"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. a true symbol of Truth and courage. While his magnificent words are many, the quote above is important for us to remember as we move through the current situations in front of us as a country.
In the history of the World, there have been many such Bringers of Light and Truth. It does not matter what part of the world they came from, such teachers have ascended on this planet, along with the rest of us, and made a difference. They came here as newborn babies, just as you and I did and moved from that place of purity and innocence of spirit. They, too, had to learn how to exist on the density of Earth and learn the ways to live within the community in which they were born. These ways were taught through the traditions, customs, stories and actions of those within the community. It is from there each of us develop our beliefs.
Of course, everyone is aware of these truths, and yet, in light of our current situation in this country it appears we also learned our ways were the only true ways by which everyone must live. To live differently makes one right and another wrong. Now might be a grand time to pause and examine the ways in which we live in order to realize the impact our words, thoughts and actions are influence have on the young ones with whom we encounter, along with the next seven generation after us.
Friday, January 30, Grandmother Moon will show her face fully to anyone willing to look up. The brightness of her Light heralds in a time of high, exciting energy, and with that we are offered a time to reflect and release that which no longer serves us, or the World! She offers us a time to prepare to receive what our deepest hopes and dreams are for our life, and our world. Along with her presence, the energy of the Clan Mother, Wisdom Keeper offers to teach us how to "Honor the Truth." Truth, a very valuable understanding to really know within your Life. It might a good time to reflect on what your interpretation of Truth is. (More information is available on the Clan Mother)
Interestingly, a new monthly circle for 2021 begins this Thursday, January 21, the Wisdom Circle. It is designed to assist seekers yearning for deeper understandings to explore, share and learn more about the diverse world in which we live. If you are seeker desiring a deeper connection within your heart and within a community of other seekers, check out the Wisdom circle link.
This Lodge continues to share the Light of Love within each of our hearts, to honor those that walked before us, and those that walk among us that also believe what Dr. King demonstrated in his life. We choose to use Light and Love to bring more peace and harmony to this very chaotic time in the country and around the World. We invite you to be a part of the Light we offer, whether attending some of our offerings, or simply sharing your community teachings and offerings with us, we wish to be as Grandmother Spider and create a web of Light and Love that will blanket our country and world.
The full moon, today, 12/29 heralds in the 13th Clan Mother, Becomes her Vision. It is important to mention her since the presence of 13 full moons only occurs every two and a half years. While it "pales" to the Grand Conjunction we witnessed a few weeks ago that had not occurred in nearly 800 years, it still adds yet another celestial event that has filled the skies in 2020. Becomes Her Visions is the compilation of all the Clan Mothers, that are Teachers of Truth throughout the year.
Interestingly, Gives Praise proceeds her, and she teaches us how to WALK the Truth. This Clan Mother suggest we "step back and consider what we have learned this year, especially from the difficult times." She teaches us how a change in perception, attitude and consciousness creates the magic and miracles to carry us with light toward our goals.
Hence, Becomes Her Vision teaches us how to BE the Truth. She is the Mother of Change that teaches us how to bring forth our spiritual gifts to become a living vessel of Love. This we do by taking the time to look at our personal myths/beliefs and carefully discern what of those old beliefs need to be changed or discarded because they have become outdated and no longer serve us or those around us. All too often these old beliefs become an albatross around our neck that keep us from moving forward and becoming our authentic self.
As we move into this New Year, 2021, now might be the perfect time to first write out your gratitudes. Then, without "thinking about it" write out a list of all the beliefs that immediately pop into your head. Once this list is complete, go through each one and put a check mark beside those that may be old and outdated. After all, life changes as we move through the cycles of life, and often those old beliefs or myths we were taught no longer fit into our current stage of life.
Finally, go back to those you check marked and consider if they simply need to be changed to fit your current place in life. It is at that time you take your gratitude list, beliefs list and create the goals you want to accomplish in 2021. Always, make certain you do this with gentleness and kindness to yourself. For when you drop working with old beliefs, accept your goodness and simply BE that Truth, then your hearts feels light, hope abounds in your being and you're ready to embark on the next great adventure in Life; you're ready to Become Your Vision!
What a year it has been! As we stand at the threshold of another New Year, now is a fabulous time to pause and reflect on what this year has meant to us. Every single person on the planet has been affected by this most unusual year. There's an old saying that states, "You can run but you can't hide," and that pretty much sums up what 2020 has shown all of us. While we often feel life keeps us too busy, it seems safe to say many of us had felt the emotions that surface when we aren't so busy.
It's a two edged sword that has brought out the creative solution skills that often lie dormant in the routine busyness of life. And, with that sword, we have had been given the opportunity to sever some of that busyness and discover what's really important.
As we enter into the Winter season, now might be a grand time to learn a bit about the bear, caves, hibernation and to discover the gifts gained when we slow down and sit still. Seriously, look into why the bear hibernates, and what purpose it serves for our furry friend. Funny, in a way, many of us have been doing that most of 2020.
Nature offers so much wisdom and gifts from which we may grow and enjoy this human life. In a very significant way, this pandemic has brought families back to the local parks to explore the wonder of the natural world. Back to the kitchen to cook, clean up the table to make room for the "games to begin!" Go to the closet, dust off the board games and puzzles and enjoy a friendly game of healthy family competition! Such simple acts that feed the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of human beings.
As this most unusual year completes it's circle, look low in the western sky Monday evening and watch Jupiter and Saturn display a Great Conjunction that hasn't happened since 1226! This event is also referred to as the "Christmas Star." The heavens offer us a promise of new and amazing things that are heralded in during this most amazing event. The tides of change are here, the question is, are you ready? Take that question in to the cave of Winter and when Spring appears March 20, bring those new dreams into the warmth of possibilities. It might be another 800 years before such a grand change in awareness and consciousness is heralded in. Be part of this amazing opportunity to grow and be what you wish to see more of in the world! Indeed, everything you think, say and do has an affect on your family, community, and yes, the world. Choose whether you'll be part of the problem, or part of the solution. The world awaits!
Saturday evening seven lovely ladies gathered around the Fire to celebrate. There was much to be grateful for and gathering around a Sacred Fire was the perfect place to share a few stories of our lives. Most of the ladies have shared the experience of sitting in circle together for many years even if that was held in other places. Because life often offers us many choices, all too often a great time lapse can happen leaving us to seemingly grow distant from those we respect and love.
With that said, time is truly irrelevant when it comes to our hearts. Those that we have a strong connection with are "ties that bind." Whether it has been a week, month, or year, when we finally connect, it is as though it was just a moment ago.
Saturday evening was one of those moments. Seven deeply connected people took the time to come together and have their hearts refueled and their relationships deepened with those in attendance. Interestingly, three of the ladies were new to the Lodge. Of those three, two of the ladies had a deep connection with one of the regular members, and the other one had a connection with me. Interestingly, by the time food was shared, songs were sung, drums were played and rattles filled the air with intoxicating vigor we all felt connected. To complete the evening, stories were told that opened the door to much laughter as new hearts now became deeply connected to everyone present. Interesting how that can happen; one simple evening and seven open hearted ladies connected on a level that often takes people years to develop.
It is the power of the Sacred Fire that burns away any differences and opens our hearts to trusting our innate instincts to venture into the realm of all that is true, real and honest. Yep, we had to be willing to be vulnerable, open, and willing to show up. And, it was because each of us had at least one person we trusted invite us to that special evening.
The wide open space of the night supported social distancing to be honored, and the Sacred Fire offered a place for remembering what is truly important. It was also the other human beings, just like us, doing the best they can to move through the changes in front of us that supported us doing that with grace and ease. The stars were brilliant, the sliver of the new moon moved through the sky with an orange glow that matched the flames of the abundantly rich Fire.
That Fire ring is available for anyone feeling the need to have an adventure for an evening. Go to the contact link and send a message to me and arrangements can be made to host such an evening for you and or any one you would like to invite. There is still another 4-6 weeks of Fall weather available to allow the gift of the Sacred Fire to feed your heart. Looking forward to hearing from you. From my heart to yours, Vicky
As we begin the Spectacular month of September now would be a grand time to re-evaluate our work. Of course, that can mean the place we report to every day that we gratefully receive a paycheck in exchange for our efforts, or it may mean looking at our lives to see what’s working and what might need a bit of attention.
With Labor Day just around the corner, now would be a good time to consider what we appreciate about our place of employment. In light of the new “work from home” norm, the physical place we used to go to each day might look a bit more appealing. Home is wonderful; however, spending two to three times more there than normal can become so predictable the excitement of going home is non-existent. The usual Labor Day, end of summer cookout might also seem less exciting, since for many it has become a daily event. Truth be told, one might welcome putting away the cooking tongs, chef’s hat, charcoal or propane tank this year.
Perhaps the time spent at home with everyone present has shed some light on the relationship you have with those with whom you spend even more time with now than usual. Good, bad, or ugly, it’s a beautiful opportunity to set aside time to really look at the part you play in your family and at your place of employment. Now might be a perfect time to look in the mirror and ask, “What do I add to the relationships around me? What areas of change would be helpful to support harmony in those relationships? Precisely what am I adding to the peacefulness around me? And finally, what specific changes are ready to be made in my life?
All of these questions offer us the opportunity to help our selves; our family, community and country find a collaborative and cooperative way to move through these difficult, yet much needed changes. Now is the time to fall in love with every aspect of your work and life, and then share a “peace” of that with those around you . . . even if it’s a stranger in a mask at the store. Just smile and look into their eyes and you'll see they appreciate the smile in your eyes.
The heat of summer intensifies this month which offers families the opportunity to pack the days with playful backyard activities, fire up the grill and enjoy the last few weeks of longer days. Backyard gardeners are busy trying to keep a step ahead of the quickly growing weeds while harvesting the bounty from their early spring plantings. It is a time to fit in the small trips that were planned over the winter, or, in light of the pandemic, create an inventive stay-cation event. And, of course, there’s cleaning out the garage to house our cars for the winter, which probably means organizing a garage sale.
This year school is also taking on a completely new look. For many families it’s still up in the air, take classes online, homeschool or venture into the school buildings? Communities are also considering extending the start of school to ensure children and faculty will be safe . . . yet another turn of events that has disrupted our “normal” routine. Regardless how this new school year looks, school supplies will still need to be purchased, as will new shoes and clothing. It’s a “rite of passage” that happens every year.
August brings a new chapter in the cycle of life as we prepare for the Fall Equinox that will herald in the harvest of Autumn. As we move into August now is a perfect time to consider the richness of summer activities and what they offered each of us, our families/friends. Take a few moments and reflect on the ways you and your family/friends adapted to the current situation. What was done differently and how were the activities modified? In this final month of summer, is there something you can still participate in that would add another memory to this most unusual year? And if a traditional event was unable to be offered, how did you and your family manage that?
August may be the perfect time to talk to your friends and family about how the summer of 2020 will be remembered. Make certain to consider both aspects, both the downside and the upside. Life is always about balance; how have you and your family/friends managed this most “interesting” summer?
Post in the comments below what creative ideas served as substitutes. It just might be something that spurs another person/family into trying the same type (or their own version) of your adventure. Remember, we’re all in this together!
At a time when our world is facing tremendous changes and challenges we are being given the opportunity to lean on others; that is to say, to find out how others are managing this journey. From the medical recommendations, to local and national governmental health guidelines, decisions are being made to help us protect and care for our citizens. As a country that cherishes being independent, self-sufficient and goal-oriented, it can be a challenge to reach beyond our families and communities to be open and willing to listen to views different than our “norm.” We’re all so very busy, even if we wanted to, where is there time?
As I see it, this is an opportunity to extend beyond our normal prodigal and consider how others are handling these unusual circumstances. Whether it is the pandemic, racial unrest, or our current political decisions to be made, now is a perfect time to listen to the views and perception of others.
To do this we must be strong within ourselves with what we know to be true for us, while still remaining open to others. This requires Respect, which seems to be a quality that is not always understood. There was a time when respect meant to honor our elders, neighbors and our family beliefs; however, it now seems to mean to respect “my opinion over yours,” and unfortunately that applies to within the family unit as well.
What a divided world we have become. And, from the collective views aired on every form of social media, the flames are fueled to have one person or party’s view “right,” leaving the other person’s perspective “wrong.”
Whether it is the pandemic, racial unrest or our political decision-making, it seems we are similar in that we have a common goal to restore a sense of normalcy. None of us want to lose people we love, or rely on the government to “save us, support us, heal us.” In order for this independent, self-sufficient and goal-oriented country to begin to rebuild a new norm, we need each other! In order for that to happen we must heal some very old wounds in order to truly be a strong United States.
Remember the statement, “United we stand, divided we fall?” Perhaps it is time to look at how similar we are with what we want to see more of in our country. To do this we must use our listening skills! Every individual has experiences in life and through them they have gained a sense of how to manage difficult life situations. Perhaps if we use our “heart’s ears” we will move through this time of great transition and become a stronger, more compassionate country and world. No doubt listening to seek understanding will begin that healing process and help us actually see how similar we are. We all want to be free, be loved, and be seen. That can only happen when someone is there to listen, love and see you!
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood," is the 5th habit in Stephen Covey's book, "The 7 habits of highly effective people." If you truly want to see more peacefulness, harmony and cooperation in the world, it begins with gathering the necessary tools to do your part by becoming a skilled communicator. It is really quite simple to do, if you are willing to genuinely develop the skills to be a compassionate person. And keep in mind, that compassion is for yourself as much as it is for others since all too often we are our worst critics; the voice in our head can often be very unkind and judgmental!
This 5th Habit requires, Empathic Listening. There are two components of this skill, the first is to notice what the speaker is telling you about the topic in order to understand their thoughts and beliefs about the topic for which they are speaking. The second is to listen for their feelings about the topic. Check out this amazingly simple and useful book to gain more insights for developing good communications.
Which leads to the second aspect of the above quote, "then to be understood." Once we have listened and reflected what we heard from the speaker, we can glean more information, knowledge and/or perspective about the topic. With this new information we can then sit in the quiet spaces of our day and consider how what we heard "feels" for us personally. That is to say, consider if any part of the conversation rings true within our thoughts and beliefs. There is so much we can learn about life if we are willing to listen to another's perspective, and in the end, we will better understand ourselves. To truly understand what makes us "tick," requires we set aside time to reflect back on what we have experienced, what we were taught as children about life, relationships, and where we fit into the big scheme of life. Just be certain to be gentle and kind while doing this review in order to develop trust within yourself.
It takes a lifetime to really "Know thyself," and all too many people are not willing to set aside the time to begin self reflection. In reality, if one could set aside even five minutes in the morning and five in the evening to simply quietly sit and review their words and actions for that day would be sufficient time to begin the journey inward. Whether you're a swimmer, hiker, biker, baker or candlestick maker, gather your gear and begin that journey to the center of your being, I promise it will be worth the ten minutes each day. My hope is you discover more similarities rather than differences with those with whom you encounter.
Another important aspect of seeking understanding is to notice the manner in which we engage in conversations. It was brought to my attention when someone posted a comment about something they felt passionate about on a social media site. With all the upheaval in our country, there seems to be a deluge of passionate topics from which to share one's feelings. Since free speech is one of the gifts we have in this country, opinions and personal insights on "hot topics" abound in all forms of media.
Now would a good time to look at what form of communication would be most effective if one is seeking to understand a person or group. When someone post a statement or speaks about a topic there are really two ways to communicate. We can either REACT to the words or RESPOND to them. If we react we will write back immediately from our first reaction. If we respond we generally hit the pause button and consider the words, then write back with how we feel about the topic. Both choices come from our emotions.
Chances are the topic may be a "hot topic" that most of us have very clear and personal opinion. The one making the post is obviously passionate about the topic or they wouldn't be writing it. Passion is good. It comes from a place of concern or curiosity. Whether we don't like something or love it, we can use the fire from which it comes to help us notice what is important that it may be time to gain more insight, or take an action to try and change.
If we are met with reactive comments it only fuels the fire and puts us on the defense. When that happens the topic is put aside and instead we now engage by reacting with more emotion and making our personal exchange the focus, rather than the topic. Whereas when people respond to our words, it may offer us a different perspective, support or something to consider we hadn't thought about before; and not on the personal differences.
If our goal is to seek understanding, which will get us there? REACTING or RESPONDING
I was remiss with mentioning the precautions in place to follow the health guidelines and ensure a safe environment for our community and their families.
The Pipe Ceremony: A basket of sanitary wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer will be passed with the Pipe. Disposable gloves are available for those concerned about holding and passing the Pipe. Be certain to pick up a pair before taking your place in the circle for the ceremony. It is your choice how you choose to participate.
Potluck: In addition to your own eating utensils, bring a serving spoon to use with the various dishes others bring, and, of course, your lawn chair. There will be a washtub for cleaning your dishes after the meal. Again, use your personal discrimination and bring any sanitary methods you use to stay healthy. While we will have what is listed above, there may be others items for which you are comfortable.
Fire Ceremony: If case of inclement weather, we will forgo the fire, and return to a circle in the barn. With the assistance of the drum, we will do a dreaming. In preparation for this portion, consider what your heart would like to bring forth in your life and community. Call to the energy of the Summer Solstice to help you reflect on and realize what you need to do to meet your long-term goals and honor what feeds your heart. The summer solstice is the highest point of energy for the year and is represented by the elements of fire, passion, will and drive that can help catapult you toward your goals. If there was ever a day to honor all the love, light and pleasure of our existence, it’s the summer solstice.
Remember to RSVP by noon on Friday. Looking forward to sitting in ceremony on this Summer Solstice evening.
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!