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How The Seasons Create Sacred Space

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Despite being a July-baby, Autumn has always been my favorite season. Up in the far north, where I grew up, Autumn meant a change in the light. There was a crispness in the air that could sharpen your senses or even cut your skin. As the leaves changed color and began to carpet the ground, naked tree branches altered the view of our reality and shifted familiar landscapes.

I didn't recognize it then, but I know now: We were beginning to sink into sacred space.

When I enter into scared space for journey or healing work, it looks much the same way. I take my ordinary room and alter the lighting. Off with the overheard lights. Out with the candles. The air becomes electrified with the scent of incense or essential oils-- sharpening my senses and anchoring me in the present. Deep breathing, deep listening and calling in ancestral and spiritual support helps shift my view of reality. This reality is always there, always supporting the ordinary reality, but you have to clear away some of the leaves to see it.

Autumn does this for us naturally.

First there's the ritual of going back to school. New clothes. New gear. New and old friends. Then, as the weather changes, there's the anticipation of Halloween. Samhain. The Day of the Dead. The excitement of a new school year gives way to the thought and preparation of Fall and the Halloween costumes that come with it. You may even begin decorating your house-- altering your ordinary reality a bit, creating sacred temporary space.

What am I afraid of? What needs my attention before winter? How are my Dead?

After an evening of slipping into a different character (or consciousness if you will), or of remembering our Dead and the cycle of life, we move onto the preparations of Thanksgiving. We spend an evening with family and loved ones, remembering that it's good to be alive and be together (well. mostly). Stories are told. Memories are created. Gratitude is given.

The ancient alchemy of cooking. Pilgrimage.

You know what comes next.

The weather doubles down on our senses: making it colder and brisker. As Christmas approaches we alter our reality again: Christmas lights. Christmas smells. Christmas decor. Our thoughts turn to what we need and want to manifest in our lives: both as holiday gifts and as a reality for the fast-approaching new year. We also begin thinking about how to help others manifest what they need and want in their lives as holiday gifts.

What do I want to attract? What do I want to ask for? What can I help someone else receive?

So much magic is created around the holidays and it's not by accident. By the time the clock strikes midnight on the New Year, we've likely spent three if not four months cultivating sacred space in our homes. Did you realize you were doing this?

This sacred space is the container responsible for holding the magic of the holidays. As adults we often forget to drop in and be present within the container. Children live in the container 24/7. It's part of the reason they look forward to the holiday season so passionately. They thrive in the sacred space. They don't miss a moment of magic's presence and they're thrilled that the magic is finally being reflected by their outward surroundings and acknowledged by the adults.

This holiday season, be aware of the sacred space you are creating. Put some extra intention in it. Take the opportunity each day to sit in it and be present with the magic. If you have children, delight in their delight and try to remember how the sacred space of the holidays made you feel as a child. Can you reach that place now? As an adult?

If you're not sure where to begin, my rule of thumb is to incorporate at least one element for each of the senses:

Sight: Add some simple holiday decor and/or dim the lights more often and bring out candles.

Smell: Burn seasonal candles, incense or even keep a pot of bubbling cider or mulled wine on the stove.

Taste: Revel in the seasonal harvest. Go apple picking. Learn a new autumn recipe. Create a favorite food from your childhood holiday memories.

Listen: Play music more often that shifts your consciousness. Turn off the music and the television and listen to the Autumn wind howl. Take a few deep breaths, turn inwards and listen to your ancestors.

Touch: Bring new textures into your wardrobe or home. Wool. Flannel. Cashmere. Comfy and cozy is the language of the season whether it's a new table runner, new pillow throws or a new skirt.

If you'd like more ideas on bringing intention into creating the sacred space of the holidays, make sure you are signed up for my e-mail updates. Next week I am releasing a seasonal product that will help you do just that.

With love and cider spices,

Darla

What Are You Trying To Get "Back To" (It's Not Worth It)

Getting your body "back" after kids. Getting your sex life "back" on track. Finding your way "back" to yourself after a divorce or loss. Getting "back" into your high school jeans.

The truth is, you can't go back.

The empowering version is: you don't want to.

Whatever it is that you're trying to get "back" to, is no longer worth your time or energy. The New You that used to _____________ wouldn't even find it worth her time any more. Your post baby body is more interesting, more beautiful and so strong. Your capacity to connect with a partner and experience pleasure is more powerful and deep than the younger, albeit perhaps hornier, you even knew was possible. 

Go onward and forward. Challenge yourself to scrap whatever it is you're trying to get "back" to and to deepen into a new, more meaningful, experience.

In love and sacred darkness,

 

The Ancestors Hold Up The Sun: A Vision For Physical And Environmental Health

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At the end of August, 2017, I traveled to Oregon to begin a six-month practitioner training in ancestral medicine. A large portion of this training is dedicated to healing and receiving the blessings from our own ancestral lineages-- specifically all eight lines from all eight of our great-grandparents. This not only gives us a great deal of practice, but it helps keep the healing modality in integrity: because I will be well with my ancestral lineages before I begin helping you with yours.

As I was healing my mother's, mother's, mother's line I received a beautiful vision:

She shows me the garden built on the bones and ashes of my ancestors and she shows me the sun shining down on this garden. In between the garden and the sun I can see the air particles. A lot of the particles are dirty, ill and full of all sorts of sicknesses. She explains to me that "the ancestors hold up the sun." She goes on to explain that as we begin to tend to our untended dead, we begin to metaphorically AND literally "clear the air" between the sun and the earth-- making the quality of life here on earth be that much richer and healthier and allowing the sun to do it's job of warming, protecting, nurturing and cleansing the earth with less impediment.

She showed me the sun shining down, free of dirty air particle filters, and nurturing our ancestral gardens. She showed me beautiful, healthy, things growing up out of those beds. Beautiful, healthy children. Beautiful, healthy lives. Beautiful, healthy experiences. Beautiful, healthy emotions. A beautiful, healthy Earth.

She told me that our tears are offerings that can water these ancestral garden beds. Shed your tears for your dead freely. Offer your tears to you ancestors and to the Earth. In lieu of tears, offerings of clean, healthy water are also important.

As we begin to heal our ancestral lineages, we also begin to heal the confusing and negative energies in the world that are behind large controlling thought forms such as patriarchy, racism and misogyny as well as phenomena like climate change and social unrest.

Halloween/Samhain/Day of the Dead is approaching. This time of the year the veil thins and it's a great opportunity to honor your ancestors, remember your dead and offer them your tears or a generous glass of water. I'll be suggesting other ways to work with your ancestors as we approach the thinning of the veil and I'll be offering ancestral healing sessions shortly after the new year. In the meantime, you can learn more about ancestral medicine or find a practitioner here.

If nothing else, for now, remember that The Ancestors Hold Up The Sun, and offer them a little water. Placing a small offering dish of water on your altar or outside and inviting your well ancestors (you don't want to invite the unwell yet) to partake is a wonderful first step and will go a long way in giving them the energy to keep working in the spiritual world on our behalf.

In love and sacred darkness,