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Posted on:  Mar 13, 2017 @ 12:00 Posted in:  Path Basics
I dream of being with a woman elder who teaches me about a clan of good men with special spiritual energy that have been with humanity throughout our history. Then the dream shifts. I’m waiting on a street corner on my island home for a man to pick me up and give me a ride. I intuitively know that he’s part of this clan, a teacher and holder of this special energy. The car pulls up. He smiles and greets me. I get in the car and then the dream ends.
In my waking-world life, I know this man, and he is indeed of this special clan of good men whose presence and deeds can open hearts, heal souls and change our world. He’s a poet, teacher and Zen practitioner — a brilliant yet humble man, with gentle, penetrating eyes that seem to take in our world of beauty and sorrow with a deep love, wisdom and crinkle of humor.
There are such good men among us. They are the poets, writers, teachers, leaders, wise men and healers in our midst who kneel in reverence before the miracle that is life, and give over their hearts and hands in service of the very best of our human society: love, compassion, justice and beauty.
Oddly, the good man isn’t our cultural ideal of the masculine. Instead this ideal venerates “real men” who emulate a rugged self-determinism founded on domination and personal gain. In the battle for supremacy in our shared social order, real men fight their way to the top of the pile, reaping the rewards of wealth, power and adulation, indifferent to the price others pay for their success. Our modern political, social and economic systems are founded on this masculine ideal of dominion, will to power, and unfettered self-interest and greed.
It can be hard to recognize the good men among us given the long shadow of our cultural, real-men ethos. Many of us have experienced harm at the hands of an abusive man, or because of the misogynist roots and toxic male and female stereotypes that permeate our social order. Others may have a strong political or intellectual viewpoint that understands the role that men and patriarchal institutions have played in the worst of our human history and current malaise.
Yet there are good men in our midst, with big hearts and spirits, gifting their best in service of others and our world. And these men, with their positive masculine traits, are desperately needed as partners, allies and role models in the mending and renewing of our human society.
When I shared my good-man dream with my poet neighbor who appeared as the good man in my dream, he replied, “Yes, there are such men without a doubt. I’m glad you know, Karen. That, in itself, is worth all the dreams.”
To know the good men among us — to open our hearts and minds to their presence and offerings — is a powerful counterbalance and antidote to the clamor of the crazy, crazy of real-men masculinity, played out in the constant bad newsfeed of political mayhem, environmental devastation, economic crisis, income disparity and war.
Here is a simple exercise for claiming this powerful, healing good-man medicine in your own life.
Posted on:  Feb 18, 2017 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess
These are powerful times that call for powerful presence. The world as we know it appears to be coming apart at the seams, in both immensely positive and terrifyingly negative ways. And we must find our place and power, our love and goodness, in the midst of this river of change that carries us forward to a brighter or desolate future.
I feel the import of this moment, like all of Creation is holding its breath, waiting to see what we humans will choose at this colossal tipping point. I’ve visited this tipping point many, many times with the Goddess and always She returns to the same message: you already have what you need to heal your soul and this world; it’s inside of you, my greatest gift to you, and your most sacred birthright — love.
By this the Goddess doesn’t mean our human, emotional kind of love, but the love that infuses all living things in the unfolding Cosmos, that drives life to create and nurture new life, and to honor and embrace the brilliant manner in which every life form, and every one of us, holds a unique, essential piece of the shining, living, breathing whole.
I feel the Goddess in my fingertips as I write this post. I feel Her in my heart and in my solar plexus.
“Wake up,” She says, “what I speak of is all around you and within you. I walk with you in the beautiful things of this Earth, the best qualities of your humanity, and the Mysteries and powers that underlie everything you see and experience. These are the silver threads of my love and life-centered ways.
“Find these threads in your own life. Gather them to you as the precious gifts that they are. Weave them into a new vision, a tapestry of love that centers your everyday existence, and your choices and actions in the goodness and beauty that you are, and the goodness and beauty of your Earth home. And then live your tapestry of love, with all your heart and all your will, knowing that this, and only this, will bring the depth of change that’s needed to turn the tides into a brighter future in these perilous, exhilarating times.”
Posted on:  Nov 23, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  From the Tale
Annie begins a rich, seductive beat on her drum.
I rock my hips, with my legs wide apart, letting the building energy of the song undulate through my bones and muscles. With dream-hooded eyes, I watch the music ripple through the group — the song’s rhythmic spell catches us all, calling us to weave our bodies as one expression of the liquid power moving through us. A kaleidoscope of enraptured faces, with mud-painted brows, pass me by; warm, moist flesh brushes up against warm, moist flesh, and I gather the scents of others on my body, like a lover with her beloveds.
As our heat and passion intensifies, so does Annie’s drumming, pounding out a tempo that moves our bodies faster and faster, with dancers egging on drummer, and drummer egging on dancers. My hips are no longer my own, nor my rushing blood. There is only the insistent voice of the drum, and my dancing out a power too big and too beautiful for my body to contain.
Posted on:  Nov 9, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  From the Tale
Excerpt from: Tale of the Lost Daughter
“I am waiting for you sweet one,” Hecate calls out softly, “Come, it is time, you are ready, you are ripe.”
At her feet a path materializes, hewn of red, granite, paving stones, flecked with tiny glimmers of silver light. In the far distance, the scarlet and amber flames of a hearth fire dance in a freshening wind that carries the smoky scent of burning, wood resin.
And then the dream vision fades, and I am staring into a flat, black plane that mirrors back Kayla and my merged reflections. Past and present fuse together.
“This is not just Kayla’s story,” I say, turning to Hecate, “It’s mine as well.”
“You see clearly Sarah,” Hecate says, “The surface details differ, but you and Kayla share the same underlying story: the tale of my lost daughter, who heeds the call of her aching soul and finds her way back to my living realm and ways. Nothing is lost that cannot be refound. New beginnings emerge from the darkest night of the soul.”
Posted on:  Oct 4, 2016 @ 7:00 Posted in:  From the Tale, Power/Leadership
I stand between the opposing walls of my walk-in closet, one side lined with business wear and the other with my supplementary, wardrobe categories: casual, evening, yoga and visits with my mother. I’m selecting from my extensive collection of gray, black and navy suits, white and cream, tailored shirts, black and navy pumps, and matching purses — all monotone, subdued, sexless and very expensive.
I don’t even glance at the other wall, with its splashes of scarlet-red and midnight-blue, and full display of my boot fetish. There is no way in hell I’d let even a peep of the other me squeak out at the office — the one who emerges from this closet on weekends wrapped in delicious, feminine folds of sensuous fabric and bold color, and the thigh-high, sex appeal of stiletto-heeled boots.
With the deeper vision of my dream knowing, I detect the warrior-like squaring of my shoulders, and the clenched muscles in my abdomen and at the base of my spine as I don my dark-suited armor and fortify myself for battle in a man’s world.
Every morning I do a version of this routine, and then spend the rest of the day in a state of constant vigilance, knowing that I have to act like a man, actually a better man than all the rest, while somehow still displaying subtle indications of my womanhood. Unspoken rules dominate my actions, derived from a fine, balancing point between beauty and brains, the secret boys’ club ethos, and the even-more-secret, girl-against-girl rivalry. This is the price of my power and success, and of retaining my privileged membership in the upper ranks of the corporate world.