Tag Archive: ritual


It is Valentine’s Day today and at this particular time in my life, I am once again my own Valentine, as I have been over the past several years. I am also at a time of looking backwards, mindfully pondering where I have been in my life, where I am, presently, in the very much appreciated NOW, and lingering with questions regarding where I am headed in the future, next, in this still unknown third chapter of life.

I have been child, teenager, girlfriend, wife, lover, Mother, Professional, Grandmother. I have been many things at various stages, overlaying one onto the other like those Russian dolls that nest within each other, starting small and growing larger with each new role. I have been them all and today on a rather unusually configured Valentine’s Day culturally, astrologically and spiritually, I especially ponder the “me” that has been both Tartalina, and Priestess.

Two things: Today’s Valentine’s Day also falls on the day of Ash Wednesday. From an astrological/archetypal point of view, this is a rather interesting mix:  An “8th House” mix for those who speak and understand the poetic language of astrology.

The” 8th House”  is about several things but commonly  sex and death are initially considered.  Today’s Valentine’s Day oddly contains both themes for those who honor or ritualize both the popular cultural theme of romance and the more serious spiritual and religious consideration of death. This Valentine’s day offers us the opportunity to consider both sex/love and death as important and transformative experiences with the invitation to fully embrace Life.

In sex/love, the heart is opened and beating with Life, passion and connection. In death, the heart and beating are closed and earthly connection is released. In sex and love we can be healed but also we can be wounded which when lost, is like a death. In death, we if spiritually inspired, dream or believe our spirits move into a place of total love and merging with the All. Ash Wednesday reminds us of that return back to from where we came.

Big things to ponder here.

But now back to Tartalina and the Priestess.

A number of years ago, a dear artist Friend named Madeline, gifted me on my birthday with a doll she made to celebrate the qualities of the sacred feminine and love of ritual that we both share. The Priestess doll represents the spiritual quality of  the Virgin-One-Unto-Herself experience and knowing that is in every woman, some of us a little more aware than others of the sacred times of ritual, connection to the holiness/wholiness of the earth, the seasons , the phases of the moon and planets and the many seasons and moods within us. This beautiful doll with the golden hair representing the return of Spring’s bright sun in the month of May (my birthday month) and the waning moon on her forehead foreshadowing release and letting go speak to the same qualities that we experience in our lives.  There is much to ponder in the symbolism that Madeline placed artfully onto the Priestess Doll.  The Priestess is all knowing of the cycles of life …birth, the fullness of Life,  and death along the continuum of our time here. She knows we come from ashes and to ashes we shall return.   And I am her.

The other doll is “Tartalina”, made in a private workshop Madeline gave to me and another close friend of hers. Both myself and that friend were coming out of complex and  passionate love affairs that broke our hearts and we were in great need of healing.

When coming out of a passionate relationship that has been “the best and worst thing that every happened to us”,  there is a decision to be made in the grief process as to whether we close our hearts totally in renunciation and self protection, or to, after a time, keep our hearts open to the new, to risk love once again despite having been wounded.

I created “Tartalina” to hold that broken heart open in love and understanding, and to honor the alive passionate sensual part of my nature that is as holy and private as my deepest spirituality. She is about owning and loving the sacred, mischievous, naughty, physical, spicy, tart-like feminine expression that is pure sensual delight. I created her to be beautiful and earthy with her long legs delicately imprinted with garden vines and green hair of nature and veriditas for these are earthly as well as spiritual powers. She is a Valentine. And I am her.

I am Tartalina and Priestess combined and in this middle phase of the blessed “NOW” between the remembrances of the Past and the as-yet unknown answers of the Future, I honor and love them both, knowing I can call their qualities and virtues back in whenever necessary.

An incredible Love Story: The Artist is Present: As she sits  silently for eight hours  looking into the eyes  of anyone who wishes to be seen, she is startled when an important lover from the past takes the chair in front of her. Deeply moving.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to me! …and with love to all of you as well!

From Christine, the greening spirit

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Circle 2

The world is in such turmoil. So many petitions to sign trying to stop the chaos, so many rallies for and against things that are so seemingly larger than us in the sweep of history. How do we deal with it, often feeling powerless? There are many ways of giving Voice and  effect change, and one of them is by going local and “grassroots” starting where we are in our own Community…AT the grassroots. Circle 5

 

Last week the Women’s Creativity Group from our Unitarian Church held a fire circle at the home of one of our members. There really was no agenda except to be there in Community, to build the fire and be together in its light and radiant elemental energy, to write down on a slip of paper something that we wished to release and place it in the flames to burn and be free of whatever burdened us or had served its usefulness in our lives. A simple ritual and a plate of sliced watermelon passed around for refreshment on a waning summer’s eve.

Staying in the immediate area of our neighborhood, and in the immediate interior stories lying tender within our souls, we were able to gain both freedom, release, and comfort in the presence of Community and the powerful mesmerizing energy of the fire.

In every fire circle it seems that there is one person who voluntarily and quietly moves forward out of the circle to adjust the logs and twigs, setting them up for the burning. Often also, that person becomes like a Priestess and Keeper of the fire, archetypally, as she moves around it during the evening prodding and poking to contain its elemental power and to encourage its fullness. Sarah, with her jacket for evening chill, placed it over her head to tend the flames and in the dwindling natural light of the closing day around the fire, she indeed looked like a Priestess as little sparks drifted up and out of the center into to air. Circle 3

In times of great cultural, political, economic, social and global change it is good to gather locally with old and new friends. To go “elemental” whether it be fire, or water, or wind or earth. In the circle of good people, being close to the elements brings out our humanity as well as our connection with powerful natural forces that symbolize how we might go about change creatively…EARTH for community gardening, WATER for compassion and tenderness, AIR for intelligent investigation and positive words that create what we want, not what we don’t want, and FIRE for belonging, releasing, passion and action, just to name a few of many  possibilities!

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We need to work with the metaphors of the Elementals and nature. We NEED to accept our humble roles as true Priests and Priestesses at the grassroots, making sacred ritual out of everything we do. We need Community and Belonging right where we are. Now. Today.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

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NOTE: Synchronicity is one of the amazing surprises of the Universe’s ongoing conversation with us. While preparing to write this essay, I was led to this link below through other mysterious connections having to do with another topic entirely on music and Cultural Creatives amongst us for inspiration. Elemental Fire Rituals are in the consciousness of people and communities in this intense period of change. For more inspiration and information on Community Fire Circles check this site: http://sacredfirecommunity.org/communityfires/why-fire/

**** This site hopefully is Food for the Soul. For Food for the Body, please check out my other blog here  http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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As the Greening Spirit, I teach about things that lift the human spirit.. music, the arts, spirituality and metaphysics/magic.  When I use the word “magic” I am referring to the power we have within us to live in Mystery by giving free reign to our creative imaginations, literally seeing things in a new way and bringing into some sort of form, and using the words we speak mindfully and consciously for transformation in our lives.

One of the favorite workshops/lectures I offer is about the power of dreams and the imagination, and another on “Consciously-Created Reality-Your Words Create Your Life”  (http://lunchandlearnseminars.worpress.com)  In these lectures/seminars we become excited and encouraged to DARING enough to lead our imaginations play and express new visions and possibilities. ”

Part of this process is to then be amazed at the energy of synchronicities that pop into our lives to validate and support these new visions and perspectives, as if the Universe is communicating to us “YAY! Keep going, dear human…you are on the right track and we have your back!”

I was teaching “Your Words Create Your Life” to a small peer mentoring group. It seemed that several of us were having situational financial struggles and were in need of a new flow of prosperity. That “money thing” seems to be of universal concern these days. We did some meditation and journaling work around this as a group, rephrasing how we speak about money and abundance.

Later on that evening, I had to go out for a little food shopping. It was past sunset, and it was dark in the oarking lot, except for several little islands with a young tree in each highlighted by a spotlight. As I passed by this one tree, lit up in the darkness, I noticed the soft yellow rounded leaves and admired them. THEN, in my mind “Why, these leaves look like little coins!” Immediately I took out my camera which is ALWAYS with me in my bag and photographed it.

Later, in working with the picture in my editing program I thought of our workshop earlier that day and the work we did around money… and here was this tree with leaves that looked like COINS. Playing with color through the magic of technological editing (what used to be done in the darkroom) I “conjured up” Golden Coins… a metaphor for abundance in all ways if we trust in ourselves and our abilities to bring into our lives better experiences if we choose what we give our attention and energy to. If we choose to “see” things in the world that we desire to see and choose the words that speak of them. The supposed wisdom “Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know” just may be wrong, coming out of a dispirited hopelessness. Yet, it is not just about money.

For the following peer mentoring gathering, I made up a color photo of the Tree of Golden Coins for each of us. It became a powerful metaphor for the possibility and reality of Abundance for all of us and everyone was delighted. Magic in the Mind, Magic in the Imagination, Magic in the camera, Magic in the computer technology that revealed in that tree, the golden coins.

At that workshop when everyone got a picture, we had a lovely communal lunch. When we went back to our seats and passed the altar, I did a double-take, for there in front of the candle was a REAL live golden coin. A dollar in coin form has suddenly manifested!

Well, in truth… it had not manifested out of thin air, but in the natural sequence of magic created when a group is into the mode of imagination, like in theater. One of the participants had slipped away during lunch and gone out to her car to retrieve this coin from her change compartment near the dashboard…just waiting for such a creative moment!

BUT…. a week or so later, with a large 8×10 framed photo of this picture in my living room and looked at daily, I in my very mundane time of daily life, stopped off for a coffee at Cumberland Farms. Paying for it and another item with a fiver, the cheerful gentleman behind the counter chatted with me while he reached into the drawer to make the one dollar change that was owed me…”Oh he said, I’m out of bills…I hope you don’t mind…here’s a golden coin…”

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That had never happened in my experience before.  As a matter of fact, up until this experience, I had not been aware that dollars in golden coin had been minted.

The Universe was laughing and so was I!

“Go Girl! You’re on the right track!”

With magic and laughter, Christine the Greening Spirit. 

***  please check my foodie blog too!   http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

ps  We may be “magical” but we still have to eat!

 

 

 

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