Where do our prayers go?

Lunar Letter

D

ear Miracles,

As lovers of the sacred arts – people who dream magic and dance and weave, tell stories and sing together – we are lovers of something we feel is much broader, more luminous, higher or deeper, something more meaningful and more wholesome, than the affairs of a dusty and dim political world, a world so deeply scarred and fractured, as it sometimes seems, beyond repair. If we could live on the Isle of the Blessed, far away from the squalid disputes and the daily strife, how many of us would not choose to do so at once?  (Indeed sometimes you will find me preferring to live under a Magic Mushroom, with a good book of course.) But the scarred and fractured world is our world. It is the one world we have. And it requires our love – especially the love of those of us who are lovers of the sacred arts.

Who better to teach us about these matters than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?  In his Letter From Birmingham Jail, which I encourage you to read, Dr. King articulates the four steps for any nonviolent political campaign. Those four steps are:

1.    Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist
2.    Negotiation
3.    Self-purification
4.    Direct action

An essential part of self-purification is self-examination. If I am physically threatened during a campaign, will I hit back? Do I have the inner strength to stand my ground, and in standing my ground, most importantly am I prepared to turn the other cheek? If I can put myself to the test, and say in all seriousness “yes, I am prepared to turn the other cheek” then I am ready for the campaign. If I cannot honestly affirm this, I have still had work to do.

On the basis of what Dr. King argues in his Letter, I suspect that he understood prayer to play a significant role in the process of self-examination.

This is because prayer here is much more than a mere entreaty to obtain something. We put ourselves to the test. Prayer and blessing call us out. By praying, we are expressing a desire not to hide, but to lay our cards on the table, to get real, to be honest with ourselves and with others, and to get with it.

The upshot is that direct action occurs long before any picket line is created or protest signs are made.  Prayer in this sense has a direct action all of its own, in the truest sense of the word, it is an action that works directly on us.

In other words, prayer and blessing that is only externally directed is not prayer or blessing at all. There is no blessing way in that. When tragedy strikes the understandable reaction among people of all stripes – among religious people and even among people who do not identify as religious – is to pray for a better outcome, to pray for healing, pray for light (even though sometimes what is actually called for is healing darkness), pray for love (even though what might be more useful is clear-eyed discernment), to pray and then…do nothing, change nothing, learn nothing.

As the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “the function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”  Prayers must go inwards too. They must put ourselves to the test, strike at the roots of who we are, what we think, what we say, how we treat one another and how we live.

In a world in which sometimes seems like a runaway train, these are the results – this is the action – that truly makes a difference.  May it be so!

And, for those of you who would like to get in on some group blessing, I am performing a FREE community altar for La Señora Guadalupe on her feast day, December 12th. Learn about her and send in a petition to be included in our family altar by going here.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

What to do when everything is NOT Ok

Lunar Letter

A

personal favorite theme in faerie tales is one I have come to call “peace, peace, but there is no peace.”  It goes like this: the hero or heroine is in a dangerous situation, but they refuse to recognize or acknowledge that fact.

In the story of the Little Match Girl, a homeless and hungry child freezes to death because she wastes what little fuel she has created pretty pictures and fantasies instead of assessing her perilous surroundings and seeking aid.

In the tale of Bluebeard, a young woman comes upon a room full of dead bodies but chooses to turn away and try to hide her discovery, wanting nothing more than to pretend that it never happened.

In the pages of Cinderella and Snow White we see this theme too — widowed men continually marrying bad, cruel, unforgiving women. Are all of the evil-step mothers really amazing actresses or are the men turning a blind eye to the things they would rather not see (or deal with)?

In all of these tales, there are only two possibilities: death or revelation. The stories teach us that to ignore what is really going on is tantamount to signing our own death warrant. To say “peace, peace” instead of squaring ourselves up to whatever is really happening is to breathe out the one lie that can take us down.

You might think that this behavior is found in faerie tale or myth only. Not so. We see it all of the time. It happens anytime someone asks you “how you are doing” and you respond with “I’m ok, great, fine” even when that is not the case. I have seen people “I’m OK” themselves into bad relationships, terrible jobs, unhappy marriages, and dangerous health situations. “Peace, peace”, but not really and certainly not now. This behavior comes from the best possible place…our desire for peace, our desire to truly be OK…but because it lacks the will to see things as they are, this well-intentioned desire leads ever and always to the exact opposite.

Longtime readers of mine know that I am an optimist. I believe in the best possible outcome, I expect the impossible on a regular basis, and my work is crafted around the reality of miracles. I never advise that we go looking for trouble or that we wallow in victimhood of any kind.  Yes, I believe in the power of positive thinking. But without a willingness to face uncomfortable truths, positive thinking is no longer a useful tool but a weapon capable of inflicting great harm to the self.

Call it like you see it, see it for what it is, and respond with compassion and courage.

This is the only way to call forth what is truly and deeply healing, whole, and holy in ourselves and each other. When we are able to do that not only do we stop the “I’m OK’ mantra we discover that much of what we wish to have more of in our lives, much of what we are yearning for, is already there, if only we see it clearly.

So it is that beauty is not perfectly smooth and soft but has edges, scars, and wrinkles. So it is too that magic requires transformation and demands a departure from comfort. Love — brave, brave love never turns away from fear but takes fear by the hand and walks with it through all kinds of terrain. And peace, lasting peace, is found by telling the truth, sometimes rocking the boat, making waves, being your one, blessed, perfect in your imperfections, self.

They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. — Jeremiah 6:14

(Listen to this lunar letter by clicking here).

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches–Plant Love with Kiva Ringtail Rose

Learning and Community

D

ear Miracles: I first heard Kiva Rose’s name mentioned years ago when my mother and I were reading one of Loba’s columns in Sage Woman magazine. The Anima school and sanctuary sounded wild and wonderful and so very needed. Then years later I came across her work again in Plant Healer Magazine–and it wasn’t long before I wrote a couple of articles for that most excellent periodical. Kiva is a busy woman and I was delighted when she agreed to take some time and speak with me about plant magic and all that is wild. 

In her own words: Herbalist, author, and wild creature, Kiva Rose lives in a canyon botanical sanctuary within the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. She is also the co-director of the HerbFolk Gathering, held each September in the mountain Southwest, is co-editor of Plant Healer Magazine, and maintains an herbal blog, The Medicine Woman’s Roots.

Find Kiva on the World Wide Web:

Plant Healer and The HerbFolk Gathering
The Medicine Woman’s Roots Herbal Blog

 

 

 

Who/What is a Plant Healer? Why this term instead of a term like Herbalist?

A Plant Healer is anyone who works with the plants for the purpose of healing. We chose this term in part because of its simplicity and because of the way it keeps the focus on the plants themselves. I am an herbalist because I love the plants, and feel called to matchmake between plants and people, hopefully facilitating new and deeper relationships among humans and herbs that brings healing for us, as well as inspiring us to take better care of the earth in the process.

 

One of the many contributions you have made to the plant loving community is a return to the notion of “folk herbalism”. How is folk herbalism different from what might be considered more “mainstream herbalism”, what are folk herbalists bringing to the table that has been missing in the community?

Basically, folk herbalism is technically defined as herbalism being practiced by non-professionals or lay people, often utilizing regional or handed down knowledge and perspectives. However, given the wide range of practitioners that currently identify as folk herbalists, I think it makes sense to broaden the definition to include professionals and non-professionals alike who practice an herbalism not currently accepted as valid by the Western biomedical industry and our culture in general.

Folk herbalism has always been here, and has long been represented by an incredible spectrum of practitioners. I personally use the terminology because I value both inclusivity and diversity within the healing community. I especially like the fact that folk herbalism embraces such a wide range of ideas and practices without insisting upon a false or forced homogeny.

 

You run a clinical practice, care for a beautiful wilderness area in Southern New Mexico, teach, write, publish some of the finest books and magazines on the plant path, and organize festive conferences and weekends of education for plant healers, you are also a mom and devoted partner…how do you do it all and what are your personal favorite herbal allies?

Thank you, Bri! I’ve found that it’s my nature to cycle through focusing on what most interests me at the time, and I find that working on so many projects allows me to move from seeing folks to creating art to writing to land restoration to teaching to solitary and family time in a way that allows me to feel both fulfilled and to keep many projects going at once. Also, my wonderful partner, Jesse Wolf Hardin, does an enormous amount and keeps everything on track and on schedule!

Many of my absolute favorite plants are from the genus Salvia, I adore all that I’ve met thus far! I’m very blessed to have two native species growing right here in the canyon where I live and many more nearby. Working with the less well known Sawtooth Sage, Salvia subincisa, was a profound experience in my early herbal studies. While I don’t know of anyone else working with this plant, it is a profound relaxant nervine that is specifically indicated when tremors are present with anxiety. It’s also a wonderful ally for those who have such sensitive nervous systems that even Lemon Balm can seem too stimulating. Back when I was first studying and practicing herbalism, I was also recovering from many years of insomnia, addiction, and abuse and dealing with a very fried and overstimulated nervous system. The Sawtooth Sage helped to heal my nervous system and allowed me to sleep and relax in ways I hadn’t experienced in decades. I especially like it combined with our local Skullcap for tension, anxiety, and insomnia.

 

In 2013 you launched the Bramble and Rose–a wonderful shop where folks can order perfumes, elixirs, balms, and oils, tell us about the Bramble and Rose and what inspired it?

Originally, The Bramble & The Rose was created as an outlet for my passion for creating botanical perfumes and body products, and my desire to share the medicine of aromatics with a wider audience. As time has passed, I’ve slowly been expanding it into a more complete woodland apothecary that includes elixirs, bio-regional incense, bitters blends, and certain single herbs abundant in my area. I’d been asked for many years to make more of my herbal preparations for sale, so I’m happy to fulfill this desire from the community while sharing many of my favorite plant allies!

Part of the profits from The Bramble & The Rose go to paying for the materials used to create the herbal formulas I provide to local clients in my tiny mountain village at little or no charge.

 

If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

To keep your work at its foundation, and to focus on not straying from the source that ignited your passion to begin with. To work as healers of any kind we need to avoid being drained by what we do, and a bit part of that is being able to receive vital nourishment from the earth and work at a roots level. I know that, for me, it’s very easy to get caught up in what needs to be done, and to neglect the simple, sensual delights that first drew me to herbalism. By remembering to play with the plants, experiment with new remedies, and spending wordless time on wild land, I am sustained and replenished in a circle of healing I am honored to be included in.

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

How to make a honey jar (with pictures!!!)

Alchemy and Magic

D

ear Miracles,

Life is sweet but sometimes it needs to be a little sweeter, yes? So it is that honey jars were born and have become one of the most popular and well-known techniques in folk magic. Today I wanted to share with you both in words and pictures on how to put a honey jar together.

As it turns out, honey jars are not just for tea and biscuits! There is actually a long history of folk magic traditions working with sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, simple syrup, and other sweeteners to promote love, kindness, joy, harmony, goodwill, and favored status. The theory is simple enough and a great example of sympathetic and contagious magic: because the primary medium (a sweetener of some kind) is used in a directed manner towards a specific person the intention is that said person will become “sweeter,” more kind, tender, loving, and harmonious.

Although “honey jar” is the preferred term, I actually like to use Whole Foods’ vegan sugar in my jars. I like sugar because it is less messy than honey, it’s easy to take petition papers out and add new papers if the need arises, and sugar is also less expensive than honey. I use vegan sugar which might seem strange until you understand that most sugar is processed through filters made of animal bones (due to the high heat required during the refining process). Vegan sugar is not.

honey_jar_contents

Honey Jars and sweetening bottles are created and worked with for a variety of reasons. Some like to make a jar that represents themselves so that they will be kinder and more loving to all of the people in their lives. Others choose to create a honey jar to mark a marriage or special anniversary and to bless a couple with years of love and tenderness. In other cases, honey jars may be used in a more compelling manner–to make a difficult boss like you better, to encourage a judge or jury to find in your favor, or to persuade your students or clients to work with you and follow your lead. Making honey jars is relatively easy; because of this they have become one of the more popular forms of magic–and because of the materials involved, you can get very creative (or stay simple) in the creation process.

First, you need to write a petition:

honey_jar_petition_1

The petition made for a honey jar tends to follow a specific format. First, you will write the name of your target (the person you would like the honey jar to effect), then you will turn the paper 90 degrees and write your name on top of the target’s name. If you are doing a honey jar on yourself then you do not have to do this second step.

Some people like to use pencil for the target’s name and then a pen or permanent marker for their own name–the idea behind this is that permanent ink is “stronger” than a pencil (which can be erased) and therefore exerts more influence. I personally like a strong ink that I can see well for both names. After the names have been inscribed its time to create a magical circle around them like this:

honey_jar_petition_2

During the writing in a circle around the names, the pen cannot be lifted from the paper and this is why it makes sense to use a short and sweet prayer. In this demo, I used the prayer: “love and blessings” over and over again.

An optional but fun step is to embellish the petition paper:

honey_jar_petition_3 (1)

Once the petition is completed you can anoint it with oil and then fold it towards you. Turn the paper 90 degrees and fold it towards yourself again. Now you are ready to add it to the sweetening jar. Different people have different attitudes about the jars themselves. Personally, I like Ball Canning Regular Mouth Half Pint Canning Jars. I like using a regular, inexpensive jar and then embellishing it myself–that is part of the magic! It’s also essential to have a metal/heatproof lid if you want to burn candles on the jar.

honey_jar_complete (1)

You will add your sweetening agent be it sugar or honey but then you will also want to add roots, herbs, and curios that are appropriate for whatever situation you are working on. If you do not know the first thing about herb magic, don’t worry–I have an Amazon store chock full of my favorite herb books! Once you have added what you want in the way of herbs, roots, and curios your jar will look beautiful and you can tuck the petition right in. Make sure that the petition is totally covered by the contents of the jar. Now in some cases at this point, people like to ask if they can use the sweetening agent that is in the jar and the answer is…it depends on what you put in it!

Obviously, if you used any toxic roots or herbs when making the jar you will not be able to consume the sugar/syrup/honey. However, if you used edible plants (of which there are MANY) you can eat the sweetener and you can also use it in baking, cooking, and beverage making. In fact, one very simple and stripped down honey jar spell involves putting a whole vanilla bean into the family canister of sugar–it is believed that this leads to a happy and peaceful home. The sugar, of course, is used in the day to day doings of the family and its magic extends through use!

At this point, you could stop. These days a lot of people are making sugar jars and then they work them and magically impart their intention onto them by praying over them, stating their desires and shaking them rhythmically. However, some of the oldest honey jar workings do center around a candle and adding a candle to your honey jar is a wonderful way to imbue the magic of fire into your work–and it also can provide you with a great focal point as you pray or charge up the jar.

Choose a candle that resonates with you–many people like to work with specific colors of candles. For the demo, I went with a blue and yellow candle since the jar I was demoing was made for love, communication, and healing. You will want to anoint the candle with a ritual anointing oil appropriate to your situation. Hold the candle at heart level and draw the oil from the base of the candle towards your body. You may also want to dress the candle with ground herbs, ground herbs and magical sachet powder, and of course glitter:

dressing_a_candle_for_honey_jar

Set the candle on top of the honey jar and it’s time to light it!

I consider honey jars an endurance type of ritual work. Typically they are fashioned with the intention of being worked for a long time — at least several months and often for years. The jars are usually set up on an altar or dedicated working space. Candles can be burned on them and they can be prayed over and put to work every day, two or three times a week, or on a monthly basis. Pay attention to the way the wax of the candle melts and the way the flame burns when you are working your honey jar–these are two of the main ways that you will receive confirmation and affirmation that your magic is doing its thing! And remember, when in doubt you can always order a custom-crafted honey jar of your very own.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Many Branches–Talking to Angels with Amy Oscar

Learning and Community

D

ear Miracles,

My longtime readers know that I am typically the kind of gal who rolls her eyes when someone describes themselves as an angel talker or lightworker — not because I don’t believe that those abilities are real, but because I do and I think many people take advantage of the terms. How refreshing it was then for me to “meet” with Amy Oscar and feel into her wise and profound perspective on both the celestial and terrestrial realms.  Amy truly is a lightworker — she is grounded and full of gleaming wisdom and sharp discernment. Her mission is service pure and simple and I know that she herself is an angel incarnate for so many men and women-I count myself among them and I count myself blessed by her presence and devotion.

In her own words: 

It is been my honor to have guided hundreds of women (and men) through The Soul Caller Training – a five-week paradigm shift from stress, fear, and suffering to ease, beauty and love. Read their comments here. My books, Sea of Miracles and, My Guardian Angel,  co-authored with Doreen Virtue, invite you into my story, and your direct, personal relationship with the Divine. I hope that you’ll join me on Twitter for #SoulCall, a free, open and trending!  Sunday morning conversation about living a spiritual life in a material world. Sundays at 10 am/ET

Connect with Amy
Twitter
Facebook

One of the terms you use to describe yourself is a Soul Caller-would you share with us what a Soul Caller is? What does she do?

A Soul Caller is a human being who lives in an awakened relationship with the divine and with the world. She (or he) is aware that her thoughts are energy and that this energy has an impact on her life and on the world around her.

She feels, senses and knows that she exists in a living and flexible ‘call and response relationship’ with the universe; on a living planet that seems (that is) designed to respond to her. When she is fully in the flow of this, she has the direct experience of this response. Her prayers are answered – in delightful and surprising ways. Her needs are met, her thirsts quenched. She feels safe and supported.

However. Every Soul Caller I’ve ever met has experienced, first, a deep sense of loss and disorientation. A kind of pre-awakening in which she (or he) realizes that the world is not what it seems, what it seemed only days earlier. There is often a sudden sense of being shaken awake – where she feels as if she’s lifted up above her own story and is able to see herself going through the motions, through a kind of dance of patterns, which no longer makes sense.

She says things like: “I no longer fit here,” or “I feel like a stranger to myself.” She says, “I suddenly realized that I no longer wanted to do this work (or be in this relationship (or this church or this town)).

This disorientation is coupled with fierce certainty. She says things like, “I don’t know where I’m going but it’s not this – not here. Not anymore.”

As the illusions peel away, she may experience feelings of deep sadness, a kind of grief for the world itself, she may feel stuck and then suddenly, incredibly free – as alternating currents of energy begin coursing through her life. She arrives in my classroom not knowing what she wants, asking: Who am I? while also, on a deeper level, the answer to her own question is emerging.

My work is to help her to hear what is bubbling up, what is calling. My work is to midwife what has already begun.

One of the parts of your work that really comes through for me is the communication you have with, and guidance you receive from Angels-can you talk a little more about this aspect of your work, when did you first start communicating with angels and how has their message transformed your life?

Well, actually, the angels started communicating with me! In 2004, while working as a magazine editor, I was asked to launch a new column featuring readers’ stories of real-life encounters with angels. I was delighted by the project – though, at the time, I didn’t believe in angels.

Looking back now, I laugh. The Angels drafted me – and almost immediately, they made their presence known. They’d leave a feather on my keyboard, send a vivid dream or somehow, arrange an encounter with just the person I needed to meet. They guided me to choices that shifted every part of my life – from my health and weight to my marriage and work.

Now that I’m aware of the angels, it’s clear that I’d been communicating with them all of my life. I just didn’t call them angels. My family wasn’t religious – my dad was a social worker/psychotherapist, my mom was a poet and painter – they wouldn’t have talked about the things I was experiencing in that way.

Yet ever since I was a little child, I had a strong sense that I was guided – that we all were. I’d lie in bed talking out loud to the presence that I sensed was listening with affection and interest to what I had to say.

As I got older and began to fill notebook after notebook with feelings (and boy did I have feelings!!) and ideas (big ones!) and stories, I sensed this same presence still there, still listening. I dreamed in technicolor – vivid and elaborate imagery with set changes and wise teachers showing up to tell me things. I lived embedded in nature, in my mother’s lush one-acre garden, and in summer camp, where my dad was the director, where I’d spend all day talking with the trees and animals and even, the rocks and the clear water of the lake.

When I got older, that presence was always with me. When I took foolish risks in high school and college. And later, when I longed to be a mother, guiding me strongly – through dreams and synchronicity and very strong clairsentience – to the doctors (and the psychic) that would help us conceive our son and then our daughter.

This presence was always there – and I was never confused about it – it wasn’t an imaginary friend and it wasn’t just my own intuition. This was a responsive, engaged someone. No one taught me to engage with it – I seemed to arrive knowing that when I lost something – a school book or set of keys – all I had to do was ask out loud, “Please bring it back to me,” and I’d feel a kind of inner tug which would lead me straight to my lost item. Later, after college, when a friend let me play with her tarot cards, something I’d never heard of before, I simply ‘knew’ how to use them.

This never seemed unusual to me. What struck me as strange was when people couldn’t do this. And I began to see that I could help them. And when I did, they’d learn quickly and easily.

Because EVERYONE can talk with this presence, which some people know as angels, and others, like me, know and perceive as a shimmering non-physical support system, Everyone.

In fact, you’re already interacting with it all the time. It’s just so much a part of our nature, a built-in and organic part of being human that we don’t notice we’re doing it.

Even those with no sense of God or any other spiritual entity will reach out to this something, this someone when strong emotion overcomes them.

I believe the heart is born connected to this something and that the heart knows senses that it’s there.

One of the quotes on your site is…”You can change. Everything can change.” I think this is so refreshing in a sea of–it’s not going to ever change, he won’t change, you can’t change-how does change figure into the work you do with groups and individuals?

We are constantly changing – as are all things. Even the stones are changing – they are doing it very slowly, so we don’t notice it. But over time, as weather wears the stone to sand or pressure compresses it to crystal – all things are constantly flowing into and out of form.

That said, sometimes people just feel stuck. Completely. Profoundly. Stuck. But even then, as they become more and more uncomfortable with that stuckness, things are shifting. The discomfort itself is a shift – from boredom, from inertia, into suffering. And from suffering, we always reach for relief. The more uncomfortable we get – with the boring job, the stale relationship, the unhealthy lifestyle – the more we start looking for something else.

Discomfort is guidance – it calls us to shift toward something new, something more.

No one is stuck beyond change. Even my father, 86 years old, confined to a wheelchair and able to move only one hand, changes. Every time I see him, he talks about what’s new; he tells me what he’s thinking about. He says, “There’s always something interesting going on,” he tells me. “There is always hope. You can’t give up.”

One of your offerings is the Soul Caller Training-can you tell us a little about this, where the idea came from and what the program entails?

The Soul Caller Training is the result of my own 30-year journey as a workshop junkie, systems analyst, magazine editor and more recently, spiritual counselor. The program arrived as I woke from a dream about two years ago – it was a complete ‘download’  – composed of mental imagery and streams of words which I scribbled down as if taking dictation.

Since then, it’s evolved quite a bit but the basic program is there. It’s a five-week, online training (plus a lifetime membership in our Soul Caller Circle, after graduation). It’s designed to shift your perception of the world and your place in it. No one comes away unchanged. Once you see the truth and beauty of who you are – and what the world is, you can never go back.

If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

Find the place inside of your own heart that knows what is right and what is wrong. The part of you that simply knows – without effort or mental gymnastics – what it feels like when you are centered, safe, whole, engaged and alive. That’s the compass. Align with it. Let it guide you. It’s your inner star – your connection to the divine and to everything that matters to you. Another, simpler way of saying this is: choose toward love – no matter what There is always a choice toward love – including the choice to love yourself.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Love and Prayer

Prayer and Blessing

D

ear Miracles,
We have all experienced them. Those days. Those crappy days where almost as soon as you wake up you know, you just know, that it’s going to be a rough one. You stub your toe on the way to the bathroom. The bowl of cheerios tips over — after you had added in the milk of course. You open your inbox to a cruel client complaint. The bank account is not where it should be, coffee scorches your freshly pressed white shirt, your cell phone is low on batteries, you are low on batteries, and your supervisor springs a last minute mandatory after work meeting and so you have to call your mom and ask her to pick up the kids from school…again.

Yup. Those days where nothing goes right and the only law that seems to hold is Murphy’s. Or maybe it is more subtle. Maybe sales this month haven’t been where they should be and you are feeling…pinched, pale, listless, desperate, and cheap all at the same time And you catch yourself in the mirror, stepping into the shower, walking in the front door thinking…why me? Why now? Why can’t it be easier? Why the crappy luck/day/week/year/life?

There is a magic formula to make moments like this disappear in the proverbial poof! I am going to give it to you…are you ready?

Stand In Love and Start with Prayer.

Make this your priority.  When we stand in love we stop the blame game. When we stand in love we press pause on the inner conflict of the hour. When we stand in love we stop asking what can I GET and we start considering what we can GIVE. Standing in love allows us to possess, for a moment, the aerial bird’s eye view. In this way of seeing our problems are not insignificant but they are put into their proper context — and they almost always appear much smaller than what we initially thought.

And then there is prayer. Five minutes. Thirty minutes. Om Shanti Om. The Shema. Lord hear our prayer. We all come from the Goddess. Silence. Or one of my personal faves — told to me by a doctor whose good friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer…Dear God, what the hell? Don’t wait until it is the right time/vibe/moment because if you do you will wait forever. Most mornings at my house involve a cup of coffee on the swing, keeping one eye on the kiddo and one eye on the sky as I sing out my prayers and praise — it doesn’t look “spiritual” but that does not matter. I can tell you with 100% assurance that the days I pray are better, brighter, and flow with more grace than the days I don’t. Is everything perfect on those days? Hardly. Does it make a difference? Oh yes.

Prayer is an offering. You lay yourself out, warts and all, before your understanding/vision of the divine. You step into time out of time, into a numinous space where wholeness and holiness become one.

Prayer is a habit. You have to do it repeatedly, just like a sitting meditation. Some days you will feel it move through you enlightening and enlivening your being and other days it will feel like rote words falling from your lips. Get up the next day and do it again. Praying gives you a discreet opportunity to whisper or heap blessings onto those you love, those you are related to, your friends, and yes, even perfect strangers. Blessings sent equal blessings received. Prayer inspires generosity. It takes us out of our ego selves for a moment and reminds us that we are connected, dependent, divine, so very small, and so very full of life. It re-acquaints us with all that we do have, possess, can do and points out that others would give anything to walk in our shoes. It encourages us to be generous with others, and you know what happens then? We are generous with ourselves and those around us, those we love. Art helps! There are many beautiful images that you can focus on to help yourself get into a prayerful state of mind. The orthodox understanding of an icon is a sacred image which can create a window or a doorway to the divine — so allow yourself to consider what images do that for you.

Don’t know how to start? Sit quietly. Sway to your own heart beat, or stand and dance before the Lord like King David. Circle with three friends or let your cat sleep on your lap while you stroke her head. Pray out loud, quietly, or sit in silence. There is no wrong way to pray.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.