Friday, August 30, 2013

The Pain of Staying Present

Many yoga poses focus on opening your heart and bearing your heart to the sky.  I bend, I sweat, I open my heart chakra and let it flow, and I cry.  I grieve.  I come to the mat, the meditation cushion, a book, my blog, and have to consciously open my heart again. 

 Katrina Messenger gave me space, gave me an ear, the opportunity to be heard, and my heart opened and flowed.  The grief flowed, and the pain washed through me and was cleansed from me.  No tears were needed, just someone to witness, without judging, acknowledge, without trying to fix or change where I was in that moment.

With each drop of freely flowing sweat, I am cleansed.  Each tear purifies my heart.  In joy and in pain, I move through the flow, and at the same time, am still, coming back in each second to awareness, reminding myself to be present. 

Being willing to stay open and aware and not lose ourselves, our values, or our passions is hard.  T. Thorn Coyle speaks on this today as well.  Sometimes it hurts, and we experience, pain, anger, indignation.

The Morrigan told me I had to be more blood thirsty.  I had to thirst for life force, and more intense engagement of the act and process of living.  Even in menstruation, there is pain, and there is flow, the more we fight the movement of the flow, the more pain we find ourselves in.  It is an interesting paradox in the balance between the stillness of the now and the observation of constant movement and change.
I read an amazing article yesterday on Elephant Journal about how pain is our teacher.  It perfectly describes the process I have been engaged in this year. 

In class yesterday we talked about staying as the caterpillar in the chrysalis.  In the goopy formlessness of potential, and the utter, unrecognizable transformation of metamorphosis and change, we find comfort at our center, protected by silk.  Years from now you will not recognize yourself.  You are not who you used to be.  Your memories of what you were as a caterpillar will be like dreams for your new life as a butterfly.  For now, if you dare to let go of what was, what may be, then you can be free.  And in your freedom, your spirit will fly.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crow Answers

So I’ve been reading a lot about letting go, surrendering to your inner guide, to your Higher Power, Higher Self, Holy Spirit (whatever you want to call it).  It’s the core of my work and has been for years now.  That’s why the name of my blog is Letting Go is Flying!  Last night in yoga class we set our intention of what we wanted to transform, transmute even during the class.  How did we want to rewire our brains through the movements of class so that we think differently when we leave?  This was great.  It was a spell, NLP, a ritual—right up my alley!  My intention was to let go, to let go of the tension, let go of the worry and the stress.  So I set my intention, and breathed power into the aum that joined with the auming from everyone in class.  Then I got to work, sweated, groaned, panted, and struggled through the asanas. 

 At the end of class I was wiped.  The teacher reminded us of our intention about changing our selves.  She asked us to leave whatever we wanted to leave behind in the puddle of sweat on the mat.  I deflated into the corpse pose, happy to let my breathing calm.  I had found the tension in my head, neck and back had lifted.  I stretched my arms out, letting my shoulders relax.  I opened my chest and silently prayed to my Higher Self, “I surrender.  You take over from here.”  At that moment, a murder of crows descended upon the silent yoga studio, cawing louder and louder.  I smiled, acknowledging that I had been heard.  They crows quieted and we lay in silence for the rest of the class.

The Lady Morrigan heard me alright.  She was waiting for me to give into the depth of practice she is requiring from me.  A month ago she told me the work had just begun.  I am no longer afraid of the work.  I have gone into the Dao.  The Dao means “the way”.  In martial arts it is said that we practiced the dao, meaning the practice itself is a way of life.  You are not practicing for something, but the practice is what you do, because this is how you live.  Yoga is the same way.  It is a practice, a way of life, a philosophy, a way.  Whether I’m in crow’s pose or not, I am practicing the way. 

 I think I need a new yoga mat.  What do you think of this one?  ;-)

I just got involved in an online study group of A Course of Miracles materials.  We're starting with The Disappearace of the Universe by Gary Renard.  If you want to join us, feel free.  A Course Of Miracles Study Group Online

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finding Peace in the Flow

Isn't it funny how sometimes things just pop into place? You bang your head against an invisible brick wall for months, and then suddenly, you walk around the wall, aren't frustrated at all, and you just move past it. 

I went to the gym Friday, a regular gym.  Not a gym of Wolverine or the Hulk, but a normal, civilized gym.  It was quiet.  The people were zoned out like they were on a plane.  The music was quiet.  I am a noisy, groaning, and moaning woman!  I did my thing, focused on my form, my intensity, my breathing, and people watched the mad woman groaning as I sweated through my workout.  

The hot yoga was my breakthrough.  It has been changing me; physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically.  It dovetails so nicely with my beliefs that its easy to feel engaged and connected with it.  Actually it reminds me an awful lot of sweat lodge--the focus, the intent, the heat, and the solitary struggle with others present.  I feel my pH changing over the course of a class.  I have been majorly detoxing to the point I'm having to change my diet as everything tastes differently.  I am drinking a ton of water and supplementing with teas and various foods as my intuition dictates.  Friday night I literally pulled pine needs of a pine tree at meditation class in order to make a tea out of them when I got home.  I went through months of not being able to drag myself to the gym to suddenly I can't wait to go as often as possible and it has become the highlight of my day. 

Ganesha is still visiting too.  I'll dedicate a full post to him later.  

I know, corny, but that really is how I feel right now!  

One thing I've tried to do a lot more is engage in what I'm doing and be present rather than trancing out all the time.  That was one of the big lessons from A New Earth, by Eckert Tolle. 

I got it into my head a few weeks ago that instead of feeling like dinner was a huge burden that my household puts on me by attrition, that I would create the "40 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours" that I found on Who Needs a Cape.  Because I don't try anything, I have to dive in head first into the deep end to find out what the FULL EXPERIENCE is like!  Well it didn't take me 4 hours, try 9.  I also had a migraine the whole time.  I didn't ever want to do food prep again and I was trashed the next day from the work.  Its been great to grab stuff from the freezer to put dinner together, however, most crock pot cooking is not the same quality as home-made stove cooking.  I find that I enjoy the process of cooking, when I have the time and energy that is.  The freezer meals have allowed me to cook on my terms when the mood strikes, mindfully. 

So, waiting, wondering, holding space.  I am constantly trying to be present in the now as well as be flexible and flow.  Past all the fear, the doubt, the regret, the grief, I am finding peace in the flow and trusting in the process.  


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Wheel Turns- and Spins out Tarot Cards

Sunday Craig and I went to Deborah Lipp's wedding.  It was an amazing day, beautiful view, lovely ceremony, great food, and a good time.  It was a joy just to watch how happy the couple was and the swelling of their families, magickal and mundane to welcome them into both clatches. 

I got henna for the occassion. 

They had a tarot card theme wedding with the decorations, the cake, everything was based on the balance of the elements and the cards.  The cake had the magician's table on top!  Very cute. 

They had the neatest favors too.  Each guest got an envelope with a card.  There was a personalized interpretation of the card, done by Deborah.  I, of course, got the card I least wanted.  The card that plagues me.  I opened the envelope and immediately started tearing up.  To make things even more fitting, of course someone was trying to hug me hello at that exact moment.  Why do I wear make up on my eyes, ever?  Tell me please! 

What card you ask?  The Empress of course.  To make things more fitting, it was the Empress from the Robin Wood deck.  The deck I use almost exclusively.  I had also almost lost the card earlier that week and had found it on the floor separated from the deck.  I found that after 4 to 5 years of reading cards, that the deck, which had been a hand-me-down gift, was missing its Empress.  Why do I deny this card so much?  The message was to fully embrace giving my energy to projects larger than myself, to serve in ways that serve the many.  It was a tough message to get, feeling cut off from myself, in a community that I am only tertiarily a part of, and looking at all the limiting choices I had been making for 6 months. 

I got an immediate vision of my Third Degree initiation.  I left the Isle of Avalon, to pass through the gates, back into integration, but as I did, received the seed of initiation as a Third Degree in the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel.  The feeling was of estatic joy, dissolution, unity, and the creasting into a new flooding sea of the future.  I felt as if the Sea Priestess, Dion Fortune, herself had pushed me through, to go out into the world to further the work of Binah and Isis.  This was not the feeling of the Tower Card, but of Death, carrying the banner of the Tudor Rose, the symbol of life eternal. 

Whenever I think of the death card, I am taken back to the pathworking Dolores Ashcroft Norwicki offers in the Shining Paths, with the death barge being taken down the Nile.  I can smell neroli and hear the papyrus rustling in the breeze.

So why is the death card so appropriate?  Here, the ego, the Middle Self constantly chattering has to give way to the Higher Self as the Higher Self midwife's the soul in a rebirth to become a new remolded soul.  This is not the previous balancing of the elements (the minors), development of the magickal persona, the tempering by fire and ice (Temperence)--here the method is an  assumption with the higher nature and the integration of the three parts. 

Death offers the first step into a new way of being; a new sight, mind, and spirit.  Death, brings forth the High Priestess from the depths of the ocean, that she speak from a place of informed intuition, Strength, and ferry the Moon boat through each timeless night. Mirror, let us look upon your face to know the Sun.

Death, lead the way.  I'm ready to let it all go to pass through the gates and into the new life that awaits me.  There is no fear in your embrace, for I know now, that the inner death brings one to true life.  Blessed be.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Studying The Course - A Mandatory Course in Life and Miracles!

As you may have seen in recent posts lately, I've had some major breakthroughs with a shift in how I think and my relationship to myself and to the world. At lot of this I am attributing to picking up A Course In Miracles as my next "course" of study. I don't remember exactly why I decided to go for it; did I click on a link about happiness to some article I was reading? Did I just want something spiritual to do? I know another part of it was that I knew I really needed to apply forgiveness in my life, and that's what the course is all about.
So, what is the course?

In Gabrielle's article on the Course, she muses:

"My primary guide on my journey to self-love has been the metaphysical text "A Course in Miracles." The Course is a self-study curriculum emphasizing practical applications for relinquishing fear in all areas of life. The Course's unique thought system uses forgiveness as the road to inner peace and happiness.

Admittedly, when I first began reading The Course, the language and many of the concepts were extremely foreign to me. But, ultimately, I realized that getting bogged down in semantics was a silly distraction. What really mattered was how relevant The Course's teachings were to my life, and my absolute willingness to be guided to change."

Well there’s a good “why”, but what about the “what’s”?  The Course is a channeled work that was edited by Helen Schucman along with William Thetford in 1965 and published in 1976.  Read more about it hereShe does not consider herself the author, rather she wrote down a conversation that she was dictated by her inner guide, whom she relates to as Jesus.   

“Jesus?,” you say, “what?”  Here’s the deal, many occultists felt that part of their inner counsel has included “Christ/Jesus” in some way.  I am more concerned with answers that make sense and give me hope, peace and happiness, rather than I am about whom the medium identifies as the inner guide.  Bernstein says in this vlog entry, “focus on content, not frame”. 
It took me a while to get what she was saying.  But it goes like this—it’s not about religion, rules, or the outside appearance, or what something looks like or how many people are involved, it has to do with what you are actually doing.  Does it feed me and make me happy?   Does it serve others?  Is it working?  That’s what’s important, not the name of the contact. 

            This Course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

    "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
    Herein lies the peace of God."

 A couple of weeks ago I attended an in person study group of the Course of Miracles that was hosted at a local Church of Christ.  I gave it a shot.  What I was disappointed in was that there was a strict inequality between the leader of the group, who was a Reverend, and everyone else.  One member even said, “No, you enlighten me.  You are the teacher, so teach.  I am the student and am an open book to learn from you, Teacher.”  Now, I’ll admit this person was being a bit glib and lightheartedly poking fun a bit, but I don’t want to go to a class to listen to someone quote the Bible.  I would go to bible study for that, not ACIM study.  I was still thinking about sticking it out, as I’m a strong believer in the power of organized classroom study and the power of group minds.  However, when I was sharing my hesitations with my mother, she pointed out that it was all wrong.  The Course is designed as a self-study course.  Everyone is equal in their ability to contact their inner guide and higher self directly.  There is no ascended master, no church.  It is all accessible within.  Ah.  That helped!  I knew something didn’t feel right.  Thanks Mom.  Funny thing was she told me this after I admitted to her; I didn’t really want to go back to the group, even though I was excited about the course.

So, since I was open at that point to listening to my mother, she also recommended starting with off shoot material to start with rather than diving directly into the Course Text itself.  SO, I started reading The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard.   

One of my blog’s readers, Rhonda, so graciously reached out to me last week to *nudge* me on if I was planning on creating an online or email group so that a bunch of us could study the course together, share ideas, questions, and encouragement.  So here are a couple of options.  I found a great online forum that meets online once a week on the website that Bernstein mentioned in her vlog post above. Here: 
Or, as a way to make this more intimate and personal, if anybody wants to study with me via email and online, I love sharing discourse, ideas, and having study buddies.  No group projects, though, please!  LOL.  My inner perfectionist can’t handle that!  Aren’t you glad that you don’t stay stuck in grade school forever?  I sure am.  Now I get paid for being a team player and it’s called collaboration, not, the dreaded, “group projects”.  Just email me if you’re interested in reading The Disappearance of the Universe and/or A Course in Miracles together with me.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Higher Love

Last week I got into a debate on the definition of love.  I feel that higher love is always a good thing, that feeling love towards someone can only help the world and bring more joy and understanding into the world.  The one debating with me disagreed, saying that love causes war, death, pain, suffering, and more strife than any other thing in the world.  The idea was that love is the root cause of most great tragedies throughout history.  I thought that it was not love, but jealousy, envy, anger, unrequited wanting and yearning, and ownership that causes these things, not true, higher love.  The discussion ended abruptly that we would have to agree to disagree.  I was very vexed and sad after this conversation.

Earlier this week I was reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s quote from the Course of Miracles, lesson 153  For in my defenselessness my safety lies” 

Here, the lesson of love is that we never have to defend ourselves, our actions (whether right or wrong), our position.  Bernstein quotes the adage, “Would you rather be right or be happy?”  I found this particularly ironic as my husband quotes this as "would you rather be right or be married."  I guess happily married is implied here, but it somehow lost some of its meaning and makes it sound like you are married to the proverbial ball and chain-- agreeing with your spouse for the sake of not arguing.  LOL!  When we put down the sword of self-righteous and justification, when we no longer need to be right or valued or approved of in order to have self-worth, we can just be happy and set out of the fight.  It is the fight that rages within us that is the problem.  

Yesterday in yoga, the instructor talked about always taking criticism as a learning opportunity  no matter what state of mind it came from and how it was intended to be taken.  It is an opportunity to monitor your responses.  Are you suddenly defensive?  Then it is an opportunity to change yourself, your thoughts, your responses.  You always have room to grow, change, learn, and become a better conduit of earth and sky—A conduit flowing full of spirit.  My. mind. was. blown! 

 Today Thorn Coyle brought up committing to spreading love and choosing to love even in the face of hatred and strife.  Thorn expands the idea of love to include the just causes that we are passionate about.  What do you stand for?  How to you make love more abundant in the world?  Through this we heal ourselves and each other.

I am so happy to have this lesson come up for me, be illustrated several ways, and I waas even be given opportunities to practice what I am learning this week.  It is so much easier to integrate lasting, deep change when we are conscious enough to see the lesson being taught.  I give credit to the meditation I have been slogging through daily.  Cheers!

Maggi does Hot Yoga with Dancing Ganesha

I had a wonderful day yesterday.  I struggled through meditation like usual.  Then I got a good 3 year review at work that included a raise.  After work I rushed to Garden State Yoga to try a Hot Yoga class.

It was awesome!

I've tried yoga a class or book here or there, but never gotten deep into it.  I'm flexible and pretty strong so I take to it, but have never delved into the practice seriously.  I expected a Hot Yoga class to be all physical, with no attention paid to the spiritual.  Man, I was so wrong!  The teacher has a greater body awareness than I have a vocabulary for.  We did mudras, affirmations, and the breath-work required in the class was extensive.  At one point, the painful heart ache I've been suffering with cleared.  My chest opened up and my heart chakra opened and flowed.  I cried.   Yup, I cried in class.  I was happy to and was smiling too.

Most surprising of all was I kept having visions of Ganesha doing Yoga with me.  He was dancing and happy and fully of joy.  I've never had an experiences with any God of the Hindu pantheon so that was interesting to note too.  Does Ganesha just love yoga?  or was he specifically coming to me to help me right now?  I don't know.  I want to honor him for the joy he poured over everything during class too.

With that, I decided yesterday that I'm going to start offering public ritual again.  I'll be leading a Full Moon at Mystic Spirit on 8/20.  It feels good to be back.  Blessed be!

Monday, August 5, 2013

All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals

Most people that know me know that I'm an overachiever, wound pretty tightly, and am my worst critic (read- perfectionist).  None of this is a surprise.  Most of my lessons this year have been about acceptance, peace, finding and maintaining happiness, having faith in myself, my Gods, and my ability to lead myself toward where I need to be, and the release of fear and the ego. 

Today I was thinking back on Eckert Tolle's words in A New Earth.   I know I've mentioned this book before, but I can't speak highly enough about how transformative it has been for me.  In the chapter I was thinking about, he talks about how in a professional session with a client, he witnesses a great releasing of his client's ego.  She had an enormous amount of pain that had been weighing on her for years melt off of her.  Tolle stayed present and mindful, and witnessed this healing unfolding in his client.  Afterwards he went to a restaurant for lunch.  Because he was buzzing at such a high frequency after having witnessed the release of the pain this woman had been holding onto, his presence activated the egoic pain in others that were in the restaurant, irritating people to act in their worse.  This ended with one person, who's egoic pain attachments had reacted the baddest actually got thrown out of the restaurant for being rude and disruptive.  Another person asked Tolle if Tolle had somehow caused this chain of events to happen.  Tolle did feel that his energetic state has been the impetus for the other person's egoic pain to be activated. 

This story lead me to an interesting dialog with myself.  Right now I am starting to study the Course of Miracles as well as off shoot books such from authors such as Marianne Williamson and Gabrielle Bernstein.  Today I was reading about making a commitment to constant happiness and peace in Spirit Junkie.  This philosophy teaches that none of us are separate and that God's love and forgiveness is the real path to peace, awareness, and happiness.  My work on happiness and forgiveness has given me a lot of healing so far in the past couple of months.  However, I have found that this is not always the case when I try to share my revelations with others.  I have found that sometimes, when I share my pride in my progress, happiness, or loving acceptance of myself, that some have responded with the rejection of my ideas.  It seems that their egos respond with fear, trying to reactive the pain and separation in my ego. 

I am concerned that to some extent I will have to hide my actual experiences, and only share my state of mind so that I don't set loved one's off in their egoic response.  To some extent, this feels more separating and scary.  Am I rejecting my loved ones then? Or is this response instead, about me being accepting and patient, and committed to my path, my connection to spirit so that other's egos don't drag me back down into fear and pain? 

I could tie myself in knots over-thinking this!  So, instead, I will have Gabrielle Bernstein remind me how to respond with her video blog entry:  when-someone-doesnt-support-your-spiritual-path vlog

Also, "all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals"
"and I am that which is attained at the end of desire"

When we no longer struggle anymore.  We find peace.  I think a coven named "The Coven of Never ending Happiness" sounds like a good name.  What about the "Circle of the End of Desire"?  How committed are you to Happiness every day?

Carry On...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Happiness and Purpose -Your Personal Sun

So much of magickal work is about doing the work that you were put in this time and place to do.  Having a sense of purpose, your core, the Sun of yourself, helps you not only know where you belong and what you stand for, but in fact it will make you happier and healthier.
This article is actually about how happiness for a cause greater than you is so beneficial,

Eudaimonic well-being is a kind of happiness that comes not from consuming something but from a sustained effort at working toward something bigger than you. In other words, it's working toward a sense of meaning in your life or contributing to some kind of cause. Think of the happiness you see on the Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa's face.

The funny thing about magickal work sometimes, is that conscious, purposeful personal evolution requires us to be willing to turn away from that which makes us most happy in the moment.  This year, I am in the process of rediscovering and redefining internal dialog, perspective on Truth, how I move in the world, and my connection to greater purpose.  It's really not surprising that this would be a part of my work during Pluto transit my Natal Mercury last year and this year. This year I pulled away from security of the group I'd been a member of since I was 19.  It required me to take a step back and look at my assumptions about people and my place.

This doesn't mean that the year has been fallow, however.  In fact, I've made had some auspicious mile-markers of progress.  The one that is the most thrilling for me right now, is Portal Magazine of the Magicka School, feature an article I wrote, "Know Thyself, A Time Honored Tradition".  As a second perk, I've got my mug on the cover too!  I was joking with my Mom that I'm a cover girl now.  But seriously, it was great to have Portal reach out to me to write and recognize the dedication I've been putting into my writing.  You can purchase a print copy of the magazine here.  

The Marcus Katz of the  Magicka School also featured an incredible review of my book, Ecstasy in Shadows in the Magicka School's newsletter, the Noviciate.  You can subscribe to their newsletter here with a free basic membership.  Here's the review:
"The Moon never loses her memory," writes Maggi Setti in her personal journal-book, Ecstasy in Shadow (2010). A candid account of an initiatory phase of her life, the book charts the progress of a 'Pluto conjunction', a powerful astrological event in one's chart.
In weaving together personal memories of the time, poetry, and providing a kabbalistic end-piece considering the event as a passage of the 27th Path, Maggi shows us how we can create meaning in turbulent times, and discover myth in everyday or extraordinary life.
This is an unusually open and frank journal of a woman's life, love and rituals, and is a model of excellent magical journalling. Whether observing the weather, recounting a ritual, creating poetry, or musing on the Tarot, Maggi provides a tapestry of magical life.
Her teacher at one point tells her that "the good news is that you're going to survive", and in this we understand the plight of Persephone in the Underworld. Can we believe the struggle is worth the light? In Ecstasy in Shadow, it would appear so.
"The good thing about consciously trying to change and not giving up is that you will change."
 Finally, in news that's been crossing my little Raven's writing desk, here is a link to a podcast from Lighthaven, a great school in NC.  The podcast features teachers and friends; T. Thorn Coyle, Ivo Dominguez Jr., Michael Smith, Aeptha, and Katrina Messenger.  These podcasts feature a lot of great information about the metaphysical and occult subjects related with the Sun.  Want to know the magickal significance of Litha beyond the somewhat removed agricultural folk practices?  Here ya go!  We are One with the Sun Podcast.  I hope you find it en-lighten-ing.

Happy Lammas!  May your chosen sacrifices bring life to that under your wing.    Blessings.