My Dad passed last week. And this week I have many memories coming up about him; things he said and did, what I loved about him and also a few things I didn’t like so much. One of my favorite memories is hearing him call me Goldilocks. Goldy or Goldilocks was my Dad’s nickname for me. Even in his last days, when I would visit him, he would look up, smile and say, “It’s Goldy!” when I walked into the room.
I liked being called Goldy. No one except my dad has ever called me that. So, the nickname passes on with my dad, which is a little sad. But I had many years of being called Goldy or Goldilocks, and the name still makes me smile. Goldy actually referred to the golden blonde hair I had as a child. But Dad also used the name because he said, like Goldilocks, I would search and try out new things until I found the one that was “just right”. So true, so true! I still do that. Apparently I was picky and unwilling to settle even as a young girl. 🙂
I still search and push to find that one “just right” thing. I have found amazing houses to live in because of my constant quest for “just right”. And I love finding just the right restaurant, hiking trail, lawn chair or vacation spot. Searching for “just right” also led me to shift careers and try a lot of different jobs until I zeroed in on a profession that truly suits me. And my inner life is so much richer because of all the spiritual traditions I have explored over the years while searching for one that was just right for me.
But searching for “just right” can also be problematic. I have to be careful that my “just right” search doesn’t degenerate into a search for perfection. Yes, there is a difference between perfect and “just right”. Perfect has an obsessive-compulsive energy to it. When I get locked in perfect mode, it feels absolutely necessary to attain perfection. For example, when writing I sometimes get sucked into searching for the perfect word or phrase. And I feel compelled to keep trying and trying long after a reasonable person would quit. I can waste a ton of energy and make myself completely miserable when I fall into perfect mode.
The search for “just right” is more relaxed than perfection – there’s nothing necessary about finding “just right.” In the fairytale Goldilocks could sleep in any of those beds – she just wants to optimize her comfort! So Goldy takes a few extra minutes to try out every bed. There’s nothing OCD about it. “Just right” is about exploring all the options. “Just right” is nice to have, but not necessary.
My Dad is gone now, exploring in other realms. But while he was here with me, he taught me a lot about life and myself. I love that he found my “just right” quest interesting and amusing. Another parent might have turned this personality trait of mine into a problem. But Dad embraced me and my “just right” quirkiness. I love remembering that.
Happy Travels Dad.
New moon in fiery Aries starts today.
Time for Action
Get up & go after your dream.
Move, dance, run, play!
Use spring’s energy for new growth and creation.
February has never been my favorite month. The weather can be cold and brutal. And snow is expected here in the Colorado Rockies today. Winter can seem endless in February. But a little story in The 13 Original Clan Mothers stopped my winter grumbling and gave me a way to actually enjoy February.
The period of days from one new moon to the next is a moon month. According to Native American teachings, every moon month is watched over by a different Clan Mother. Early February is within the 2nd moon month of the year; Grandmother Wisdom Keeper watches over this moon cycle. Wisdom Keeper holds the knowing that the entire history of this planet is held within the stones of Mother Earth. And that every part of nature helps hold our history.
One day in February, Grandmother Wisdom Keeper was out walking in nature and a little snowflake spoke to her. Here is an excerpt of the Wisdom Keeper legend from Jamie Sams’ book:
“…On the Rock Person’s surface was a perfectly frozen snowflake. The intricate pattern of the snowflake seemed to float above the blue-gray of the stone’s surface.Wisdom Keeper bent closer, being careful that the warmth of her breath did not melt the frozen web suspended in the early morning frost. “Oh Snowflake,” she whispered to herself, “what a genuinely rare gift of winter you are.”
The snowflake surprised Wisdom Keeper by answering her whispered thoughts, causing the Clan Mother’s heartbeat to quicken.
“You may call me Ice Web, Mother. When Grandmother Spider wove the web of Creation, she created Snowflakes to represent the webs of dreams that would travel from the Dreamtime to Earth, becoming living, physical experiences.”
Wisdom Keeper had never encountered a talking snowflake before. In her curiosity, the Keeper of Earth’s Records felt impelled to ask Ice Web further questions in order to fully understand the roles that the Great Mystery gave the Ice-beings of winter. “What an extraordinary mission you have, Ice Web. Will you tell me more about how your Medicine assists our Planetary Family so that I may hold that understanding for the Two-leggeds?”
“Of course I will, Wisdom Keeper. I was preserved in frost so that my passage through your life would not go unnoticed. You must record the purpose of my role in nature so that every Child of Earth will know how her or his dreams and visions aid the spiritual growth of the whole Planetary Family.
Mother, every one of the Children of Earth has feelings and dreams according to his or her place in the scheme and balance of nature. When combined, all of those dreams and feelings make up the needs of the Children of Earth. The snowflakes are the messengers of those needs because our bodies hold the patterns of each individual dream. When Grandfather Sun’s warmth melts our bodies into water, the feelings of the collected dreams are poured into the Earth Mother’s soil, giving her the understanding of her children’s deepest desires.”
I LOVE this view of the world where every part of nature has a purpose and wants to help us! A world where tiny snowflakes hold our most precious dreams for us. They hold and cherish each tiny seed until our dreams can sprout and grow in the warmth of spring.
Here’s wishing that many, many snowflakes fall today. I’d like one to hold and cherish each one of my winter dreams, please!
I bought a lunar calendar this year. It has the year divided into 13 moons instead of 12 months. After years of looking at the year as the month of January followed by February followed by March… it takes a bit of adjustment to track the year by moon cycles. After all, I have been trained since Kindergarten to track what month it is! But keeping track of which moon cycle we are in this year has opened my eyes to nature’s rhythms and cycles in a deeper way. And it’s shown me yet another way of looking at my world that is filled with wisdom and truth. And I have discovered that I can use and learn from both ways of looking at the world; I can follow the cycles of the moon and stars AND I can honor 4th of July and celebrate Christmas on December 25th again this year. I do NOT have to choose and lock into only one way of looking at my world. Truth and wisdom can be found in many forms.
Tracking moon cycles has deepened my awareness of my own cycles. I am female, which means my emotions ebb and flow and cycle like the moon. It is the way nature wired women to operate. Don’t believe me? Well if you’re female, find a lunar calendar and start taking note of how your mood ebbs and flows during any given lunar cycle. And if you’re male, track your wife or girlfriend’s moods. Try it and you’ll see how lunar women truly are. It is not just our menses that are tied to Mother Moon. And how cool is it to be intimately tied to Mother Moon. I find it somehow comforting.
Every year on planet Earth contains 13 lunar cycles. That’s actually not just Native American folklore – it’s astronomy. The length of our year is determined by how long it takes the Earth to go all the way around the Sun. And Mother Moon cycles around the Earth 13 times in the time it takes the Earth to cycle around Father Sun, whether we believe in and honor pagan rituals or not.
For those of you who haven’t ever paid attention to the moon before, a new moon is the time every month when the moon is dark and cannot be seen in our night sky. A new moon lasts 2-3 nights and then a tiny sliver of the waxing (growing) moon shows herself again in the night sky. In many earth based traditions, each new moon marks the beginning of a cycle. Many ancient cultures who were more intimately tied to the natural cycles on Earth, believed that new moon energy marks the perfect time for renewal and / or beginning new projects.
We entered the 10th moon cycle last weekend.
Several years ago, I discovered a wonderful book that shares Native American wisdom and legends about each moon cycle on our Earth; it’s called The 13 Original Clan Mothers by Jamie Sams. One Clan Mother or Grandmother is said to watch over us in each lunar cycle. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the idea of Grandmothers guiding and watching over me (some would label me a female chauvinist). And I also adore the magical names that Sams uses to describe the energy of what each Grandmother focuses on.
1st Moon: Talks with Relations
2nd Moon: Wisdom Keeper
3rd Moon: Weighs the Truth
4th Moon: Looks for Woman
5th Moon: Listening Woman
6th Moon: Storyteller
7th Moon: Loves All Things
8th Moon: She Who Heals
9th Moon: Setting Sun Woman
10th Moon: Weaves the Web <== Our current lunar cycle
11th Moon: Walks Tall Woman
12th Moon: Gives Praise
13th Moon: Becomes Her Vision
This past weekend, we entered the domain of Weaves the Web Grandmother. Weaves the Web is a favorite of mine, probably because I spend HOURS exploring creativity and writing. Here is a snippet of what Jamie writes about Clan Mother Weaves the Web:
“Weaves the Web represents the creative principle within all things…Working with the truth is her Cycle of Truth. She teaches us how to use our hands to create beauty and truths in tangible forms… Weaves the Web is the Guardian of the Creative Force in all things. She helps us express our creativity in a positive manner and use the energy available to us. This Clan Mother is also the Keeper of Life Force and instructs us to create health, to manifest our dreams, to develop and use our talents, and to access our spiritual potentials…”
Several things light up and become more obvious to me when I read about and meditate on the energy of Weaves the Web; First, as a writer I’d like to remember that Creative juice flows through all of creation on Earth. And what I write and create with that juice is not really mine to “own” – it’s just my interpretation of the the magical creative juice that fuels our world. And that juice carries fundamental Truths that permeate every corner of our Universe.
Truth can take many forms. Every spiritual tradition contains gems and nuggets of truth and wisdom that are available to help me in this crazy, confusing cycle of days known as a lifetime. If I decide that one teacher or one school of thought is the only source of truth for me, then I lock up and limit my world and my possibilities.
Finding and holding onto truth can be as elusive as trying to catch a fish as it flashes in the sun at the surface of a lake for just a brief instant. Wrapping words around the truth to explain it is a very tricky business; no words ever completely catch the essence of a truth because truth is an energy, a sensation of lightness and expansion. My truth creates space and opens up a new view of the world to me. Words never quite do justice to the energy that is truth.
When I search for truth, I can choose to put blinders on and follow only one teacher as though he or she holds all the keys that will unlock me and lead me to wisdom. Many people prefer that way – it simplifies their search for truth and wisdom. But I can refuse to wear blinders. I can choose to search out those flashes of truth from every teacher, every tradition, every corner of the Universe that catches my awareness and speaks to me. The second way takes more patience and goes against the norm, but I find it to be infinitely more rewarding.
In every moment of my search for that elusive flash of truth in my world, I have a choice. And I choose truth in whatever form it shows itself to me.
What if I am both a good witch and a bad witch,
depending on the day?
When did I decide that women are supposed to be sorted into good or bad? saint or sinner? When did I conclude that we are either innocent pure madonnas or conniving evil whores?
I blame my messed up need to decide whether I’m good or evil on too many Disney movies… and I’m only half kidding! I challenge you to name one female Disney character that is not some ridiculous caricature of pure good or pure evil. And no, you CANNOT count the female dog in Lady and the Tramp! I’m talking about female HUMANS in Disney movies – name one – I dare you. 🙂 Consider Snow White and her nemesis, the Evil Queen. How about Cinderella and her Evil Step-mother? Or there’s Ariel and the Evil Octopus Lady Ursula. We are talking some seriously twisted black and white views of women!
Or maybe I should blame it on my Christian upbringing… no, wait, those are ALL bad, evil woman images aren’t they? Eve, Lilith, Salome, whorish Mary Magdalene. The only good female image I can come up with after years of Sunday School is Mother Mary and she is merely a vessel at the beginning of the story brought in to birth the baby Jesus. Then she exits quickly stage left. The Bible expresses a pretty dark view of my gender.
But it’s not just women getting labelled all good or all bad. The entire world seems to obsess about sorting everyone and every experience into good or bad, right or wrong, black or white. We love to polarize! Watch what the politicians say about each other and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Last week the Republicans praised Mitt Romney as our national savior and vilified Barack Obama as the evil anti-christ. This week it’s the Democrat’s turn; now Obama is wearing the white hat and Romney is pictured in black. What if we chose to realize that BOTH candidates are just mere mortal men? Human beings with both strengths and weaknesses? What if we just stopped buying into this black and white bullshit?
If you hate politics, just watch a little reality TV and notice how black and white it is. The Kardashian sisters appear to spend every waking moment fighting about which of them is the good-est witch and which is the baddest! Even the son-in-laws are sorted into good (Lamar) and evil (Scott). It is so polarized and so divisive. But it makes for tons of drama. And we all just cannot seem to look away.
What if we just stopped playing the polarity game? What if we chose to see the world as a thousand different shades rather than just black or white? Blow that black and white mindset up! It only makes us crazy and upset anyway.
Ok, so what if I embrace both my good witch AND my bad witch? Everyone who knows me will tell you I am quite capable of being both – and sometimes even in the same day. 🙂 What if I just relax and stop judging myself and my every experience as GOOD or BAD, RIGHT or WRONG? And what if I stop judging everyone else too?
I remember a story I heard years ago about the dangers of judging our experiences as good or bad:
A farmer had only one stallion. One day, the horse jumped a fence and ran away.
All the neighbors came by saying, “Oh no! Such bad luck! You must be so upset.” The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”
A few days later, his stallion came back and brought twenty wild mares with him. The man and his son corraled all the horses.
All the neighbors came by saying, “Wow! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”
A few weeks later, one of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, and broke the boy’s leg in 3 places.
All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”
The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed many young men from the region, but the farmer’s son was spared; his broken leg prevented him from fighting.
All the neighbors came by saying, “You are so lucky! Your son didn’t have to go fight” The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”
What will happen if I live in a state of not judging myself or my experiences?
What will happen if I meet EVERY experience with the energy of “maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell”?
New Moon in Leo today; one cycle completes and another begins.
What is ready to begin or renew in my life today?
What is trying to birth that I can contribute
my energy and consciousness to ?
Where can I begin to generate and create something potent and magical?
What lunar wisdom does the Leo moon have to share
with me, if only I will listen?
Learn more about natural rhythms and the energy of a Leo moon here: