Monday, December 13, 2010


Today I was helping a young man organize his legal research. He initially seemed an unlikely candidate: heavily inked, nervous affect, blunt and taciturn. He displayed all the classic signs of a tweaker who had been up for several days. He was, however, polite and appropriate with me, and as his story slowly unfolded he found his way into increasingly heavy legal materials.

He sat at a large table in the reading room and spent several hours in the material, and occasionally would ask me for another reference. Finally he asked for a dictionary. And then came up to me, confounded because he could not find a particular word. A really basic, non-legal word. The word was one ending in –ed. I found the primary word for him, which he had identified and explained that the word he was studying was the past tense of the primary word. He looked puzzled. I pointed at the word in the dictionary. ‘This is the present tense word’ I explained. ‘The word in the book you are studying is written in the past tense’. He looked up at me, still puzzled. ‘Present tense? Is that, like, the now?’ he asked. Yes, I assured him, and explained how the definition showed the various tense forms for the word.

I went back to my work marveling at how a young man, presumably educated in our society, could not know what the present tense and past tense of a pretty basic word was. And then it struck me how this was a metaphor for how many of us live. We don’t know how to distinguish the present from the past.

We dwell in past anguish; in memories, guilt, delusion, or pain. We dwell in denial, or we hold on to attitudes or thought patterns that no longer serve us, or have any use for us. In other words, we don’t let go.

And this is so silly and unproductive. Because all we have is the present. The past is beyond us, and the future not yet in grasp. All we have is this moment; this very second of our existence. And in this present moment we have the ability to create our reality and affect not only the future, but also the past.

The quantum physicists assure us that thoughts become things, and can alter the very DNA of our being. These concepts, well-known millennia ago and then forgotten, are now being proven in laboratories all over the world. What we do in the present matters. It’s our workbench. It’s the place from which we design our life, and our very world.

The past is history; the future is mystery. This moment is a gift. That is why it is called The Present.

So take this moment; this gift, and look at it. See the beauty you have within you. See the beauty in every moment and regard the treasures in the every day things. Don’t confuse the present with the past. The past is gone. Right now is the treasure. Don’t let it slip away from you. Use it well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Once again the feasting season is upon us and we scurry around preoccupied with party and meal preparations, gift giving, and the logistics of fitting all the holiday gatherings in to an already full schedule. So many times in the past we were left feeling washed up in January with swollen charge cards, a depleted constitution, and a feeling of bereft emptiness.

But: not this year. The most marvelous thing is happening. The most wonderful shift in consciousness is moving in. As we approach that emblematic year 2012 we all of us feel it, if even a little. There is enough whispers in our ear.

For the longest time in our collective memories it seems we have battled with the notion that there is “not enough”. The idea that in order for us to “have”, we must wrest ‘it’ from someone else, and deprive others of “it” has dominated. The traditional concept: that there is a finite amount of raw material and our gain must perforce represent someone else’s loss.

By extension this philosophy led to us looking at those who had a lot of material wealth with feelings of envy and resentment. And with the current economic struggles in the world, I see a lot of envy and resentment. The media certainly doesn’t help: how many of us can afford all the baubles and delights we see paraded in front of us; paraded in a manner to suggest that having them is normal, and if you don’t have them, then you are a sad deprived creature.

But what if that ancient concept were flawed? What if the reality were that there is more than enough? That there is infinite supply, and that all we need do, should we desire something, is to intend it, believe it, and then act as though it were here? What if the energetic conditions were shifting, and we were entering a new age? What if we were evolving as a species? How would that shape our day-to-day actions and undertakings?

I suppose it might mean that we no longer felt we had to club someone else in order to take their stuff. What if we let them have their stuff, and instead created our own? What if we stopped focusing on them, and instead focused on our own actions in the world?

The other day I was walking on the beach and a gleam caught my eye: the most beautiful moonstone was shimmering in a pool of water. I scooped it up and brought it home. I have wanted a nice moonstone for some time. And there it was, just waiting for me.

I suggest that this Thanksgiving we look around us, each of us, at our situations. And regardless of our situation, we find what it is that we have that we are grateful for. And focus on that for a time. And experience gratitude. This beautiful thing we are grateful for, whatever it is, came to us out of the ether. Everything else will, too.

The struggle is not ‘us vs them’. It is us vs ourselves as we learn to get out of our own way, and allow the grace of That Which is Greater Than Us provide all the elements we need to fashion our own sparkling reality.

When you focus on gratitude, an incredible thing happens. You become more dynamic, and you become better able to help other people in addition to yourself. I think it’s because you shift out of negative desperation, and into positive appreciation. And, funny thing, once you are shifted into gratitude, you get more to be grateful for. Law of Attraction demands it. What you focus on increases.

So whether you are at a family gathering of all the oddball relatives, whether you are dining a deux with a lover, whether you are at a party with friends, or eating a frozen dinner on your own: find that which you are grateful for this feasting season. Focus on that, and notice the energy associated with that feeling. And then do whatever you can do to stay in that energy.

And watch the magic unfold.

Happy Feasting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


All of us have read endless writings on the power of intention, and we all know the value of visualization and believing in ourselves, no matter what. Sometimes though, when results are slow to manifest, we get discouraged. I was having one of those episodes of feeling discouraged, and then I saw the headlines about the Chilean miner who ran in the New York Marathon over the weekend.

I read about how, while locked deep under the earth, he visualized running in the marathon, and even practiced working out to get ready.

Imagine that. Imagine being buried deep under the earth, every logical indication being that you would either starve or suffocate in a matter of weeks, and rather than give up or resign yourself to a dark end, you start to train for a world famous marathon in a country far away. Did his companions think him mad? I hear they encouraged him! Imagine the visualization process, and the determination and optimism. “I will run in the New York marathon”. He saw it. He felt it. And he took all the steps he could to get ready for it.

And for me, here’s the key part. He did what he could, and he knew that others on the outside were doing what needed to be done to get him to the point where he could run in that marathon. Hundreds of people from all over the world were digging that tunnel and devising that life-saving pod and all the mechanisms necessary to bring those lads to the surface. And what a surfacing it was. It was like watching each one of them be reborn. The long, slow, dangerous ascent through the tunnel; the claustrophobia; the bright light; the embrace and back slapping.

Did this Chilean miner ever get discouraged? I’m sure he did. It can’t have been easy to be buried deep in the earth and be told that no one knew how to get him out, but that they’d sure try. But he obviously didn’t let his discouragement remain for too long.

The word courage has its roots in the Latin word for heart. To be encouraged is to be strengthened in the heart. To be discouraged is the opposite.

I think intention and manifestation are exercises of the heart. Sure the brain plays a role too. And the other sentient areas of our body assist. But I feel it is of the heart. My heart swelled as I watched those miners surface. My heart rose in my throat and I was empathing so hard I had to take a couple of breaks.

Fast forward to the Marathon. He ran. He did it. That dream, conceived in the womb of the earth at a time of great uncertainty, manifested in great glory this weekend.

So who am I to be discouraged? Who are any of us to doubt the power we have to achieve all we dream of?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busy Bees

It’s hard for me to believe an entire month has gone by since I last blogged here. So much is going on in my life, both with my “normal” career and with MHML. I’m happy and thrilled with both.

One lesson, which has been presenting repeatedly to me during this past month, is a lesson in versatility and expectation. Sometimes we think a process is going to open up in one particular way, and then Spirit shows us a different way! We have to be open to the signals and the cues and adapt to what Spirit gives us.

Take these beautiful honeybees. They recently discovered the hummingbird feeder in my garden. And they love it! They always leave a port open for the birds, but they have been commandeering the other ports for themselves. And they love my homemade sugar syrup! (4 parts water to 1 part sugar, bring to a simmer and DON’T allow it to reach a full boil; for some reason cheap white granulated sugar is what they love most of all).

Me? I’m thrilled they are here. With the worldwide hive collapse tragedy still in full throe, I’m happy any time I see honeybees at work.

So I put the feeder out expecting exclusively hummingbirds. I get hummingbirds and bees. The bees head out looking for flowers and they stumble in to this plastic delivery system. Nothing any of us expect, but it works for us all. Even the hummingbirds, who look askance at the bees, are able to dodge them and get their slurps in too.

The bees are so beautiful. Their gossamer wings, and fur like shoulder ‘shrugs’ have always reminded me of 1920’s fashion. And like the birds, the bees move away when I arrive to replenish the feeder; they don’t sting me or bother me. The hummers back away and chit-chit at me to hurry up; the bees buzz at low timbre and hover at a polite distance. I am the large creature who brings the syrup.

I could ask for no finer reputation.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dancing with Luna and Hares

Today was a rare day of solitude and leisure for me. Reading, painting. I went over to Lisa's site ( and found myself writing in response to a question about moon phases. So I thought I'd make that subject my blog post today.

For some reason today I was once again pulled to painting hares and the full moon. I am not a skilled painter but I do have fun with it, and am starting to share a bit of it. This is one of the hares I painted today; a burly fellow with a kick in his step:

As I type this we are winding down to a New Moon around the 7th of October. So start clearing out. Remember the New Moon is a time to bring things to conclusion. Wrap it up and let it go! Clear out a cabinet or two, get rid of unwanted emotional baggage, resolve to conclude a project if the time is right, or just take some time to meditate and bring to an end negative ways of thinking. Take the remaining days and mentally cocoon. Draw energy IN, and formulate your plans.

Then... once the New Moon is here, around the 7th, start sending your energy OUT. After the New Moon period is concluded, start putting those plans in action, and start implementing those new attitudes and resolutions. The New Moon = New Beginnings. And as the moon waxes to full, so let your ideas and plans bloom and grow.

And remember, this is all about your energy. It's not the moon; it's you. Nature is helping you and giving you props and symbolism and energy, but it's really you doing this. You are a powerful being, and humans are able to channel and direct energy far more than we typically realize.

Then the next Full is around Oct 23. There is an old tradition of sitting out in the moon's glow during this time, and meditating, and soaking up some good energy. It is a great way to center and focus for the planning that comes.
Do you see the rhythm? Two weeks of planning, two weeks of doing... over and over; a divine balance which enables you to progress in life. We do not have to solve all our problems at once. But we can establish a rhythm that moves us forward.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sea Gifts

It is a hot September Sunday here in SoCal. So hot that when I went to my car it was covered in ravens, mouths open with the heat, seeking shade. I drove to the water for restoration and was presented with many gifts. Much to the delight of the cats, four came home: a feather, rock, crystal, and shell.

The other gifts stayed at the shore, as they should. The tide was full out and I spent time peering in the tide pools, tickling anemones and watching the limpets and other barnacles blink in the sunlight. The water was clear and cold and took away the stress of the week as it grabbed my legs and pulled the sand out from under my feet.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Cleaning

For the past few months I’ve been really busy with work. Between my work at the local law library, my law office, and my intuitive work, I have been straight out. Whenever I can take a breath I run to the beach. And as I look around this morning, I can see my home really demonstrates this preoccupation.

What at one time might be excused as ‘creative clutter’ has morphed into menacing dust bunnies and worse. So it’s time for a clear out and what better time than the autumnal equinox of this past week to accomplish a good fall cleaning?

Today I grab the sponges, water, and cleanser. I grab the dust cloth, the vacuum, and large bags for discarding ‘stuff’. It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ accumulates. Do I want this stuff? Do I need this stuff? Why is it here? Do I keep it, toss it, or file it and deal with it at the next big clear out? Ha!

I use cleanser and salt and vinegar. Cellulose sponges and cotton rags. Moon water from the last Full. I refuse to buy those toxic chemicals in environmentally irresponsible containers. Those foul things don’t make the work any easier, and they sure are harder on the Earth. Makes no sense. I’d rather use a salt-based bleachy cleanser in a cardboard canister that costs $2, than drop $10 on poison in an aerosol plastic abomination.

I reflect on times gone by when people either had house servants or were themselves house servants. That must have been rather nice. For each, I mean. To be the master and have a house with several families living there to take care of it while you went out and hauled in the money or managed the estate to generate the money. To be a servant and know the shelter and food would be there and you took care of your part of it, whether you were a cook, or a cleaner, or a grounds man or a general manager /butler. Everyone had a home and made a contribution to the home. Reminds me of those great lines from the film The Birdcage: Who cares whether you say I can stay or I say you can stay? It’s home. Or words to that effect.

Hmmm. I shake the cleanser on the white porcelain of the sink and rub it around. Gleaming once more. Am I really advocating feudalism? Or baronial whatever you call it from the 18th century?

What if I didn’t regard all this cleaning as a chore? What if I recognized it for what it really is? Some time away from the cares of work, away from the cares of clients, away from the worldly concerns that rattle around in my head? A meditation. A way to send love to my home. A way to send intentions of peace, of well being, of gratitude to my abode? A way to honor those who share this dwelling place with me?

And all of a sudden I started to enjoy it; this dusting of green powder on my tee shirt, and puckering of my fingers from the warm soapy water. My knees, wet and sliding across the kitchen vinyl floor as I kneel and scrub are now humorous and not inconvenient.

The dryer tumbles. Guitar music wafts in from the living room. Coffee scent lingers from the French press carafe of earlier. Cats stretch to unbelievable length and sleep in the hot sunbeams of September in SoCal. This is real. This is my life.

I think I’ll go tackle the bathrooms next.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Awash in Emotion

Lately it seems I’ve been hearing a lot about emotions and how they are purportedly evidence of frailty and lack of control. What hogwash.

Emotions are every bit as valuable and critical as Intellect. Yet they come from a different place.

Our western society places great emphasis and gives great deference to Intellect. And it is generally acknowledged that Intellect is wisdom that issues from the brain. Intellect is very important it is true. But the brain is not the only sentient organ in our bodies. Today I present to you for your consideration the heart; another sentient organ. One of several sentient organs you possess in your marvelous body.

The heart is a repository of knowledge every bit as potent as the brain. The energies that swirl in us as the heart chakras are just as wise as those swirling in our brain. The wisdom that flows from the heart is known as Emotion.

E-Motion. Energy in motion. The words we so often use to describe Emotion are almost always action words. My heart soars. My fancy flies. I feel uplifted. I sink in despair. I writhe in agony. My heart freezes in terror. My soul crashes in sorrow. I was pulled out of pain by my love. My heart sings. My sorrow weeps.

Emotion must flow in order to be healthy. If we get stuck in one Emotion then illness and dis-ease come in and sets up housekeeping. Have you ever been lost in despair; so lost that you ignored the beauty in your life? Have you ever been so intoxicated with love that you ignored the practicalities and duties of your life? If you reflect you will recognize how being stuck did not serve you.

Emotion must swirl and flow. It analyzes by movement. When we are in despair, we often seek the comfort of our bed or metaphoric cave, but we must not remain there overly long. After we have had our think, and let Intellect have a go at the situation we must move and take up action in order to fully find our way through the situation. We must engage Emotion. Intellect sits. Emotion moves.

This is why we instinctively go to water when our heart aches. The water is a mirror and teaches us about flow. As we watch the water flow, and we reflect in the mirror of it, we understand that our emotions must flow as well. Water teaches us how to move, how to escape being trapped in negative emotions, and how to elevate positive emotions to new heights.

The next time you are near water, whether it be an ocean, a river, a stream, or a pond, watch it. Watch how it moves. How it adapts, and flows and never loses itself yet becomes what it must become.

When you feel an emotion, let it flow over you. Analyze it just as the water analyzes the rocks and creek bed, the seafloor, and sea creatures. Caress it and see what wisdom it has for you, and utilize it. I don’t write of gut instinct; that is another wisdom, another chakra for another discussion. I refer to feeling, of the clarity of knowing and incorporating what cannot be put into intellectual words and phrases. Intellect has its lexicon. Emotions have their feelings. You know what it is; you feel what it is. And thereby you gain in understanding. Yes, let Intellect have a go; it too is valuable. But do not exclude Emotion.

Emotions wash over you. Revel. Feel them, the good and the bad. You are alive. This is a temporary situation for you. So enjoy it all: the ups and downs, the pain and the joy. Welcome the giddiness of laughter, the release of tears. They all serve you. They are you.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bringing in the Sheaves

The dawn rose misty and cool this morning; a rare gift in SoCal in September. I have had my head in several wrongful death cases for the past month and needed balance this morning. So off I went to the beach, arriving long before the Labor Day revelers; when only the surfers were there. I walked hip high in the incoming surf and then sat, and dug my feet deep in the sand for grounding and clearing. I sat there until the tide overcame me and kelp swirled in entreating tendrils around my ankles. I am MerCrone.

I felt solitary. And started to muse on helpmates and partners and how these tend to emerge from the ether when we call for them. I ascended the cliff to head home to the piles of medical files that await me.

And suddenly I started noticing all the help that spontaneously arrives. Upon reaching the chairs at the top of the stairs I saw a policewoman and some bicyclists petting the local cat and inquiring whether she belongs to anyone. She has a collar and tags, and is well cared for. But people were asking and would have intervened had she needed them.

I saw a pair of ancient pug dogs with gray faces being pushed along in a pram, like the enfants terrible I am sure they are. The pram was pink and had satin blankets in it for their aged rumps. They looked content and entitled and they wheezed as the pram passed me, their two daddies in close attention.

I saw a greyhound of tremendously regal build, no doubt rescued from that dreadful race industry, walking alongside a very portly couple. I laughed at how fate intervened to take him away from that cruel land of forced exertion and placed him in a world no doubt full of soft cushions and good fatty cuts of meat.

And I realized that no matter where you are in life, you can always call for help, the siren song will go out, and the perfect answer will always arrive in perfect time. If you look the signs are all around you that all you need to do is call, and the way there will emerge.

I looked across the highway and saw the pumpkin patch. Large orange orbs ripening and almost ready for the children to come seize them for All Hallows Eve. I saw all the future pies, and breads, and pumpkin butter. I thought of that old hymn Bringing in the Sheaves and how as children we used to sing Bringing in the Sheets… an ode to laundry. And laughed.

Harvest is coming. All hands to the field. I flew home, stopping at Peet's to get caffeine and a smile, and now face the sheaves of medical files. Time to bring them home. Loreena McKennitt serenades me from the living room sound system. The sheaves are lining up perfectly.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Selkie Summer Night

Went to the beach tonight in search of my skin and eventually found it tucked under a pile of leafy kelp fronds. Guising myself I dove into the water. It was clearer and lighter than it has been in months.

No resistance. I glided through the surf effortlessly. Water is my element and I recall eons past when it was our home and we lived in the surf and rocks. This night I swam in the shallows until the sun was past the horizon, the New Moon rose, and the water became inky black like the seals. In the pitch I arose Melusina, and know who I am.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Scarabs and Second Chances

This evening the beach was cool and overcast; just the way I love it the most. While walking in the surf I spied a scarab beetle on his back, in the wet sand, about to get overwhelmed with an incoming wave. I plucked him up and he grabbed on to me for dear life. His six tiny feet clutched me with gentle desperation, and I wondered what he thought of this giant looming over him, delivering him from certain death. It’s not often you get to play deus ex machina to another being.

He was so beautiful; an iridescent soft green covered with sand. I took him away from the roar and breeze of the surf to the soft sand near the base of the cliff. We had a visit while I brushed the wet sand off him and he started to revive. He began by waving his right front leg about and slowly began to groom the sand from his face.

He continued to cling strenuously to my hand and slowly became more animated. I think the warmth from my skin helped him recover from his ordeal. I sat down in the sand and talked with him a bit. He would stop his grooming and look at me, and for a brief moment I fancied we understood each other and the moment we shared. Endoskeleton and Exoskeleton. How often do we commune? Not so much I’m thinking. (but see another scarab entry August 29, 2009).

Once I was certain he was all right again I put him on a bamboo leaf, out of the wind and away from predators. Perhaps he is spending the night there. Good camouflage; fine shelter.

Many traditions hold that scarab beetles are symbols of rebirth and regeneration. Timely, my wee, emerald portend. Earlier this week the mother of a dear friend passed this Earth plane. I was honored to have been there for her passing and see her into the Light.

This little beetle reminds me that, no matter what our circumstance, we should never give up and never assume an outcome. We might be toes up wriggling in the wet quicksand with an advancing wave mere inches away, and something that wasn’t there thirty seconds before can pick us up, dust us off, and put us on a nice soft tree.

I had gone to the beach searching rocks and crystals. Turns out it was an evening for jewels; a beautiful jeweled insect who had a lot to show me about life and fate and making a difference.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two Crows

The animal world is amazing. They share our planet with us, and are ever our teachers if we open to their lessons. Last week I received a good lesson from the crows who live by me.

I love crows. And they seem to love me, too, as they have always allowed me to get close to them. On a misty morning I left early for work and encountered one of my regulars out scavenging for breakfast. She was striding through the dewy grass searching out worms and grubs and insects, and doing a fair job of finding them. We regarded each other as we do. She gave a low crawk of greeting and cocked her head to look at me closely. I told her, in low tones, how beautiful she was. She crawked more words to me. I watched her as she resumed her rustling for food, and then I turned to continue to my car.

After buckling in I stopped to marvel at how beautiful life is and how privileged I am to relate to these crows. I put the car in gear and headed out of my little housing development to the main street.

Just at the corner to the bustling main street I saw a fledgling crow smashed in the gutter, apparently hit by a car in the late evening or the early dawn. Clearly dead. And I could tell he was a fledgling by the color of his beak, still so bright to make it easier for parents to find to place food in. This young one had not judged traffic accurately, and thereby paid the price. It is a too frequent occurrence of late and always puts a lump in my throat. A few weeks ago I witnessed a crow being run over by an SUV that never stopped and it affected me deeply. How can people be so clueless and callous?

After my instant of adrenalin and horror passed I did what I do for animals who are killed by cars, and continued on the way to work, but remained shaken. As I was accelerating on the freeway ramp a gentle voice asked me: Which crow are you going to focus on now?

I thought about it. I had done what I could for the dead one. The live one was still there grubbing out her meal. Which crow would haunt me for the morning? It was then I realized I had a choice.

I could continue to feel shock and pain about the dead crow, taken too early, and too violently. I could continue to mentally image his poor broken wing at its dreadful angle from the road, feathers rustling in the morning air. I could continue to feel that pain all morning and stay in that vibration. And believe me it was tempting to stay there. I was still shaking with the emotion of the encounter.

Or I could remember the incredible honor and communication with the live crow, her words of greeting, her focus on her meal, and how that encounter raised my vibration to soaring heights.

The two encounters happened within ten minutes of each other. And each so different, and so polar opposite, vibrationally. I had to smile. Because of course I chose to stay vibrationally with the live crow.

In life we must make a conscious choice to keep our eye on the prize and our mind and body in alignment with positive vibrations. Of course sadness and low vibration events will come and we must attend to these situations. We must do what we must do. But then we need to wrap it up, conclude it, and…here’s the trick… Let. It. Go.

How often do we stay with the dead crow? How often do we hang on to something that is painful, and ignore or minimize the positive things coming in to our lives? I am not suggesting we abandon these painful situations, or ignore them, but we must keep our emphasis and our focus on the positive. The positive must be our default vibration. It is the only way we can continue to progess in our lives. By staying in the positive we can better do what we came here to do.

And so every time that morning, when the image of that sad, broken wing came into my head, I sent that crow a blessing and shifted to the image of the breakfast seeker and her low crawking greeting to me. And I marveled at the entire sequence.

My work day was very busy and full of a lot of negative and some positive and ended with my long drive home. I finally got in just before dusk, pulling up the drive quite tired and cringing at seeing some feathers still in the road as I approached. I turned off the ignition and sighed with letting the day go. I thought of the dead crow, blessed it, and refocused. I gathered my purse and tote and stepped out. And looked up. There, greeting me, were two live crows walking in the grass looking for dinner.

Two crows. One, my morning companion, looked up and crawed at me and resumed beaking about the blades of grass. The other merely regarded me mutely and picked up a beetle. Tears stung my eyes at the beauty.

Mitaku Oyasin is Lakota for ‘all my relations’ but it means so much more than just those words. It has no complete translation, but encompasses everything as one family and as one learning spirit. We have so much to learn, and the world has so much it can teach us. Watch for the crows in your life. Take the lessons they offer.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Carefree Summer Days

A Summer Weekend looms – a long holiday one here in the States as we celebrate July 4. Puts me in mind of a particular childhood summer in Pennsylvania. That was the summer I essentially lived with a British family and it was the start of my funny way of slipping into an accent that defies localization. My Brit friends know well that I get “a case of the Madonnas” when I’m around them; the timbre of my voice changes and I start saying GARE-age instead of gar-AHJuh. I go on holiday, not vacation, and everything comes out of my mouth a wee bit more English sounding.

That magical summer during my youth was one of great creativity. Kids were given free rein to create. There was a mad cacophony of projects: a toothpick Eiffel Tower in one corner; painting canvases in another; and game boards for never ending Monopoly games, some kind of farm game, and Battleship were always set up in the caravan /travel trailer. In the back room we spent hours assembling bones from animal skeletons we found in the woods and we played museum keepers trying to put them together. It looked like some grisly experiment of cat, gopher, and rat bones. The great Golden Labrador named Costas spent his days flaked out on a frayed Persian rug, smiling, and thumping his tail whenever we walked by, no doubt because we dropped bits of food everywhere. There was endless food in the kitchen. It was HEAVEN!

I staged plays and radio shows. My Grandfather had given me a reel-to-reel tape recorder and I would interview anyone and everyone, and then would edit and present it ‘radio style’ from a booth I rigged in the GARE-age. We hung sheets and staged plays of our own imagination. We were kings and queens and ace fighter pilots and intrepid explorers. We wrote plots of murder, betrayal, and revenge and – since it was the cold war in those days – intrigue involving Russian spies.

Sean Connery was James Bond then and the local bakery, Bond Bread, took advantage of the coincidence of name and sold loaves with end wrappers featuring photos from the movies. We collected them all into a mad collage of black and white stills from spy films and put them up on our theatre walls. We bragged about how when we each grew up we would have Aston Martins and speed around the countryside saving the free world.

We trooped down to the creek with Costas in the evening and sailed boats made of plywood with ripped sheet sails. We built dams and temporarily incarcerated frogs and toads, always freeing them at night to return to their lives on the banks of the stream. At night we lay on the grass, got devoured by mosquitoes, and stared up at the constellations, making charts of the stars and sneaking them to bed with us so we could sit under blankets with our flashlights and compare them to the star charts in our books. We captured fireflies and put them in bottles and watched the fluorescence. We let them go after a few hours. Unless we forgot. And if we did and they died we buried them with honors worthy of Egyptian pharaohs in the morning.

Crystals were everywhere, or so it seemed to me. I collected them all summer and put them in boxes by category and pulled them out late at night in bed and held them, felt their power and compared how different ones buzzed in different ways. We passed them around and felt their energy.

All summer long we created and laughed and learned about life and the environment.

And yet we attended no summer camps, participated in no programs or classes, and had no formal structure to our days. We had neither teachers nor seminars, and days would go by without us ever getting in a car or going anywhere other than where we went on foot. The only television I recall us watching was Gilligan’s Island, which we would sit and sing to and mock endlessly with our own lyrics.

Yet somehow this summer of our imaginations was one of the best of my life. It was a magical time of friendships, of exploration, and of self-realization. Adults served merely to provide us with food and - as I look back on it – overall protection from the elements. The odd scraped knee was bandaged and kissed. Bad language was sharply reprimanded. Laundry was ordered picked up. Other than that, it was Lord of the Flies without the bad bits and with gentle structure. We were kings and queens and we found our very essence that year.

It was not all jolly for me that summer. There was some ugliness on another front. But while I was in this household I learned what it was to be myself, and unleash the creative person unafraid. And I knew what it was to be free and to be loved and to be embraced for who I was.

What a blessing. I wish all children such summers. I wish it for all adults, too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Our Western society is all about rushing and achieving something immediately measurable. And this has value. It’s nice to accomplish things and build a society. One needs a certain drive in order to create things.

I think, though, that our society has forgotten how to pause. I think that in this rush to surpass and build and make the latest, greatest thing and to keep up with other nations who are surpassing and building too – whew!- our society has forgotten to balance by taking a pause.

And we have totally blocked the notion that it is in the pause that the magic really happens. It’s in the reflection, and in the moment of cessation of forward motion, that the ideas flow and the spark that is the very essence of creativity can find its way into our minds.

The great inventors and artists know this. But I think that generally the everyday person forgets, because they are so busy they feel they can’t pause. Even our days off have a tendency to become over scheduled with activity because the media suggests we have to have these elaborate social lives in order to keep up. But the trick of it all is that in the pausing, we become more productive overall. Funny, that.

Did you pause to look up this past week? We had a very beautiful Full Moon. My friends from all over the world have remarked on this particular Moon. Very lovely. Very nice energy.

I stepped out on a second floor balcony and photographed it just as the coastal fog was moving in with clouds and mist. The effect was beautiful – as if the Moon were being held aloft by celestial hands.

I sat for a bit and the clouds dissipated and made their way into other shapes and forms. I was so fortunate to be there for the moment of the clasped hands formation.

For some reason this Moon encouraged me to take out my paints and start pushing color around on paper (as Jackie would say;
Jackie of the magical paintings I adore and admire so much:

I am not a graphic artist. It’s not how I make my living. My work is for my eyes and for my soul and will never be displayed or sold anywhere. For me pushing the colors around gives me a chance to put my shoulders down and it’s then that stuff starts appearing in my mind and suddenly problems are in perspective and solutions and plans and ideas are all lined up ready for action. If I hadn’t paused to paint, well then I’d still be churning with the problem.

As I write this we are still in the influence of the Full Moon. If you go outside tonight she will still be very round and very sweet, this Strawberry Moon.

I encourage you to take a moment and go outside and look up for a few minutes. And get still and let the calm wash over you as you realize the infinity that surrounds you and further realize that, like the moon in the photo, you are indeed supported by unseen hands. And that you do matter and that you are important and that indeed all will be well. No matter what you have to accomplish.

It’s ok to pause. I give you permission.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Solstice 2010

Happy Summer Solstice, Everyone. I hope you’re noting or observing it in some fashion.

Whether you sit back with a glass of sweet tea and watch fireflies; Whether you lie on the grass and listen to Paul Winter Consort perform their magnificent music; Whether you go for a swim and feel the water on your body on a summer afternoon; Whether you sit and look at the stars and marvel at our place in the universe, and wonder at how our planet wobbles around our own star and how the wobbling creates our seasons; However you do it, do pause. Take a moment and feel the change in the season. We are literally tipping in a different direction. Stop and take a few minutes and center yourself in the place that is our Earth; the place that is ours in the middle of this vast universe.

Because, if we each pause, we will remember to send love to the Earth. And that is part of how the Earth heals.

I sit on the cliffs and watch the pristine blue of the Pacific. How clear and clean it is. I see the kelp wash up and birds hunting in the surf. I see people and dolphins playing. Elsewhere in different waters this Solstice it is not thus. Humans have done a bad thing and the Earth hurts. We have to fix it.

Happy Summer Solstice, Everyone.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wind Shaping

Yesterday I spent time meditating at the gardens of the ashram. It was a holiday Sunday so lots of tourists were present snapping camera shutters at everything, even me. I know how an animal in a zoo must feel. Oh look: a pale bellied middle-aged contemplator! Just sitting there on a bench facing the ocean! How unusual!

At first these tourists were distracting. And then I realized that this place blessed all of them, whether they understood the full special-ness of it, or whether this was just a place some family member made them walk through on the way to the surfing beach, because it is in the brochure of Things To Do.

I saw a man in his forties regard an oncoming flock of pelicans in full V formation. The man spread his arms wide toward them and threw his head back as they flew over him. He got it.

I saw a small family break out a wind instrument and start to softly sing and dance together as they faced the ocean. They got it.

I saw a sullen faced pair of young men, faces down as they scowled along behind a couple of older parental looking types. One spied the otherworldly bloom of the proteus bush and said “Gnarly”. The other replied, “Kewl”. They were opening up to get it.

I changed benches to get out of the sun for a bit. Once established in the shade I saw before me a beautiful bottlebrush tree. Its crown was polished by the ocean wind.

Oh how our lives are like this. We are shaped by our environment. Each of us is unique because of our life path. We are all beautiful. We come from different places, and we are shaped by those places and the experiences we have there. Just like those tourists I saw who had never seen a palmetto scrub and were so moved they were snapping photos. Beautiful. Welcome.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sand Pose

The beach is my work out gym; no member fee required. Here I find healing and exercise and peace of mind. Today I went at highest tide, with barely a skirt of sand between the surf and the cliffs. I nestled in to the rocks at the base of the wall and did stretches, yoga, and chants, with the sea rushing around my ankles with each pulse of ebb and flow. My private room on the Pacific.

Such energy! Such power! All negativity pulled away from me. My chants are carried away in the strong onshore wind. My shoulders slowly come down. My heart slowly opens once more.

Crow is here again. He sits on the cliff and turns his head upside down regarding me as I do downward facing dog. He must wonder at my awkward gyrations. Egret flies over and rolls her eyes at me.

I am alone but not alone. A dozen yards to either side of me are other humans in a similar self -absorbed ritual. No tourists here today. The tide and the location baffle all but locals. Even my flirt of surfers is tavern-side, awaiting less rip current and chop.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Sea

More ocean today. Gold sparkles in the wet sand. White caps and violent waves even at ebb tide. Sand slipping out from under my feet as the surf retreats. I charge crystals in the swirling water and receive multiple drenching ‘blessings’ (!) by rogue waves.

Great piles of kelp swarming with flies and tickled by scurrying sand crabs. Cold clear wind. Sweet masculine flirt of surfers who wink by with a toss of bleached hair and ripple of wetsuit. Belly laughs grabbed by the wind and taken around the world. Shadows of spirit on the cliffs, and echos of chants in my head. My rucksack is heavy with treasures. The crystals are charged and giggling. An altogether beautiful day. I am most fortunate.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Crows and Mother Water

Lots of strife going on right now. Friends are ill and in hospital. There is nasty conflict and betrayal in certain arenas I must frequent. Other friends are grieving and require support. I feel the need to ground and recharge. Big time. So off I go to the Water, which for me is the Pacific Ocean.

Water helps us navigate between the two worlds: the World of Form, and the World of the Invisible (well, invisible to us, generally speaking). We live in the World of Form. The World of the Invisible is everything else. And there is a lot of it, that invisible world. It is in the invisible world that we gain energy and wisdom.

Society does not encourage us to explore the World of the Invisible. For that we need guides, both human and spirit. Elements such as Water. Shamans. Navigators. Teachers. Mediums. These help us explore. They cannot do the exploration for us. But they can guide us, and reinforce the way.

And that’s where the crow comes in. They know well both worlds and travel easily between them. They are the original: the best shape shifters of all. I love them. They are one of my totems. They seem to like me, too.

One day last week I went out of my door and found a feather laying there for me. It was a coal black feather from a fledging crow. Still had fluff and scaling around the shaft. That baby is just learning to fly. I looked up to see several crows sitting in the eucalyptus tree, regarding me. We have an agreement, they and I. We stared at each other in silence for a few moments. “Fly” they seemed to say. The oldest one turned her head to look at me from several angles. I told her she was beautiful. She gave a soft caw. It was a caress.

Later that same day I went to walk at the water’s edge and beheld a crow at a pile of kelp. While not unheard of this is rather unusual. Typically we see gulls and varieties of surf running birds on the beach. But this day it was a crow, feasting on kelp flies. Seeing him made me smile.

The crows are with me. All is well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Wing and a Prayer

Well, My Darlings, I’ve been a bit MIA lately and I apologize for that. So much has been going on. And it’s been an emotional roller coaster. But on balance a good one.

First (the challenging part): Two close friends were hospitalized with scary maladies and accordingly lots of psychic energy and time went to them (they are well). Second: (the fascinating but tiring part): the forensic medium-ship aspect of my life has been extremely busy with a lot of medical record reviews and reports.

Then (the raucous and loving part): the ICDI convention was in town. I got to take class with incredibly gifted people and see and play with friends I only get to visit in person a few times a year. And it isn't everyday you get to see Louise Hay come onstage wearing a flowing golden cowl and announce she was just awarded a doctoral degree at age 83. And (the joyful part): I’ve been working on the book; in general staying in a very positive flow of joy and happy-ness.

The final thing taking my attention (the obsessive part): Molly’s owlets ( ref: March 15) are now fledging. Nightly thousands of us orb in via the internet and watch as the teenagers take their tentative first steps outside the owl box, sit on the fledging shelf and contemplate the mechanics of flight and rodenticide.

Watching these beautiful young birds puts me in thought about the emotion and fear associated with life path actions. Nightly the owlets poke their bobbing heads out of the door, regard the sky, stare at the trees, poke a foot out, step out, and step back in. They will sit on the perch for thirty minutes at a time and flap their wings, never letting go of the perch with their feet. The younger ones remain in the box and stare out at their older siblings in wonder and encouragement. OMG! They seem to say. Whatcha doing? OMG! Look at you!

They are testing their wings and building strength. They are feeling the air in their feathers and smelling the night sky. They are learning the sounds of squeaks that signal a meal is near, and as well the sounds of the soft pant and tread of coyotes, signaling a time of danger.

The chat room streams with human emotion wishing them safety and strength. When will they take flight? When will they complete their first hunt? Anxiety and anticipation! Such human qualities. We are a frail, fearful species. And we have such anxiety about the future!

The owls know. They will know when to let go of the perch. They aren’t fearful. They are discerning. They understand the time of testing, the time of contemplation. They do sufficient of that to gain understanding and strength and then they act. They leap into the night sky with the faith that this is life, and it is time to let go and take themselves into an unknown; an unknown that holds the future. No anxiety. Just confidence, exploration, and action.

We humans can take such lessons from the owls. We tend to hold on to the perch past the point of learning. We hold on when we should be taking flight. I suppose we do it out of fear. How silly. How wasteful.

It’s time for flight. Let go.

[photo by Carlos Royal]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Now Brown Cow

Sometimes the simplest things can hurl you back in time to a memory from long ago. This morning while I was driving on a SoCal freeway, a truck pulled in front of me. It was a dairy truck and painted on the back was a picture of a smiling brown cow, winking at me from over a fence.

Immediately I was flung back to a childhood memory of My Brown Cow. I called her Bess; a more elegant version of "Bossy". She was a Brown Swiss, and she grazed in the field in back of my parents’ home. She lived in a barn that was one of the last rural farms in that part of Pennsylvania. The suburbs of Philadelphia had all but crowded out the cows at that point in time.
Bess knew I would bring her an apple and a face rub. Every day I would come home from grade school, enter my parents’ front door and race through the kitchen and out the back door, and every day there she would be, standing at the corner of the yard, on the other side of the fence, waiting for me. Every day. She was there. Every day I would hug her and kiss her nose, wet though it was, and talk to her and tell her about my day. And every day those immense liquid brown eyes would take in the stories of my triumphs and failures, my proud achievements and my abject disappointments. She’d crunch her apple. I’d comb her soft coat. I’d braid her tail hair. Once I put ribbons in it.

One day when I ran out, she wasn’t there. I waited and finally left the apple on the fence post. I never saw her again.

A few years later we moved to the farm in Maine. My father had determined he wanted to ‘go back to the earth’ and so bought a small dairy farm that had a herd of about forty cows. It was there I learned the composition of a good dairy herd; the mix needed to produce the best overall butterfat content: Holstein for volume, Guernsey and Jersey for high butterfat, Brown Swiss for balance. We also had a magnificent Ayreshire, resplendent with horns, for character. Her name was Ramona.

Cherie was the Grande Dame of the herd. An older lady, she had reached the age where she could no longer be bred, and her milk production was diminished. My tender heart wanted to keep her as a pet. I flashed back to Bess and poured out my love on Cherie. I pleaded with my father not to sell Cherie and screamed and clung to her when the slaughter wagon came and the butcher put a rope around her neck to take her away. I still have a photograph in my mind of her huge wise eyes as they regarded my father pulling me off her as I hit him and tried vainly to bargain: I would pay for her feed, I would make sure she was not a burden. Promising, promising, but to no use. Cherie knew full well what was happening. She was more resigned than I and went calmly to her fate. She understood she had no options. I did not yet accept that I too had no options at that point in my life. So I fought. She accepted. I never saw her again.

Rebecca was a small Jersey. Every day in the summer I would go out to the field to call in the herd, and as she was heavily pregnant she was reluctant to get up and walk back to the barn. Every day I would go and sit down and cajole her to move. And finally she would, slowly and with great effort, get up making soft sounds of protest and woofs of exertion. I would nestle myself against her hip, with her swollen belly in front of me and my arm flung over her soft back. We would slowly walk back to the barn each night that way.

I went away to college and one day I came home and all the cows were gone. My father had wearied of dairy farming. Another phase over; another hobby discarded. I never saw them again.

My memories of cows are warm and wonderful. The feel of their soft hair. The snorfting sound they make when they breathe. The gentle nuzzle of their head as they ask for a treat or a hug. They are sweet, pacific creatures who possess wisdom and emotion, and who form attachments as we do. And I just love them.

So you’ll excuse me when I decline to go with you to the steak house. Or refuse to eat a fast food burger. Yes, I know it’s the cycle of life, but it’s no longer the cycle of my life. The mass production of beef is immoral and cruel. And I owe it to Bess and Cherie and Rebecca and the others.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

By the Dark of the Moon

We are within the influence of New Moon for the next few days: a time to conclude and prepare.

The New Moon energy is wonderfully suited to clearing out, making room, and formulating plans. Wrap up the work that you have been laboring on for the past four weeks. Look forward to what is coming and plan what you shall accomplish or achieve in the next four weeks. Gather up that which must leave your life and set it free – and this especially means energetic junk that has no use for you. Let pain and resentment go away in a little pink bubble or something – just let it go. Clear away the detritus that has attached itself to you in the past lunar cycle, so that you can enter the next all clean and shiny. With ongoing projects, make note of your accomplishments, and gauge what you can make progress on in the next month. Give thanks for guidance and resources received.

The Time of the Dark is also useful for time dimension work. History reveals itself more easily during this moon energy. Take time to meditate on your life events, and see what lessons and knowledge reveal that you have not yet understood regarding your life path. I like to sit outside when I do this, and dig my feet into the earth. But you can do it in your 20th floor condo if you like. Just do it.

And consider too, what I call the ‘backwards casting spell’. What you think and intend in the present can affect the past. Think back and intend accordingly. If only you send soothing comforting energy to a past difficult time, that is a help. For many, this is a strange and advanced concept. I assure you: it is not only possible, it is remarkable.

Moon work typically makes use of lunar energy for three days before, and three days after the actual moment of a moon phase. We’re in the New Moon influence now. So take some time now to balance your life and you will benefit from the harmony you create.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crystal Charging 101

As I write it’s a beautiful springtime Full Moon; perfect for charging crystals and setting your house in order for the coming season. In the past week I’ve had no less than five people ask about charging crystals, so here we go. Crash course Crystal Charging 101. Take advantage of the conditions; we won’t have them again for another 28 days.

Crystals? Charging? Does this require donning a long cloak, walking around your house aiming large quartz points in the air, muttering arcane chants, and having cats ‘twining round your ankles? Hmmmm. Well it could…sounds like fun, actually... but no, we are above all else, practical people leading practical lives and that sort of ‘in a hood in a wood’ theatrical display just isn’t part of most people’s lives. Besides the neighbors will stare. Even here in SoCal.

If you are new to all this you might also imagine you don’t have any crystals lying about in need of charging but I’ll bet you do. Remember that gemstones are crystals. I’ll bet you have some of those. A diamond ring? An amethyst brooch? A tiger’s eye pendant? Some topaz earrings? An emerald bracelet? An onyx bangle? All crystals. Why do you think humankind started mining and polishing and faceting these stones? Because they have power. Because they channel and direct power. And that can be useful in many, many ways.

Think I’m a kook? Well, you wouldn’t be the first! But think about it. In Judeo-Christian lore, the breastplate of the priests of Levi was chock full of crystals, arranged in a very deliberate manner. Think about how every monarch of ancient times encircled their head with crystals mounted in gold, and held scepters and orbs encrusted with crystals. They still do. Google the Opening of Parliament in Britain and watch Her Majesty enter with her crown and scepter. Why? Symbols of wealth and power. Read it clearly: Power. Esoteric knowledge and power.

In ancient times people were more fluent in crystal use, and employed them in healing, in spiritual ritual, and in meditation. A lot of people still do, but it has fallen away from the mainstream. Some of us are working to bring back this information for everyday use. It’s being well received, because it’s natural, and it’s common to all faiths and cultures. This is not scary stuff. This is just working with nature and physics.

But I digress. Charging crystals. Over time and with use, crystals drain of energy, and the ability to direct energy. They need charging, just like a battery. That’s where the moon comes in. Luna, when full, has a great ability to charge things with energy. I don’t know why. I’m not a physicist or astronomer. I just know it’s true. The energy can be accessed whether you can see the moon or not; whether it’s a clear night or cloudy or a downpour. Moonlight is merely a tracer, like the color of a laser is not the laser itself. The energy is there regardless of the atmospheric conditions. If you can see the moonglow, that’s lovely. It sure feels good to sit out in it and have a good think.

In order to charge up crystals, they’ll need to be set out in reach of this energy. And they have to be clean, or they can’t take it in. With use, crystals pick up negative energy, and get waterlogged, if you will, with it. If you don’t clean them, it would be like taking a cloth that’s sodden with mud, and setting it in a champagne bath and wondering why it isn’t all beautiful and sparkly.

There are a number of ways to cleanse crystals, but since this is Charging 101 and we’re sticking to basics I won’t get into detail other than to say if the crystal can withstand water (like your gemstones can) just rinse them off under running water and send intention that any negative energy that has attached to the stone flow away and down the drain. If they aren’t waterproof (like kyanite for example) you can use other means, the easiest of which is to pass it through incense smoke and again, intend that any negative energy leave it. If you are digging out ancient jewelry you haven’t worn in ages, take a soft toothbrush and a little mild dish soap to it, and shine it up. That’s just being polite. You’ve ignored it for years; show that crystal you care. I love to take my crystals down to the ocean and swish them in the surf. Do that and watch them sparkle!

Then, once they are clean, place your crystals out where they can get the night air, and where the neighbors, human or otherwise, won’t make off with them. (Skunks and raccoons and crows are notorious thieves of crystals - they love their gleam and energy). You can set them inside on a windowsill; you can put them out on a patio, or on anywhere they can get the air. I love to place mine right in the beam of the rising moon. I have a friend who puts his on the roof of his house. I met a masseuse in Las Vegas who always took his hot stone massage stones to the roof of Bellagio each Full Moon. Get them out there!

And leave them as long as you feel is appropriate. I leave them out all night. I don’t have any gems that have monetary value, so it’s easy for me. If I had a large diamond, though, I’d take precautions! And we can discuss ‘between charging’ techniques another time. Tonight is just Charging 101.

Traditional wisdom has it that you can access this energy for three days before and three days after the actual Full. So there is no need to stress! You’ll know when to do it. After a little experience, you’ll feel a tug when the time is just right.

So go through your drawers and find that jewelry. Find those crystals you bought at the Renaissance Faire. Give them a swish in water and set them out. Bring them in around dawn, or before the sun gets too high in the sky. I guarantee that if you charge up your jewelry, you will notice a difference in their appearance, and the way they feel when you wear them.

There’s so much more to crystals, and I am in the process of writing all sorts of things for you. I am blessed to have been taught by the best: some information I got from Judy Hall through her books, some from studying under my beloved teacher Lisa Williams, and some is channeled from Spirit. Tonight, though, it’s about getting those of you who have crystals languishing away in drawers to get them out, polish them up and start using them again. Good for you; good for the crystal; good for the planet.

Enjoy! And when you place your crystals out, look up at Luna. And know that all over the world, people are doing the same thing. It’s beautiful. It’s of the Light. It’s Positive.

And we can all use more of that!

Monday, March 15, 2010


In a nearby town we have a young owl who has taken up her nest in an owl box that has a camera in it. We are all mesmerized. Soon there will be five hatchlings.

Her mate rests near by in a palm tree and brings her take-out of rabbit and squirrel and rat. She fluffs her down, and coos to her unborn owlets.

She is Raptor Madonna. She is the most beautiful creature in the world.

photo by Carlos Royal

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crystals in the Fountain

These crystals were formed long before I walked this Earth, in any of my incarnations. And now they sit in my garden fountain; a delight to the birds and all who glimpse them.
Where will they go when I am gone from this plane? And by what marvelous route will they get there? What other lives will they charm with their energy and focused vibration?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It’s been a grim couple of weeks since I last wrote. Chelsea, a young woman in our neighborhood, was raped, murdered, and discarded in a marsh. The man who stands accused is additionally implicated in the rape and murder of another young woman; Amber: who disappeared a year ago and whose remains have now finally been located. It has been a busy, busy, sad time.

Interesting, how Amber’s remains have been found within a week of this man being incarcerated and left alone in a room with police.

As I take my evening walk tonight I see my crows: the large murder of crows who nightly hunt along my route. Each evening they mass, take reconnaissance, and scavenge the area. These wise creatures: these messengers from Spirit. They caw to me and permit me to approach. I walk amongst them, several dozen of them and they regard me without fear. I draw close and feel their energy. There is respect, I for them and they for me.

Crow energy has always felt close to me, and tonight more so. They know. Surely they saw what happened. They fly these skies each night. They see all. They know what happened to Chelsea. They know what happened to Amber. These percipient Corvidae know.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Today I’m led to relate a tale of something that happened to me years ago. It involves a hawk, disability, community, and fear.

One day I was out walking the canyon in back of my home. It’s a long shallow canyon that follows a creek path. People have lived along this creek for hundreds of years; there are always artifacts to find from native populations of centuries past. Indeed, I have the occasional citizen from those days pass through my house. I’m now used to the sight of an older Native American man who stops by from time to time. “Hi!” I wave. He has taken to waving back before dissolving into mist. He used to startle me. Now I just wave. “Hi!”

Anyway, back to the canyon. I was walking along the top rim and approaching the gate at which one enters to descend to the creek level and a path that proceeds along the creek bank. People were flowing up and out and admonished me not to go down – there was danger! One was holding a small dog and couldn’t move quickly enough. “What is going on?” I asked. “There’s a hawk down there!” someone answered. Well, I thought that unless it was some were-hawk from a fantasy movie I was hardly in any real danger so of course I went against the flow of people and hurried down the canyon slope to the grassy stretch that preceded the creek. My friends will hardly be surprised at this.

And sure enough there he was. A magnificent young hawk, just sitting in the path. His feathers gleamed in the sun, and his gaze was steady and sharp. He was incredible! And about ten feet away from him stood two people as rapt in admiration as was I. They related that the hawk had been sitting there for over an hour. Well something was clearly wrong. I went over to him and crouched down, respectfully. He glared at me with his sharp eyes. I reached over ever so slowly and he allowed me to touch his head feathers. His eyes never left me, and I lowered my gaze to reduce the threat he may have felt. I took off my sunglasses to reduce the Big Eye appearance. I narrowed my own eyes, well aware that this young hawk could have blinded me in a second. But he didn’t. I will never forget his energy and his soul. It was indescribable and magnificent.

The three of us humans started phoning every agency we could think of. Finally the Harbor Police referred us to a raptor rescue organization and one more phone call led to the assurance that a hawk whisperer was being dispatched. By now it was getting dark. As twilight descended the hawk loped off, trotting with his wings outstretched. We attempted to follow him, but lost him in the tall grasses. So we climbed up to the road and shortly the Hawk Whisperer arrived.

“We lost him!” we mourned.

“Where did you last see him?” the Hawk Whisperer asked.

“There” we pointed in the darkness. The Hawk Whisperer donned a pair of heavy leather gloves, scanned the pitch-dark canyon for a moment and walked out. Within a few minutes he returned carrying the hawk. How he found him in that tall grass and the pitch dark I do not know. That is his wisdom. He gently placed the hawk into a large animal transport crate and left.

A day later the raptor rescue organization called with an update. He was young and unskilled they told me. He was starving and had no strength left. Had we not rescued him the coyotes would have killed him that night. It happens a lot, they told me, with hawks and eagles and falcons. The raptor rescue people were teaching him to hunt, and planned to release him into the wild in a few weeks. That was the last I heard.

These events caused me to reflect on a number of things. Of fear, for one. Why were the people scrambling up the canyon wall afraid? They were actually the ones who endangered the hawk. He was nearly powerless against them, had they chosen to engage him. Yet they did not know that. They ran in blind fear. I also reflected on community. It took the three of us strangers calling around on our cell phones to find the necessary help. I never saw those two people again.

And then there came the Hawk Whisperer. He came from where I do not know to help that young hawk. He came because a message went out over invisible pathways, summoning him. Did the hawk, once disabled, ever conceive of him? Or in what form, or indeed whether help would come? Did the young hawk know Hawk Whisperers exist? Or did he just send out a message of despair and hope? And, perhaps, of expectation?

To this day when a raptor cries to me from the sky I wonder whether it is My Hawk. And whether he remembers.

And I am reassured that Angels exist. That help is always at the ready. Help that we cannot conceive of in our little imaginations. And that all we need to do is put the message out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Quiet Valentine

Here’s to the ones who are no longer here. Here’s to those who are passed from this life but who still live in our hearts and minds. Here’s to those who continue to guide us with love (and great humor) from the ineffable beyond; the place from which we all come and shall one day return.

On this Valentine’s Day, so many of my friends remember holidays past with lovers and loves who are no longer here in tangible form. Chocolates. Kisses. Hand in hand walks on sugar sand beaches. The glance that needs no words to explain it. The soft smile that says what no glib phrase could ever express.

Today I walked the water’s edge at my beloved cove and saw the skeletons of sea creatures passed. Life is fleeting. Love is eternal.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Don't hesitate.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Listen to Your Own Wisdom

This morning it is all over the news that James Arthur Ray has been arrested on manslaughter charges for his role in the Sweat Lodge Deaths last year. The superficial story is that he had organized a sweat lodge experience near Sedona, a number of people were overcome with heat stroke and three died. Some witnesses are saying that when people fell ill James refused to let them leave the hut.

Such a tragedy. And it seems to me that fear is involved all around.

Imagine being so enthralled with a teacher that you ignore your own internal warning system, and persist in an environment that your body is screaming at you is dangerous and harmful. People must have set aside the urge to leave in order to stay, either out of fear that the group or James himself would ridicule them, or that they would be failing some test.

I can’t know what James was thinking, of course, but I wonder whether he was so caught up in an ego state that he denied to himself that the whole thing was going very badly and should be stopped. That he for a moment believed his own hype and urged people to remain in the heat, even as they were dying, in order to establish himself as a leader. Fear of failure. Of public failure.

Such a sad, sad business. Fear has been well described as False Evidence Appearing Real. I think today we might each observe our own experiences and see where fear plays a role. When do we act contrary to internal wisdom in order to satisfy something external which has no basis in reality; some fear based delusion that only works to harm us?

Be brave, my darlings, be brave. Listen to your heart. And act according to the magical guidance of Source, which is always true, and always wise. And remember the old saying: If you knew for one moment, who walked beside you every minute of every day of your life, you would never again know fear.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Storms and Love and Cameras

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." – Nelson Mandela

Last Wednesday these words played out for me in vivid experience. I had the immense good fortune to be photographed by Adam Bouska for the NOH8 Campaign.

In case you don’t know: NOH8 is a silent, non-violent protest against Proposition 8, using the medium of photography. Prop 8 is the referendum that, by a narrow margin, struck down marriage equality in California, and made it illegal for gay people to marry; a right they had enjoyed previously,albeit briefly.

I’m straight, and support the rights of all people to marry. To me it’s not appropriate that the State discriminates in this way. Churches can do whatever they want; it isn’t my place to comment on them. But it is my place to speak out when I see State action that goes against the nature of my work of helping people to heal and nurture their spirituality and thereby lead more fulfilled lives of love and productivity. Adam and his partner Jeff are speaking out through their art. They are not playing small. Their idea has grown from a 2:00 am whimsy to an incredible project with thousands of people presenting to become a part of this growing art piece.

So after a long day of work, errands, and appointments, I headed to a rendezvous with Adam and Jeff. There was a violent storm raging that night with torrential rain, winds, and even hail. Accompanied by my friend Laura and her daughter Kat, I arrived a block away from the venue, scampered down the alley and ducked into the entrance of one of the fabulous old offices in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. Little hallways and stairs slowly led back to Old Spanish style rooms that were absolutely fabulous in spite of the wear and tear of decades of use. As we wended our way up and down and all around the puddle soaked path we met people leaving the shoot; every one of them in jubilant spirits, and all wearing the proscribed white shirts and face paint. Even though we were strangers we’d smile conspiratorially at each other and say warm words of greeting. And then…we were in the offices and part of the shoot.

It was magical. There was so much love in that room. While Laura and Kat were being photographed I noticed a lovely man and his partner in the next room, cooing to their toddler and playing with him. They were a family in all but the State’s eyes. People were happy and laughing and making conversations with new acquaintances. Everyone was of one accord. There was great diversity in the room; diversity of age ( I may have been the oldest, though!), of race, of economics, and yet we were all one group. And there was nothing but love. And as the flash bulbs popped, the Lady Gaga music played, and Adam directed my every twitch for an amazing few minutes, I felt overwhelmed and almost started to cry, because the energy in the room was so intensely positive and beautiful. I had come from an exhausting workday, a week of tonsillitis, and a missed stylist appointment from the previous night. I looked like a wookie from being out in the rain, and yet I felt beloved and welcome. The storm raged overhead, yet we were warm and in the heart of love. I felt like I was at home. I didn’t want the feeling to end; I didn’t want the experience to stop.

And it didn’t, because later, after more driving in the continuing storm, I finally arrived to my snug home and to the above Mandela quote, provided by my friend Taylor in stunning synchronicity to my witnessing of Adam and Jeff’s work. (Taylor has a knack for this with me). I laughed and cried at the flow and amazing serendipity of the entire evening. Bless you Taylor, Adam, Jeff, Laura, Kat, and the people whose names I never got.

I wish you all evenings like this, whatever the origin of the flow, and however the company comes about. The more we can stay in love; the more we can stay in joy and happiness, and at time silliness; the more we keep our lives magical. And by staying in that energy, we can create anything.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vital Signs

Having been felled by an upper respiratory bug, I’m home watching coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. Devastation. Pain. Destruction. More pain. It’s almost too heart wrenching to watch. I sent my money to my favorite charity (who arrived within hours and are working furiously). I sent off prayers and energy. What else can one do, when one is far removed geographically?

I grabbed another hot toddy for my throat and pulled up the blanket and kept watching the telly. Watched CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta tenderly triage a days-old baby. The baby’s mum had died in the ‘quake and this little one had a head laceration but otherwise seemed ok. How random. If this little one had delayed her birth; had lingered in her mum’s warm body for a few days longer, this little one would be dead too. But she had emerged days, possibly hours before the tragedy, and as a result she lived, and her mum is dead. And she is broadcast all over the world; her little face scrunched up in indignation at Dr Gupta’s inquiry.

The one thread of beauty in all this is almost lost in the horror. From all over the world, help is pouring in. From China. From Iceland. From Venezuela. From Spain, Belgium, Canada they come. From Fairfax Virginia USA they come. So many planes. So many planes they had to halt landing on the damaged runways of Port au Prince. All those planes.

I had a vision of the planes; their landing gear extending as one by one they landed. Appearing out of the clouds. The clunk of landing gear. Touching down with a bump and a braking. Taxi to the edge. Help pouring off. And then another plane. More landing gear. Touching down. Landing gear. Landing gear. And in my vision I heard the Foo Fighters’ song: Wheels. And the whole vision was so beautiful my sore throat choked on tears. Plane after plane emerging and landing. From the clouds. Like the angels. Their wheels came down and they landed. When the wheels come down. When the wheels touch down..

From all over the world they come. We all come. Part of us is hurting.

We are one planet. We are one people. And it frequently takes tragedies like this to evidence it.

Godspeed the helpers. Godspeed the Lightworkers, whatever form they take.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cold Dawn

Seated in the dawn am I this morning. The air is crisp and cold, but not overly so. The sky is clear and a crescent Moon sparkles, blazing in the sky above me. It is more dark than light and Moon dominates the sky. Am blessed to live in SoCal, where we shall see 70 degrees F today. So much of this hemisphere elsewhere is locked in cold. Stay snug, everyone.

There is energy shifting like mad right now. Can you feel it? The optimism of the New Year remains, and yet there is a difficulty welling up too, trying to poke through the happiness. Is it all Mercury, which is currently in a retrograde? Is it our collective unconsciousness shambling towards the coming shift of 2012? Is it simply random, free flying negativity?

Seems the positive people in my life have been very positive. And the negative people in my life have been exceptionally dark. Polar extremes.

Celebrity astrologer and friend Adam Eliot (who is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, by the way – do check him out) relates that we have eight more days of retrograde, and then a pause. Hmmm… don’t like the pause.

It seems to me that in these vexing retrograde times, the difficulties increase just toward the end of the retrograde progression, and that pause is a real…. Er… bear.

But knowing this; knowing that it’s nothing personal, it’s just conditions; that helps us maintain perspective. Like a choppy sea, or a windy day, it’s merely something to cope with as we go about our business. We don’t stop our lives because it’s cold outside. We bundle up, we heat the house, and we eat soup instead of ice cream. We deal. We face it headon and we deal.

So buckle up. We may be in for a bumpy ride (apologies to Bette Davis). But it’s just the road. Stay positive. Stay in magic. Stay in the Light.

(these images are from the Queen Calipha's Sculpture Garden in Escondido, California; the artist who did these magnificent sculptures and mosaics is Nikki St Phalle)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gift of a Feather

New Year’s Weekend. Bright and sunny. SoCal Perfection. Perfect for meditating, reading, catching up with friends and family, planning, surrendering, looking at the account books, scrubbing floors and walls, clearing out cupboards, cooking black eyed-peas, baking lemon cake.

I went out to the patio to feed some plants and replenish the hummingbird feeders. And there it was: a single hummingbird feather. Sitting on the large meditation stone as if delicately and purposefully placed there.

And all of a sudden I stopped. And grew calm. And a feeling of peace came over me. And I considered hummingbirds and their beauty. Their fragility. How they symbolize love as well as industry. Emotion and intellect.

And I considered how perhaps I have done sufficient planning and thought for one weekend. And now maybe now it would be best to just feel. Sit in the morning sun and experience the change of year and just experience how that feels. Out of my head and into my heart.

Maybe we all need to do that. Stop. Go and sit in a sunbeam. In a raincloud. On the sand. In the wood. Breathe. Experience how you feel. And what’s important. And what you really wish in the New Year.