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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:  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.
Posted on:  Sep 11, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
With the approach of the Fall Equinox, the energies of the sacred dark begin to stir in your inner landscape — calling you to a new cycle on your journey of soul — compelling you to seek within the secret desires, dormant potential and lost stories that can guide your spiritual pathwork in the weeks, months and seasons to come.
As the seasons turn from Summer to Fall, the days become shorter and colder as the powers of light give way to those of darkness, and the living world draws ever more deeply inward to rest, to quiet, to stillness. Nature abandons outward activity in favor of inner gestation, returning to the belly of the Mother Earth, the sacred dark, where the sleeping potential of new life resides.
Your life too is woven of these primal powers and cycle. The deepest roots of your journey of soul — your life’s purpose, true nature, best gifts, core healing and personal transformation — find their origins in the still, sacred darkness of your inner landscape.
This sacred dark of the Mother Earth, your inner landscape and the mysteries that underlie everyday existence can’t be easily described or comprehended. By its very nature, the sacred dark is the great unknown of hidden powers and knowledge, and the lost parts of our personal stories and collective humanity. It holds both the seeds of new beginnings and the composting decay of death from which life emerges and returns to at the end of its days.
In all these ways, and so many more, the sacred dark is the realm of the Dark Goddess whose death-rebirth magic rides the raw, transformative edge between life and death, light and shadow, beauty and wounding, and joy and sorrow.
Our modern-day sensibilities, locked on the external, material, light-filled world of the things we know and understand, don’t teach us about these deep roots of our spiritual pathwork. We’re conditioned to skim the surface in our life travels, seeking outward for direction and guidance. We’ve forgotten and fear the primal ways of the sacred dark, of Nature, of soul, of the Goddess.
Yet this was not always so. Ancient tales of Inanna and Persephone gift us with the myth of the hera’s journey. In this myth, the Goddess chooses to leave the land above and descends to the realm of the Dark Goddess, the Underworld; She travels the ways of this realm, embracing its mysteries and suffering its trials; and She dies and is reborn, returning to the land above in Her full maturity and powers.
The hera’s journey provides invaluable teachings that can help you navigate the deepest roots of your journey of soul, and source the primal, transformative powers of the sacred dark.
Here are four lessons from this potent myth to guide your spiritual pathwork in the fall season.