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Cycles, Symbols, & Letting Go

Love, Light & Treats - Honoring My ‘Ol Buddy, Ol Pal’ Luke

Love, Light & Treats - Honoring My ‘Ol Buddy, Ol Pal’ Luke

Cycles produce constant change. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Cycles  – August, 2009)

This 312th post marks the completion of the sixth annual cycle of sharing these weekly mystical musings, a ritual that is one of the great joys in my life.

This post also marks a new cycle: the first written without the gentle, patient physical presence of my beloved canine companion, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker Reinhardt.  Last Thursday afternoon CHLS rested his head on my lap one last time.

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe. … Some of our most endearing partners are our pets. … they are there waiting for us, ready to fulfill our desire to feel all-giving and unconditionally accepting energy. Isn’t that what love is all about? They accept our tears, soothe our angst, and make us laugh. … Animals are here as companions and stabilizers. Having a direct connection to the earth, they serve the important function of being able to ground and stabilize our energies by taking our excess energy and feeding it back into the earth. They – along with plants – absorb a lot of negative energy. As we nurture and care for them, they leave us calmer in the midst of our sometimes chaotic incarnate experience. … When they die, all elements of nature are returned to the nature pool, where their energy can be used for whatever needs to be generated.  Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)

In my almost nine years with Luke at my side (or leading the way on a trail through the woods), he demonstrated nature as Gregge describes it. He was (and IS!) one ‘helluva’ teacher.

Leading the Way - One Last Time

Leading the Way - One Last Time

Like his human, Luke was private and stoic. When our vet discovered a large growth on his spleen in mid- May, he asked that I share the news sparingly. I honored his request, sharing only with a few close friends (“No mopers!” he directed.) and subtly suggesting that I was facing a ‘personal challenge’ in some recent posts.

Committed to knowing and honoring what Luke wanted, I reached out to Miranda Alcott, the Animal Communications Counselor and medical intuitive who helped us several years back.  (https://mirandaalcott.com/).  Agreeing with our vet’s recommendation, Luke didn’t want to fight with surgery or aggressive treatment. He needed relief, and was open to ‘seeing how alternative treatment would help.’  The protocol was effective, easing his discomfort and increasing his energy. We were blessed to have two and a half months to walk daily, take a few short hikes, play, laugh, and hang out. 

During that time, Luke let me know that maintaining dignity was important to him. Both Miranda and our vet suggested that he would likely ask for help leaving his body before it seemed like the ‘right’ time (little did I know that this is common in dogs, a sign that we humans often miss in our quest to cling for life).  As best I could, I prepared to ‘hear’ and to honor the request when he made it. I was as ready as I could be when he asked to move on to the adventures in the nature pool across the rainbow bridge. Summoning all the conviction and courage I could muster, I wanted to show my love by letting go.  

Nature’s beauty is infinite, but the trail is empty without CHLS.

Nature’s beauty is infinite, but the trail is empty without CHLS.

Symbols serve as a true roadmap to assist us in getting through life with the minimum amount of difficulty and upset. Gregge Tiffen (Do The Angels Take a Vacation? – August, 2007)

Although my heart is heavy, I’m filled with love, peace, joy, and gratitude for the love, lessons, and laughter that we shared in our all too short (at least for me), yet divinely perfect, time together.  And, although this cycle is complete, Luke’s lessons and gifts live on.

After our final ‘goodbye old buddy, old pal’, the dear friend who accompanied us on that final journey and I decided that we needed to eat and ground ourselves for the hour drive back home. We went to a burger stand nearby, ordered burgers, and chose a remote picnic table. As I approached, I noticed something lying on the table and, when I arrived, I found a heart-shaped rock at the place where I planned to sit. LOVE lives! The table was damp, and we blotted it with a paper towel. When we turned it over, we found the image of a paw print. LOVE lives!

Parting is sweet and sacred. Luke is free from pain. And, I’m free from the worry and anticipation of saying goodbye.  The cycle of physical presence is complete. Yet, my learning from Luke continues since, in spirit, there is no end. LOVE lives!

Symbols - LOVE Lives!!!

Symbols - LOVE Lives!!!

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The Gift of Retrograde Planets

On the trail out back as the sun peeks over the peaks

On the trail out back as the sun peeks over the peaks

The need for adjustments within our personal life cycles exists for the same reason that galaxies are kept from bumping into one another; both are a consequence of some extremely intelligent avatars somewhere in space having created and continuing to create planet Earth within the whole scheme of the harmonic flow of energy often heard in the music of the spheres. (Patrece on behalf of P Systems – www.p-systemsinc.com)

The more we are aware of retrograde conditions and their possible influences, the more we are able to navigate through our life experiences with greater control and clarity. (Gregge Tiffen - https://www.g-systems.com/)

First, a disclaimer: I’m no expert in astrology. What I’m sharing comes not from decades of studying the planets and their influence. Rather it comes from considering what Patrece and Gregge Tiffen have shared on this topic and from observing my own life’s conditions and events. It also comes from my conviction that, despite so much evidence to the contrary, we live in a universe that is divinely ordered and anchored in love, a universe in which we are not victims unless we choose not to receive the gifts the universe offers.

What inspires me to share is that the planet Mercury went retrograde earlier this week as it does several times each year. It reminded me of the prevailing attitude when planets go retrograde: life is disrupted, ‘bad’ things happen, and that we just need to suffer through. Such an attitude casts us as victims, putting attention on the disruption and ignoring the opportunities planets in retrograde offer: gifts from a benevolent universe.

Planets do not go retrograde without purpose. Their doing helps maintain order in the cosmos, ensuring the universal “harmonic flow of energy”. Adjustments are required. Planets adjust.

As above, so below. As a part of this intelligent universe, we are given the opportunity to use the cycle of time when a planet is retrograde to do the same: adjust. Taking time to assess and to make changes during these cycles can help us avoid bumping into ourselves, one another, and the events life brings our way. (Imagine a world where we each did that, including our leaders!)

When it went retrograde this week, Mercury joined four other planets that were already in retrograde. Yes, your math is correct: five planets are currently in retrograde. Perhaps you’ve wondered why the world (and maybe your life) seems crazier and disrupted to the extreme.  Rather than looking at the chaos, I’m choosing to look to the opportunities to slow down and consider what adjustments might serve me.

Mercury (Ruler #2*) is the planet that influences decision making and communication, including all of the technology we use in both. In retrograde it presents opportunities (indeed more than one!) to slow down and pay close attention to detail in all communication, that coming in and that we’re sending out. (I’m doing my best to practice this message as I focus on this post.) This is also a time to identify and make adjustments to communication habits or patterns that aren’t working well, to examine how you manage time and energy, to assess projects underway and adjust to get/keep them on track. Notice what puts you on edge as a guide to where adjustments are needed. Mercury’s retrograde is short – ending on July 31 – but it’s potential is powerful.

Saturn (Ruler #7) retrograde invites us to look at how we use our minds. This is a good time to observe and eliminate clutter in our thought processes and to bring forward mental qualities that may be dormant. Exercise your mind and explore what keeps you from manifesting the results you’d like and refine your operating style. This retrograde ends on September 19.

Pluto (Ruler #8) influences money and success. When in retrograde it invites us to review and make sure our financial house is in order. A key question to ask is ‘what needs to be reworked to put myself on a more solid financial footing?’ This opportunity exists until October 4.

Jupiter (Ruler #6) retrograde provides opportunities to look at health and relationships, including your relationship with you, and to explore how your home environment supports you (or doesn’t). Jupiter ends its retrograde cycle on August 10.

Finally, the influence of Neptune (Ruler #9) retrograde is mostly beneath the surface, offering the opportunity to look deep within to what inspires us and what gives life meaning. It’s a time when deep reflection and solitude can serve us well. We have this opportunity until November 27.

How will you unwrap, receive, and put the gifts of these retrogrades to use? Start by slowing down, paying attention, and being curious.

* Gregge used a numbering system rather than the customary planet names in his work, as you’ll see if you visit his website for more detail on these retrogrades. Here’s the link: https://www.g-systems.com/wordpress/?cat=9

Cool Hand Luke pauses for a photo op on an early morning hike to the Zigurat

Cool Hand Luke pauses for a photo op on an early morning hike to the Zigurat

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Happy Solstice!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

Summer is bursting into bloom!

Nature is intimately partnered with us in this physical experience, and that is perhaps the greatest boon of our incarnate existence, as nature is directly connected to and informed by the Universe. Gregge Tiffen (Life in the World Hereafter – The Journey Continues)

A cycle ends. Another begins. Here, north of the equator, spring gives way to the summer season at 9:54am Mountain Daylight Time tomorrow, Friday June 21.  At the same friends south of the equator will bid adieu to autumn and celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Nature, quiet and restful in winter, began her slow awakening in late spring here in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado. Right on time, she is now bursting forth toward full bloom. Bird songs and the buzz of hummingbirds fill my listening heart with joy and gratitude for our planet and for where I’ve landed on it. The roar of Cottonwood Creek, just past peak flow from the snow melt, and the howl of coyote add their voices to morning’s song.

The cycle we call summer begins. It is a time of action, activity: planning, planting, having fun. Projects that languished in winter find new energy and focus. New opportunities present themselves abundantly, offering outlets for our attention. How will we choose to expand, to learn, to grow?

Summer Solstice is a sacred time to remember our partnership with nature. It is a time when heaven and nature sing ‘joy to the world’, not with ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’, but with the clear voices of birds and beasts responding to the renewal that the cycle of summer brings. Bountiful blooms and with the burbling Cottonwood Creek add to the chorus of auditory and visual delights. It is a time to remember that cycles of life move with nature, and that nature knows nothing of the clocks and calendars of man’s world.

As I write this morning, a mere 24 hours of spring remain. Having experienced a couple weeks with more scheduled, timed events than are usual for me, I look forward to celebrating the longest day of the year quietly here in the woods, enjoying the warm of the sun and allowing the flow of the day to inform me whether to move or not.

My celebration begins unexpectedly when, midway through writing, I open the door to check on Luke. New sounds entered the soundscape: clip-clop, clip-clop, the clip-clop of a horse’s hooves and a sound that I can’t describe, yet I knew it was my neighbor’s buckboard coming up the road. As she passed, I hollered a cheerful ‘good morning!’, and she invited me for a short ride. I accepted the gift as a reminder of the flow that is present always, in all ways. An auspicious beginning!

As I do in December with its partner, the Winter Solstice, I will use the Summer Solstice to recalibrate, syncing myself to the new cycle: the light that nature, my intimate partner on this journey, brings forth right on time. I invite you to give yourself some quiet time in nature to do the same.  

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

Flow! An unexpected start to my Solstice celebration!

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Father Time

Gently Resting in the Shady Woods

Gently Resting in the Shady Woods

A wise and benevolent father protects the day-by-day life of his progeny and prepares them for an endless journey of growth, development, and maturity.  Gregge Tiffen (Father Time – June 2007)

In what was a big leap into possibility last week (you can read it here http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-end-of-time-a-fantasy-of-possibility), I suggested what the world might be like without clocks and other tools we use to control one another. I’ve continued to reflect on this for myself, reexamining my own relationship to cycles and time.

As I began to think about this week’s musing, I found myself reviewing previous June posts. I wasn’t surprised to find that I’d explored time several years back. And, that I’d done so just in time for Father’s Day here in the U.S. (Good timing, I’d say!). My musing then rings true today, so, I brushed off and polished that post just a bit to share this week.

In his early writing, Gregge Tiffen reflected on time, the clock and how it is used as a mechanism for manipulation and control.  His writing along with my own struggles with time led me to think that we might be wise to look at time anew.

This week, in many parts of the globe fathers and father figures will be celebrated for their roles in preparing us for this journey called life.  For some, the benevolent, wise father created context and order in our early life giving us a foundation on which to set sail on our course in life.  For them, we are grateful.

Others lived a different experience: fathers, who lacking wisdom and benevolence, sought to control. For them, with forgiveness, we can also be grateful. Perhaps that forgiveness can come more easily when we understand that fathers often feel trapped in systems that equate success with control and that honor time over natural instinct and cycles.

Harmony is the essence of nature, instinct, and natural cycles. As I continue to experiment with living less by the clock and more by awareness of my personal cycles, I feel more harmonious within.  Doing so is not so easy in this 24/7, fast-paced world.

We use time as a weapon. Finding it hard to let go and trust that events will unfold in divine perfect time, we set deadlines. I’ve come to understand just how ‘deadly’ they are. I wonder: How deeply have I bought into this world’s accepted systems where time is used to control? How might life be if we were more compassionate with ourselves and others about time?  How can I be wiser and more benevolent with time?

At one time or another, we’ve all put pressure on ourselves with words and beliefs about scarcity of time (‘I don’t have time …’). Some years ago, I broke the habit of using that language and replaced it with ‘I have enough time for everything that is important in my life’. Slowly that became my belief. It feels like wisdom, and it opens the door to being benevolent to me and to others.

With practice we can ease the pressure and begin to make choices that honor our natural rhythms – not as a program to complete, but as exploration of a different way to live. Eat when you’re hungry. Rest when you’re weary. Bloom when you’re ready. That may be the best of benevolence and wisdom in a world that sometimes seems to have lost both. 

Romping Through Water on the Trail

Romping Through Water on the Trail

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The End of Time: A Fantasy of Possibility

New Rock Stacks on a Morning Walk

New Rock Stacks on a Morning Walk

The proper use of cycles is to evolve to a natural manifestation. Deadlines give pressure. Task-masters are brutal “Father Timers” who use time as a weapon. In our current society, this is being intensely perpetuated under the guise of progress. Gregge Tiffen (Father Time – June, 2007)

No, this is not a post about the end of the world. Rather, it’s about what emerged from stress I experienced in the midst of working with two synergistic professionals who I’ve engaged to support me in navigating a current challenge. 

Their work is invaluable to me. They helped with a gnarly event a couple years ago, so it was natural to reach out when a similar situation arose recently. Although their work is synergistic, how each deals with scheduling and time is different, and it’s guided by the nature of their work with clients. After working individually with each, I found myself caught in a dissonance between their two approaches when we came together. 

In dancing with that dissonance and, especially in exploring a way forward that will work for each of us (that part of the journey is still in process), I was reminded of my vision of a world that works for all. As I immersed myself in the vision, I saw ending the abusive, controlling concept of time as a key aspect toward real progress. Yikes!  

Make no small visions! Stay with me and let’s envision together how this might unfold …

Open your mind and your heart, and imagine a world without time. No clocks to measure the seconds, minutes, and hours. No calendars to command your presence at some pre-set event.  If you manage to get beyond ‘no ____ way’, you’ll likely imagine chaos, confusion and the craziness of a world out of control. What? We have that already you say? Yep, we do. Hey, maybe our ‘progress’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Stretch yourself and envision that time as we know it does not exist. Rather that we (me, you, EVERYone) are deeply in touch with ourselves and our purpose on the planet. We are aware of our place in harmony with nature and others. We learn from nature how cycles work and how to dance in harmony with the cycles of life and the events in those cycles. We trust that in making choices that are true to our individual nature, events will unfold perfectly for our highest good and the good of all. Could this be what ‘natural manifestation’ looks like? Did I mention that trust and faith are key ingredients?

This is a vision, a fantasy if you like, that I’ve held for a very long time: perhaps for my entire life but only with awareness for the past four decades or so. This possibility is what engages my curiosity about mysticism and metaphysics, spurred my interest in personal and spiritual growth, and guided me toward coaching.  

More than a possibility, this is how I believe the Universe in general and life on our planet in particular is designed to be.

Like being on a long road trip still far away from the destination, we aren’t there … yet.  I’m not ‘there’ yet. But I am on the journey, and, heck, a few million millennia and lifetimes from now, I might just seize the elusive brass ring.

Posing on a Beautiful Morning

Posing on a Beautiful Morning

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