Small Steps and Personal Retreats

“A cinnamon tree is there,august-2017-114
twined about with mist.

A goddess lives in it:
her hair, the mist, the tree’s leaves,
are all confused in a swirl of light.

Let us dance now, dance
to turn the moon around,
dance to see its dark mysteries.”

–Japanese songs from Noh plays in The Goddess Companion

We are coming to the end of our Cauldron Month. The Cauldron rune from Womanrunes is a rune of alchemy and transformation. It is also a rune of containment. Of centeredness. Of temperance.

How are you holding space for yourself this month? What is one thing you need more of in your life? What small step could you take to making that a reality? What is one thing you need less of in your life? What small step could you take towards letting go?

august-2017-268“The life-world is the world that we count on without necessarily paying much attention, the world of the clouds overhead and the ground underfoot, of getting out of bed and preparing food and turning on the tap for water. Easily overlooked, this primordial world is already there when we begin to reflect or philosophize. It is not a private, but collective, dimension–the common field of our lives and the other lives with which ours are entwined…”

–David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

On the Sunday night before the solar eclipse, I did a solo retreat and vigil at the river. It was a very powerful experience in many ways and I hope to write more about it soon. I did our new Sun and Moon card layout and my reading was very accurate while also containing a hefty dose of Womanrunes’ signature practical humor and in-your-face wake up calls. (If you missed the layout/thought it didn’t apply and still want it, it is in the eclipse kit.)

I also asked Mark do the Cauldron rune in henna on my left wrist so that I can put my rune of the day inside it easily without always redrawing the Cauldron. This was fun so I then I did some more Womanrunes henna on my foot as I felt like I wanted some adornment for my journey!

In guided meditations, you often receive a gift at the end to bring away with you. During my solo retreat came to an end and prior to the solar eclipse, I looked down at the rocks in the river bed and found this real-life pictographesque gift…do you see it? ☀

august-2017-184During my vigil experience, I actually found myself reflecting a lot about how grateful I am to have the opportunity to have these real life/physical reality “guided meditations,” so it was really special to then get a token at the end of this one.

I created a mandala before my family arrived for breakfast and then we offered our collaborative action prayer from the ritual kit and a flower blessing at the river shortly before totality (99% total on our land). We also made eclipse water using water freshly brought up from the spring about fifteen minutes before the eclipse was at its peak.

eclipsemandalaI am humbled to witness such magic.

One thought

  1. This is so lovely I was unable to take the day off, so I spent creative time with my students and we created cereal box viewers and experienced the eclipse together. We were in the 50% zone, but it was still special. I work with disadvantaged young adults (18-25) and many of them had never done an outdoor craft like this. Near the end of the eclipse we spotted wild turkeys-4 big adults and lots of babies! We followed them into the brush and then when we were done tracking and watching, I looked down and saw a dark gray flat stone that reminded me of the dark moon. I picked up my gift from the eclipse and it’s now on my altar. A special day to be sure!

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