Tonight as I ventured out to my Hot Tub Time Machine I caught sight of the sliver of a waxing new moon, just a couple of days old. It looked like “God’s fingernail”. My first thought was that it is just enough to scratch “it” off. What? Anything left that still needs to go.
As I soak in my tub my Guides tell me to “just relax. You’ve earned it. Climbing the mountain was hard work. There will be days of white water rapids ahead in this river, so enjoy the warm spring fed pool at the top of this ride.” I then ask my Guides if there is anything I should do. They tell me, “just be available. Keep your LINE OPEN. If we call, PICK UP THE PHONE!” Ha Ha. My Guides have such a good sense of humor!
This morning as I transitioned out of sleep I heard that Voice that whispers to me before my head gets cluttered with the thoughts of the day. (I am not a person who likes to jump out of bed at the sound of an alarm. I linger and listen. I get my best guidance in this liminal space.) The Voice said, “We are so pleased, Pam. You made it over the mountain top.”
What do I see from the mountain top? I expect to see a beautiful fertile valley below, but it’s still “early in the day” and the fog is hiding the view. So, I will linger here for a while. I will wait for the path ahead to clear. I will enjoy the beauty as it gradually appears through the mist. I know the trek ahead will become so much easier. I have made it over the Mountain Top! Thank you, Guides for helping me get here and for celebrating my arrival. I couldn’t have done it without You.
Saturday, June 4, 2016. New Moon. Card of the Day (for me). The Hanged Man XII. Well, I should have seen that coming! That is exactly the energy I am feeling this morning. This new moon energy has a feeling of sadness and a little grieving as I try to release “the old”. But that is the message of the hanged man: “Waiting, Surrender, Release”. So easy to say. So hard to do. The “monkey mind” just wants to know ” what’s next?”. The hanged man just answers, “take this time of waiting as an opportunity to practice being present with yourself.” The new moon says, “the answers will show up with the light of the full moon. Just wait.” And so I let go of yesterday and sit with TODAY.
One of my first thoughts this morning as I was putting clean dishes away in my kitchen and frustrated that I didn’t have enough cabinet space for everything was, “You must sacrifice some things in order to have other things that you want or would like”. Whoa, where did that limiting belief come from? Yes, I know it’s been hiding in the dark corners of my thoughts for at least 3 decades, possibly all 5 decades of my life! Why is it there? Why can’t I believe that “I can have it all”? It may feel like my truth. But, it isn’t a TRUTH. How do I shift that into a thought pattern that serves my highest good, changes my personal path to abundance and is aligned to the belief that as a Spark of the Divine I am worthy of “having it all”? No sacrifices needed.
Yesterday a fast-moving thunderstorm moved through our community. Many branches and even whole trees came down around town. They called it a microburst. A tree came down across the street from our home landing on the neighbor’s house, severed at the base of the trunk. Today the village tree service is making fast progress to clear the debris. As I was meditating this morning and listening to the wood shredding going on nearby I realized that my limiting beliefs are like “dead wood”. They need to be blown away periodically. Sometimes it takes a pretty strong microburst to do that. We may inspect our thoughts and “prune” little bits of beliefs that are no longer needed, no longer feel TRUE. Ideas that may have served us well in the past, but are now holding us back. Thoughts that may have kept us safe, or were commonly held by our family, friends, community. But now they no longer work for our current situation, our continued growth. Pruning can lead to better health, greater vitality. But still, like the tree across the street from me, we miss the fact that the trunk has a huge portion that is rotting. And until a strong microburst comes through, it stays hidden. Buried deep.
Yes, we can prune and blow away the dead wood, but there is one more hidden lesson here and it came from the humming of the wood chipper. You must transform that dead wood. Mulch it. Make it something new. Something that aids and nurtures the “further growth”. Make it block the weeds. Make it feed the roots of new growth. Rotting wood is necessary. Don’t just blow it away and pretend you don’t need it.
So, today as I work to finish a piece I’ve been creating for quite a while I contemplate what needs “pruning” from my thoughts and where, if anyplace, am I hiding “rotting wood”. (My maiden name was Wood, so this feels “real” to me) How can I examine and transform the thoughts that no longer serve my continued growth? How do I use them to feed the change and transformation of my life? What needs a bigger storm to push it out? The “working title” of this piece has been “can you see the forest for the trees?” How do my little thoughts keep me from seeing the big picture? How do I mulch my little thoughts and beliefs to create fertilizer for my growth?
I believe that I will weather the storms and time will tell.
New Belief of Transformation: I am Worthy and Can Have It ALL!
The following is a hypothetical letter. I wrote it myself as though my sister has written it to me 26 years from now on my birthday. I wrote it as an exercise for a Circle of transitioning Women led by Circle Tender, Susan Lucci that I am a part of. The assignment was to imagine a celebration near the end of your life and ask some of the guests to speak on your behalf about your life and how you fulfilled your “Life’s Desires”. In light of the issues our world is facing in the NOW this was very therapeutic for me. Here is the hypothetical letter from my sister:
Happy Birthday Pam! Can you believe that you are 80 years old and I am just a couple of weeks from being 79? Who would have thought this is how the world would be in 2042? Oh yeah, you would have! You always believed and you were right, that the world and the humans living here would begin to transform and shift when we were in our early 50’s. That we could overcome the issues of poverty and climate change during our lifetime. I always loved calling you on the phone, (remember those crazy old devices necessary to communicate?) and hearing about the books you were reading about the Unity Consciousness and our Higher Selves. And that ET’s are Us!
Yes, I remember when you were younger that you would get frustrated and discouraged that you weren’t sure how to bring your value and implement your desires in the world. And you were disappointed that your work didn’t really support yourself. That you always had to rely on your husband’s income for the survival of your family. But remember, that was back when we had the old money and banking system. You were one of the few who believed we could find a better way to “survive”. Oh yeah, not survive, but THRIVE and flourish. And that abundance was a “basic right” that All Humans were born to on our planet Earth. And you were correct. Just see how fast that concept came to be accepted and implemented? And your energy, faith, and creative vision were a part of our collective ascension into this new flourishing life for ALL. You helped others SEE that this was possible. You helped me see it, even though it meant I had to transform my own business and livelihood away from helping people file their annual income tax returns. (And pay the taxes! Oh, remember how horrible it was for people to have to do that every year?) The fact that there are so few people suffering and “in need” now, and that we no longer pay for WAR and military expenses as a nation has really made it so much easier for people. And I much preferred helping people decide what to do with their abundance and decide how to best share their wealth and “pay it forward” as they used to say!
Oh, and remember that summer evening under the stars when our children were young and we were sitting around the bonfire in my backyard? The kids were running around in the dark playing on their “walkie-talkie radios” (Talk about old-time communications!) You pretended to talk to them like an alien from “Planet Micro-Brew”. A few years later micro-breweries were everywhere! And then a few years after that the Earth made peaceful and mutually beneficial contact with Advanced Life out in the Universe. It was like you could SEE it that night looking out at the far away stars above our fire. You also had a way of looking into the Flames of the Fire for “Life’s Answers”, too.
I thank you so much for being my older sister, my friend, guide, mentor and visionary. You’ve always been there when I’ve needed you. It’s so nice now to be psychically connected so that we don’t need to worry about the phone to communicate anymore. Now, whenever we need to we can hear, feel and KNOW how much the Other One cares and loves us. Even when we are apart. Oh yeah, there is no such thing as “apart”. We are each our individual spark of the Unity that is Life. Thank you for making the Soul Contract to be the spark that guided me into this life with you in it. As you Know, I love you.
Your Sister, B~
Note: I went searching in my gift card pile for the perfect card to imagine having this letter written on and I found this. The artwork is by Helena Nelson-Reed. The Synchronicity of this card’s message goes beyond “perfect” to DIVINE!
I believe every book contains a lesson and we are drawn to the lessons we need to learn. I can learn a lesson from a book written by a comedian that is read by several hundred people or from the Bible the most read book ever. (See Shame: Part One) But I believe that the Bible has been read by more people for the reason that it must hold clues that are needed by more people in order to learn and evolve. The story of the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis holds the keys to our fateful beginnings whether you look at it as “fact” or as mythic archetypal lore. I also believe it holds the keys to our collective (mother earth) healing and our return to Paradise.
Well, as I’ve gone further into the story of the Garden of Eden I’ve stumbled into the story of Lilith who in a brief mention in Genesis is a female figure who was created from the dirt like Adam. Because she was created the same way as Adam she saw herself as an equal to Adam which did not please him. So she was either “banished” (or perhaps escaped on her own) “to the East”. Some versions of the story turn her into the water of the river or a willow tree. And she is also symbolized by an owl. Many versions over the centuries have “demonized” her. Eve on the other hand was created from Adam’s rib and therefore was not his equal, but was there to be his “help-mate”. And as most of you know she tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit which meant that Adam and Eve then realized they were “naked” and also “ashamed” of their sin.
As I interpret this tale I see an Adam who wanted someone to love and be his partner. His version of “love” was not fulfilled by Lilith as she was not willing to “hold” his shadows (shame). She wanted to be responsible to her-self and leave Adam to be responsible for his-self. In comes Eve who in her quest to be “all loving” is willing to be the one to bear the weight of shame for Man. This to Adam feels like “true love”. He can prove his love to her by taking control and she can prove her love to him by submission to his love and willingness to overlook his shortcomings. They both think this seems “unconditional” but in reality this love contains a great many “conditions”.
Now I’ll get personal. (Read this next section as though I have both an inner Eve and inner Lilith). I mentioned in my last post that this month of April has brought me to a time of reflecting on my own relationships. Two years ago, April 2014 I came to a moment in time when my inner “Lilith” expressed herself. I had reached a limit to “how much I could bear”. My “Adam” was projecting his wounds onto my inner “Eve”. She had for many years (in an attempt at unconditional love) been willing to let the little digs slide along with the covert (and sometime overt) attempts to control her. She knew on some level her “Adam” loved her and didn’t believe the things he said. But, my “Lilith” finally woke up and showed me that living with this was not “love” in the highest sense. My “Adam” also knew on some level that he was not acting “loving” and that continued a cycle of feeling “less than worthy” of love from anyone, especially his “Eve”. This became a never ending circle of shame and projection. So, out comes my “Lilith”. On Easter Sunday of 2014 she said good-bye and walked away(with the prayer, “forgive them for they know not what they do”). I (as Lilith) was finally able to leave this unhealthy relationship because I came to the decision from a place of love and wanting the best for both my “Adam” and my “Eve”. My “Lilith” had no plans to go back, she wanted respect, independence and equality. But with several days of reflection my Adam reached out. A phone call. A conversation. And this is where the space for healing came in. My Lilith came back. And that is where we leave the story of the Garden of Eden and look toward a future Paradise.
But first I must share a bit more of my reflections. Not just over what healing has occurred over the last two years and that process, but further back to the roots of my personal “Eden”. I have a recollection of complaining as a child about my older brother “picking on me”. He was almost 6 years older than me and much bigger and stronger. I was told something to the effect of “that is the only way he knows how to show you attention (love)”. Oh, to my young mind, that made sense. Because surely no one who loves you would hurt you, unless they didn’t know how to show you real love. And in that moment my inner “Eve” entered and I was willing to hold both his shame and mine, because of course I loved him.
When “Lilith” returns (in my personal story) she doesn’t condone the behaviors of Adam or of Eve for that matter. She forgives them and gives new understanding and strength to their love, helping them to heal their misunderstood (wounded and immature) understanding of love. Ok, in my original thoughts about my personal story I wanted to believe that my inner “Lilith” had the strength to return on her own. Upon further reflection I have come to realize she did some transformation during her time away. Jesus“returned” as his “Christed” self. I now think that my “Lilith” returned as her more evolved and “Christened” self. (Maybe the reason I left during the Easter season to return a few days later???) I have found that I am able to carry a new “vibration” over the last two years. My “Adam” can and does too. When I feel either of us slipping into old patterns and behaviors I pull up an image in my mind of a large fierce bird sitting on my shoulder. The energy shifts. My boundary is respected, his emotions are appropriately expressed. I had thought that this bird was a hawk, but now that I have gone into this story I see it is probably the Owl, the symbol of Lilith. An Owl is fierce like a Hawk, but has the additional attribute of Wisdom. (Note: I by no means claim to be completely “evolved”, but I am aware that my life has transformed and new levels of understanding and wisdom have shown up rapidly once I walked through the fear of being “banished” and claimed my personal power.)
In the last few decades Lilith has become a symbol of feminism. But, I think that version of feminism is still missing a piece and that is the reason feminism isn’t the complete “medicine” for this old sick world (Patriarchy). According to the Gene Keys book by Richard Rudd, the “Opening of the Third Seal” occurs through Universal Love. “This seal heals the human wound of shame. And it is out of this feeling of deep shame that the whole world of hierarchy and competitiveness has come about. “ I feel that the key to unconditional and universal love is not just through the balancing of the masculine and feminine (Adam and Lilith as equals) as many have in recent years proclaimed, but rather in healing the relationship of all three archetypes: Adam, Eve and Lilith. We all yearn for the autonomy, strength and independence of Lilith, but fear the consequences. Can we survive on our own? Will we be lonely? (I know those thoughts went through my mind when I walked out). But the truth is we do not need to live alone as Lilith did in the original story. We can be strong individuals within unconditionally loving relationships. It also doesn’t require we make a choice between Lilith and Eve. The “Evolved” and “Christened” Lilith must return and embrace the Shadow of Adam and Eve’s shame. She has the strength to transmute that immature version of love and transform the relationship. It takes effort, understanding and the Wisdom and Strength of an Owl. But if we are to heal our Collective, this is where the answers lie. Invite your “Lilith” back home. Make that call, open that dialog. You may find she can now embrace Eve (and Adam), that she has Eve-olved. You many find she has the Universal Christ Love within her now to allow you to let go of your shame in being who you truly are. You are not a victim. You have the power within yourself to heal your original wounds, with the Faith that you will be Loved Unconditionally for the Unique and Divine Spark within you. The health of one Cell affects the health of the Collective, micro to macro.
Much gratitude to all of you who witness my story , by sharing this without “shame” I further my personal growth and healing. I dream that I’ll see you soon in Paradise…..until then enjoy my art process. The Stitches in Time give me plenty of time to contemplate this Story and the Lessons it contains.
Oh, Dear. I may really be just about to step into “it” today. But, here I go. I intended this blog to be an honest insight into where I am in my head and heart. And the last few weeks have led me to questioning our collective and personal “shame”. So, what is it? Why do we have it? Does it still serve us? If not, how to we rise above it?
So, how did I get here? Well, the last few weeks I have started a new piece for the She Said/He Said exhibit coming up a the Groshek Gallery in Chicago. I had an inspiration to do a Tree of Knowledge/Adam & Eve/ Paradise piece. It has caused me to explore my memories of my childhood Sunday school lessons regarding the origin story (myth?). April has also been a month of reflecting on a turning point in my own relationships. I don’t want this to get too “long and involved” but, I do want to share enough detail that this makes sense. So, I’ll do my best.
So the story of Adam and Eve for me is about “shame”. We learn shame very young and, I believe usually from our parents. (Confession: I’m a parent, I know I’ve fallen into my shadow and used shaming to attempt to solicit the behavior I desire from my kids).
Last Saturday I went to see comedian, Jen Kirkman where I bought her new book, I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself. As I was listening to the Prince soundtrack and waiting for her to come on-stage I started reading the introduction to her book. She starts out with “Ugh, my parents are going to read this.” (I know what she means!) She then goes on to quote another of my favorite funny people, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul). He once said that people should make their art, whatever it is, “as though their parents were dead”. And why is that? I think it is because we worry about “shame”. Not that we will cause our parent’s to be embarrassed by our work; but that they, our first source of “shame” will bring on that bad feeling within us again. (Please Note: I love my parents and don’t wish to cause them any embarrassment here or elsewhere nor do I wish they were dead, but when I stated I might “step in it” this is it. I just believe that we must rise above this concern for feeling shamed in order to “grow up and evolve”.
And how appropriate that only a few days after the death of the musician Prince while listening to his “Pussy Control” I was reading this book introduction and ruminating on “shame”. Prince was a successful artist who by all outward appearances, rose above a concern for self-shame. In fact by many recent reflections on his life his ability to be his true self and express his true artistry is greatly admired (and envied) by his fans and others. And that is my point I guess. Can we really do our best most creative work if we are in a place of shame? And can we really bring to the world the healing and solutions needed if we are not creating from our highest, best self?
Well, I have gone on here for a bit, and while I have a lot more rolling around in my head and heart regarding the story of Eden, I think I will continue on another day. You see the story of the Garden of Eden includes another figure, Adam’s first “wife”, Lilith. And she takes me on another “thread”. So, rather than try to cover too much “ground”, you will have to wait for “that stitch in time” and for the rest of this story. In the meantime consider the role of “shame” in your life. Is it holding you back from being the highest, true-ist expression of your “self”. What would you do if you didn’t fear (the feeling of) shame?
I’m not sure why it is, but my best ideas and inspiration come to me when I am out in my backyard soaking in the hot tub (time machine) under the moon and stars. Tonight there was a lovely, bright crescent moon and the brightest “star” is actually Jupiter. He is my “action” planet and together we say, “by Jove I think we’ve got this!”
So, tonight I have a plan of action. Looking back in time I realize I am celebrating the 20th anniversary this year of my business, Pamela Penney Textile Arts (where a stitch in time saves!) I started creating women’s art to wear jackets and children’s special occasion garments in the spare bedroom of my home when my children where babies. (Crazy, I know!) I’ve expanded and grown and want to share my joy. Tonight I had a spark of an idea about how I want to go forward this year and share my celebration with the world!
I’m not really ready to share all of the details yet. They need to be “ironed out“. Much like things work in the sewing room, creations don’t really look great until they are pressed! I will be sharing this very soon. So, stay “tuned“. You may want to bookmark this page, as I will post a link to the updated information here as it gets solidified. In the meantime I will leave you with some clues…..
The Warrior archetype is showing up all over the place for me. According to Jose and Lena Stevens of The Power Path School of Shamanism we all have the Warrior even if we have another over-riding personality or archetype. I am primarily of the “artist” archetype and often have a difficult time tapping into my inner warrior. The Power Path 2016 Trends forecast indicates that this year will have an energy of dominance and aggression. It could be very beneficial to utilize my inner warrior So, how do I reach my Warrior?
Well in late February I pulled the Tarot Card: II High Priestess and chose to work with it as inspiration for a mixed media sculptural art piece. I had two 5th grade girls coming in after school and they wanted to work on sculpture boxes. It is sometimes easiest to teach by example. So, this was to be my example! I like to work on process pieces that evolve over time answering some inner subconscious questions for me. (Learned through my time spent at Whispers from the Moon) This piece did just that.
I began my sculpture on an old blue box with the brand title “Crown” embossed upon its cover. I created a tape and foil female figure with a long flowing skirt. Each week she gathered more details. Paint in violet and a red flowing skirt, beads, a “sea glass” face and jewels in her skirt. Her hair was wild like vines with silver sparkles. Her arms outstretched. Yesterday I finished the box by collaging a magazine cutting that I had snipped and held in the box from the first day of the project. “It’s a New Day!” I then water-colored a sun-rising from the eastern edge of the box (This was inspired by Rebecka Eggers vision for over-coming the Domination System through the symbolism of the Great Eastern Sun of Chögyam Trungpa.)
Last night I finished reading book that I started a few days ago, Coming Alive! Spirituality, Activism, & Living Passionately in the Age of Global Domination, by Rebecka Eggers. (mentioned in yesterday’s post) In the final chapter Egger’s states, “I want to address the aspects of the Passionate Warrior that are contained within the one who came to me. Ishtar is inside of me. She is knocking around the edges of my being threatening to explode in a red-hot fountain of lava. Can you feel her too?”Today I went to my trusty source Google, to find a comparison of Ishtar to the High Priestess. I found this at the Tarot of Eli: “The Thoth- THE HIGH PRIESTESS. The Tarot High Priestess ….represents the Supreme Mother, without her smiling mask, revealing a True face of cold yet beautiful countenance. This “cold and beautiful continence is also known as Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna/Ananna), who is depicted on The Babylonian key 2 card. One of Her titles was Belit (demonized by the Christians) the feminine of Bel, meaning Lord. As does the Moon, which is the planet attributed to The High Priestess, she has her “light and Dark” sides. Complex and of many roles, Ishtar/ Inanna (Lady of Heaven), had Three distinct Functions (As does the Three Paths of the Upper Triangle of the Tree of Life).”
Yes, Ishtar has indeed come to me. I can feel her. My Ishtar has a face of polished glass, cold yet beautiful. She has a skirt of Lava. From the Tarot of Eli, “The Thoth High Priestess is shown with all veils removed, all illusion is dispersed, and we must face the crystalline reality of our own absolute free will when facing her; a task not for the weak who fear mortality.” Yesterday I also felt compelled to add the word “Crone” to the box. In my mind the word Crone played off the existing word on the box “Crown”. I believe you earn your crown as a crone! And as the silver threads start to appear on my head I just smile and tell myself my crown is coming. The Crone is also a female character who has aged out of the fertile years, she is a bit more androgynous. The Tarot of Eli goes on to say, “the High Priestess is the Womb of Consciousness, but she is both Male and Female, much like a Hermaphrodite (Hermes-Aphrodite) that can impregnate itself.”
Through synchronicity, my dear friend, artist and writer, Sallie Wolf discussed her encounter with the Warrior at our March New Moon Meeting. (I am part of a small group of artists and writers who meet monthly to set our creative intentions, plan action steps and witness the progress for each other) Sallie had felt some inner resistance when her yoga teacher had asked the class “what are you a warrior for”. I’ll let you read her story HERE.
Today is the April New Moon. I feel it is the Warrior New Moon. It is also “a New Day” symbolized by the rising Great Eastern Sun. Let us bring the Sun, the Stars and the Moon together, masculine and feminine, for a new Dawning. My Warrior looks like the High Priestess, Ishtar. I am a (Com)-Passionate Warrior for utilizing my talents and skills as a catalyst for Change through A Stitch In Time Saves.
Post-Script: yes, the boxes that my students created turned out wonderful too. See their finished creations at www.PamelaPenney.com.