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Rituals

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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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Auld Lang Syne

The sun sets on Luke, the Labyrinth, and another year …

The sun sets on Luke, the Labyrinth, and another year …

Another year, tumultuous for many, is (almost) behind us. My words first written at the end of 2016 seem as apropos today as they did 24 months ago.

 “Give up the last year. Get rid of all those things of the mundane world. Make room for the awareness of a whole new spiritual understanding that will carry you throughout the next year.” Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself, December 2007)

 “… and when you have the willingness to accept who you are, you become aware of an internal flame that burns with a fire that is unquenchable. It’s your acceptance that dispels fears and inadequacies.”  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways, December 2011)

 As the calendar year winds to a close, we tend to look back on its joys, its sorrows, what we accomplished, where we may have fallen short. Hopefully our review list includes acknowledging all that we discovered about ourselves and learned from the opportunities and events that life presented.

 As 2018 ends, many will breathe a sigh of relief that it is finally over along with a breath of hope for better days in the year ahead.  The world we live in seems chaotic and uncertain. It is. Those who put attention on the world forgetting that it is the world we live IN, NOT the world we are OF may look ahead with dread.

 That need not be.

 Within each of us is a seed of understanding who we truly are. Nurturing that seed grows our faith in our capacity to be resilient in the face of the world’s chaos.

 This seed of faith is within us all. It is not faith in anything outside of us. Rather it is faith in who we are, each as an individual, integral part of an intelligent Universe. It is a reminder that life is so much more than we experience and observe in our daily routines.

 As you ring in 2019, I invite you to join me in nourishing your seed of faith in the 365 days that lie ahead.

 Perhaps this prayer, one of my favorites of Gregge Tiffen’s writing, will support you to deepen your faith in you and in understanding just how important you are in the Universal scheme of things.

Let me never forget how important I am to the Universal Picture. Without me there would be a blank space where there should be color.

Let me understand that the challenges of life are just that and not battles. I am not out there to win or to loose, only to develop my skills as an on-going student in an omnipotent school.

Let me understand that the difference between people is one of the wondrous realities of an infinite Universe. Giving those differences space to be is far more important than comparing them to my set of beliefs. 

Let me be proud of what I do. To whatever my hand touches, let me remind myself that it was my effort that added to the result. Perfection is not my goal. Creativity is. 

Let me remind myself that most of what I take seriously about myself also qualifies for a good laugh. Let me remember to be kind to myself. Loving companions are one of life’s treats, but they are not responsible for my care. Self-kindness can heal almost any hurt. 

Let me take responsibility as a gift and not a burden. Within that effort is the grandest sense of accomplishment I could achieve. 

Let me be patient with life. Nature does not produce the flower before the roots have taken hold. If I recognize that the place I am in is the right place at the right time, it will always be the right place at the right time.

Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning, January 2007)

and the moon rises faithfully in her cycle, reminding us to be the light wherever we are in the world.

and the moon rises faithfully in her cycle, reminding us to be the light wherever we are in the world.

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I Am NEW! Solstice 2018

HAPPY SOLSTICE!

HAPPY SOLSTICE!

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)*

Winter Solstice is the time of natural transformation, newness that comes forth with or without our awareness. Winter Solstice is the time when our receptivity is heightened in consciousness. Is it any wonder that with fewer hours of daylight, we are drawn inside into our homes, perhaps under the covers, and definitely drawn to be inside ourselves at this time of year?

Solstice is the birthday of the Planet and was celebrated as such with reverence and respect in ancient times by our ancestors who lived in close harmony with the Planet’s rhythms.

Solstice is the time of completion and of new beginnings. The old cycle (year) is done. We are presented with the opportunity to declare completion and move on with awareness of the seed of newness that is planted inside. A new ‘you’ with its potential to bring wondrous change in the cycle ahead is ready, provided you are willing to claim it.

In keeping with my understanding of ancient traditions, I take time at Solstice to create a personal ‘silent night’, a time harmonize my rhythms to those of the Planet, to with love and gratitude let go of everything from the year behind, and to acknowledge the seed of newness inside.  And, I invite you to take a few moments or even a few hours to create your own and to acknowledge and embrace the potential of the newness in you.

Start by harmonizing with nature. If you are blessed as I am to live in nature’s beauty, take a walk. Observe and honor the rhythms of nature, whether the slow steady growth of a tree or the daily cycles of ocean tides. If nature is not outside your door, then sit quietly and imagine your favorite place in nature. Feel yourself in that place. Allow those rhythms to bring you the quiet peace of the season.

Next, create an atmosphere and attitude of gratefulness and let go of everything that has come to you in the cycle ending. Your aim is to empty and prepare a space for the new. Thus, let go of not only what doesn’t serve or suit you, of those things you consider ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but of everything: every attitude, your wants and desires, your fears, your hopes, your stories about the events of the year ending, the people in your life.

Finally, when you are ready (perhaps after only a few moments, perhaps a few hours), evoke the sound of newness with the declaration “I am new”.  This is the place where heaven and earth come together in you, as you. The new you is ready to meet, greet and receive the gifts of the new cycle. 

May the blessings of your unique newness follow you into and throughout the year ahead!

*My understanding and celebration of Solstice, while it is my own interpretation, comes primarily from the work of Gregge Tiffen. You can learn more about Gregge’s work at www.g-systems.com. And, you can purchase from his collected works, including his telling of Winter Solstice – The Christmas Story, on www.amazon.com

May the joys of the season light your way!

May the joys of the season light your way!

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All Hallows' Eve - 2018 Edition

Autumn Fades …

Autumn Fades …

Life is an enormous power to be understood and used as energy. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Ancient Rituals – October, 2011)

This week, as mild autumn weather begins to give way to winter’s cold, I’m shifting my morning quiet/reflection/reading/writing time to the living room where I build and enjoy the warmth of a fire in the woodstove. Such will be my ritual each morning for months, beyond the calendar’s turn to a new year and until winter finally breaks to bring forth spring.

This first musing by the fire finds me thinking about rituals, particularly ancient ones.  I’ve caught my falling leaf for luck (more about that ritual here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/catch-a-falling-leaf). After a day of blessed, gentle rain and with the energy of yesterday’s full moon in Taurus, my attention turns to rituals celebrating the connection between the incarnate and discarnate sides of life on our planet and those who have made the transition from their earthly incarnate form.

All Hallows’ Eve (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/all-hallows-eve) was celebrated long before churches existed, and despite religious institutions’ objections, Day of the Dead continues to be celebrated in many forms worldwide. Last year’s award winning animated film Coco beautifully depicts the celebration and family conflicts about it in Mexico. The song ‘Remember Me’ is one of my favorites (you can hear it here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iDxU9eNQ_0)

Coco and ‘Remember Me’ are reminders of Gregge Tiffen’s teaching that “Each of us is a living spirit. … When you’re dead, you’re not dead. You are very much alive.

In his informative, fun booklet Ancient Rituals Tiffen encourages us to take time to remember those who are no longer with us in their incarnate form and to know that “they are attached to the planet in a discarnate format.” In a world so fearful of death, the knowledge that I’m simply using this form temporarily reminds me that each of us - you, me, and EVERY-one - is but a tiny drop in an infinite universe. And, each drop lives forever.

I find it helpful to remember and honor the connection of close family and friends who have made their transition to the discarnate. Next week on Halloween evening I plan to do just that. Gregge suggests candles, fresh flowers, perhaps something symbolic of your connection, along with quiet time to reflect. He continues, “You’re meant to feel very comfortable about participating with the use of things that are special to you as a way to be in touch with life as you know it and death as you conjure it up to be in your mind, or as you know it from your own experience. Don’t be reluctant to participate.

Perhaps I’ll pour a shot of bourbon for Marge, my beloved mom who left this life 39 years ago.

What about you? Will you take time remember and connect at this sacred time when the veil between this plane and the discarnate invites us to explore and discover the journey that continues?

… and Snow Falls on the Sacred Sangres

… and Snow Falls on the Sacred Sangres

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