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Quickening: An Imbolc Tarot Spread

This is a great spread to start off a new year. It was very insightful for me! Choose your favourite cards and check it out. I actually used three sets of cards to go deeper.

FURIOUSHORDE

Imbolc Tarot

Imbolc is a time of quickening.

The word Imbolc is from the Gaelic for “in the belly” and speaks of the promise of spring, even when winter lingers. Think of the earth stretching before arising from her winter bed and her blood warming beneath her skin of soil. Our Quickening Spread for Imbolc is about paying attention to those seed dreams we discovered within ourselves in the dark of the year, focusing on how we can nurture our dream into reality.

1. Seed. What is the dream seed that you hope to grow in the brightening year?

2 + 3. Quickening. What energies are stirring awake within you? What part of your self that has been slumbering is slowly awakening?

4. Fire. What aids and inspires your dream seed?

5. Ice. What blocks and challenges your dream seed?

6 + 7. Forge. How can you…

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Brigid's Well | SpiritMAMA

Turning the Tide, Planting Seeds – 8 Ways To Manifest a Better World at Imbolc

Brigid's Well | SpiritMAMA

I don’t really celebrate Imbolc. Probably because I’m tired out from the winter holidays but, also where I live in the Pacific Northwest, there is not much difference in the weather between January and February. It just rains. A lot.

This year I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff. The world is going crazy south of us here in Canada and no-one knows how it will all pan out for all of us. Everything feels suddenly hyperreal, as is common when faced with a threat – reality solidifies around survival instincts so we can have this pin-point of focus on the enemy.

Wheel of the Year | SpiritMAMAThere is really SO MUCH wrong in the world it can be overwhelming. My reaction thus far has been to try to keep my eye on all of it, as if in some way this will make it all safer. But this is impossible. It spreads my energies thin and accomplishes very little, other than creating a state of fear and worry. So this year, at Imbolc, I am doing something different.

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Gorgeous Bridget Dolls and Art from Celtic Soul Craft

Here’s a timely little poppet, in honour of Imbolc / Bridget’s Day.

Brighid ‘Brideog’ Doll – Click on image to view in shop Brighid Altar Wall Hanging – Featuring protective Brighid’s wheel/cross and pocket for offerings – Click on image to view in shop Brighid Altar Wall Hanging – With pocket for offerings & Brighid’s wheel/cross which offers protection to the house for the coming year. […]

via Brighid Art in the Shop…. — Celtic Soul Craft

Buddha Meditating Art | SpiritMAMA Blog

Begin to Meditate: It’s Easy and It Will Change Everything

Buddha Meditating | Spirit Mama Blog

I used to think mediating was hard because well, it was. Every time I sat down to do it I found myself fidgeting and wishing I was somewhere  else. Eventually I’d get irritated and get up. End of session.

But in yoga teacher training, I was trained in the basics of meditation and realized that it wasn’t meditation that was hard, it was my perception of what I thought mediation was that was causing me difficulties.

A common misconception is that meditation is about ‘clearing your mind of thoughts’. So, we sit down and close our eyes and try to push all of the thoughts out of our heads. But, with this kind of force, the mind retaliates and actually becomes busier.

What we actually want to do is to simply observe the thoughts. As if we were sitting in a theatre, we sit in our minds eye and perform a process of allowing the thoughts to come and go. Our minds will jump on thoughts here and there in an effort to follow the progression of the thought to an end resolution – take us on what I call a ‘thought train’. When this happens, we remember we are meditating, gently jump off, let the thought go and bring our awareness back to the here and now. I bring my awareness back to my third eye in the centre of my forehead and say, “I am not my thoughts.” This was the technique taught to me. I have since added, “I am not my emotions. I am not my stories”. You could also say something like, “Come back to centre”.

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Rumi Art Portrait | SpiritMAMA Blog

Dec 17th We Bow to Rumi

On the anniversary of his death. This is one of my favourites.

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.

~Rumi

Here’s a beautiful article about the celebration of his life: Ripening of Love: An Ode to Rumi on the Anniversary of His Death

featured image @ Wikimedia Commons 

Ancient Deer Tattoo | SpiritMAMA Blog

Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

Ancient Deer Tattoo | Spirit Mama BlogI found an amazing new blog today called Gather – Wild Food, Magical Cookery.

Those who follow me know I have written about the ancient reindeer goddess and Elen of the Ways, but this article goes much deeper than I have and I am so grateful for it! So many new pathways to wander through while reading this. So much inspiration.

In a recent shamanic journey to discover what to build my medicine pouch with, I was told to use deer hide ‘because that animal is sacred to you’. I was gifted the deer skull that sits above my altar-space around the same time and regularly include the Great Reindeer Goddess in my prayers as an aspect of Mother-Earth. However, in this article this Goddess represents the whole cosmos. I’ve read elsewhere that She is like the axis-mundi of the cosmos. Or, She is the Tree of Life that connects the 3 worlds (Upper, Mid, Lower).

I now carry a tiny reindeer with me wherever I go. I feel a great reverence when I run into Her. Every time. Little but little, I am reminded of who She is.

Enjoy! Please take a look and go to her page to ‘like’, if you like. The author did quite a bit of work to bring us this! Much love.

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The Centre Altar Featured | SpiritMAMA

In the Centre of the Medicine Wheel, I Found Chaos

But, it’s really like a little pet chaos.

No synchronistic external events, that ‘prove’ we are really experiencing something. No. It’s like I am melting away from the world. The Centre is supposed to be where we find Balance. Either I am already there or Balance makes me feel itchy, wanting and cold, with that old restlessness like a tiny constant wind blowing in my ear.

Remember, remember.

Well? What is it?

I have come to the end of my first year in the medicine spiral of my ancestors. We come to the end at the Centre. We come to our end at the centre.

The Centre Altar | SpiritMAMA

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SpiritMAMA with Son in Forest | SpiritMAMA Blog

They Are Speaking

SpiritMAMA with Son in Forest | SpiritMAMA Blog

When I first moved to this neighbourhood I was in the grips of a terrible panic. It probably began as postpartum anxiety – my son was only one and a half then – but due to a debilitating lack of sleep with baby, the anxiety and compulsive fear behavior remained. It was extremely difficult.

I turned to my altar and prayer for relief, somewhere I hadn’t been for at least the past 10 years. I prayed daily and in earnest for every little thing, I set up altars and tended them with care. I felt some relief but complained of feeling no connection. I asked for a teacher and none came.

But then that Spring, funny things started to happen. During our many walks outside we came across animals in need; a baby crow with a broken leg, a dog lost in the depths of the forest on the side of a mountain, a cat lost away from his home, the little sewer rat that walked right up to my feet out in my yard, the poor limping coyote who was being chased by a neighbour in an SUV. I also came across other things – one day the remains of a cat, another day a dead crow in the gutter. I’ll never forget this, when leaning over to look at the cat tail I found, I ‘heard’ this excited little voice that was not my own say:

Pick me up! Take me home!

Of course at the time I was shocked at the notion – why on earth would I do that?

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Jack-O-Lanterns | SpiritMAMA Blog

Celebrating Samhain With Kiddies

Jack-O-Lanterns | Spirit Mama Blog

Halloween used to mean taking a late nap, then heading out sometime after 11 to the biggest party we could find, dance all night and stumble home, costumes in shambles, hangover pending. Sometime in my 30s, while being inundated with ‘sexy’ costumes on every single female (who knew female cops wore garters and stilettos?), and put off by the high price of party tickets and insanity of downtown on Halloween night, the party lost it’s luster. Halloween became just another reason for people to get wasted.

I’ve always believed in ghosts, spirits, elementals and in the basic animistic nature of our world – everything is alive. Everything. But it wasn’t until I had my own child that I began to step up and practice moulding my life around those beliefs. I take being a mom seriously. It’s my responsibility to raise my son with foresight, looking into what kind of future he will grow into and what kind of challenges his generation will face. With the environmental crisis looming, I believe the only thing that will save the humans is to rekindle our love-affair with Mama Earth and go back to the land.

Living with the wheel-of-the-year the way our ancestors did is a very direct way to renew this relationship. The wheel turns as the seasons rise and fade and as they do, there are many ways we can participate in the process.

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Jonah and the Whale | SpiritMAMA Blog

A Meeting with Death in the West

Jonah and the Whale | SpiritMAMA Blog

I’m wrapping up a year-long traverse deep down into the medicine spiral. Like a medicine wheel but with Celtic leanings, the spiral takes us into ourselves and back out again, shiny and new.

So much has come out of these retreat weekends, five in all. At the dawn of each season and corresponding direction, and one more for the heart-centre, we meet, we meditate, we cook food together, we immerse in the teachings.

This past weekend was the West, the Fall and Samhain. No matter the lineage, the theme of the West is always the same: death, dying, letting go, receding, resting and digesting. Just think of what’s happening in nature to steer your course (after all we humans are actually a part of it all, even though we vehemently deny it). The trees are bedding down, losing leaves, the plants in the garden receding, dropping into that heavy slumber that protects them through the winter – or perhaps they have been harvested for their gold and then composted, to be digested by the soil. Everything around us is dying, returning to the earth or moving onto the next energetic state, eventual rebirth, but for now the in-between. Samhain is the Celtic fire festival, the last of three harvest festivals and beginning of the coldest part of the year, the feminine half. Also celebrated as the Witches new year and Halloween, this is a liminal time, perhaps the most powerful, when the veil between the world of the living and the dead becomes thin.

Our group is quite big, about 25 of us, so my sharing hasn’t been really up to snuff. I must admit even though I’ve been the DJ countless times, in front of hundreds of people until dawn, and even though I’ve known these people in my group for close to a year now, I still have stage fright.

I want to share with you about one shamanic journey we did, to meet with Whale. Whale is the ancient and timeless record-keeper, recording migration routes and ancestral histories. Here’s what they had to tell me:

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