Monday, September 25, 2017

PsychKicks©: Synchronicity Made Simple



Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.

Source of Inspiration
Life experience, astrology,
dictionary, psychic

© 2017 by Joyce Mason

In my previous post, Psychic Impressions, I covered the topic of “cosmic repetitions.” These are little scraps of experience or information that repeat themselves in your life, usually three times or more. Once you hit the magic trio number, you’ve probably got a synchronicity on your hands, a meaningful coincidence. So if you still don’t think you’ve got a psychic bone in your body, let’s move from focusing on your bones and whole body to observing and counting those syncs in hand.

You may expect this kind of tuning-in to be more complicated than it actually is. It’s no different than the game many of us played with siblings or cousins on long car rides. Count the number of red cars! In this case, you just look for repetitious occurrences. The best way I can illustrate is to share a recent sync in my own life that held a simple message.

I noticed this summer that in addition to having a therapist named Andrew (Andy), my new plumber was also named Andy. I like them both a great deal. I have been using Insight Timer for content and tracking in my meditation practice. The other day, I also noticed that the two Timer teachers whose meditations I use most are both named Andrew. Hmm. Not just three but four Andrews. All of them involved in making my life better. (Another Andy delivered food to us from Door Dash just after my first draft of this post.)

Being a symbols player, I immediately looked up the meaning of the name. Andrew means manly or masculine. At first I thought how generic. I wondered what that had to do with the price of eggs.

That’s the thing. You can’t stop when the symbolism doesn’t jump up, grab and shake you. You have to contemplate it a little. It didn’t take me long to realize I should ponder what was going on with masculine energy in my own life.

For starters, I should give you the context that I have Mars in Cancer, not the easiest Mars sign to express. (As I heard someone put it, it’s hard to be nurturing and mad at the same time.) That aside, I started thinking about how many Aries women I have for close friends and how I admire their ability to cut through any crap and just do it, whatever it is. My gearshift is often stuck in park while I wade through all the fear and other emotions that come up around what I have to do, especially if it means being very assertive and possibly testy. Talk about the sideways crab walk. My vehicle has a stick shift as in easily stuck.

My Mars has been really tested in the past couple years, and there is more Marsy behavior that I need to assert in the year to come. Thus, the message of all those “masculine” Andys. Now to come to terms with the message and how I can operate more directly. As if giving me that cosmic nod that I got the message, I had a dream about an old love recently. My first spiritual teacher/psychic told me that I dream about this man when I need to assert my masculine side.

So here’s my simple formula for finding and interpreting synchronicities in your own life.


Treat your synchronicities like a Leo Lion
who loves to be noticed.


How to Develop Your Synch Sensitivity
  1. Notice when a topic, name, place, experience—whatever—happens twice. By three times, know there’s usually a message.
  2. If there’s a name or concept involved that you can look up, do a few minutes of research for some dispassionate light on the subject. Or ask a friend or trusted advisor for input.
  3. Once you’ve got a clue from research or your own hunches, sit with it. Meditate on it a little. Write down what you find out.
  4. If there’s something you need to act on, take the final step and shift into drive. Have a good trip.


I hope this helps you hone that synch-ing feeling and to use it for all its worth—usually a lot. We all love to be noticed. Treat your synchronicities like a Leo who loves to be the center of attention, and you’ll be rewarded with loyalty and more fun than you thought this “random” universe had to offer.

~~~

Photo Credit: 
Kids side kicking - keigo1027yasuda @ fotolia.com; Lion kids hugging - ©jbrown @fotolia.com

Related Posts

The Queen of Synchronicity

A New Timepeace: Bending and Mending Time


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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Goddess Save the Queen!



An Autumn Equinox Poem

© 2017 by Joyce Mason


You come on leaves gently blowing
air crisping
grapes ripening
carousel colors streaming
rich shades cavorting
sounds whispering the gestation of snowflakes.

You are sensuous, ripe, bounty.
Your grand entrance, fashionably on time
same time each year
long awaited
a lover returning from the Other Seasons
and the Other Side
too long gone
outshining the other times of year
not meaning to.

Queen Libra, gentle figurehead
of ardor and fairness
grant me sanctuary
for the one month
I feel at home
in the Monarchy of Love, Beauty,
Sweetness and Connection
Balanced by your Golden Scales.
I lean in for the Kiss of Venus.

~~~

Photo Credit: © George Mayer - Fotolia.com


Sunday, September 10, 2017

PsychKicks© ~ Karma and Reincarnation: The Great Flow Charters in the Sky



.
Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.

Source of Inspiration
Life experience, astrology,
metaphysical teachings, past
life regressions


© 2010 - 2017 by Joyce Mason

This offering and some of the soon-to-follow PsychKicks are updated articles from The Radical Virgo and Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights. They fit our PsychKicks themes, and that I thought you’d enjoy or re-enjoy them in their newest incarnations.


I first became involved in metaphysics in 1977. Little did I know then what a red-letter year ’77 would be. On November 1, the planetary body Chiron was discovered. Chiron would ultimately become my specialty as an astrologer, but not until we “met” eleven years later. Among other things, Chiron’s discovery ushered in a focus on ecology, alternative medicine, and an interest in “New Age” spirituality.

Another iconic event that year awakened the consciousness of many people—the release of the first Star Wars movie. There’s nothing like cinema to coincide with and even help create cultural turning points. Suddenly, we were saying, “May the Force be with you,” acknowledging that there was one joining power we could tap into. We were spouting Yoda-isms, words to live by from the tiny green wizened one.

“Luminous beings are we … not this crude matter.” ~ Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

My intro to these subjects came from psychic and meditation teacher Betty Bethards and Unity Church, but my upbringing influenced the way I saw a melting pot of ideas from different religions and traditions. Take karma for example.

While karma has many dimensions, the rough parallel is the biblical, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” However, karma adds the idea of reincarnation, that you may be reaping your crop through several lifetimes. This is much more than “God’ll get you for that,” as Maude used to tell her husband Walter on her hilarious spin-off from All in the Family. Karma is about balance, learning both what nourishes us and what doesn’t work—anything that hurts ourselves or others. If we hurt others, we’ll eventually walk a mile in painful shoes. If we don’t love ourselves enough, we’ll taste the bitterness of that path and be given a chance to try the sweet nectar of self-compassion instead.


What Are the Mechanics?

I was one of those overly curious kids who asked my father why so often, he wished he had a why swatter. When I received new information, sometimes before my physical and emotional maturity to handle it, I would always get hung-up on the mechanics. For instance, when I first heard about sex and how people “do it,” I had to get out two of my dolls, imagining the male to have an anatomically correct appendage, and experiment with how the male and female parts might fit together. I didn’t get it. Grown-ups must be acrobats! At least I got points for an inquiring mind.

The same thing happened to me with karma. Once I heard that you often go through many lifetimes with the same cast of characters, repeating similar scenes until you complete your “business,” I had to figure out a way to wrap my brain around something so complicated. Here’s what I came up with as a touchstone for organizing my thoughts around karma and reincarnation.


The Great Flow Charters in the Sky and Magic Marker Music

I first got this idea before social networking and many tools we take for granted nowadays. I envisioned that each person has a team of advisers, a karma committee, to help map out his or her next incarnation for maximum learning. This is esessentially what Betty taught us.

With my Catholic background and being raised by an Italian mama, I saw my committee as handsome young Italian-American men in blue pinstripe suits, sort of a white-collar version of Tony Soprano’s mob family. Only better looking. Only angels. They didn’t make their bones; they made their wings. Bad guys gone good, now rewarded with the important job of helping others settle  their own scores in their multiple lives.

They’re in a “peace room” of sorts, the heavenly version of a war room where strategies are plotted before the plotted arise and are planted on earth again, body and soul together, one more time. They have to figure out how this complex of people will meet up and have all the experiences they need with all the right people from their past karmic strings of events. What a job!

I envision several flip charts. On them, the well-dressed angels are drawing intricate flow charts. Each chart stands for an individual life. Imagine the number of charts in a room in order to dovetail all of a person’s primary encounters with the people who are their sources of “unfinished business.” I can barely conceive of the complexity of this. If I had come lately to these ideas, I’d probably imagine some sort of computer program or phone app. But I’d lose something important with a more modern image. The visual of the flow charts makes obvious what a complex puzzle karma can be. It’s easier to grasp the idea in the visible foreground rather than thinking about how some magic box or program makes it happen offstage.

When my karmic connections and karmic moments happen, my mind hears the squeak of the Magic Markers the Flow Charters use, dancing furiously on those flip charts. I imagine the entangled strategy it took for all the planets to align and the people nudged to get this moment to synch up.


The Mystique of Karma

Karma has a mystique like marriage. I had a great conversation with a friend once concerning what a minefield it is to offer opinions on someone else’s marriage, no matter how close the friendship. What Anne said is both commonsense and profound:

Ultimately, what's between us and our husbands is part of that mysterious alchemy that no other person can ever fully know (including us, some of the time!) 

I dare say, the same goes for karma—or maybe it goes for karma foremost, because what marriage would not be a karmic relationship?

The resonance of karma is what pulls people together. We recognize each other energetically. Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow believes that we retain our same Ascendant in our birth chart lifetime after lifetime. One thing the Ascendant or rising sign has to do with is how we look. In other words, she believes we retain looks similar enough from one incarnation to the next to be recognized by our karmic posse. Even though it’s a radical idea, it feels plausible to me, especially after noticing how often I have been attracted to men with a certain look.

Karmic connections involve strong magnetism and a sense of rediscovery. It’s like when you haven’t seen an old friend for years, and you pick right up where you left off. Only you don’t consciously “know” this person yet in this lifetime, so you can’t understand why it feels that way using “normal” logic.


Details Please! Past Life Regression

I’ve had several past live regressions, a form of self-exploration that I would recommend that you try only with a trusted practitioner by way of a personal referral. I learned amazing things, including my role as an astrologer in Atlantis and how much trouble it got me into. It explains why I’ve had an approach-avoidance conflict with reclaiming that vocation in my current lifetime.

I know that my husband, Tim, was also my husband in Atlantis. He took care of me when I was disabled, and now I am returning the favor in helping him navigate his health issues and disability in our current life.



“Much to learn you still have…my old padawan. This is just the beginning!” – Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back


But What If You Don’t Believe in Reincarnation?

You don’t have to believe in reincarnation for this concept to work. In today’s world, life is so fast and jam-packed with experiences, we live what’s tantamount to numerous lifetimes in a single incarnation. Non-believers might even be more proficient in resolving karma, thinking this lifetime is “it” and all the time they have to work out their relationships.

Completing circles—that’s what it’s all about. Balancing the favors, grievances, love, good and bad feelings and coming to a higher understanding of the essence of each individual on your Great Flow Chart in the Sky, especially yourself.

And, of course, you can see a lot of your karmic story in the ultimate cosmic flow chart of your horoscope, especially when you start comparing yours with others' in your karmic cluster. Some types of astrology such as evolutionary astrology focus on this aspect of birth charts and the Moon's nodes role in the past-life and karmic picture.

I don’t know what is the sound of one hand clapping, but I do love the sound of one marker squeaking.

~~~

Photo Credit: Kids side kicking - keigo1027yasuda @ fotolia.com; Whiteboard – Tuulijumala @ Dreamstime.com



Related post: Astrology and Past Lives by Lana Wooster

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Short Shrift: The Season Summer and the Sign Virgo



© 2017 by Joyce Mason


In the Northern Hemisphere, summer ends early in most people’s minds, either on Labor Day (first Monday of September) or when school starts, whichever comes first (nowadays highly varied by locale). In fact, until I studied astrology, I considered myself to be born in autumn. Only then did I learn my exact chart and the difference between 29 Virgo and 1 Libra—the fact that I had a very late summer birth (8 hours from the cusp).

What does this shortened sign and season mean symbolically? Opening thoughts as I started to think about it this morning:

I consider the purest essences of the Summer Signs to be Cancer – nurture and family; Leo—shining of self; and Virgo—serving others. In a perfect world, this sector of the zodiac gives us the loving foundation ultimately to shine ourselves, and then to go on to give back. When we cut summer short, we are truncating Virgo and the season of service, not to mention digestion. I’m not sure we leave enough space to “digest” those summer activities, some of which can be deeply transformative like summer romances, before we’re jumping headlong into fall, skipping up to a third of Virgo. 

I believe we have a subconscious tendency to match our activities with the seasons. Summer is full of family picnics and swimming in the Cancer element water. The family gatherings peak on the 4th of July in the USA, birthday of our bigger family, country. During Leo we catch even more sun on top of our new tans and go on adventures or participate in fiery sports events. Come Virgo, we are usually fixated on summer’s end (wah!) and getting the kids reoriented. Even if you don’t have schoolchildren, Labor Day brings the sobering realization that vacations and play time are over. It’s time to get back to work or school. It’s a psychological adjustment, and it seems to occupy us till the real summer ends at Autumn Equinox. At least the beginning of school matches Virgo’s well known mental pursuits—and maybe her picky planning given all those pencils, books and educational paraphernalia there is to buy.

I think we lose something being focused on these mundane events and how they interrupt the late summer’s Virgoan flow. And I think there’s a solution for overcoming it. Some thoughts:

Set aside 3-5 days, sometime after Labor Day and before Autumn Equinox, to tend to your inner Virgo. (We all have Virgo somewhere in our charts, even if only by house placement.) Think of it as a personal Mercury Retrograde with lots of review and reconsideration:
  •     Review your diet for any changes you might need, especially your digestion and how various foods make you feel after eating them.
  •     What’s the state of your charitable giving, whether financial contributions or volunteer work?
  •     When it comes to “doing for others,” are you doing enough or overdoing? (See The Converse Golden Rule.) Are you suffering from compassion fatigue?
  •     How are you feeding your mind? Set goals for new habits if changes are needed. Meditation and yoga are superb for integrating body, mind and spirit.
  •     How is your health and how are your health providers? On my checklist is getting a second opinion on an upcoming surgery.
  •     How are your small animals? How is your relationship, their health?

These are just a few ideas for celebrating Virgo rather than shorting her. I’m sure you can come up with many more.

I’d love to hear from people in the Southern Hemisphere to find out if you have any challenges in glossing over any sign with your flipped seasons.

And thanks for any thoughts you have on giving Virgo her due.

~~~
   
Photo Credit: © meon04 – fotolia.com


PsychKicks© returns on or about September 11.


Related Posts:

The Summer Signs

The Signs Do Summer--in Pictures
http://www.radicalvirgo.com/2014/07/how-signs-do-summer-in-pictures.html



Sunday, August 27, 2017

PsychKicks©: Are Metafoofoos Still Hokey?



Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.

Source of Inspiration
Art, a bumper sticker,
and my day in court

I laughed till I cried the first time I saw a bumper sticker in the ‘80s at a massage school that said Metafoofoo. Here is was, finally: Metaphysical pride! The crystal users’ way of laughing at how others think of them as woo-woo. When I was looking for art depicting a psychic for one of my posts here, I could barely stand how hokey and stereotyped most of the pictures were. Talk about caricature and hyperbole. The photo here’s a sample of what I mean. It made me wonder, do Muggles still think we’re hokey, or worse yet, that we look like this lady?


The psychics, astrologers, tarot readers and related practitioners I know look like your garden variety neighbors. Some of them might wear a celestial t-shirt or star earrings but few look like they came straight home from a circus. Many of them have day jobs in respectable professions or have made their esoteric art their respectable full-time job. The vast majority of people I know who do this work are well-dressed, well-spoken, caring, responsible and honest.

However, the entire world hasn’t quite caught up to this modern view of “New Age” phenomena and those who tap its wisdom. I put New Age in quotes because these arts are as old as the hills. For instance, astrology in the west goes back at least 12,500 years. [1] For as long as humankind has existed, so have psychics. [2] Tarot is the new kid on the block who moved in around the year 1440. [3] The only thing new about these tools is a modern day revival of them since the last quarter of the 20th century that seems here to stay.

I prefer the word metaphysical to describe these arts and all that is implied in that term, namely things that transcend or go beyond the typical reach of the physical senses. Thus, metafoofoo tickles me in an ironic, self-deprecating kind of way. People who had direct experiences with God and the heavens used to be considered mystics, but today a surprising amount of prejudice still exists for us spiritual freelancers, especially in the name of religion. (I’ve given up trying to explain that astrology isn’t a religion and does not involve giving up your will to serve any master.) What I do appreciate is that the times are so much better now than they were when I was casting my first horoscopes in the early ‘80s.

Past Trips to Hokey

When I first moved to Sacramento in 1973, it was still illegal to practice astrology here. Astrologers could not get a business license and were lumped together with fortune tellers. This blessedly shifted the following year and had been kosher for more than a decade by the time I hung out my shingle in 1988.
Some of my more memorable encounters with stereotyped reactions include the response of an old high school friend I hadn’t seen in at least 20 years. He is a writer and playwright, someone different enough himself compared to the middle of the Bell curve. When he heard I was an astrologer, his first question was did I wear turbans? (He wore a cape!)

I have a great sense of humor and I never needed it more than when jury duty threatened to interfere with my living as an astrologer. I had dropped my time base at my day job to 4/5ths so I could do readings on Fridays. That was 20% of my income, and if I had to do jury duty on a long trial, that’s what I’d lose. The judge wanted to know if I had a black cat. I was sorry to disappoint him. I had cats but neither was black. (Now I could say I have such a raven-furred familiar.) He cracked me up and let me off. Judging by the laughter at my banter with His Honor, the whole courtroom seemed to enjoy these lighthearted metafoofoo moments.

Other than a lot of eye rolling and not being taken seriously or considered somehow immoral by certain individuals, I didn’t have it all that bad … but I learned that for others to respect what I do, it’s mandatory to view my work as valid myself. And to let people know I do. (Their opinion of me is none of my business.) Standing up to the judge as a small businesswoman, never mind what the business was? That was a real personal turning point. I doubt I’d flinch telling the Pope about my modern-day mystical adventures. Take yourself seriously and so do others.

Reminds me of the time I explained to someone that I had a different last name from my husband because I elected not to change it when I married. The response was, “Oh. One of those.”  Indeed! Back then, that individual’s obvious response to me as a fanatic bra-burning Women’s Libber pissed me off. Today I’m more likely to be the one who needs to resist eye rolling when I am lumped into one of those of any kind. These caricatures just amuse me and I feel no need to explain or defend myself.

Going Forward

How can we be good representatives of the metaphysical, astrological and mystical arts community? Not by proselytizing for sure. We have learned from the Jehovah’s Witnesses that zealous invasions of privacy hurt more than they help public image. I doubt the Witness conversion rate could come close to matching the PR damage and automatic duck-and-cover response upon seeing someone bearing The Watchtower come down your street. I have even included religion in my No Soliciting sign.

What has worked for me, so far, is not to duck a conversation about beliefs if it comes up outside the sanctuary of my home, but to respond with respect for my beliefs and the other person’s. If there are misconceptions, I give a short response stating the facts. I stay positive, happy and considerate. Often these conversations are relatively sweet, and  I suspect I’ve scored one for the team. Meeting an astrologer/psychic who clearly doesn’t have horns or breathe sulfur makes an impression. Enough of those impressions and people begin to use you as a reference point when others demean what you do or people who do it. Positive impressions spread as easily as negative ones, especially if you make people laugh—as I did in my day in court.

One last caution: Know when this kind of conversation is futile and don’t touch it with a ten foot pole. While I thank the LGBTQ community more than anyone for showing us how to come out of the closet with dignity, which applies to nearly anyone living outside the "accepted" norm, there are times when it just doesn’t pay to share who you really are. While I’d have that conversation with the Pope (OK, maybe only because Francis is the coolest Pope ever), I wouldn’t have it with a neo-Nazi. The situations where we encounter this are likely to be less black-and-white than lovers versus haters. My last landlord was what we used to call in the day a fanatic Catholic. I should have known better than to discuss the bad bathroom Feng Shui with him. He told me my immortal soul was lost and I should get back to The Church ASAP. He didn’t kick me out of my digs, but I could have kicked myself for having too much Metafoofoo Pride in front of someone so unable to comprehend who I really am. (I told him my soul is just fine, excellent in fact.)

I would love to hear your experiences with metaphysical stereotypes and/or prejudice and how you deal with them … and your opinion on whether things are getting any better in this regard.

This Week’s Questions


  • Do you have any good stories about people who consider your work or interests in the “occult” as stereotypically stupid or evil? (Do share!)
  • How about comebacks? What worked to help people reorient their thinking about “you lot,” one of my favorite British expressions that, without much subtlety, lumps people into an unsavory group of some sort.


~~~

Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Female gypsy fortune teller with crystal ball ~ © Scott Griessel - fotolia.com

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NOTES


  1. Astrology Horoscope Readings, “How Old Is Astrology?” http://www.astrologyhoroscopereadings.com/how-old-is-astrology.html
  2. Psychics4Today.com, “A Look at the History of Psychics,” http://www.psychics4today.com/a-look-at-the-history-of-psych
  3. How Stuff Works, “Tarot Card History: Are they Really That Ancient?” by Lee Ann Obringer, http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/tarot-card6.htm 

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eclipsed



Poem © 2017 by Joyce Mason

We travel the world
to stand under its path of totality.
We risk our sight to see the Light blotted out.
Dramatic total darkness—it’s lore and legend,
hopes and fears—captivates the entire planet,
brings life to a standstill
necks craned, eager to watch the Cosmic Lack of Light Show.

Back in everydayness, smaller versions of this divine shadow,
This light/dark reset, occur at least daily or whenever we want them:

Sunrise/sunset
the solstices
and any time we close our eyes
To enter into the holiness of darkness and silence
which does not eclipse our light
but renews it.

~~~

Photo Credit: © Creativa Images  - Fotolia.com



PsychKicks© will be back next week.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

PsychKicks©: Radical Rituals



Psych yourself up with like-minded sidekicks by exploring the symbols all around us—together.

Source of Inspiration
Life experience, childhood faith

Make your day rite! I’m talking about rituals. Repetitious habits, sayings, prayers or practices that anchor us in the choppy, ever-changing waters of life. Habits that, by their mere “mindless” repetition, put us in a relaxed and receptive state of consciousness. They help organize our lives and temporarily disconnect us from our chatty minds.

One of my favorite aspects of maturity is the ability to see the good in even the most painful parts of my past. I had a number of unfortunate experiences in Catholic school that I’ve grown beyond. Now I’m delighted to realize some of the greatest rewards of my childhood religious practices. The biggest one for me is the value of ritual.

Ritual defined by Merriam Webster
and some great sample uses:

The priest will perform the ritual.
He was buried simply, without ceremony or ritual.
The daily ritual of preparing breakfast ...
His day-to-day life is based on ritual. 

While I learned ritual in the priestly and religious ceremonial context, it’s the daily mundane rituals of my life that provide texture, stability and often a sense of home, belonging and joy. (You can travel or move anywhere, but if you take your rituals with you, you're always home.) I’ve pondered often about that transfer of spirituality to the mundane. This is what I’ve come up with.

As a child, I could not understand the usefulness of repetitious prayers, particularly the Our Fathers and Hail Marys of the Rosary. Show me a Catholic who didn’t mumble them by rote and I’ll show you a saint. How could something work that was so mindless?

Back then I didn’t absorb the value of singsong mumbling or the things that would keep me from stumbling in the morning. (I have a hard time getting up and into my body, much less cranking up my activity level. Rituals are the crank on my Model T of Me. They help me get started, especially making and drinking coffee.) No matter how little you concentrate on the meaning of prayers or a mantra when meditating, the meaning seeps through, maybe even more when you don’t “pay attention.” Again, these mantras, including the rosary, quiet the mind to let spirit and inspiration come through.

My dad was not a church-goer, and from him, I got the idea that God could be found anywhere. Back in the days where I saw God as the Ultimate Father, my earthly father was as close to divine as I can imagine a human being. So something was planted in me to see spirit in everydayness. (My dad was a double Leo with a number of Virgo planets and a prominent Saturn.)


But the truth is …

I Learned the Most about Ritual from My Dog

My husband and I had a big, loopy Yellow Lab named Bear. He was the most
Bear as Groucho Barx
ritualistic being I ever met in my whole life. When Tim and I first got (back) together in 1997, I sang to Bear when he was just waking up from sleeping in his crate. From that introductory moment on, he was hooked on my songs, which led us to a wacky and wonderful nighttime ritual.


Bear always slept in his crate in our bedroom. For him, it was like going back to the womb, his place of comfort and retreat. I created a special tuck-in song that I sang and then gave him a cookie (dog biscuit) before he went in. I usually put him to bed at 9:00 pm. If I hadn’t started the ritual by 9:05, he’d sigh, harrumph, and quickly rise up and lower himself on his front paws to show his impatience. When I got up to start the song, he’d run down our long hallway ahead of me, galloping to his bed. This was the song—to the tune of Rock-a-Bye Baby:


Rock-a-bye, Beary in your sweet crate.
Mommy will tuck you, she won’t be late.
Gallop to dreamland—pills, cookie, kiss.
Isn’t it heaven, nite-nite like this?
(Spoken: Nite-nite, sweet Bear!)

I never saw a being—human, canine or otherwise—who got so much joy out of a custom ritual. On the horrible day we had to euthanize him, I whispered Bear’s song into his ear when we sent him to Dreamland for the last time.

(Astro info: Bear had a stellium in Capricorn and due to his very clownish nature, I’m positive Jupiter was angular, either on the ASC or MC. What a clown. Wish we had a birth time: Jan. 12, 1997.)

From Bear’s Nite-Nite, Sweet Bear song, Tim and I ultimately formed our own bedtime ritual where we say nite-nite to each other and all the pets we’ve raised together. It ends with:

And nite-nite to all the pets and people we have ever loved and ever will love, wherever they are. Peace on Earth. Amen.

Like Bear we can hardly sleep without it.

Holy Everydayness

One of my favorite quotes is by author Anne Lamott, “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” This is an example of how the mundane and spiritual intersect. Rituals can become portals to living a spirited life. I think of my own rituals as percussion instruments that help me keep the beat in the flow of living.

When a habit becomes a ritual, it is energetically raised to that connection with the All. It’s like plugging ourselves into the linked network of heaven and humanity. Rituals don’t have juice in and of themselves, but when their two-pronged plug of mundane and spirit are pushed into the Grid, life is electric and hums the cosmic tune, Om.

Larger Rituals

The rituals we’ve been talking about here are personal, one-on-one or at the most family-involved. We also need community. The rituals we participate in as larger groups, whether it’s at church or other organizations of like-mindedness, are just another way of practicing the mundane-to-spirit connection. For people like me who are more spiritual than religious, my article, Astrology and Ritual, tells how I co-created a ceremonial community and how anyone can do the same.

Why Radical?

In one of the earliest posts on The Radical Virgo in March 2009, I shared how the word radical is derived from the Latin word for root. Rituals root us. Their mundaneness plants our feet fully on earth and with that grounding, we increase our ability to bring spirit down to earth and to grow optimally.
What’s not to love?

This Week’s Questions


  • Can you identify your existing rituals? How do you feel doing them?
  • What new rituals would enrich your daily routine?


Photo Credits: Kids side kicking ~ keigo1027yasuda – fotolia.com, Bear as Groucho Barx by Joyce

Resource
"Ritual." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 Aug. 2017.

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