In need of balance and contrast

contrast in nature

This last cycle of 2018 is showing up as a real blessing in its clarity and form. I feel grateful for the opportunity to see things unfolding in and around myself and being called to act.

As winter approaches every year my Fire energy rises. That’s to balance quite a dormant energy of Water and stagnated Earth, a very slow moving energy, which comes during summer. This Fire is energetic, proactive, creative and quite outward focused, which makes networking, connecting and socialising easier. It is the time when motivation is strong and focus is sharp. This year is no different yet this time I really get the purpose of it like it is truly meant to be. There’s a lot more natural flow, I suppose. Things make sense and the year feels complete. I carry a lot of gratitude and a strong sense of pride and achievement.

With the Fire energy coming forward there is also awareness of other elements in the mix, e.g. the need to stay grounded and manifesting, seeking financial security (Earth); keeping my thoughts in order and really using them to my advantage (Air) with Water representing my awareness of feelings and checking in with them at all times.

Lately there has been so much space that I was beginning not to see its benefit after a year of enjoyment of that space. I do feel it has been coming into focus in the last few months and now here it is. It started with a need for that space this time last year, for rest and reflection, for freedom and creativity. What I am realising now, which is evolutionary within my growth, I feel, that I can still have it all and not have so much space! It is that ‘I can do it all’. Renewed energy within me and knowing my capacity and resources have come forward.
It has gone from spacious to empty to boring. Furthermore, I need to be able to feel the contrast from a space filled to a space empty to appreciate both fully. It is in that ebb and flow that I find balance.

Balance and contrast are constant forces within us and nature all around. If we feel into the needs of ourselves we strive for that balance of busy and empty, dark and light, short and long, fun and hard-work. Nature presents contrasts in its seasons and seeking balance through maintaining life cycles and biodiversity of species on the planet. It is in that contrast that beauty often lies and through appreciating the contrast we come to a place of knowing that everything changes and nothing stays the same. We are always moving towards something new and away from something that’s done. For me it became clear that staying in one place, no matter how much I might have thought I wanted it and seemingly achieving that ‘dream’ situation, is static and in the absence of movement things stop slowly. This is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed the space vibe immensely. I cherished every moment with a grateful heart.

Stopping and slowing are not the vibrations of the winter season for me, one thing that remains unchanged. Winter is the most dynamic time in my body and psyche. Dreams change, even a way of being ‘still’ changes, needs and wants change and for as long as an overall picture still makes sense and produces feelings of contentment and joy we find a way of moving with it all that best suits us.

Keeping dreams alive

scotland

How does one keep a dream alive?

By seeing it the same over and over and every so often changing the edges of that painting that springs from a place within delighting your whole being.

Keeping something alive is imagining it moving into a state of being, solidified and present, from an idea into an actionable something. Like building a house, I suppose, brick by brick a vision materialises in raw materials. Hard to imagine at first yet through working on it, adding to it and building it up soon it begins to take shape. It makes sense why I love watching programmes where people create dreams in a way of building houses, or creating spaces for their hearts and souls to take refuge and be at one with that something special we all seek.

Dreams need to be dreamt about, they need to be thought of into action, so to speak. Two processes are at work with dreaming a dream. One is through the power of thought, faith and vision and the other through small steps, actions towards seeing it through. Life doesn’t just happen to us, we need to participate in it. ‘Simply being’ is one thing, but often life requires a certain action from us in order to move forward. Both positions are important. Dreams become reality when we keep them alive by imagining them into completion and walking towards that final image we hold dear. One day we stand in front of it and know ‘this is it’, ‘I’ve done it. I’ve dreamt it alive into a physical manifestation’. I have a dream like this myself and over the last few years it has been solidifying in my mind with various details being added to it and necessary steps becoming clearer and clearer. I am enjoying this process immensely and it keeps something bright and beautiful within me alive and breathing. It is warm and shining, cosy and grounding.

Summer and patience

What is patience? It is allowing. When things are being as they are we stand in observance of what is. I find it deeply healing, humbling and liberating when there is no fight against what one thinks should be because there’s a discomfort present. Where there is no resistance a space opens up for observing what is being and living in that moment. Summer is a hot season, of course, it is, that’s the nature of things and when it is hot in summer things are aligning to the vibration of what summer means. It is not cold or raining all the time, although it is sometimes, it is simply being what it is.

I have experienced a high degree of tolerance towards summer this year. It happened due to conscious effort not wanting things to be something else and me desperately wanting to change it. That never works. This can be applied to so many aspects of growth and healing when we drop resistance and allow things into being there’s a release of freedom of attachment to what we think should be in order for us to be soothed. There’s a lot to be said for being uncomfortable, however if one fights it actively it will always persist and increase in its intensity.

I stood back or rather decided to travel alongside summer this year and observe everything there’s to witness about the season rather than shutting myself off from the experience and waiting for it to be over. Such a waste. By being present with summer I noticed how present I have been with everything else and everyone around me, every day, every week, every event and moment shared with those in my life. The value of everyday presence overtook my resistance and dislike of summer. I found I didn’t want to complain or participate in the fight within, which had previously been there always. Instead I lived each day and found a lot of positive aspects in the season.

I have been patient and allowing with myself and the summer to be what we are meant to be, living, moving, flowing and grateful for experiences granted.

It is not wanting to cut off a part of the whole, which can be applied to the seasonal wheel of the year, as well as parts of ourselves. We will always have preferences for certain seasons and aspects and ways of being and that is not to say that lessons and joy can’t be found in less preferable places, in fact, those aspects that we mostly resistant to carry some of the most vital and profound teachings.

Patience is a beautiful way of being in a state of non-judgement, slow flowing with energies just as they are and allowing expression of all that is necessary. It is acceptance and a silent stance of holding a space.

Announcement – Nature Spirit Walks Tarot

I am happy to announce the release of the latest project in collaboration with Cortney Cameron, whose wonderful idea and beautifully designed images materialised in this invaluable resource. It has been my absolute pleasure contributing to this project. Enjoy!

ORDER HERE

36683001_10156486054636873_1715129128765620224_n

 

Energy before Litha

summer solstice 2018

There is a clear, thick, tangible build-up of energy that happens around end of June, as we approach the longest day of the year. The feeling is parallel to gathering our strength and resources ready for a release or a metaphorical battle of some sort. You might notice at this time that feelings of anger can start to manifest all around you and I begin to notice it within myself and others. There is a degree of dissatisfaction and frustration. However, there is a good texture and taste to it. It is not a sort of anger that festers quietly and then explodes, but more of a conscious brewing that is slowly waiting to be released.

When we look at the cycles of nature and the time around Summer Solstice the two kings, Holly and Oak, are about to go into a fight for their reign of power over the season. It is a thing of balance between light and dark and who is going to rule what at what time. This can’t happen without a certain degree of tension, as we can imagine, which is felt all around us during this time, but there is also a degree of understanding and agreement that things must progress the way they always do. I never feel unbalanced before Litha, as I would be in other times of year, e.g. as summer is very grounded in the wisdom and glory of all life and we instinctively know what is going to happen and why. Trust that feeling. It a similar sort of fight, as with Cailleach and Brigit when spring arrives and the old hag finds it difficult to hand over the land to light and warmth, but with spring things are still uncertain, the most wobbly time for me usually. Summer holds a different vibration.

Summer is a Fire element season and as well as the two kings fighting over the throne of the season, the Green man and the Maiden are now in union and she is carrying a seed of harvest within. It is a blessed time and a balance between masculine and feminine is needed. Following the Summer Solstice I normally feel that balance coming into play more prominently. There is always a release after the festival and a clear felt beginning of a new cycle. Things also begin to calm down and inner and outer feels more settled and less turbulent. For now if anger is around and within you, seek to work with it as a tool of transformation. Direct it into assertive, passionate conversations with your loved one or a friend/colleague. Bring things out into the open, something you have always wanted to address, but haven’t yet done so. Put that inner Fire to good use and use the time to start and complete a project. Fire is the element of enthusiasm, dynamic masculine energy and commitment to the cause. It is also a good time for us to commit to a good undertaking and make some promises to ourselves, which we can continue to honour for the rest of the year.

Blessed Solstice!

Summer – the time for wilderness, the time for releasing your beast

Anger, physicality, sensate expression of instincts, body merging with the earth in its full expression – that’s what June is all about as we are building up to Litha. Swimming, walking barefoot, lying on mountain tops, communing with wildlife, beasts, bugs and plants alike are all the activities that feed the body and awake the soul.

There’s danger, however, when summer is fully alive in its wilderness. Night and day both carry life within and it can feel unsafe. This resonate with my overwhelm of the forest and feeling apprehensive about venturing out during the explosion of life in the land during summer. I tend to withdraw, hence I like the quietness and sleepiness of winter. It is safer. However, by withdrawing a part of me remains enclosed, hidden and that’s what needs to change this year.

Wild-self calls and roars pushing boundaries of a self-created seclusion. It needs expressing and breathing with the rhythms of the season.

A safe place for wild spirit for me is the Highlands of Scotland. There my wild-self is contented, it is allowed to be in its full majesty. It scares me always yet I thirst for it at the same time. There my whole aligns with the wild nature around me. I eagerly drink it into my cells, I merge with it like it is home and my spirit sours into endless skies daily and consumes my whole being with a sense of raw, complete, real and natural. It often manifests with anger, emotional cries and outward expression of raw things. It is unable to hide and sit still. It needs to run, fly, crawl and swim all at the same time. It can feel and look scary and crazy uncontainable and vicious, but it all makes sense and, perhaps, in embracing and allowing that for myself a bit more will also relax others in joining me and not being afraid of a strong bite and a loud screech that it often comes with.

Summer is truly a time for letting go and letting be. It is a time to fly higher and swimming further. Last summer I remember wanting to go on the water in a kayak and the fear that gripped me was so irrational yet it immobilized me. Someone said to me ‘go for it, we only live once, might as well’ and so I did. The freedom of releasing the urge to glide through vast waters released the excitement I had ever felt before. With each push across the lake I went further and further and with each minute I wanted to do more and more.

When I am faced with the mountains of the Highlands I can hear the scream within me telling me to run, scream, be in its fullest. The impulse in me to merge with the land is so strong that I know if I don’t I could easily just stagnate and die through my own fear and a loss of the potentially ecstatic experience. It is like choosing to drink poison and staying in a position of never knowing what it’s like to live fully. When I step on that mountain trail my heart and spirit sour, I want to run and cry and scream, the feeling I have of being as one with the land, a place I never want to leave for as long as I live.

I break my heart every time I have to leave the wilderness behind, because it means my wild-self has to go back into a safe enclosure of my other life, which is managed, contained and often unexciting.

The ‘shadow’ Fire of summer

Fire element in distortion

I am exploring the wounded, sensitive point in my psyche that comes up in June, before Summer Equinox. It produced feelings of depression last year, which lasted all the way to Samhain – a long time. This year I am determined to un-tangled and look at what is going on with an aim to acknowledge, heal and integrate. It is the 3rd June and I have been feeling the now familiar energy rising within already. This feels very hard and resistance is overbearing. The defence is always distorted Fire, which is cruel, ugly, merciless, the kind that burns everything to ash without any hope of new growth or so it seems at the time. This Fire is very different to a healthy Fire, which I would normally tap into during winter, post Yule and that energizes me to a degree of high productivity, enthusiasm, high energy and success.

Fire element in its distorted state prevents life from flowing, yet a healthy manifestation offers a chance for a re-birth. Fire is a glorious element, as it is transformative. We often have to burn, be in pain in order for something else to manifest through it. Calcinatio operation in the alchemical process.

This Fire stops a part of me being seen, it blocks any possibility of reconciliation within the psyche and ‘burns’ everything in my physical reality. Yet, we do come back from it every year and every time I look back on it with bewilderment and gratitude for having survived the ‘war’. It often feels like it. Sometimes it goes on for a month or two, other times it lasts longer and it can be exhausting.

I am writing this in hope that it might resonate with many and to explore/explain what happens when we reject, suppress parts of ourselves we are not willing to bring back, integrate and look at. One might refer to it as the material, which resides deep within our psyche and now and again pops out to say hello and we are in no way thrilled to welcome them back. Then a battle commences to avoid, resist, push it back and not having to deal with whatever it is that is asking to come back.

In my case this is my inner child – an extremely sensitive, delicate, vulnerable self that to the rest of me is so overwhelming I get thrown off-balance every time I feel her approaching. In order to defend I tap into my anger self and take a position of a distorted Fire, which is the only way I know how to send my ‘vulnerable self’ back to where it came from. My desire to project becomes almost unbearable, which tells us how difficult it feels for me to contain feelings of that inner child that comes into full view. When previously attempting to heal this I always resorted to giving it away to someone else, who is better equipped to look after it. It had worked for some time, but this time it seems that it wants me to take her in. It wants to come back from exile.

In dreams this part of me comes as one particular person, which I have come to recognise. It always appears a gentle, good part of me that everyone loves, apart from myself. In dreams as it wants to get close to me (not others even though they are more than happy to take her in) I begin my process of avoiding and running away from it. Last night I had such a dream and reflecting back I do recognise having been doing the ‘rejecting’, but on another level wanting to get close to it also and that’s where the clue lies towards integration. Not all is lost. In the dream last night the soft part of me also decided to reject me and that really hurt. It jumped on a ‘runaway’ train seeking separation from me and expressing its disappointment. That hurt. It is not that I don’t want to, but more I can’t bring myself, don’t know how to deal with it. I reject before it rejects. This plays out in my physical reality in a way of projecting exactly that. What I am projecting is the anger with myself and seeming inability to deal with the vulnerable self. Anger is also laced in disappointment, shame, self-punishment, etc., which also manifests in real life and is projected outwards when the angry self becomes shaming of others, expressing disappointment openly and emotional eating, e.g.

These insights are the first steps towards the ultimate goal of integration. My dreams and being aware of my emotions as I awake every day have been invaluable to me in reaching a position of clarity of what is happening within my psyche and physical body, a key to my conscious and unconscious material. Post-insight comes an even clearer awareness and links are made with the day-to-day manifestation of wounds and conditions, i.e. what one does in their physical reality, relationships, work, etc. that manifests that behaviour. Once awareness is established then come choices, processes we put in place to attempt to heal, trial an error, if you like, but nevertheless there are choices. There are opportunities to put things in place in order to move forward. Healing comes from acceptance and a successful implementation of all of the above and integrating day by day, learning a new way of relating to yourself first and foremost before it becomes harmonious on outside with relationships with others.

Insight – Awareness – Choices – Acceptance – Healing – Integration

I am going on a journey with this part of my process actively this month. It is a challenging time, as we build up towards the ultimate Fire festival and Sun in its full power in nature. My aim is not to get hooked and blow it out to a point of losing control completely. This year it is going to be different and what is not present as much I feel, which is a blessing and new, is fear to engage with difficult stuff. This time I know deep down that if we fear ourselves we fear our potential at the same time and fearing potential is a limiting outlook, which simply doesn’t help us progress. The aim is to put things into a healthy flow, into an energy of progressing with purpose without resistance.

Have a good week.