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Posts Tagged ‘Stonehenge’

I believe in stretching my birthday celebrations out for as long as possible.  When I was a little kid, of course that meant more cake and more presents.  These days I don’t need more cake and gifts, just time to enjoy with friends.  But okay…I do love the cake and gifts just the same.

On this birthday I received some of the most precious gifts of all.  The day started out with lots  of lovely sunny weather, and I took the opportunity to meditate on all the things I’m grateful for in my life.  I even said a prayer to my Mother who passed away when I was only five, and I said “Thanks Mom, for having me.”

Then a friend took me out for a little shopping and lunch, followed by numerous calls and visits from others to wish me happy birthday.  My home was filled with gorgeous spring flowers from our condo’s gardens and I enjoyed every minute of this.

Another friend called to ask about taking me to lunch and I had to say that I was already going out, but would love to do lunch some other time, if we could figure the calendar space.  She then gave me one of the best gifts and said, “There’s always space for you in our lives.”  Her words touched my heart so deeply and I thought to  myself, That’s exactly what I wanted for my birthday!!!!  To know that I matter and have connection with my loved ones is THE ultimate gift and blessing.

In these times of being busy, attached to our electronic devices, working long hours and attention taken completely over by other commitments, sometimes we forget to tend our friendships.  I’ve forgotten birthdays or missed opportunities to reach out or realized that I was not tuning into a friend’s needs.  I’ve also felt that sense of being forgotten when folks have been busy with their life commitments.  We can fall into these common pitfalls and patterns of busy-ness lifestyle.  So the gift of hearing those words “There’s always space for you in our lives” was absolutely amazing.

As if this was not enough, the gifts kept coming.  In the past several months I have found myself part of a group of lovely women, who are all students and friends of mine.  After almost six months of classes with me, we seemed to be in the process of forming a loose coven.  I say loose because I’m not into forming rigid structures or teaching dogma of Earth-based spirituality, preferring rather to give students the flexibility and space to explore as much or as little as they want.  This particular group of them has continued to stretch their branches to reach for the sky.  And now, to our delight and surprise we have a group that wants to continue and explore the spiritual practices together.

I knew they were hatching a little plot to celebrate my birthday, and it was not a surprise that they emailed me to say they were taking me out to dinner and there would be some sort of after dinner destination to be revealed later.  So we gathered at a lovely local Indian restaurant, and had a fabulous dinner.  Then it was time to head off to destination B which I accurately guessed was the Burlington Earth Clock on the waterfront of Lake Champlain.  This is a lovely stone circle set up by a local group that created this modern day stone circle on public land for people to enjoy and use.   The ring was set up by dowsers and planners who aligned the circle to the energies of the land and the solstices.  I’ve been in the ancient sites, and I was skeptical about this new version, but when I had the opportunity to go there with Glenn and Cameron Broughton this winter, I was surprised by its energy.  From time to time various celebrations and ceremonies to honor the Earth have been held there and this  has been attracting deeper connection with the land.  So for me it feels like a very young Stonehenge.

When my little women friends said they had a destination B in mind, I finally said, “oh, are we going to the Earth Clock?”  (That’s what happens when you try to keep secrets from a psychic.)  So we headed down to the waterfront and realized that none of them knew where this circle was located.  It was truly the blind leading the blind, and there was a lot of giggling going on about that one.  Plan C was improvised and they commandeered a picnic table at the nearby park to have a little ceremony and cake.  What followed was a second lovely birthday gift.

First, my girls lit some lovely incense, then a little candle.  All were beginning to giggle about all the various actions and choreography that was supposed to happen.  This was their first ceremony without my guidance.  Two of my girls stood before me with tree branches for what was described as a blessing of the branches for my birthday.  There were some lovely words of blessing spoken with silly dramatic emphasis; first by the Larch branch, then with the Maple branch which we weren’t exactly sure was really a maple.  Much more giggling ensued and I wasn’t sure if I was about to be flogged or blessed, but to my relief, just gentle tapping of the head and face with the branches occurred.  Then the singing of the birthday song, with tom-tom, harmony, rhythm and uproarious laughter.  We were all ready to either wet ourselves or burst open.  The laughter kept up through the presentation of gifts and the consumption of delicious cake, and I’m sure that passersby thought we were all drunk.  None of us were intoxicated by anything stronger than the joy of celebration.  The gift of sharing laughter and silliness is awesome!

Those were the best gifts I could have had.  I have to say that the items I was given this year are wonderful too, and I do love to give and receive gifts.  But the very best gifts really are the love and caring, and uproarious, raucous joy shared with others.

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I’m about to embark on my second journey to sacred Britain.  I feel extremely blessed to be able to go.  To be able to enter Stonehenge and participate in a sacred ceremony inside this potent place a second time in my life seems astonishing to me.

 

This year’s trek, Stonehenge to Cornwall, will be an entirely new and different experience than my first visit to the sacred sites and crop circles of Wiltshire.  I do know that it will be a magical and transformative journey.

 

As I prepared for this journey, I noticed a particular symbol that kept appearing in my life.  It started when I made a new piece of jewelry for myself that is a woman’s face with a butterfly superimposed over her face. I’ve been fascinated by butterflies since I was a child back in the day when bugs were non-threatening and interesting creatures to me.  How do we develop that squeamishness in adulthood that sends us fleeing from these tiny beings?

 

I think every child should witness the magic of the butterfly.  I remember capturing live caterpillars, making habitats for them in shoe boxes lined with milkweed, and watching them spin their cocoons.  Then when they emerged from their cocoon as the new Monarch butterfly, we would take them very carefully outside into the sun and let them go free.  What a miracle for us to see such a dramatic transformation.

 

butterfly_emerge1Butterflies are genuine symbols of transformation and freedom.  We can be a caterpillar that spins a cocoon.  Sometimes I feel like I want to be in a cocoon; perhaps my comfort zone, but I cannot stay there too long.  That’s not the way of things and change is truly constant.

 

So as weeks went by and I found myself buying a couple of really pretty shirts for the trip that oddly enough, had butterflies on them.  I began to think, well actually I already knew, this trip would be transformational in some manner. But I felt I was being affirmed, and called upon to open and embrace this opportunity.

 

Now I begin to wonder about the words transformation and metamorphosis and here’s what I’ve come to understand:

 According to the dictionary, the word “transformation” is defined as the act of changing in form or shape or appearance.  But “metamorphosis” is defined as a complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft.  

 

While transformation happens all the time, I am much more drawn to the term metamorphosis, as it implies that I might have some power to effect change in my life for myself.  Transformation is always happening, in fact sometimes I feel like we’re always in flux with it.  We are moving through life and being shaped by all of our experiences and choices along the path.  But I’m now thinking more intentionally with regard to metamorphosis and becoming that butterfly woman.

 

Metamorphosis is about experiencing an intentional death, in order to emerge as the butterfly that you truly are.  That caterpillar has a short existence in its form that is very much Earth-bound.  Its natural cycle is to live and seek nourishment and then to settle into creating its cocoon where that part of its form will cease to exist, so that the true essence will emerge and take flight.  The caterpillar form no longer serves this being, and so that form is shed and a new form of this same Divine being is created.  What a beautiful example for us.  What more perfect lesson could there be for us?

 

I get the word “transformation” from my angel cards a lot.  Many times during the past week in fact,  leading up to this trip.  Now I’m thinking I might add the word “metamorphosis” to this deck to illustrate this deeper understanding.  My trip is one adventure in my immediate course, but butterfly woman wants to emerge from the cocoon into the sunlight.

 

Note:  I’m away for the next couple of weeks.  Although I’ll be journaling quite a lot, I will not be online.  So you’ll have to wait a bit before the next post.  Love and blessings until then.

 

Butterfly Woman

 

Graphic credits: http://www.dancingshakina.com/butterfly_woman_exp.jpg

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