We have so few. And when they leave, these wise oracles, we consider their legacy. We review their teachings. And perhaps we commit to more fully embracing their wisdom in our lives. Today I am embracing these words of Thich Nhat Hanh.
If you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.
Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.
Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.
Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.
My actions are my only true belongings.
We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
In this moment and every moment may we all kiss the Earth with our feet. May we touch the miracle of being alive.
As I open to the energies of Ema’s communication to us, I see that among other messages from this big fluffy teacher is being present in the now. In this moment. She has rather changed our patterns and rhythms here at MossTerra. She wants to be close. And so I am now working much of the time on the dining table here at the house instead of my office. I willbe absolutely focused on my computer when she comes over, stands next to me, and just stares. If I don’t immediately shift my attention to her, she does this little dance and starts to talk to me. Be here now. Be here now with me. Be here in this moment with me. And if you feel like scratching my ears, that would be wonderful.
And we are absolutely living this time from moment to moment with her. How is she doing? What does she need…a cookie? Some tuna? Does she need to go outside? Will she make it back up the stairs this time? She has our attention. Sometimes divided or distracted but not for long. Dennis and I were reflecting this morning that in this journey of transition Ema has contrived a rather wonderful piece of time for herself. And we are happy to give her that. For as long as this journey takes.
In this moment. I was thinking back to another time when Dennis and I were so focused on the moment. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. While I had a strong sense that I would survive, and it’s now been seven years, we just didn’t know. One never knows with that diagnosis. And in those weeks and months before my surgery, we found ourselves stopping and holding each other and whispering, ‘in this moment.’. In this moment we are well and happy. In this moment I love you. And those moments were essential grounding in that unknown journey. Just as these moments with Ema are essential grounding in hers.
For indeed, life is only available in the present moment. In this moment.
When we step back from thinking about sacred communion as some kind of spiritual amazon next day delivery system, when we let go of the idea that sacred connection is about getting what we want, our relationship with the sacred shifts. And perhaps ironically, we become open to receiving what the universe would share with us. It’s rarely transactional. It always invites us to deeper listening. It always calls us to the stillpoint.
Oracles have been around throughout history. In classical antiquity they were the priests or priestesses acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods. Note: it’s advice and prophecy, not goods and services. To be in sacred communion, to be in a state of mediumship, they would often remove themselves from the community and structure their lives around connecting with the stillpoint to receive the wisdom.
The priest and priestess oracle tradition hasn’t survived well. But the desire for oracle offerings has not faded. In these times there are many ways to receive insights and reflections on what is happening in our lives. Pendulums and oracle cards are very popular. I don’t work with pendulums but I do have several sets of cards. My current favorite is the Wisdom of the Cailleach oracle set by Jane Brideson. The Sovereignty image I wrote about is from this deck.
Our beloved dog, Ema, is making her transition. We are of course beyond devastated. Yet she is taking her time with this. To get a sense of what she wants from us in this time, or wants us to know, I reached out to an animal intuitive we’ve worked with over the years and received this message from her connection with Ema.
She is creating a totally bright and loving experience of crossing over for her humans to share. She wants it to be as joyous and glowing as possible, not sad and burdened with a decline in her health. She wants to show you how beautiful death can be. Ema reminded us that she is a teacher, and this is a teaching moment which she cherishes, and honors you with.
“Don’t worry; trust me like always,” she said. “Trust me now, and you’ll never grieve the way you imagined—it won’t be necessary at all.”
She’s happy. She’s doing this her way, and you will know that throughout.
There is a more powerful sacred connection between us. A new energy has landed and I can sense Ema’s response to it. While I was sitting with this message I drew one of Jane’s cards. It was Beloved. The clarity was stunning. As Jane writes in the booklet for the cards, this is about love, intimacy and acceptance. It’s about a close, supportive relationship of equals and a time of deep harmony with another.
I am but a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t look at me; look at the moon.
This quote is commonly attributed to Gautama Buddha, an attribution that is also commonly challenged. Regardless, I offer that this counsel is essential guidance on any spiritual path or journey.
As I’ve mentioned, getting to stillpoint can be challenging. Finding the quiet space for that to happen is important and some find that working with sacred objects can help. They can absolutely help us focus our attention and intention. Sacred objects and rituals can assist us but if we are seeking sacred communion, those objects and actions won’t get us there. They are only fingers pointing at the moon and it’s easy to get stuck on the fingers and lose site of the greater objective of sacred communion. When we focus on our rituals and objects we, as they say in Ireland, lose the plot entirely.
That’s not to say that I don’t work with both. I have an altar that seems to accumulate objects of sacred significance to me and I have my rituals. However they don’t hold power. They are tools. They don’t have agency beyond what comes from my relationship with them. Yes, there are exceptions and I’m thinking here of crystals that are themselves incredibly powerful but in working with them it’s still all about the relationship.
For example, I have a couple of rocks with holes in them on my altar. At least that’s what they would look like to the casual observer. But these are hag stones. Their power for me comes through the memory of sacred encounters and intentions. They take me back to those moments but they are not those moments.
Interesting that a synonym for ritual is rigmarole, a lengthy and complicated procedure. And we can indeed focus so much on the procedure that we make sacred communion very complex and complicated. In this, rituals and objects can become obstacles to communion and the moon, metaphorically, can become elusive and unattainable.
Sacred communion is a direct relationship with sacred energies. We may feel we need rituals and objects to commune with those energies but those energies need no tools to commune with us. If we are open. If we listen. If we stop looking at the pointing fingers.
Ah, the synchronicities. This morning a dear friend had this come through her email. It so speaks to a sacred communion relationship with the moon. One in which we are inspired to create harmony and wisdom in our lives. Inspiration. It’s what the moon does.
Wolf Moon. Cancer Moon.
The time has come to decide what kind of life we want to live.
This Cancer Full Moon brings deep illumination. We are being asked to tap into our medicine, our intuition, and our visions for the future.
This is a powerful time to embrace what we are here to bring into this world.
The Full Moon is showing us transformation on the path ahead,
change that will be occurring that can shift our lives in ways we never imagined.
This Cancer Moon also holds the energy of ancient knowledge, of connection to past lives, visions, as well as soulmates and Twin Flames.
It has an air of destiny, one of connecting to ancient wisdom and honoring
the medicine that is written in our veins. The time has come to honor
what we desire. Relationships are highlighted under this energy
bringing into focus the connections we have with others
and if these are in the place we want them to be.
Look closer at these relationships
and what you authentically want and need.
Moon Magic. There are a couple of ways to think about this statement as there are a couple of ways to interpret the image I’ve included here. One is a recognition of the mystical energies of the moon as part of the universal harmonies. In this, we honor those energetic influences and see ourselves as part of and in relationship with that sacred communion.
Another way to consider this is using the moon for magic. In this, we see ourselves outside and separate from sacred communion. In this, mystical aspects of the universal harmony become tools. Sigh. It’s such a human power-over perspective to hijack the agency of the moon to our own purposes.
The popular ritual of drawing down the moon is much about this. Look up any guidance for this ritual and you will find language that affirms this. With this ritual you are ready to engage in any form of magick work you choose. With this ritual you will become empowered, increase your self-esteem, heal from illness, overcome depression, increase joy…well, you get the idea. It’s all about using the moon as a tool for what we want. There is nothing about contributing to universal harmony or collective well being. There is not even a curiosity about what the moon might want to happen. It’s all about what we want to happen.
This notion is not new. In classical times, ancient Thessalian witches were believed to control the moon, according to an old tract: “If I command the moon, it will come down; and if I wish to withhold the day, night will linger over my head; and again, if I wish to embark on the sea, I need no ship, and if I wish to fly through the air, I am free from my weight.”
If I command the moon. Seriously? It’s hard to find the words to express how antithetical this is to sacred communion. It’s not hard to understand why witches had such a bad reputation and, because of this power-over approach, not hard to understand why that reputation lingers today. It does for me.
Sacred communion is divine will and divine way, not our will and our way. In sacred communion we embrace the knowing that moon magic is just that, the mystical power and influence of the moon. And that is far greater than anything we could conjure up.
And yes, tomorrow is the Wolf Moon. A good time to howl in appreciation.
Of course the answer would be different for everyone. For some it clears the chatter of the monkey mind. For some it’s an escape from the accelerating pace of life in these times, an escape from the overwhelming tsunami of distractions and information. Just relaxing into a place of peace is a great reason for finding the stillpoint.
All of this is true for me. But there is much more. Within that space of peace and quiet and stillness, there is the invitation to sacred communion. There is the invitation to listen for the wisdom that comes from other worlds and realms, wisdom of the Earth and the Seven Nations, wisdom of the ancestors, wisdom of my biological ancestry, wisdom I hold and have long forgotten or ignored.
While this wisdom can come during a quiet time of meditation and reflection, it can also arrive at any moment. When wisdom lands as a deep knowing it reflects the intelligence of the subconscious. It speaks the language of the soul. It is intuition. It is sacred communion.
Intuition is commonly defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. And because we so value conscious reasoning we are quick to disregard intuition as something not to be trusted. Yet when we trust and honor our intuition it enhances our sacred communion. When we don’t, that sacred relationship is diminished.
In the rhythm of this winter season in the northern hemisphere, I’ve spent the last several weeks in what I call cave time. A time to escape from the hectic noise of life. A time to be quiet and listen. As I now begin to emerge from the cave, I find my sacred communion is stronger and a stronger presence in my life. My intuitive senses are more alive. The wisdom is flowing through.
I don’t have just one monkey. I have a barrel of them. So when I step into a place of meditation and my monkey mind takes over, it’s a circus. Yeah, just sit on a pillow, light a candle, and breathe. Right. Sounds so easy and simple. But it’s not. And it’s getting harder. A recent article in The Irish Times brings this more to light.
“Our ability to pay attention and focus is in free-fall”, writes Johann Hari who has spent three years doing research for his new book on the subject of our attention span. He writes that the average college student now focuses on any one task for just 65 seconds, the average office worker for just three minutes. As our lives are now subject to so many distractions and interruptions, much due to technology, it can take 23 minutes to regain our focus.
Because it’s the business of social media to constantly grab and shift our attention, this trend is going to continue. Hari proposes that there needs to be an alternative business model for the tech giants to dominate the social media landscape, from monthly subscriptions to public ownership. Good luck with that.
However Hari also writes that we can and must take control of how much we allow that social media landscape to dominate us. Whether we resort to a mobile phone lock box as he has done or download an app that will cut us off from the internet for a time as he has also done, it’s on us to manage the amount of time we are distracted and interrupted.
Finding the stillpoint, creating a pause in those cranial rhythms, is essential for meaningful meditation and contemplation. And finding a quiet space within and without is essential to finding the stillpoint. For some that can be incredibly daunting. I’ve had to tell people that no, it’s not OK to bring your mobile phone into the sweat lodge. No, it’s not OK to bring your mobile into the stone circles in Ireland. While that seems so incredible to me, it’s a reminder that I’m old and grew up when we had rotary dial phones and party lines. I understand. It’s a generational thing. My concern is that the future of the world is in the hands of these distracted generations.
I admit I’m rather addicted to my computer. But it took a long time before I got an older model iPhone and even longer before I carried it around which I still don’t much of the time to the chagrin of family and friends. Technology and social media don’t dominate my personal landscape to the degree they do for others. If I have a circus of monkeys to deal with, I really can’t image the monkey mind reality for others. I only hope they can find silence and stillness to provide some relief.
The silence that welcomes the stillpoint is one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves. Through silence doors of perception and understanding open for us. Through silence we open to the wisdom of the universe. And in these times we need all the wisdom we can get.