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Solstice Guidance for Dark Times

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Spirit offered five pieces of guidance during the night and I woke up wanting to write them down and share them with you… In the northern hemisphere, we are about to enter the darkest day of the year: Solstice.  This day brings the opportunity for introspection and the release of what has outlived its usefulness.  We use the darkness to enter silence and holiness, review what has come to pass, and plant the seeds for the coming year.  We look forward to the return of the Sun. It is fitting that final news of the US election has come this week, fast on the heels of the horrors of Aleppo and...

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Why “getting over it” doesn’t work.

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Why “getting over it” doesn’t work.

I’ve seen lots of posts lately, especially on Facebook, about “raising the vibration,” choosing love, letting go of hate and fear…. The list goes on, referencing the election and general state of the world and even things like depression.  These quotes have me thinking that holiday blues or indignation about the election are somehow personal failings.   They are very well-intentioned, spiritual-sounding posts from excellent people, many of whom I admire and am happy to call my friends and colleagues… Yet. I’ve seen complex PTSD in many forms over the years and it’s called complex for a...

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Words from the Benevolents, post-election

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Words from the Benevolents, post-election

How are you doing? I hope you’re okay.  I know it’s been stressful for most of us – please hang in there with me. I’ve felt like Alice all week, through the looking glass into another universe (and not in the shamanic way that I like). I’ve felt big, small, scared, powerful, drugged, lost, and homesick. I’ve cried a lot.  I’ve watched myself have knee-jerk reactions and spoil for fights, desperate to be heard and understood in the middle of chaos. I’ve witnessed some ugliness. I’ve been really worried for everyone: truly, everyone. I’m worried for LGBTQ, minority, and immigrant...

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For Standing Rock

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Our Mother Earth knows that her children are fighting over her.   She knows that one group is dancing, singing, praying to make sure she stays safe and well, for her own sake and for the sakes of all those who call her home.  And she knows that another group has become greedy, ignorant, and cruel. Even as they rape her, she gives them food and shelter. She knows this. She’s watching it happen, feels it deep within her as the drills and shovels and machines dig into her bones and veins.  She feels the footsteps of those who come peacefully just as surely as she feels the pounding of the...

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Extra-Ordinary Practice

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We wouldn’t need spiritual practices if we were already perfect, but we wouldn’t have them at all if there was no hope.

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Grief Ritual

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The following is a personal reflection that includes some (but not all) of the details from a Dagara grief ritual held in Rockport, MA in May 2016.     We gathered on a Saturday morning and took our seats in the circle of folding chairs. A few people had come with friends or spouses or had come to ritual before, but by and large we were a group of 35 strangers. Sobonfu Some entered the room and sat down with us. She is effervescent, grounded, succinct, and wise. She shared with us some context for the ceremony we were about to undertake, a grief ritual from her West African Dagara...

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