A Solstice Oracle in Three Words

Friends~

I am sitting today musing and meditating in preparation for the Solstice retreat I will be facilitating this weekend as the closing gathering of this spring’s Moon Circle. A group of eight women and I (see photos below from our last circle!) have journeyed together over the last 3 months, and we come together this weekend for the longest day/shortest night of the year.

As I tune in and ask Spirit what I need to know about this gathering and this solstice season, these are the words that show up:

RELEASE ~ TURN ~ ABSORB

I sit with each of these a little more and their meaning begins to flesh out. Letting release swirl through my body and awareness, I see a roller coaster chugging up to the peak of a hill and cresting, on the brink of its downward fall; I see water pooling behind a dam, feel the pressure just before an opening in the wall sends the water down and out. It’s not the kind of material release of any particular object or thing, it’s not the over-used “letting go of what’s not serving you” quip. I ask for more specifics, and it’s more like: Let gravity take you. Resist nothing. Move from the tension of potentiality into unresistant flow. We have reached the peak of the sun’s annual pilgrimage, and now turn our feet back towards the pull of home.

When I turn my attention to the second word, turn—I am transported to the forest where we will spend our retreat. I see the women turning towards and away from each other in a simple dance. I see the time-lapsed movement of the sun through the trees, the natural turning from morning to evening, from season to season. Again, it is nothing sharp or forced—it says that change is upon us, and to follow the natural trajectory of the end of one thing and the beginning of another. It perhaps is a time to try something new, but not in a quantum leap, out-of-the-blue kind of way—its a newness that has been building for awhile now, requiring nothing more than the turning of one’s attention towards it.

I settle into the final messenger, absorb. I am sitting outside and the sun immediately breaks from behind a cloud. I am filled with warmth and relief, and the sense that I get is that now is a time to be immersed in the elements that nourish and heal. Sunbathe. Ocean bathe. Bathe in moonlight and tree-breath. Receive loving touch. Without effort, there is a transmutation that happens when one unhook’s from mechanized time and productivity and becomes saturated by the elemental powers that want all of creation to be well. Whether I am conscious to it or not, my bodies and psyche is constantly absorbing from my surroundings. I feel this word as an invitation (with some urgency!) to take very honest and non-judging stock at what exactly I am absorbing, and to be deliberate in cultivating my environmental choices to align with who I choose and desire to be in the world. There are certainly seasons to pursue with relentless vigor what one desires—but as one of my first teachers says, environment is stronger than will-power, and right now, it seems, the will is waning and needs a little reprieve. Consider now as the time to abide quietly in wholesome spaces and to let what you desire come to you. Go where it is easy to receive, and soak it up.

I’m curious: does any of this connect with your experiences this season? How do these words land for you? Or do you have other messages to contribute? When you sit with a soft belly without thinking to hard, what does this solstice season speak to you? My messages came first in words—yours might come in a feeling, image, sense, memory, song, color, sensation in your body, or just a knowingness. I’d love to hear from you! Please share with me in the comments below, or by responding to this e-mail!

Sharing this is an experiment in opening up about my spiritual/intuitive process. Feels a little risky! My hope is that there is some resonance for you, some sense of being a part of the Earthen/cosmic ecosystem, connected to the whole of creation whose song hums within all parts of the whole.

May Solstice Blessings abound!

With devotion,

Kate

Jesus Didn't Die for My Sins

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Today the moon has ripened into fullness.  It's the second day of Passover, and what my spiritual tradition of origin calls Holy Saturday.  I write to you from a small retreat center in Lacey where my faith community sets up camp from Wednesday of Holy Week until Easter Sunday for the ancient 72 rite of the Triduum.  Considered one continuous liturgy, I am learning that the early Christians gathered at this time in community to re-enact the rite of unity and belonging--baptism--and initiate new members into their circle, a subversive family of equals imagining and imperfectly living into a new non-violent non-hierarchical way of being that honored the One-ness and beauty of all things. 

One of my women-priest mentors, Kathleen, was sharing with us last night that the earliest Christian baptismal fonts were called "womb-tombs", adorned with images of uteri (that's right, lady parts), and the equidistant cross (seen above, a cross that shows up in spiritual traditions worldwide, symbolizing the four directions, universal balance of polarities, and the tensions of all human experience and struggle--NOT, contrary to contemporary imagery of this season, the cross of Jesus' execution).  This whole season and ritual was deeply embodied, feminine, sensual, and "fecund" as my other mentor, Diane, likes to describe it.

Not the kind of Easter story you know?  Not the cross of deliverance from sin?  I know.  It's a new story I too am learning, or re-learning as I swim back upstream to the spiritual birthplace of my ancestry.  I don't have all the pieces yet (so enter kindly with me into these new lands) but it's terribly intriguing and reviving to the part of me that has loved the ritual and mystery of Christian stories and mysticism but has been severely turned off and traumatized by the rigidity and dogma.  I've come to realize that Jesus didn't die for my sins (because I didn't need him to because I am good and so are you because God/dess breathed us into being and called us GOOD). 

But he did die, my ancestors' stories say. And yet somehow, in the wake of his death, the terrified community of his closest friends realized something about the Christ's ever-presence in the Unity of all things that freed them from paralyzing fear and breathed back into them life and hope and care for each other and their neighbor and the poor and the exile, even under the violently oppressive hand of Empire.  Easter-as-rememberance-and-baptism-into-Unity...that I can get behind, and it feels very alive for me as I've kept vigil these past two nights beside the Easter fire and under the ripening moon.  (To be clear, I'm also not just making this up as "feel good" revisionism.  This is actual original theology of Easter and the Cross.  Ask the Eastern Orthodox, or read Saving Paradise, my newest book on the summer break reading list).  Here, amidst moonlight and candlelight, I also happen to be on my bleed--and I can see and sense the Goddess as well as my ancestors as we move through something ancient speaking to something present and unfolding into a future that is still being born...

Re-experiencing Jesus as one of my ancestors has been profound, transformative and healing. (You can read more about here, if you didn't read my blog post from last summer).  The journey with Jesus at this Easter time is the hero's journey into the underworld and back again, the mother's watching and waiting while life stirs in her hidden darkness.  It plunges us into the depth of human struggle, the polarity of joy and grief, the deep grounding of roots that allows shoots to push out of the dirt, the paradoxical union of life and death.  Even if you're not a Jesus person (and I TOTALLY get it if you're not!) I invite you to come with me, in your own way, under this ripened moon into the deep--perhaps with one of these brief grounding meditations and few minutes of quiet contemplation with the following questions:

What is your spiritual ancestry?  What gifts has it given you?  What wounds or struggles?  When you get quiet and ask your Inner Wisdom what is the next step on your spiritual path, what do you hear, sense, see feel or know?  What tensions are you dwelling in?  What is there to go deeper into, face, properly feel, grieve, clear, or allow to die in order that you might see more clearly the goodness that is you and our wide wondrous world?

In Ripening and Renewal,

Kate

A Triduum Trillium, one of the first wildflowers of spring!

A Triduum Trillium, one of the first wildflowers of spring!

Happy Spring! (BTW, I'm a psychic).

Yep.  You read that right.  This may not be a surprise to some of you, as I’ve been slipping new language into my posts and blogs other the past year.  I’ve shared about doing readings, getting messages, and practicing energy medicine.  And it does say it, explicitly here on my website.  But I have been shy to actually SAY it: that I’m a psychic.

I haven’t used THAT-WHICH-SHOULD-NOT-BE-NAMED because I imagine it conjures this image for people:

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(which would be justified.  I mean this is me three years ago)

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But “psychic” just means “of the soul”—though I know the word itself now carries so much more.  Go ahead and ask all your questions.  No, I’m not reading your mind right now (though some people can); no, I can’t prophesy on command (though some people do); and no, I am not communing with dark spirits—though they are real, and they do show up.  But the work that I’ve been trained in is, in fact, of the highest form of light work, aligned and congruent with the spiritual medicines of all the worlds religions—their mystical heart, if not their dogma.  And, along with therapy, yoga, trees, and best friends, it saved my life.  

You see, about a year and a half ago I thought I was losing my mind. 

It was the fourth month of a period of severe depression.  I was having panic attacks and insomnia and bouts of uncontrollable weeping.  Having cycled through depression many times before, my normal coping mechanisms were not working.  I was no longer holding it together, and I requested a 6 week leave of absence from work.  

In the weeks prior to actually taking leave, my cognition started to slip in ways I had never experienced before.  I would without warning be unable to understand the person speaking to me, as if I had never even learned the English language.  I was losing time and getting disoriented.  I couldn’t track on thought to the next, one conversation to the next.  My mind, which had always been my ivory tower of safety, my intellectual sanctuary that could over-ride and contain my for-so-long-inexplicably-complex emotional world, and engage successfully with the outer world, with much applause as an over-achieving well-spoken academic—it was failing.

There was a part of me that felt terrified at this discovery—and somehow, though, another part of me that everything was actually still ok.  I had another friend at that time who had been working through her own mental health challenges for many years, and one thing she discovered in her work was this: confusion is the gateway to clarity.  Breakdown is your psyche knowing that it’s finally safe enough to let go and let what needs to come to light surface. It wasn’t fun by any means—but some part of me knew that this was progress and something was about to happen.

I went on leave.  I let myself fall apart into a web of friends and healers and healing practices that I knew could hold me.  Within the first week I attended a group reading with Nancy Rebecca of Intuitive Mind.  Things showed up in that reading that broke me completely open to a felt sense of the palpable presence of the Spirit world, dwelling among us just beyond the veil.  I started to hear voices—or rather, voices that were familiar, that I had always heard, became more clear and persistent—as if to say, no really: this is your Soul speaking.  LISTEN.  We are here.  And you cannot afford to sideline us anymore.  Jesus showed up, and Mary Magdalen, Mother Mary and Kuan Yin and literally the Heavenly Hosts.  I could feel them right there, these presences and beings of pure pure pure love. 

I knew, without a doubt, we have never been alone.

The world around me began to appear as particles of light and magic.  When I had a question, I would just ask—and get instructions that felt crystal clear and specific about each next step.  Clear more space.  Ask so and so for this.  Let go of that thing.  Eat.  Rest.  Call this person.  I would listen, and respond—and if I didn’t, the channel of communication would close until I followed through.

I’m imagining, now, what you might be thinking.  Um, ok—so you heard voices.  And you listened to those voices.  And we have a diagnosis for that.  And a medication.  Yes.  I am aware of how this sounds.  Go with me, though, to that very thin line between mania and genius.  Consider the possibility that we of the industrialized and rational West have pathologized the gifts of the Spirit nearly to extinction (beyond the scope of this particular blog, but see the movie CrazyWise for more on that topic!).  

At any rate, I get it if this sounds totally wacky to you.  Believe me, I was not seeking it out!  I could tell I was buzzing, but unsettled and uncertain with what to do with what I was experiencing.  I had the hunch that, in older times and other cultures, this was when a person would go to the council of elders and say: something’s happening that I can’t explain!  Help!  Send me on a quest or something!  I didn’t have that.  So I joined the Intuitive Mind Psychic Mastery class of 2017 (it was that or join a convent.  What'd I have to lose?).

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Then last year happened, which was a TOTAL trip, and perhaps a story for another day.  It was hard, and brought up every kind of My Stuff.  Learning the psychic tools was not a magical pill of the perfect life, but it gave me a container within which to simmer and cook in the heat of practice and all that life was handing me. The thought of actually “becoming a professional psychic!” like the tagline of the program advertised was utterly laughable to me, and not at all what I was there for.  I just needed to not go crazy and not lose my shit.  Like this ----->>>

Things shifted in the course of a year.  I graduated from my program in December, and launched my business as a Psychic, Priest/ess, and Sacred Activist earlier this year.  I’ve done over 100 readings and healings.  I have a rigorous daily practice of energetic hygiene.  I do group readings at the New Moon, and see clients 1-on-1.  I do land healings and chat with ancestors.  I just recently got guidance to chant during readings, which feels scary.  This past week I read for a pre-teen boy, which felt even more scary.  I’m still running women’s circles and retreats and patching things together.  Yeah—it’s a good kinda weird.

Maybe you’re wondering: ok, you read energy, or whatever, but what does that even mean?

Here’s the thing: everyone has psychic gifts. 

That is, everyone has ways of knowing more that what the logical mind can know.  To go further, everyone has a direct access point to the entire cosmos, and consequently the knowledge of the entire cosmos.  This is a shared principle of many of the mystical traditions of the world’s religions: as above, so below; the macrocosm dwelling in the microcosm; the Kingdom of Heaven lies within; baby Krishna opening his mouth and his mother seeing whole galaxies swirling inside.

BUT.  Most of us are conditioned out of trusting and utilizing our ways of knowing.  Or just take for granted that, oh, that’s just a thing I do, get songs stuck in my head or am exhausted after a night of dreaming or see vivid images when I pray, and it’s no big deal and that must happen for everyone and it doesn’t mean anything.  Well, yes, it does mean something, and no, it doesn’t happen for everyone—at least not in the same way.  Everyone’s psychic gifts are different.  Some people see energy and spirits with their eyes open; some hear, or get an image in their mind, or a feeling or a knowingness.  Some even are psychic through their sense of smell!  It’s more than just intuition—it’s precise and methodological.  It’s one’s Soul, connected to the Oneness of Spirit, speaking what it needs you to know in this body and this lifetime.  

As a psychic reader, I just tune in and listen.  As a healer, I move energy to clear what is blocked or outdated.  The method is a series of ancient meditation techniques that anyone can learn.  In some ways there is more to it, but it actually is basically that simple.  

I do still hear those voices, and I know them by name and feel now.  I visit people in the dream world and get messages from my ancestors all the time.  My cognition is back to being quite good (enough, I hope, to be in grad school and run my own business!)  And don’t get me wrong, everyday's not a picnic.  I get crabby and foggy and triggered and furious and make mistakes and overdraft and still haven’t quite figured out why my left hip won’t release.  I'm still me and I got my work to do, just like everyone.  But I don’t suffer like I used to, and in fact, I think I have more to give than ever before.  Which is a relief for someone who’s lived a life in the sinkhole of depression, within which it feels like you are sucking all the light out of the world.  I am putting light into the world—I know now I was doing that all along, but now I know and can feel it enough of the time for me to believe that it’s true.  Which is a great relief indeed.

So there it is. I just needed to say it because we queer folks can’t just come out once.  Call it a Spring Awakening, an Equinox gift to my self.  I’m a psychic!  Just by the way.

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