Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wisdom from a Weather Witch

“A little bit of salt just makes ice mad” my father said in the blizzard conditions of Tulsa over the Christmas holiday when he and my mother had been housebound for almost a week due to poor weather conditions and a city with not enough snow ploughs. My father is a weather witch, or more conventionally he runs an HVAC business but I've seen him in our backyard when I was young tracking electrical lines with dowsing rods and lets just say, being part Cherokee, his tribal roots and daily meditation practice often spurred moments of spiritual insight to move through him in the guise of weather metaphors.

So why were these same words echoing through my head this week during an Iyengar yoga class where I was strapped into Supta Virasana. This was the third excruciating Supta Virasana in three days. Why? Because I only do this a little bit. In fact, on general principle I tended towards ignoring the pose completely until my Iyengar yoga teacher decided he’d begin every class for a week with this pose. This was the third class of Supta Virasana in three days and my body was PISSED!

“A little bit of salt just makes ice mad,” my father’s voice echoed in my head again and I almost snorted trying to hold in my laughter. I saw clearly my child-like behavior around not wanting to eat my yogic brussell sprouts because they tasted bad. If I continued to just do this pose a little, it would always piss me off because I wasn’t getting to the core issue of what was underlying all this pain and anger in my knees. I would continue to avoid the pose all together like being permanently home-bound in an ice storm or I would do it half-hearted and just get pissed and slip on the ice anyway. This week my Iyengar teacher encouraged us to do this pose everyday with the support of sitting on a phone book until our sit bones could come to the floor. “It takes dedication to the practice,” he said. “Each day you do this pose, take a page out of the phone book.” Today I got my phone book. Thanks Dad.


What do you ignore routinely because it’s painful or uncomfortable even though it’s useful?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Imbolc Passion & Sensuous Magic

Beloved Friends,

I just returned from a breath-taking trip to Vermont to visit with my dearest friend and first spiritual teacher, a Celtic Witch who resides in a small cape house surrounded by snow-capped mountains. During my days with her, I kept having a very strange feeling over-take my body. I was frequently in an altered state and my level of arousal was animal-like. All day I would feel a heat and tingling in my sacrum, womb-center and along the back of my neck, like being in a constant state of heightened peace-inducing passion. It wasn't until we moved into ritual together that I realized that it was the quickening I was feeling - the orgasmic life-force energy of the Earth was beginning to build as nature began to contemplate Spring. In the waves of Winters Magic she and I dove into the energies of the season and created a beautiful Imbolc ritual in the hayloft of her barn surround by melting snow and a deep silence. The magic of connecting with the season was instantaneous and I was reminded how infinite our true nature is when we simply open to it.

In the wheel of the year, this time is known as Imbolc. Imbolc is the mid point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. The days are slowly growing longer and there is a quickening and magic present in the air. Brigit, the Celtic Goddess sacred to this holy time, is a young bride, maiden and keeper of the holy flame and sacred well who encourages us to cast off the fallen past year and look to the quickening and growing warmth within our own belly and sex center as the light continues her return.

Holy wells and sacred flames, the sacred symbols to Brigit are symbols of passion, sensuality and rebirth. Set aside a special time to connect with the energies of Imbolc and reflect on - What part of yourself is rebirthing? What is the fire in your belly igniting? If you surrendered fearlessly to your passion where would it lead you?

Wishing you Imbolc Blessings!
ISIS Phoenix