a sense of not knowing where they’re going or what to do next, and a sense of isolation that is causing them to want to reach out and connect with others in an almost desperate way…sometimes even to people they know aren’t the best for them, but the desire to be with them is almost overwhelming.

Still others I’ve observed are feeling unsafe because they don’t know what’s going on…just that something is happening and that they can’t control it or stop it or change it, so they feel as though their entire life is spiraling out of control. In response, they seek to control their outer world as much as possible, hoping that it will alleviate the internal cyclone that is raging. These same people are also experiencing an opportunity to increase personal responsibility through accountability, but are resisting it because it feels unsafe. To be held accountable for something equates to being corrected, which equates to being disciplined, which equates to being punished, which means (to them) that they are a bad person. Therefore, because they receive the message that they are a bad person, it then is translated to mean that they are either not good enough or not loveable. So, they resist and defend and excuse their attitudes or words or behavior because it’s unsafe to admit the truth.

In working with my clients, I’ve noticed an interesting pattern that beautifully describes and/or explains the process that is generating these experiences. It’s related to this theme of Resurrection, as well as the theme that will be present for this next moon cycle…puzzle pieces.

We’ve each created a life for ourselves using puzzle pieces that we’ve collected along the path of life or lives. The resulting picture is one that has guided us or defined us and has been helpful and beneficial for us…until now. Over the past year it has become increasingly clear that this picture we have used is no longer as useful or effective as it once was, and in the past six weeks we have been handed a new picture for our puzzle…using the same pieces but in a different configuration.

This new configuration will have gaps…because it’s a bigger picture with room for new ideas, new adventures, new people, new projects, and new potentials. In time, the gaps will fill, and the new picture will make sense, but at the moment it doesn’t. This is because in this moment all the pieces are disconnected from one other so that they can be put together in a new way. In this disconnected state, there is no reference point from which an individual piece can identify itself because the new picture orientation hasn’t fully completed. And, it may not fully complete before the pieces begin to come together again, resulting in a feeling of uncertainty, disorientation, confusion, and panic as we wait for clarity.

This, then, is the key…the theme for this cycle…waiting…with Love.

This is not a passive waiting, nor is the Love an external love. The Love is an unconditional self-directed Love that we actively practice daily…or hourly…or breath-ly. It will require slowing down, accomplishing less within each day, and giving ourselves permission to let that be ok. It will require holding a space of compassion for ourselves and our limitations during this time, accepting these limitations and letting those limitations be ok. It will require an adjustment of our thoughts towards ourselves, and saying affirmations of love and support toward ourselves so that our limitations are not entangled definitions of our worthiness, or lack of worthiness, of love. It will require a daily practice of some kind of act of kindness or love towards ourselves…such as a salt bath or a massage or dancing or reading a favorite book or doing your nails or getting a hair cut or taking a vacation or taking a nap or cancelling an appointment. Whatever someone does or says or gives to you that evokes a sense of love within, do for yourself. Create that feeling within, so that there is no dependence on another to provide that feeling for you…because, let’s be honest, right now, with this energetic configuration, you might not be able to depend on anyone giving you what you need…except yourself.

This is all being played out astrologically as well. This new moon is in Taurus, an earth sign, and a sign of personal security and luxury and wealth. Taurus wants material comfort and will work patiently and diligently to achieve it. It is also a sign of sensuality and pleasure, it’s ruling planet being Venus, the goddess of love in all its forms. So, by focusing on the things that bring you pleasure, you will be magnifying Love in your life and elevating your mood and frequency above the muddled confusion of this restructuring time.

Additionally, Venus is currently in Cancer, a water sign, ruled by the moon. This particular water sign deals with the emotions of the home life, signifying the potentials for long-standing issues at home to come to the surface for healing and growth. Mercury will also begin its retrograde motion during this time, offering many opportunities for slowing down and choosing words carefully when communicating with loved ones…especially towards yourself.

As with all Mercury retrogrades, take the time to slow down and adjust your timing mechanisms so that you can easily flow through these next three weeks. Stay present and go within in order to maximize the benefits that this space has to offer you. And, be aware that there are many around you who won’t be doing this, so be particularly careful while driving, speak slowly and softly, and avoid unnecessary stimulation as emotions will be running high in others not practicing self-love.

Things will balance out again in mid-June, so take heart and keep going. Each breath is an opportunity to try again…to love again…to practice again…to release and heal and evolve…resurrecting from the ashes…building a new picture piece by piece.

May we create the Love we seek, holding it on ourselves, for ourselves, and reflecting our fullness into our outer world…with gentleness and ease.

And so it is.

~Gysela

Am I a Mother?

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by P. D. Eastman

by P. D. Eastman

I suppose, that one could argue that today is the first Mother’s Day I will experience as a mother.

And I’m not excited about it.

In November, after a series of tests for other medical issues, my Beloved and I were told by the medical community that we wouldn’t be able to have children without significant fertility intervention. We discussed the pros and cons of our particular situation and quickly, and mutually, agreed that neither of us wanted children badly enough to force the issue. Instead, we decided to focus on keeping our bodies as healthy as possible, and began to plan a life of activities involving just the two of us.

Sometime within the following week, we unknowingly got pregnant.

And we are still pregnant…and still in shock.

And somehow, this pregnancy seems to qualify me as a mother worthy of being celebrated on Mother’s Day.

Why?

Why does this belly parasite usher me into a special and exclusive club that I was never welcomed into before? I have such a multitude of feelings around this entire experience that I really don’t know what to do with them or even all of what I’m feeling.

Because, I could argue that I’ve already been a mother. I cared for my cat Macavity for 20 years. I’ve mothered other people’s children as a surrogate Auntie, librarian, and teacher for 20 years. I’ve mothered myself through several painful transitions and transformations throughout my life, and in my opinion, any one of these scenarios qualifies me as being a mother. Thus, I could have been celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother this entire time.

And yet, I feel that these same things don’t qualify me to celebrate the day as a mother. Mother’s Day to me feels similar to telling my boss all the great things I’ve done and then asking for a raise. Inappropriate. Rather, the holiday feels to me like a day in which children honor their mothers out of a space of gratitude and appreciation. For me to tout what I have done feels inappropriate to me because I will do and be the same with or without accolades or acknowledgment and if another wants to honor that about me because he/she has noticed and values and appreciates me and what I do, he/she is welcome to do so.

And here is where the difficulty lies, because I am sensitive to the struggles and heartaches of the people around me regarding Mother’s Day and motherhood…acutely aware that their realities and perspectives are very different from mine and that I never wish for my differences to discredit their lives or experiences or desires.

For some of them, their mothers are no longer living, and no amount of joy and love from their own children (if they have children) can fill that longing for the security and safety of their mothers’ voice and arms. For some others, their relationships with their mothers are strained or difficult or non-existent and this day simply highlights everything that they desire but cannot have with their mothers. Still others desperately desire to be mothers and have children of their own but cannot. Or, they have lost children through miscarriages or abortion or adoption or kidnapping or accidents or violence or natural disasters. And then there are those who have no desire to have children and, while they are comfortable with this fact, this day can challenge them with inner doubts or ridiculously narrow societal pressures and expectations.

This last one I know very well. I have been single for a significant portion of my life, and, for the most part, chose that way of living. I have been particular about with whom I share my life…including friends. So, I wasn’t about to partner with just anyone, which also meant that neither was I all that concerned with having children. Not really. I did have a part of me that wished to have a Beloved partner and fabulous family, but I had seen women who really shouldn’t have been mothers, and I felt like if I did have children I would probably be considered one of those mothers…especially by me.

I know myself. I know that I like a quiet and calm life. My home is my haven. I am an introvert, and too much stimulation (which can happen very easily and quickly), sends me into my room where I seek silence, darkness, and aloneness. While I do enjoy children and have spent a significant amount of my life working with them, I also enjoy sending them back to their parents. But now. Unexpectedly. I am to have a child. And, 25 weeks later, I’m still working through my complex and conflicting emotions about it.

I feel a bit like those sole survivors of accidents…struggling with guilt for having what so many others want or mourn the loss of, but I never wanted or longed for…feeling the pressure to do something significant as a mother because of the blessings of my circumstances…knowing that I am not the person who coos and loves over babies, facing the fear, each day of my pregnancy, that my inner needs and personality will result in me being a “bad mother” to my child.

One such inner need is individuation. My identity has always been very much separate from my cat, my students, and any other children I’ve worked with or cared for…including the one in my belly. In fact, the one in my belly is already showing me where my boundaries lie…that I am unwilling to let this child define me, my space, and my attention…that I am willing to make room for him in my life, but my identity still needs cultivating and nurturing separately from him. And, from what I have seen in society, this perspective is definitely not the norm, hence I’m concerned that who I am, inherently, is not conducive to being a good or healthy mother.

So. When it comes to the holiday today, I feel all these definitions of mothering and motherhood simultaneously…and it’s pointedly uncomfortable. I have no idea how I will celebrate or mark the day with significance. In all honesty, I’d rather just ignore the day all together and pretend it’s just another Sunday…or focus on celebrating my own mother, who lives with me and with whom I have always had a very close and wonderful relationship. But, I don’t think that running away or ignoring my developing reality is the honorable or courageous thing to do for me. I need to face my confusing and complicated truth of existence, come to terms with it, and find an angle of repose with which I can live peaceably. So. With a deep breath, I will delve into my feels and sit with the discomfort and wait for Wisdom to come.

Resurrecting and Boundaries

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Photo by Dennis Scholl

Photo by Dennis Scholl

The theme of Resurrection and Boundaries has been quite prominent in my life over the past several weeks. In some ways, I’ve felt like I’m coming out of the water and breathing air for the first time in a long time, the memory of breathing had been almost forgotten.

For the past six months, my life, again, has been in a constant state of change. I still find it curious that, after so many years of intense and constant change, that the continuation of it is also still so stressful at times. I know that life is movement…I think I’ve finally learned and accepted that truth. And yet, this change I’ve experienced is deep and profound…wordless in its all-encompassing destruction.

And, to be fair, I’ve created this change. I’ve asked for it. I have made this change of direction and internal health the single most important event of my life for seven years. My attention to manifesting the other side has been equally all-consuming. And the results are astonishing.

I’m here.

I did it.

I made it happen.

It actually worked.

Holy *&^$ @#&$  &#&$*@!!!!!!!

Now what?!

Well, now I learn to enjoy the fruits of my labor! I learn to slow down, adjust my energy fields to the now, and maintain all the abundance and support and commitment and peace and Love and joy and connection that is here now.

I resurrect into my new life with a greater understanding and appreciation for the lack of boundaries in it. I can define myself in whatever way I want.

And, I find it so fitting that this process is being reflected to me in my outer world through the artistic community. My local symphony recently performed Mahler’s Second Symphony, also known as The Resurrection, and my local art museum hosted an exhibit on aboriginal art, entitled “No Boundaries.”

As I sat, again, contemplating these aboriginal pieces…wanting to understand what I was seeing and simultaneously fascinated and drawn to them…I saw a paragraph in the exhibition catalogue that seemed to sum up this experience for me:

[For these painters, painting] came in their twilight years, at the time when most would be looking for a quiet retirement. In Western art, we are used to senior, established artists becoming fixed in their ways; stuck repeating the triumphs of their youth. For Aboriginal Australians it is the reverse: it is only because these men were assured in their identity and fully in command of their cultural corpus, that they could leave behind the comfort of old ideas.

So, if you are in the process of transformation, whether it’s in the beginning stages of awareness, discomfort of place, destruction, loss, internal isolation, glimpses of a new direction, seeing the synchronicity of life’s support as you rebuild, or the holding of the final product in your hands, rest assured. None of this could be possible unless you had completed something…assured in your identity and fully in command of your cultural corpus so that you could leave it behind in order to ascend to a new level…a new dimension…a higher existence.

Congratulations!

You did it!

And so it is.

~Gysela

Filling in the Gaps

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by Gysela Gervais

Recently, I became enchanted with counted cross stitch…again. And in my enchantment, I pulled out my supplies and came across several unfinished projects…some rather recent, others not so much.

My obsession began when I was about 10 or 11 years old. A family friend introduced me to the orderliness and simultaneous creativity of the craft and I wholeheartedly threw myself into the counted cross stitch domain. I was not very discriminatory with my project selection…I simply wanted to create. So I did. Even without a plan for the end purpose of the project once complete.

Soon, I started piling up projects. I didn’t know why I was doing them or what I would do with them once I finished them, so two things happened: I left some projects alone, and others I gave away. The above image is one such project that I abandoned. So, as the pattern still appeals to me, I picked up this project to complete.

Then, some odd things began to happen. As I began to review my progress compared to the pattern, I began to remember things…thoughts I had, emotions I felt, experiences with other people, places I was…all things that were current as I stitched various areas of this pattern. And, the memories spanned several years. Apparently, I’ve set this project aside more than once.

As these memories came back to me, I noticed some connected emotions to them…some pleasant and some not so pleasant. At one point, my memories became so strong that I had to put the project down and simply focus on my remembering, because my emotions were starting to flip-flop all over the place. So, I surrendered to the journey, trusting that there was a purpose to it.

Several minutes into the surrender, I found myself awash in emotions…some of which I thought I had completed and released years ago. I couldn’t understand why these things were coming up yet again. I asked my Guides for support, and they told me that I didn’t need to wallow in the sea of emotions…it was a process I would understand better by continuing to work on the project. So, I did.

I continued to compare the unfinished work with the pattern and I soon noticed a pattern in my stitching…I had skipped over some rather important parts…the detailed parts…the multitude of half cross stitches in various colors. Looking at those gaps, I remembered the moment of decision to skip them. I remembered being impatient that I was spending so much time on the details that I felt as though I was accomplishing nothing. I’d spend hours on the pattern and no one could tell that anything had changed. So, in frustration, I decided to skip the “hard and tedious” parts, and only work on the sections that would go quickly…even though it was going to make the “hard and tedious” parts more difficult later.

As I looked at the piece now, realizing all the clean-up work I had ahead of me as a result of my younger decision, I also realized how much have changed since those impatient and impetuous days. It was a surreal moment of time travel to meet myself so starkly from another existence.

At first I was annoyed with my younger, immature, instant-gratification self. And then I realized that those were simply my limits then…the details were overwhelming to me at that time, so I shifted my approach to the project, allowing me to still accomplish the task, yet do it in a more enjoyable way. Pretty clever of me, actually. And, even more clever, is that the me in the now, the older and more mature me, actually enjoys the detailed and tedious work…the finer points of the project, because, it is these finer points the make the end product so appealing.

These parts of the pattern were the reason you chose it to begin with.

Yes, it takes a long time to work them out, and yes, it takes up more embroidery floss to address these areas than if I had done so when stitching the rest of the areas, and yes, despite the many hours I have put into this project recently, I doubt most people could tell me what I did. But. They would know that something had changed…the picture was clearer…they could understand areas they couldn’t before.

And this is the lesson of this time and your memories. You chose to be here for these detailed moments of completion…of understanding…of seeing the picture in ways you never saw before. These detailed and tedious moments are why you chose this lifetime, and why it had to be now instead of before…you weren’t ready.

So, as I work on this project, now with an end goal in mind, I’m not only filling in the gaps with thread and needle, I’m also filling in gaps of spiritual and personal understanding in the bigger picture of my life…and it will continue to fill with small pieces…little moments of clarity…wee snippets of understanding…until enough has been done for me to have that big “AHA!” moment, complete the project, and release it from my life for good.

And, perhaps, it will also be the same for you through this full-moon-in-Virgo week. If so, may you be supported with compassion, wisdom, and much Love.

And so it is.

~Gysela

Time Out of Time

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Love_it_or_list_it_Title

Mercury Retrograde has ended. Usually that means that slowly, time gets back “on track,” life picks up speed and things take off rather quickly. But, this time, Mercury Retrograde doesn’t feel fully completed, and I see a few reasons for this incompleteness.

Firstly, even though the retrograde motion has completed, there is still the “shadow period” to finish. The shadow period is that space over which the planet Mercury travels three times during the “retrograde” process. If you look at the path the planet takes during its backwards motion, it retraces a portion of the path it took just prior to its turning backwards. This is the first shadow period…the time before Mercury Retrograde during which issues that arise gives one clues as to what will be addressed fully in the backwards motion of the planet. Similarly, once the planet begins its forward motion again, it must retrace all the steps it took as it went backwards…going over that space path for the third time. So. Just because we’re moving forward, technically, it doesn’t mean that “stuff” is finished yet. In fact, it means that we still have the completing to do…the healing…the finalizing…the repairing…the rebuilding.

Secondly, in the past couple of years, the first Mercury Retrograde of the calendar year has fallen later in the year…February into March…so that by the time it ends, Spring Equinox is happening, the astrological year begins again, and off we go. This year, we experienced Mercury Retrograde an entire moon cycle earlier, leaving a good 4-6 weeks of time between the end of the retrograde motion, and the beginning of the astrological year. So, rather than ramping up for a “GO!,” instead, there is a slowing down and an additional introspective time as we move into the sign of Pisces, the culminating water sign, and final sign in the astrological calendar.

The ruling planet of Pisces is Neptune, which is the planet of illusions and dreams, giving us a clue as to what will be revealed to us during this time. Add to this mix the seventh, and final, Pluto/Uranus square which will affect most of the month of March, and we have a really good picture as to why we are not quite ready to move forward yet. There is still a bit of work to do…the last deep dredges of muck to clean out.

These Pluto/Uranus squares began in June 2012, and have continued to meet up every few months for a total of seven times. These squares have highlighted various aspects of our lives and society, and forced us to see the dark spaces and confront the dysfunctional aspects of ourselves and our place within an evolving consciousness. If you take a moment to look back at your life since June 2012, I’m sure, at this point, you can start to see some patterns, some clues, some clarity around why certain things happened, and maybe even where you might be headed next.

Pluto is the planet of transformation, and really doesn’t much care about our pain through the process. Rather, Pluto is most concerned that it happens and will be relentless until the goal is achieved. The easiest and most gentle way of getting through Pluto’s demands is to surrender to the process and allow it to happen…completely out of our control. Uranus is the planet of rebellion, dissolving barriers, freedom, future developments, creativity, rule breaking, system demolishing, and sudden, radical change. In terms of the tarot, I would compare Uranus to the Tower card…swift and sudden destruction in order for something better to have space in which to be built. So, it’s fairly easy to see that when these two planets square each other, shit is bound to hit the fan.

As I have done personal research throughout these squares in order to understand all the inner chaos I was experiencing, I came across several blogs that highlighted the idea that these seven squares coincide with the seven major chakras of the body…each square having a theme as it played out both personally and societally. I won’t recommend a particular blog on this topic, as each reader will resonate with different ones at different times…just like I have. And yet, there is something really beautiful about this synchronicity, regardless of how people have interpreted it. Every single square has dissolved and rebuilt some huge aspect of my identity within each chakra and its corresponding area of my life. Which means that this final, and seventh, square, is all about higher consciousness…some might even call it the Christ Consciousness.

The Christ Consciousness is not to be confused with Christianity or Jesus in most ways. It is not a religion or a person or a creed. It’s a way of being…a way of living…a way of viewing life and one’s place within humanity as a whole. Jesus was thought to embody this consciousness, which is why he was called “the Christ,” just as Buddha did, Gandhi, and many other significant spiritual teachers. It is what Jesus referred to when he talked about the Kingdom of Heaven being within you, this Christ Consciousness…an awareness of self at the soul level as well as at the egoic level and finding more evolved ways to live and move and be in duality. This, should the pattern continue, is what will be addressed in this seventh square…both within self as well as within the outer world collectively.

As we work through these transformative processes, we will have to make a choice. A choice exactly like a couple has to make on one of HGTV’s “reality” shows, Love It or List It. In the show, a homeowning couple faces a dilemma of daily living. Something in their home no longer works for them, and it usually has been a problem for quite some time. However, now things are at a critical point and something must change. Their options are: to renovate their existing home, or move to a different one. During the course of the show, both options happen…the couple shops for a different home while renovations are taking place in their current home. At the end of the renovation, the couple must decide…are the renovations enough of a change to support continued living in that space, or will they sell the home and move.

What is always fascinating to me in this show is the incredible transformation that is possible within the structure of their already existing homes. I am always mesmerized by the potentials that the designer sees that I often cannot, and I feel the frustration when, during renovation, larger issues are discovered…requiring eliminating some item on the renovation list. Sometimes, the larger issues are so large that it is almost impossible to make the home livable and safe, much less address any of the issues that the family needs in order to continue living there. In those situations, it becomes abundantly clear that they must let go and start over.

So, from now until around the end of March 2015, we will be experiencing this Time Out of Time…this continued introspection and dissolution of things and self that no longer support a higher consciousness and an evolved way of being and living. It will be intense, as this is the last hurrah of this particular series, at the end of which we will have to choose…do the inner changes require a simple renovation of our outer lives, or will they require us to begin again in brand new ways. Once the debris is cleared and the choice made, we will begin again…adjustments made, dreams re-dreamed, and appropriate structures for support in place.

May we find gratitude and blessings throughout the process.

And so it is.

~Gysela