Posts Tagged ‘Ritual’

Ann Kreilkamp ~ A Saturn/Pluto gift: Meet Ann’s Chai Elixer!

Ann Kreilkamp offers her personal recipe for a healing chai elixer. I’ve not tried this yet myself, but the ingredients sound potent and delicious. I know Ann’s been enjoying her morning ritual for months. I’m a huge fan of Reishi, taking it most days in some form or other. I also find that ritual — in whatever form — adds structure and meaning to everyday life. Finding a practice, whether making chai, meditation, or another mindful activity offers a chance for daily reset and connection throughout Time.

A Saturn/Pluto gift: Meet ANN’S CHAI ELIXIR!

One way to view this Saturn/Pluto conjunction year is to see it as a time when we are creating new structures (Saturn) for the life force (Pluto) to flow through. And some of these structures are invisible, prompted by decisions to utilize our experience of “time” in new, repeated ,ways. For example, various ceremonies and rituals can invoke, focus, channel and express the ever present primal Plutonian life force with tremendous power.

Rituals that are performed on a daily basis, unless we see them as “sacred,” we tend to call them routines. And “routines,” as my teacher often reminded me, “build character.” In other words, what we are doing now, is what we are becoming over time. Thus does a particular type of “doing” generate a particular quality of “being.”

Which brings me to today’s topic: “Ann’s Chai Elixir”

About a year ago I discovered that I was allergic to, not caffeine, but to the coffee bean itself. Okay. So I switched to various types of caffeinated teas.

Meanwhile, at our local farmer’s market, I discovered Aahaa Chai, a local company that makes organic chai teas from scratch. Hmmm . . . what would that be like? Most commercial chai is just so darn sweet that I avoid it. 

Oh wow! I loved their “robust” chai tea. And so got in the habit of going to the market every two or three weeks to purchase a bag of it. 

But then I got tired of having to go to the market to get the tea. On a whim, around my 77th birthday in December I made the unusual decision to look into making my own chai tea, searching the internet for various ingredients that could be used in chai.

Well, within the very first week, I was hooked, totally in love with my surprise birthday present to myself. For about $20 (the cost of buying it from the local company) I could buy my own ingredients from bulk bins at Bloomingfoods, our local co-op. At this point, I have settled on fourteen. Fourteen different ingredients, plus black tea, put in my tea pot to boil for a few minutes, every single morning! Thus did I reconfigure my first, and most important ritual of the day, and just in time for the 2020 Saturn/Pluto process!

My new morning ritual, about five minutes long, during which I bring the special basket over to the kitchen counter, open each little bag, and pinch a bit of its dried ingredient — plus cut up tiny slices of fresh ginger and turmeric. Each day’s chai alchemy yields four or five large steaming mugs worth (I also add a tiny amount of organic half and half, each time I refill the mug). As the day goes on, I  just keep adding water when needed, as the herbs keep on yielding more and more flavor.

When I run out of one ingredient, I take that bag back to the co-op, to refill with more of the same. That way I don’t use more bags than necessary.

The bags run out at different rates, in part because I’m not at all precise in the amounts purchased, and even more because the daily pinches from each one are never exactly the same. Yes, this chai, utterly full of complex aroma and tastes that go on and on, is slightly different each day! Thus does my daily “routine” include daily surprise. 

But, and here’s what REALLY surprised me. I hadn’t thought about my morning chai as my morning medicine. Didn’t think of it as an “elixir.”  But my body likes it even better than my mind does, and now I know why.

Here’s my list of ingredients at this point, in no particular order, with a bit about the medicinal value of each that I grabbed from various internet sources. I can’t vouch for any of these sources; I just want to “give you the flavor” of why this amazing chai tea is so fantastic. It means that every single morning, both mind and body get to swoon at the very first taste of my very first mug of this stunning chai elixir. Continue reading

February 2016 Specials

I know many of you have been asking about these, so thanks for your patience. I only post specials as inspiration sparks. Here are the February 2016 Specials:

Sacred Soul Session

This is a new offering designed to help you reclaim and nurture a sense of the sacred in ways that foster your soul’s deepest longings. For some people, this might be a uniquely designed ceremony to release a past grief or regret. For others, it might offer a list of resources specifically tailored to you at this point on your path. For some people, it might mean helping you to utilize skills you already have in new ways that deepen your experience. For still others, a Sacred Soul Session might include general instructions about how to design meaningful rituals and select proper timing, so that you can incorporate ritual as a regular means of empowerment and healing. Without performing the reading, I don’t know exactly what you’ll receive, but the reading will focus on bringing your outer life much more into alignment with your inner being.

So called “primitive” societies value the importance and power of ritual. As we shift through so many changes, both outward and inward, collective and individual, effective ritual moves energy in ways the rational mind, affirmations, and emotions can only approximate. The Sacred Soul Session arises from my recognition of the deeply compassionate and aligned Wisdom of the Soul, and how small, symbolic acts can effect enormous change.

$77 for this half hour session. Special must be purchased on or before February 29, 2016, although sessions can be scheduled after that time. Please contact me to schedule.

45-Minute Medical Intuitive Readings for $133

I usually only offer hour or half-hour sessions, because they make for much simpler scheduling on my end; however, sometimes people have more than a half-hour’s worth of topics to discuss yet not quite an hour. This special is for anyone who would like more support and insights than we can cover in a half-hour but who doesn’t want to commit to an entire hour. (Save $42.) Offer valid if prepaid on or before February 29, 2016. Please contact me to sign up.

 

Re-Enchantment in Canterbury

In an earlier version of this lifetime, I was an English Major on a Ph.D. track. I left academia due to a traumatic brain injury that temporarily left me unable to read, or to remember print I somehow managed to clear, or to tolerate fluorescent lights in classrooms. On a soul level, though, all was in perfect order, as I felt academia so bereft of the magic and enchantment I imagined it could foster. I’m so happy to learn of this much needed movement to re-enchant the academy. Thanks, Becca!

Some delightful gems here:

“One cannot make enchantment happen, one can only cultivate the conditions that allow for its occurrence.”

“… the need to address patriarchy both inside and outside the academy, without shaming men who want to be allies, and without recreating an essentialist gender binary.”

“Ritual. If we are to revive enchantment we need ritual, but it must be ritual that is meaningful for who we are now. Perhaps for many we are in a time between rituals, seeking the meaning that will enchant.”

Becca Tarnas

The River Stroud and the Westgate Gardens – Photo by Becca Tarnas The River Stroud and the Westgate Gardens – Photo by Becca Tarnas

Canterbury: I couldn’t have imagined a better place to hold a conference titled Re-Enchanting the Academy. Although cars run on the narrow streets and the ninety-degree angles of contemporary buildings can be found throughout the city, one can feel the Chaucerian age palpably. Cobblestones, thatched roofs, white walls between dark wooden beams that seem to bow out at the middle, as if the centuries are weighing on the building like a elderly man carries a potbelly. Canals and bridges, gardens and stone walls, crawling ivy touched by the crimson blush of early autumn—the air seemed to tingle with enchantment, but an old, slow enchantment, one that has settled deep into the stones along with the overgrown moss.

English Redwood – Photo by Becca Tarnas English Redwood – Photo by Becca Tarnas

I came in to Canterbury after a non-stop flight from San Francisco to London…

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Comment Bump Up from Keeping Our Realities Straight

Jean Haines posted a series of recent pieces from RedefiningGod.com and then wrote her own post discussing her feelings about BRICS, Putin, Paul Craig Roberts and “Ken” from RedefiningGod.

For the record, I occasionally used to post some of Ken’s articles (with my own comments and caveats) until his sexist jokes and implications got out of hand. When someone “jokes” about handcuffing someone to their bedposts and saying “Daddy’s hungry,” and then defends that degrading, dehumanizing, anti-feminine joke and others throughout a series of private emails, then they lose post-ability on my blog. The fact that I no longer post his material doesn’t mean I disagree with everything he says, though. I just think that anyone who can justify using misogyny as a calculated means of gaining followers fails to recognize the most important shifts we need to make for a healthy society — not least of which is respect rather than objectification. That said, I left the following comment on Jean’s new blog. Since students and clients frequently ask me my opinion on BRICS, Putin, RedefiningGod.com and similar topics, I’ll share my comment to Jean below.

Please note: I do not give authority for my reality to an external “truth” about any of this. I’m posting my comment to minimize my need to discuss this, not to invite or initiate a lengthy debate. Please do your debating inside and amongst yourselves. My personal outcome and that of any community or individuals actively creating a new reality does not depend on any of these external factors. It depends on our own vision, our own efforts, our own skill, determination and responsibility, and our own direct relationship with the planet Herself. I post this for those already obsessing about these issues, not because I recommend people start obsessing about who’s “good” and who’s “bad.” You can make all of that irrelevant by living your life in a responsible, creative, magical way.

Without further ado, my comment bump up from Jean’s original post:

Jean, I am not a fan of Ken’s style, particularly of his oftentimes sexist “jokes,” and I disagree with him regarding the effectiveness of magic. He lampoons the cabal’s use of magic, whereas, imho, more people ought to educate themselves on energy, symbolism, the power of ritual and the subconscious and how those work so as to direct the energies instead of following someone else’s carefully manipulated energy streams. There’s resisting manipulation, and there’s taking the reins yourself to summon tremendous fuel and energy to your own creation — two different levels of engagement. I radically disagree with him on anything Goddess related. There are gaping holes in his understanding of how energy works, and he often gets stuck in polarized thinking, despite warning people against it.

That said, his research is very good, and he does offer suggestions for solutions — go local, grow your own food, get as self-reliant and local community sufficient as possible, know your neighbors, stop salivating over external Saviors, and find your own direct connection to Spirit/Divinity.

These are wise suggestions. They may not appeal to everyone who wants to just sit in their living room and meditate, but his suggestions are actually quite useful. I’m a big fan of imagination, meditation and reality creation; I also know hope can be a powerful bridge to a carefully crafted alternative reality. I think he’s just warning people against the hopium that got Obama elected. For the record, I saw through Obama when no one else I knew did, except one friend. How people can’t see the things Ken shows is beyond me, but I realize most people don’t until hindsight. In addition to Ken’s suggestions for solutions, I would add to get much more in touch with the land, sea and sky — with the wisdom of Nature and with everything associated with the suppressed Feminine, something with which he seems quite uncomfortable; however, for the most part, his take on international affairs checks with my own read.

I have always said and continue to assert that Putin’s a wild card. Those who claim to know his heart based on speeches or photos would be wise to step back and observe more. He’s a master martial artist; every move, every word, every gesture is calculated, but despite this, there are things he’s hiding even from himself. Those are the wild cards. I don’t even think he knows what he’s going to do. We can hope he ends up stepping away from the script, but right now, in my professional intuitive opinion, he’s right on script. Just because Edgar Cayce — who did not [always] discriminate whom and what he channeled — said Russia held great hope for humanity doesn’t make Putin the answer. Plenty of Russian defectors have given the play by play we’re currently living in, right on schedule. RT News is Russian propaganda. Controlled opposition always includes a large amount of truth or few people would swallow it at all.

I’m not arguing for anyone to have a firm opinion on BRICS. I personally think it’s a bunch of the same old, same old, but used by someone savvy, even the same old, same old could provide incredible opportunities for new things. The only thing I argue for is that people take personal responsibility for their own basic needs and that they educate themselves on basic hypnosis and NLP principles so they recognize them being used. Studying actual ancient traditions instead of watered down Wicca-lite, shaman-in-a-weekend, New Age platitudes would also help make global machinations much less important. If we become wise as serpents, harmless as doves, then we can have our new world, but it will be MUCH more of our making!

Hugs,
Laura

Tradition, Ritual and Finding Meaning

Like so many of my readers, clients and friends, I’ve been walking through my own inner cleansing fires and initiation rituals. Initiation into what? I’m not entirely sure, but humanity itself feels those fires, too, as formerly reliable systems fall apart. I finished listening to Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” on tape and moved onto a lecture series called “Religion, Myth and Magic: The Anthropology of Religion,” this time on CD. Last night and this morning, I heard the lectures on ritual — its function, effects, and the intended and unexpected outcomes from ritual in our lives. The information reminded me of a deeply human longing to create meaning and order in our lives, both as individuals and as a group.

In times of intense paradigm shifts, “mindless” rituals may seem outdated or silly, but as life shifts from one state to the next, our souls long even more strongly for ways of marking change. Most people remain somewhat fragmented, with disconnects between what the mind and heart may “know” and what subconscious or emotional resistance may accept. Finding and performing rituals — whether old and comforting or new and initiatory — can enable soulful transitions from limited ways of thinking/being to more expansive states of freedom and joy.

Ritual tends to get a bad rap in Western society. I know so many “recovering Catholics” who bristle at anything that smacks of incense, Mass or “religious programming.” I also know people who consider the concept of ritual as mere superstition and proof of an undeveloped rational side. Still others fear the idea of ritual, immediately jumping to visions of Satanic sacrifice or Illuminati mind control. Yes, those in the highest halls of government, finance and religion absolutely know and utilize the power of ritual; however, that doesn’t make the nature of ritual “evil.” Ritual is a tool, the effectiveness of which depends on the intent and concentration of the one(s) wielding the tool. Neutralizing or co-opting the power of ritual in Western society has worked to remove this powerful tool from “intelligent,” “non-superstitious,” “good” people who long for better lives and a kinder planet.

Can we create better lives and a kinder planet without ritual? Sure. It’s a tool, not the tool. But denying our souls the satisfaction of symbolic movement across important thresholds may contribute to an underlying anxiety about whether or not “it” is really happening. We can take our pick on the meaning of “it,” anything from personally improved health or finances to ushering in and anchoring a New Golden Age of cooperation and planetary rebirth. Allowing ourselves symbolic markers of change gives the underlying emotional/doubter self something tangible to nurse on as more visible changes manifest in our outer world.

We hear lots of talk about “becoming the change” or “change begins within,” but what happens when we want change, long for change, know we must change, but find ourselves paralyzed by fear of the unknown? We get the push-pull, one-step-forward-two-steps-back, quantum-leap-False-Flag, inner and outer conflict of our world right now. Can we move through this period without ritual? Absolutely, we will move through it one way or another. The Old World is on a crash course for destruction, and creation always follows. That’s a lot of Sturm und Drang, though.

Those of us who long for a gentler emotional ride, may want to dust off ritual as an effective tool in pacifying inner emotional conflict so that our vibrations can harmonize with those things we truly do desire to manifest in our lives and world. Ritual need not be elaborate. It can be as simple as bringing consciousness to a hot shower, imagining the water washing away worries and stress.

I use henna to de-tangle my knotty/naughty hair, applying it every two months or so since early 2007. It doesn’t alter my natural hair color much, since my hair spontaneously turned quite red when I moved to Monterey, CA in 2007, but each henna application brings me back into the magical space of self-nurturing. Henna is associated with the Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of abundance, but it also has deep connection to women’s rituals of childbirth and marriage. I don’t know what’s in henna, but I swear those mud pies on my scalp do some kind of neurochemical mojo on my brain, like a deep inhale of peace and calm. I have now henna’d so many times in so many locations that the brewing of tea, soaking of henna, showering, application, waiting, rinsing and blow drying (in case of drips) has become its own consistent ritual transcending time and space. I also deeply moisturize my face, neck and ears, so the henna won’t stain that skin, and I spend the waiting time in quiet contemplation or soul-supportive activities.

In addition, I henna and listen to sacred chants while doing yearly tax prep so that I can infuse such an unpleasant, patriarchal control grid with all the gentle strength and fluid femininity of the Goddess. With henna on my head and chants in my mouth, taxes become “playing with numbers,” an energy only one step away from mystical numerology. If you monitored my feelings about taxes at other times, you’d recognize the power of my henna ritual! It transforms my attitude when I need that most and allows me a sense of humor in how I choose to direct that money. Remember, money is energy, and we can charge energy with powerful intentions. 😉 Ritual, with its focus and its injection of the sacred, amplifies that power.

We can use ritual to prepare us for or to enhance any task or situation. Elevating something we dread as a meaningless pain in the @$$ to something akin to an initiation ritual or an act of devotion can help us to reclaim emotional power over the circumstances of our lives. The devotion need not have anything to do with the actual task. We assign the meaning to the task. Bhakti yoga, for example, is the yoga of service, with an emphasis on deep, heartfelt compassion through chanting the many names of the Divine. I apply it to my tax prep, but it doesn’t stop there. The heart of most spiritual traditions emphasizes service to others as a means of connecting to Divine Love in action. In the Christian tradition, the idea of feeding each person as Christ or entertaining angels unawares, provides a way of adding deep meaning to the simplest acts. In Buddhism, the Mindfulness tradition brings the sacred into the realm of the ordinary. Ultimately, reclaiming the power of ritual helps us to realize that each thought/attention, each decision, each action, potentially holds something larger and more beautiful than the mundane. As we honor and infuse our lives with deliberate beauty, meaning and infinitude, we heal our souls.

And when we heal our souls, we heal the world. Some people seem more drawn to ritual than others, but don’t know where to begin. Thanks to Tania Marie for the following quote from alltotems.com:

Celtic: “In the Celtic tradition Hawk empowers a person to seek out their ancestral roots and to examine in depth that which is positive (so that it may be integrated into a person’s life) and that which is limiting (so it can be released). Tradition is only worth honoring when it supports joy and fulfillment in one’s life! In this tradition Hawk also supports the solar side as stated above, helping a person to move forward in life and to seek out great quests to embark upon.”

If a particular tradition draws us to participate, our soul may be longing to reclaim parts it left in previous lifetimes while practicing those rituals. Exploring may not mean conversion, but rather reminding of forgotten parts. Other people may find the work of Thomas Moore helpful for “Care of the Soul.” Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach has become a classic for bringing the sacred back to ordinary life. Decorating with the seasons, gardening, harvesting, painting, cooking or any other creative or generative act can take on ritual importance. So can honoring the dead and that which has passed (or is passing) away. In a world of rapid change, and with an awareness of how emotions affect the Law of Attraction, we can support ourselves in positive changes by finding ways, however tiny, to add meaning, beauty and soul to our lives.

Many Blessings!