Archive for October, 2014


Dandelion

The seasons of the year have always been a focus of spirituality for me, perhaps because I am an earth sign (Taurus) with a Pisces Moon = Nature has a Spiritual teaching and inspiration that transcends even the messages of traditional religious scriptures.

Leaves of many colors are floating from their high vantage points above, back to earth. In my yarden and the surrounding wood, oak..the sacred tree of Druids and magic people..is the primary tree and the burnt sienna leaves are everywhere here, eventually covering all the green of warmer seasons.

But peeking through the dry and crackly brown, one solitary dandelion has blossomed, popping up, pushing the leaves sideways as if to say…”NOT YET, there is still a burst of  vibrant sunshine yellow here before the cold!”

It appears that two messages and teachings of Nature are being communicated here as we make the shift from bright and busy to dark and pulling in. Another message is to find balance between our need to continue blossoming and flowering in our lives no matter what season it is, while simultaneously releasing and letting go of what no longer has purpose. Both the dandelion and the fallen leaves at this time also remind us to be grounded and connected to earth energy…celebrating the wisdom of Nature as metaphor for how to live artfully, with beauty, purpose and generosity.

Question #1:  Where in your life are you blossoming, bright and sunny like the Dandelion?

Question #2:  What do you need to release that is no longer necessary or completed in your life now?

Blossom-release-blossom-release-blossom-release………….

 

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

red

 

 

 

 

check out these!

FocusPocus:Manifestation Magic:    http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/focus-pocus-manifestation-magic/

Beautiful music and music memoirs:   http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

FOOD!:  http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

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Down time

Any creative person worth their salt knows that without seemingly aimless “time out”, there IS no authentic originality in whatever their medium of expression is.  Original writing, painting, composing does not manifest sole-y (soul-y?) by will, though that is necessary later on to produce what came through during the drifting dream time.

Rushing about, meeting all of the world’s demands, forcing yourself to be “on task” without breaking away to be momentarily “irresponsible” from our culturally-assigned roles  is a sure way to block the creative flow or originality that wants to come through you, and you only!

I captured this image at a retreat center on an island in the Northeast. This fellow “on retreat”  even set up his two fishing poles to randomly “catch” whatever the vast universe of the sea would offer… releasing the need to work it or to be in control of it all, open to new fish..new ideas..which might come of their own accord to offer fresh inspiration. Total openness and trust..a willingness to cast a line, let it do its own fishing and see what turns up. I imagined that as he gazed out to the horizon in a sort of dream state, both mindless and mindful, that  there was silent communication going on between himself and the Universe that he would only realize was happening later on, on the way home in the car or even days later when a new and brilliant idea or prompting popped up in his mind when problem-solving or creating in whatever is his way.

Down time is fertile time and so necessary for all of us and especially for artists, poets, writers, crafters, storytellers, and even creative business people so that  the best of what we have to offer can be be reeled in from the vast sea of the Unconscious through our spirit and back out into the world.

Never apologize for the time spent in reverie or daydreaming. That may be the only way something new can manifest when the old forms and structures no longer work and no longer sustain life.

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

red    My other blogs are good too!

For Law of Attraction: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

For recipes and cooking memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For music/piano: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

 

Poppies 2

                   Things Reveal Themselves  Passing Away ~ William Butler Yeats

The summer flowers have passed, the trees are shedding their leaves, and all now unclothed and intimately revealed without greenery or petals, gifts us with another layer of deep-seeing into the wondrous mystery of things. Change, which we often resist… and letting go, which is often accompanied by sadness if not grief especially when not of our own will, still have a magical way of surprising us with new and unexpected beauty in each stage of transformation.

At the end of summer it is time for new “bouquets” and decorations on our altars to honor the passage of time and capture the magic of what is NOW.

I love the fragile beauty of summer poppies, with their delicate fluttery petals. The bread poppy, a lovely heavenly blue flower, is a special treasure and much admired. Sometimes they are difficult to germinate and so at least in my garden when I used to plant them, there weren’t many so the ones who appeared were like a rare treasure. Once the flowering stage is finished, the “show” is not over and Poppiesneither is it devoid of purpose. Within the dried pod are thousands if not millions of tiny black poppy seeds the size of a period at the end of this sentence. Nature is not on austerity plan!  The potential for new life after a period of rest and solitude favors continuation of the creative impulse.

The seeds can be used in breads as a flavoring and it is true if one were to eat tablespoons of them, which is highly unlikely as gourmet fare, one might become sleepy enough to drift off into the land of deep and mysterious dreams. I never grew enough of the flowers to save seeds for cooking, but I am totally enchanted by the seed heads with their little wheel-like hats and the faint fairy music they make as tiny shaker rattles.

We cannot see the magic of these pods while they are clothed  and hidden by their blue tissue-like petals skirts…we must let go of the flower’s youthfulness .. accept its passing away…in order to access what was hidden and now available in the potential of the next phase.

Things reveal themselves passing away. Find and Celebrate the ever-present  beauty that IS right now. It’s all GIFT!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

red  You are invited to read more on my other blogs!

For piano and music teaching/memoirs: http://thepianoistress.wordpress.com

For recipes and cooking memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For The Law of Attraction and Seminars: http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fukushima

Fukushima

“Now in the people that were mean to be green, there is no more life of kind. There is only shrivelled barrenness.

The winds are burdened by the utterly awful stink of evil, selfish goings on.

Thunderstorms menace.

The air belches out the filthy uncleanliness of the peoples.

There pours forth and unnatural loathesome darkness that withers the green and wizens the fruit that was to serve as food for the people.

Sometimes this layer of air is full… full of a fog that is the source of many destructive and barren creatures that destroy and damage the earth, rendering it incapable of sustaining humanity.

God desires that the world be pure in his sight.

The Earth should not be injured!   The Earth should not be destroyed!

As often as the elements of the world are violated by ill-treatment, they will be cleansed. They will be cleansed thru the sufferings, thru the hardships of humankind,

THE HIGH, THE LOW, ALL OF CREATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO HUMANKIND TO USE FOR WELL-BEING.

IF THIS PRIVILEGE IS MISUSED, GOD’S JUSTICE PERMITS CREATION TO PUNISH HUMANITY! .”      ~  Hildegarde of Bingen   (1098-1179)

 

Fukashima4It is not possible to write a blog whose intention is to present Beauty and uplifting thoughts, without periodically addressing the serious and devastating situations we find ourselves in on the planet today that threaten that focus. Issues of environmental pollution and abuse, war and weaponry, out of control power structures and self-serving greed sucking the life out of everything that is blessing and gift to us is running rampant on a scale unprecedented in human history.. unprecedented in fact in the natural ancient history of the earth itself.

Hildegarde of Bingen lived during what is referred to as “The Dark Ages” when myth, superstition, ignorance and power structures had no place for intelligent science. Things were indeed dark back then. There have been many Dark Ages in the earth’s natural evolutionary history, and in the history of human civilizations. Only HUBRIS and denial keep us from acknowledging that WE are in The Dark Ages now despite the assumed sophistication of modern technology and supposed higher intelligence.

People Many are waking up however to this truth of  our times of devastation and suffering, and finding the inspiration and courage to give Voice, like Hildegarde,  to their outrage, their prophetic visions and warnings about what is happening and calls for Justice….not just for people but for Earth itself as the source of our being.

Going online daily to social media sites such as Facebook, despite its irritations and glitches, connects us to those researchers amongst us who are reading and ferreting out true intelligent sources of news or reporting  the inspiring actions of heroic people who are standing up for aspects of Justice and Compassion that are personally important to them.

One of us alone can NOT take ALL of it on by ourselves, getting sick with grief and frustration. Going down with it in its weighty darkness does nothing to fix anything.. Awareness is urgently needed, choosing some area to focus on and speak for is necessary BUT while doing that, also speak and act in the name of Beauty, Art, Creativity, Imagination, and Love right where we are in our own community. Now. Today. This week.  Stand UP for something important and of Beauty.  (Part 2 in the next day or so)

 

***I am deeply and imaginatively inspired by music when I am writing. Jarrod Radnich’s  stunning arrangement of The Lord of the Rings Themes… powerfully dark, foreboding and finally moving towards hope.. accompanied  me as backround music during this writing of this essay. Listening with headphones is the way to appreciate this awesome performance.

LINK:     http://www.reverbnation.com/jarrodradnich/song/13963410-lord-rings-virtuosic-piano-solo

****Please note! This is MY imagination upon listening to this music..and not necessarily the intention of Maestro Radnich as arranger/composer. 

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Hilde

 

 

 

 

Hildegarde’s World View:

Mandala

My other blogs:

cooking and food memoirs       http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

piano and music teaching         http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

law of attraction/seminars   http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colores

We are having a glorious Autumn season where I live and the colors are becoming spectacular.

I have always found inspiration in this season..inspiration for how I would like to grow older colorfully, uniquely and artfully. It seems to me that in the height of summer when the sun is high and there are no shadows or dappled sideways light,  that the green …so much of it all the same…becomes rather flat, tedious and boring, everyone looking quite the same in the community, “marching to the same drummer” as it were. Not much originality or surprise.

Autumn, when the chlorophyll of uniformity and conformity drains from the leaves, the vegetation only then begins to reveal its true colors and personality: Oranges, reds, yellows, shades of coral and salmon, peach  ochres, rich burnt siennas and even purple! ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I hope to grow older like the trees, shedding the dominant color of Society and mainstream culture which has revealed itself to be illusion or cover-up according to agendas that are not mine. I hope to exhibit the true and authentic colors of my own life’s accumulation of wisdom and deep knowing, to fully use whatever gifts I have been commissioned to use before I welcome Winter or say goodnight or goodbye… I hope to live in the Autumn years as apallette of flaming colors of gold, orange, red, and yes purple as in “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple”..like a forest, before the Cold…..  colors ladies                                                           credit:  photo by Kleurrijke oude   (on flicker.com)

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

 

Yellow 3  You are invited to visit my other blogs!

For Piano and Music inspiration: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For recipes and foodie memoirs: http://sensuousoupsandsuppers.com

For the Law of Attraction and seminars: http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

 

Surprise!    maggie

E Sept 10

Nature is very clear in how she assigns work to her beloved creatures. Beavers build dams, creating natural waterways in environments that sustain the life around its banks, wolves group themselves in dedicated family communities whose job is to cull weak and incapacitated herd animals insuring a healthy population that the land can sustain, squirrels busily bury acorns in late fall for future food but also to be the movers of oak trees further out into the environment insuring their continued survival.  What a glorious inter-connected web.

Bees have their assigned task as well, besides feeding and caring for the Queen and her baby bees. Daily they leave the nest commuting to work in beautiful fields of flowers, quite mobile and enjoying the change of scene full of color and fragrance within their workday, gathering golden nuggets of pollen to be transformed into the sweetness of honey. Yes, they work hard but they know what they are supposed to do according to their natural giftedness and talents, they labour in fields of Beauty, and the results of their labour is sweetness. They give Great Service to the larger Kin-dom of Creation, moving about the plants, fertilizing and cross-fertilizting herbs, vegetables, fruits, trees, shrubs and all that sustains all of us from the greening world. Their lives have clear instructions, PURPOSE and MEANING in the work they do to sustain themselves and the community of Creation.

What about humans? When it comes to the work we do in the world, we do not always know, when we are born into the Community of Creation, what our actual work is supposed to be. As an astrologer, I can say that when looking at a person’s birth chart, there ARE indications for the kinds of work possibilities and preferences that may unfold for us, but in our mainstream culture for the most part, we do not use this tool as a source of inquiry, wisdom and guidance. For the most part, the work of many ..tho not all..evolves through decision-making based on possible or hope-for economic security and rewards, or to achieve and maintain a certain culturally-celebrated lifestyle fed to us from the outside world as the supposed doorway to happiness and fulfillment. So many of us unwittingly forced to take work just to survive in a materially-focused consumeristic culture filled with knick-knacks, the latest “updated” techno- toys and products pronounced to be “must-haves” for a satisfying life. (not).

Where are these jobs carried out? In fields of flowers? In private studios for art, music, dance, theater, home based-crafts for sale or small and personal businesses?  In beautiful environments personally expressive and in service of gathering the sweetness and honey that sustain personal and communal well-being, beauty, and healing?  Does our work and work environments inspire the creation of a kind of  wealth that uplifts and inspires rather than for the mere purpose after “survival”  of gathering “stuff”..the kind of stuff that really is devoid of Soul and authentic honey that sweetens and nourishes our lives?

I have compassion for so many of us in  our common humanity who must toil and labor in ugly, sterile or hostile work environments just to survive. Many of us have had to live that out periodically and situationally and many must live it out for for a lifetime, not of their own choosing. It doesn’t have to be drastic servitude either to kill the soul and drain the sweetness… day after day in small corporate cubicles in a which a daily job perk is the good fortune of a window (besides the hoped for benefits accrued for retirement if the job lasts that long)  is not necessarily a sweetness.

I have respect and deep fondness for those who have chosen …and had the opportunity through Destiny and support or personal choice and determination…to use their own innate gifts and talents for work that is Soulful, meaningful to them and of true benefit and inspiration to community. I celebrate taking the  RISK of laboring in fields of flowers of their chosen careers based on their true interest, to gather the pollen of possibilities out there in the gardens of life, making honey and living lives that include copious amounts of sweetness in their experiences. They work hard, but they know what they have to give and what they have to do, often without assured financial security.

In truth, some of these people are especially gifted, perhaps having been assigned a particular Destiny by the gods, and in following that they in turn have gifted us  and society with their honey. We call them Cultural Creatives,  a title that names them as unique thinkers and do-ers who in following an a-cultural path in the midst of popular culture, potentially and eventually re-install Soul into the  real meaning of how we Live, Labor and Love. Because their choice to live amongst the flowers and create beauty from inside themselves and from the garden of possibilities, they have enriched our lives immensely and  we need to recognize them when they appear, supporting their unique labors that bring the quality of authentic BEE-ing  and meaning into our lives personally and communally.

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Me Turqoise  You are invited to visit my other sites:

Food and Memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

Music and Piano: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

Law of Attraction and Seminars: http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

Orange door

Synchronicities and “winks” are always such a part of my life when I focus on something… a touch of “magic” that is a regular part of my life, and probably yours as well if you really pay attention.

Recently in honor of the vibrant season of Autumn, I have been writing about about the color Orange  along with photos of orange flowers, orange monarch butterflies, vines and colored tendrils of that hue that catch my eye.

I wrote the first essay  in the middle of the night so eager to share the photos and the delight over that color which is such an important part of this magical season of turning.

Several hours later that morning, I left the house and got on the road to go into town for some shopping.  As SOON as I got out there, I was passed by bright ORANGE Volkswagon bug…NEVER have seen one of those before… a really weird color for a car, and quite funky for a Volkswagon which somehow could pull it off!

After shopping,  I went to visit a friend whose house I had not been at for maybe 20 years and when I pulled into her driveway, this is what greeted me before I knocked…! A bright ORANGE door decorated for Autumn. Inside her home, the color orange was repeated in her personal decorating.. charming home-made curtains, dishes, and more.  I could only laugh and say “thank you for the conversation and feedback from the Universe, which apparently loves the color orange too!

Sometimes we think we initiate ideas and projects, but actually I come to think that the Universe is in charge, inviting us to respond to and share its initial promptings and messages that need to get passed on through us.  I DO believe that!

It reminds me of something a very special spiritual director once told me.  “God always initiates prayer. When we stop to pray through something…we are really responding to the invitation to communicate with the larger loving forces”.

I rather like that idea.

So what’s next? Surprise me! (and I’ll share it…!)

From Christine, The Greening Spirit.

orange me 10
   Don’t forget to visit my other blogs!

Foodie recipe and memoirs blog:  http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For music lovers: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For Law of Attraction and Positive Thinking hints/workshops:  http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Enders Ruthanne orange

There is a retreat center on an island that I visit every couple of weeks to photograph the gardens,   intentionally disappearing from the “World” of artificial noise,  busy-ness, commercialism, laptop, and speed. Long walks through the grounds by the sea with the music of soft winds rustling through the trees, sitting on various stone benches and gazing out into the wonders of nature, flowers, water and rock feed the soul… and always with camera in hand ready to capture something of Beauty -close-up that is probably missed unless one is in reflective but deeply attentive  “mosey-mode”.

Walking quietly with a friend the other day, we headed for the walk bordered on each side by the stunning mounded wall of white mums in full bloom. BUT  then there it was in plain sight, though my friend missed it,  she walking right on by a  long tendril of vibrant orange climbing up the pointed stone fence, silently proclaiming “AUTUMN HERE!”.

I fall in love with this color each year when it bursts through the season of letting go, of drying out, of dying and leaving to drop back down to and under the earth.  Oddly enough, it is at this time of turning, a color of life, of energy, of richness, bounty, creativity and surprise.

Oh, ORANGE!

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

orange me 10   Savor deliciousness on my foodie blog: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers/wordpress,com

Learn about playing/teaching/enjoying the piano on my Piano Mistress Blog: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

 

 

The Joy of Autumn Orange!

Enders Ruthanne Butterfly

The color ORANGE! Full of joy and positive energy…and a signature color of Autumn.  Pumpkins, flowers, leaves, dried fronds of ferns…orange is the token color of sociability, creativity and enthusiasm. A happy color, it is probably one of the reasons we take such delight in fall, even though we know we are headed into the next season of cold and dark.

I often visit a nearby retreat center with beautiful gardens and landscaping. This year, the dahlias have been exceptionally stunning, and this afternoon monarch butterflies were fluttering and dancing everywhere amongst the flowers…a rather rare sight since in the northeast, these butterflies are endangered having lost so much of the habitats of their flight paths paved over for civilization, parking lots and shopping malls. How appropriate their sanctuary at St. Edmund’s Retreat Center on the coast, with their stained-glass-like wings…

orangeOrange is also the color of laughter and compassion, as in the traditional robes of the Buddhist monks…   a color of prayer and centeredness.

Bring some ORANGE into your life, mindfully, and enjoy it’s radiant life-force and happiness!!

 

 

 

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

orange me

 

 

 

a-MAZE-ing MAIZE ! (with Corn Chowder recipe)

Heirloom “Glass Gem” Corn

Americans love corn….fields of it, on drives through the countryside, fat husks of it promising exquisite crunch and sweetness in personal preferences of white, yellow or a mix of both at roadside farm stands summer until early fall, large festive tied stalks of it to purchase and decorate lawns and light posts at home in the spirit of Autumn. At farms with mazes to get lost in, a favorite addition is now the corn box, in which adults and children alike lay down in the abundance of golden kernels to make “corn angels” rather than “snow angels in the medium, or with which to pretend they are sifting endless bounty of golden wealth like fine gems.

 

Indeed, corn is a symbol of bounty in today’s modern world…but it is a very old cereal grain dating back thousand and thousands of years. Data varies but archeological research puts corn’s ancestor…a grass called teosite..as being present on the planet for 80,000 years and cultivated by humans in its ancient to modern forms for at least 7,000 years.

Over that span of time..vast experiments with and improvement in that a-maiz-ing plant has made it one of the most well-known and useful crops on the planet today, used for a variety of food and commercial products.

There are SO many kinds of corn grown for different purposes. The most well known varieties grown today are Flint Corn (sometime called Indian Corn) used for decorative purposes with its many colors of red, gold, orange, brownish and white kernels. Dent Corn (“field corn”)  is what we see mostly along road-side fields and in huge tracks of plantings (and I suspect in the corn mazes), it’s main uses as livestock feed, bio-fuel, and commercial food additives and industrial products. Sweet corn is the one we use as food, bringing us delicious flavor and brightness during our warm summers and early fall. Varieties of sweet corn have their champions…some love the yellow sweet corn, or the Silver Queen white sweet corn, or..my favorite… butter and sugar sweet corn  with it’s combination of pearly white and pale yellow kernels.

I think one of the reasons we so love corn is because it is an old food, with stories and myths around it that connect us to our common ancient roots as humans inter-facing with the natural world. It is a REAL food that is sacred to indigenous peoples of both North and South America (it’s first natural home). It is NOT a Pringle. It is FOOD…and food is what sustains all of us no matter where we live, or what political party or religion we belong to.

For this reason, corn is a symbol of the playfulness and imagination of the natural world, its evolving co-creation process with humanity, and the blessings of the gods, Mother Earth and the Great Spirit. It is a Holy/Whole-ly Plant. And we do give thanks for its a-MAIZING-gifts to us.

Let’s now celebrate its goodness to us with a big pot of corn chowder, prepared with gratitude and love!

The Greening Spirit’s  Favorite Corn Chowder

Recipe from Red Rooster Chef Norman J. LeClair in his wonderful book of foodie memoirs “Culinary Expressions” (Dome Publishing, 2002) Italics are my own adjustments. Preparation is my own way of doing it, apologies to Norman LeClair.

INGREDIENTS: 1 teaspoon olive oil, 4 oz.salt pork sliced (I substute bacon when necessary) 2 cups chopped onions, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 lb potatoes, pealed and diced, 1 bay leaf  (and pinch lemon thyme or sweet marjoram), 1 15-oz. can of cream corn (avoid that sweetened with corn-syrup), 2 cups of corn kernels, canned, frozen or fresh, 1 cup of evaporated milk or half-n-half.

Preparation:

1. Saute pork or bacon in olive oil until crisp..don’t burn. Add chopped onions, saute untiol onions start to turn color. Add chicken stock, potatoes, bay leaf and marjoram. Bring to a light boil, cook about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf and salt pork (leave bacon if you used that.) Add cream of corn and corn kernels. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add evaporated mile or cream. Ladle into bowls…top with oyster crackers. Serves 6-8

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