MABON – the Autumn Equinox Shifting Winds and Crinkling Leaves – The Second Harvest

At Mabon – the Autumn Equinox – the time of the harvest, we gather what we need to see us through the coming cold and darkness of winter.  As the light fades from the outdoors, we take it inward, into ourselves.  We give thanks for all the beautiful and nourishing blooms, fruits and vegetables of summer’s bounty, and all the harvested grains that will keep us fortified through the still, quiet restfulness of winter.

This stage between summer and winter is the time of transformation. Things die to be reborn.  And this Autumn Equinox, this day of Mabon, when daylight and nightdark are equal, beckons us to honor this moment of balance as an opportunity to accept and harmonize our own polarities – our yin and yang, our female and male, our strengths and vulnerabilities, our thoughts and actions, our need for rest and activity – and to find their appropriate proportions and timeliness . . . their seasons within us.

May your journey begin

Through darkening nights

To your paths within    

And to your inner light

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, divides the day and night equally. It is a time of balance. It is a time of the Mysteries. We honor the changing seasons and the Aging Deities of the Spirit World, and pay our respects to the impending dark. We watch the earth die a little each day and consciously embrace this slow descent into the dark as another dimension of appreciating the light. Thus begins the traditional time of year for meditating on the themes of life, death, and rebirth.

At the same time, we give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our second and final harvest of this year’s crops – the fruit that has stayed on the trees, and plants that have ripened under the summer sun. We thank the Earth, in her full abundance as Mother and Giver, for the great harvest. As Autumn begins, it is the time to stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, as well.

 

I open,

Gently open

To the Divine

Inside me

 

 

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is a time for harvesting and reflecting on the past year.  Considering the theme of the balance of light and dark, we take a few moments to contemplate the contrasts in our own lives. Is there any unresolved issue inside us we’ve been longing to reap the rewards of?  

Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to our own purposes. Regard it as part of the harvest of your life; food for thought; something to chew on, etc. Feast on the nutritious parts – the lessons . . . and eliminate the waste – the pain, hurt, negative feelings. Offer the “waste” to the Earth Mother as compost. It will enrich your ground, the ground of your being. Count your blessings!

May your hearts and spirits

be filled to overflowing!

The Medicine – Old And New

What is meant by the Old Ways?

When we speak of the Old Ways, we are referring to the innate spirituality of human beings across cultures, from the beginning of time up until the industrialization of our modern era. It holds all of nature in reverence. It calls the earth Mother, and the sun or sky, Father. Indigenous cultures throughout the world shared a surprisingly common creation story despite their separation by continents – and without any means of communicating, or even knowing of the others’ existence. The story goes something like this:

In “the time before Time,” all beings lived together in harmony. They spoke an unspoken language and understood each other’s hearts and souls. In the words of Chief John Snow, Nakoda elder, “We talked to the rocks, the streams, the trees, the plants, the herbs and all nature’s creations. We called the animals our brothers. They understood our language; we understood theirs. Sometimes they talked to us in dreams and visions. At times they revealed important events or visited us on our vision quests to the mountain tops.”

The interplay between the spiritual world and the material world was a common daily awareness. However, as time passed, humans lost their way. They lost connection with the imagining and intuiting functions of their spiritual nature and could no longer speak the language of Spirit. The more they relied on their physical senses alone, the more separated they became from their inner direction. They fell out of harmony and balance. They invented weapons and began killing and eating animals, birds and fish. Later, they even began killing each other. And so the story goes. Each culture has its own details and characters.

There are a few aboriginal tribes, however, who have resisted becoming “civilized” to this day and still live according to the Old Ways. They are known for their uncanny ability to “know” and prepare for events that they have not read or heard about.

The Australian Aborigines may be the best known to us for this skill. They say they get their knowledge from the “dreamtime.” The Dreamtime is where the Aborigines’ world came from. The Dreamtime also brought the knowledge of the laws of existence. Aborigines continue to observe these laws to this day; they are the laws for survival. In addition, they continue the Dreamtime (Creation) as the Dreaming. That is, they continue to dream the world into existence.

What is Medicine?

While this type of knowledge is not typically brought into play in today’s busy lifestyle, it IS still part of our make-up, and we can avail ourselves of its benefits. The Old Ways offer methods for developing the spiritual side of our intrinsic nature – the means to know and understand who we truly are, our best options and actions to take, and how we can contribute to good of all. In many indigenous cultures, this is called Medicine.

Medicine is the power to heal and strengthen the body, mind, heart and soul. That Medicine may be a physical substance, like herbs; a non-substantive agent, like music; or something with both qualities, like touch. Anything that eases the mind or body . . . anything that uplifts the heart and soul . . . that’s Medicine. The means for developing your Medicine is also Medicine. In addition, each being (animal, plant, mineral) has its own special Medicine, a quality or gift that is unique. And you have your own Medicine. Your Medicine is whatever gifts and talents you possess for contributing to that beauty.

The Medicine the Old Ways

There are age-old traditional prayers, songs, practices and ceremonies that have been done in the same way, for the same reasons and commemorations, for incalculable generations. These practices and ceremonies are commonly called the Medicine of the Old Ways. They include ways of praying, meditating, honoring Mother Earth and Father Sky, Moon ceremonies, feast days, sacred songs, pilgrimages and vision quests, to name just a few. There are also prescribed task for rites of passage, as well as practices for clearing and purging oneself. They are tried and true, and still have a potent impact to this day.

Any medicine, be it spiritual or pharmaceutical, has to meet the challenges of a changing world. It must stay abreast of the needs of the people facing new demands. The Medicine of the Old Ways shapeshifts effortlessly to accommodate the needs of the current times. However, that is not what makes it “new,” as that is a quality of the “old” Medicine.

The New Medicine of the Old Ways

The New Medicine of the Old Ways is a term I coined to address the contemporary direction of the latest surge of interest in the Old Ways. Many seers of Native American (and other) Medicine people foretold of the day when the knowledge that had been kept secret and protected for so long should be shared with the white man. Although many indigenous people do not believe they should do that, many others began sharing a few decades ago, believing in complying with the prophecies.

Because of the widespread dissemination of ancient traditional practices across cultural lines at this time, people who have not been brought up in a discreet lineage are prone to mixing and mat

ching the practices from separate traditions. While I can understand how some perceive this to be a misappropriation and watering down of ancient wisdom (and to a certain extent I have to agree), I also see that every generation has a similar complaint about the upcoming generation, even within their own culture.

The best analogy I can come up with (and it may, or may not, be a very good one) is to liken it to adapting a foreign country’s cuisine to one’s own. The taste is not exactly like the country of origin’s typical palate, nor is it like the customary taste of the adopting country’s food.

However, if the persons eating it have an open attitude to something new, both sides will find the adventure stimulating, the taste fresh and the experience rewarding.

There is another difference. The Old Ways require the shaman, priest/priestess, Medicine man or woman, etc. to do all the work on behalf of the person who asks for help. It is my belief that we have reached a time in our evolution where it is not just “special” people who have the power to maneuver in higher realms. I recognize that we have grown enough that Spirit is asking us to assume a more active role in the goings on of everyday life. We’ve been given a promotion, if you will. We’re faced with a new responsibility to step up and be part of the team.

The way I practice the New Medicine is to bring you up to speed on the skills you need for the new position you are wanting to hold in your life. Rather than perform ceremonies for you, I help you conceive your own “ceremonies,” your own new beneficial ways of thinking, new habits, etc. And, most especially, I help you deepen and strengthen your own connection with Spirit and the profound assistance that connection affords you.

I believe the New Medicine of the Old Ways is true to the traditional values of honoring Mother Earth, Father Sky and all living beings. I believe it respects and requires the custom of grounding, centering and clearing oneself to connect with Spirit with a calm mind and open heart. I believe that ancient practices, carried out in their traditional ways, are powerful and have a place in the New Medicine. And I also believe that all the wisdom from all the teachers – if practiced with commitment over a long period – can come together in a new way. It will go straight to the heart and soul of a present-day seeker to touch her and change him in deep and positive ways. The New Medicine takes substance and meaning from the Old Ways and respectfully makes something fresh, stimulating, profound and meaningful for the person journeying in these current times.

All About Smudge

Smudge is the term used for an herb, combination of herbs, or resin that is burned as incense for the purpose of purification. The herb may be burned loose, or in the form of a smudge stick. The “stick” is made by bundling the herb or herbs together with hemp cord or string to form easy-to-burn smudge sticks. A resin is usually burned on a coal.

The most common herb used by Native Americans is sage, but just as familiar are cedar, copal, lavender, sweet grass, or pinon. Common to the Celtic traditions are copal, frankincense, myrrh, and Dragon’s Blood, among others.

When you smudge/purify yourself, you are clearing your mind and auric field. You attune yourself to a higher vibration that reminds you to speak and act in a sacred way, with an open and compassionate heart, and with your ears open to hearing the guidance from your spirit helpers and from Creator or the Goddess, depending on your tradition. Keep in mind that when you smudge yourself, you traditionally want to be very thorough and take at least ½-hr or more.

You can also smudge a house or room to clear it of previous owners’ energy or any negativity that may have entered in the form of arguments, illness, or other entities. You can smudge an object to clear it and make it “clean” or “pure” for use by the new owner – like a book, jewelry, second-hand clothing or furniture, etc.

You can use smudge to pray. The smoke from the smudge will carry your prayers to Creator.

Here is more about Smudging . . .

 

Clear Your Energy and Lift Your Spirits With the Sacred Art of Smudging

by: Bess O’Connor

If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even downright depressed, it may be due to some stagnant energy in your field. Your field can include your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, and your environment—whether it’s your home, office, or other physical space. Stagnant or negative energy can have extremely detrimental effects on your mental and physical state and is even believed to manifest into things like a lack of happiness and success as well as pain and disease.

Smudging can help combat this negativity, clear the energy in your field, and help you start anew. Smudging is an ancient ceremony in which you burn sacred plants, such as sage, to allow the smoke to clear and bless a space.

To get some insight into the ancient art of smudging, healer and singer Grandmother Wapajea Walks on Water—with lineage from the Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee tribes—sheds some light on the topic.

Grandmother Wapajea says, “The goal of smudging is to make a place clear of lingering energy that is different from what you may be intending for that space. You want to prepare the space for ceremony, the way you would clean your house, cook, and decorate when your family comes for a holiday. We are welcoming Great Spirit, angels, and ancestors to come and share clean space with us as well.”

What you use to clear a space depends on your location and what plants you have access to. Grandmother Wapajea says that people on the East Coast use tobacco, cedar, sweet grass, juniper, pine needles, deerstongue, cypress, and sage. Out west they use tobacco, pinion, desert sage, and sweet grass.

“My family uses sage and cedar to purify, tobacco to send our prayers to the Chihowa, and sweet grass to attract angels and sweet-spirited ancestors. We also use sweet grass to bring ease to a space when we need to discuss something that is difficult to say,” Grandmother Wapajea says.

What You Need

  • Sage or other sacred plants listed above. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
  • Abalone shell. This is meant to hold and burn the plants. The shell represents the water element.
  • Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
  • Feather. This represents the air element.
  • Drum(s) or sacred drumming music, which represent the beat of the heart.

For indigenous people Great Spirit is in all of nature and creation, each thing representing a different aspect of divinity and sacredness. Therefore they honor the elements, and all natural things, from plants and minerals, to animals and people.

The Smudging Process

Often, smudging involves a four-direction ceremony. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

Clear your space of clutter and mess and open up windows and curtains and allow for clean air to enter. Light your sage (or other herbs) on fire and then fan the smoke with your feather around your body and anyone else in your space.

Wapajea’s Smudging Process

  • “We start in the East where the sun rises, and brings us the opportunity to begin again with each new day. Breath.
  • We go to the South and honor our creativity, our children, the child in us, our playfulness, joy, and hope. Earth.
  • We go to the West where the sun goes down, and the blackness of introspection begins when the day is done. Water.
  • We go to the North where our rest awaits us. Knowledge, stamina, compassion, silence. Fire.
  • We use a feather to fan the sacred smoke in each direction, one drums, one sings, one dances, one prays, until we have circled back to the east.”

Tips for Smudging

The art of smudging is a sacred act and Grandmother Walks on Water says these are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Hold sacredness and respect when connecting with the plant people who help you in this ceremony and when you pray.
  2. Remember and honor your ancestors with good deeds.
  3. Honor the divine by caring for what the Great Spirit has created.
  4. See the divine Mother in everything. Women are the embodiment of Great Spirit’s creation on Earth, thru the gift of birth, so women are holy. We are all from the same womb.
  5. Everything is related to everything; nothing is random.
  6. Caring for creation is everyone’s responsibility.
  7. This will is not religion; this is love.

Clearing Your Body

Smudging is not only for spaces; it’s also for clearing your body, mind, and spirit of any negativity, stagnation, or energetic disturbances within or surrounding you. Make sure to invite the sacred smoke around your body from head to toe and front to back before smudging your space.

 

A Smudging Prayer

May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.

May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.

May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.

May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.

May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.

May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.

And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.

CHAKRAS 101

Chakras are vibrational wheels, or globes, of energy located within and without various areas of the body.  Their purpose is to organize and regulate your energy.  Chakras receive, assimilate and transmit the life force that is in you.  When you increase the power of your chakras’ vibrations, you upgrade the quality of your cellular intelligence.  You amplify the energy that improves health and happiness, and you build mental strength and spiritual fitnessChakra Development usually results in a renewed zest for life and a sense of inner sturdiness.  You acquire an elegant map for revitalizing your body and mind and making them compatible.  It is a way to enjoy your reality and blend it with your developing spiritual nature.  It prepares the way for a gentle opening of consciousness and gives you a new view of your life and world.

The 1st, or Root Chakra is located at the floor of the pelvis, which is at the base of the tailbone, and is associated with the adrenals.  It represents stability, life, and existence itself.  It helps ground our spiritual nature onto the material plane.  The more you ground yourself, the greater your chance of developing into the person you would like to become, and of making your dreams real.  This first level of personal and spiritual development bestows the right ‘to be’ and ‘to have.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving and taking care of yourself, your body and your physical needs.  It spins clockwise.

The 2nd, or Navel Chakra is located all around the navel, and is associated with the gonads (ovaries and testicles).  It develops your sense of boundary and enables you to understand what will enhance and enrich your life. It represents love, perception, sensitivity and protection.  At this level, extra-sensory awareness begins to develop, and you learn how to feel the world from the viewpoint of another.  This second level of development bestows the right ‘to feel’ and to pursue gratification.  It entrusts you with the responsibility of caring about others as yourself (see First Chakra responsibility).  It spins counterclockwise.

The 3rd, or Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the solar plexus, just below the ribs, and is associated with the pancreas.  It represents hope, justice and fairness.  It gives you your self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, decision-making ability and personal power.  Developing this chakra allows you to make satisfying and healthy relationships.  This chakra bestows the right to act.  The responsibility of the Third Chakra is self-acceptance and the duty to love not only another, but to have best wishes for your associations, societies and communities.  It spins in the direction of a wheel rolling backwards.

The 4th, or Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest at the heart area, and is associated with the thymus gland.  It represents peace, faith and compassion.  It brings you into unity and kinship with the entire universe.  It expands your love and understanding to the point of accepting the entire world.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to love and be loved.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving all of creation as though it were you (refer to the responsibility of the Root Chakra).  The Fourth Chakra spins in the same direction as the Third Chakra, like a wheel rolling backwards.

The 5th, or Throat Chakra is located at the level of the Adam’s Apple, and is associated with the thyroid gland.  It channels mental energy to your mind and heart, giving a voice to your feelings, thoughts and experiences.  It represents truth, communication, integrity, self-expression and creativity.  When you reach the potential of control and authority possible at the Fifth Chakra, you master the Law of Attraction.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to speak and be heard,’ as well as the ability ‘to listen deeply and to hear truly.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility to control yourself and your surroundings.  It spins at an oblique angle from the right ear, backward, toward the spine and the heart.

The 6th, or Third Eye Chakra is located at the forehead, just above and between the eyes, and is associated with the pituitary gland (some say the pineal gland).  It allows simultaneous awareness of your inner state and the world around you.  It represents wisdom, knowledge, intuition, discernment, imagination, goal and time.  A developed Brow Chakra gives the ability to clearly see what is important for your happiness and well-being, and connects you to your goal and purpose.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to see.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of self-reflection.  The Sixth Chakra does not exactly spin; rather, it beams out in two directions: from the forehead to the far horizon in front of you, and out the back of your head to the far horizon behind you.

The 7th, or Crown Chakra is located just above the top of the head, and is associated with the pineal gland (some say the pituitary gland).  It provides a point of connection to an abiding sense of peace and joy, based in the knowledge that you are one with Source.  It represents beauty, spirituality, connection with the Divine Source and existence in God.  This level bestows the right ‘to know.’  It gives the responsibility of self-knowledge and requires that you align your will with your divine guidance and inspiration.  It spins clockwise in some people, counterclockwise in others.

Usually, all the chakras are operating together, though some may function more or less optimally than others.  When they are weak or out of alignment, you will commonly experience physical and emotional symptoms.  Chakra Development diminishes these irregularities.  It promotes health and balance throughout the Chakra System.  You will notice some benefits: increased power and stamina in your mind and body, heart and soul; more energy reserves for the activities and challenges of everyday life; less reaction to stress; less fatigue; and an overall sense of well-being.

If you are interested in learning how to activate your Chakras, please consider taking a 7-week class or weekend workshop.  You will learn both simple and sophisticated methods to increase the vibrational strength and spin of your Chakras.  These practices remove blockages and cultivate the clear intelligent flow of healthy energy through your entire system.  You will learn about the Crystal Mountain, the Seven Chakras, Eight Directions, and you will experience them first-hand through specially-designed exercises.  Hand-outs are included.

 

 

ANIMAL TOTEMS: THE OLD WAYS ARE NEW AGAIN

You hear people mention Animal Totems more and more frequently these days. You may also have heard them called Spirit Animals or Power Animals. Certainly, the influence of the animal world on the human psyche is undeniable. It has been with us since the earliest of times. We can observe it in the prominence of paintings on ancient cave walls. We can note the recurrence of animals in fairy tales of all cultures since recorded history. They often talk and give help and advice to humans, occasionally even delivering hard lessons by outsmarting people. Our fascination with animals is so innate that we even have a television channel called the Animal Planet where we can watch them anytime, day or night. And other channels, like Discovery and National Geographic, are filled with documentaries of many of the animals we find most captivating.

Before modern industrialization we were more in tune with the natural world. We were more connected to animals and their wisdom. We learned lessons about life by observing them, and we saw in them a mirror of our own qualities, both good and bad, so that we could improve ourselves and discover how to live in harmony. This lost awareness is reemerging today. It is, indeed, very accessible through any ancestral roots – European, Asian, African, etc. – but the most common view in our culture at this time is through Native American traditions.

Within these traditions, there are variations from nation to nation, and from tribe to tribe within one nation, but some beliefs are generally held in common. For instance, a common view is that when you are born, you enter this life at a certain place on the Medicine Wheel. You will traverse the Wheel many times during your life, as the Wheel encompasses all the virtues and imperfections, all the ups and downs that a lifetime entails. However, your particular placement at the time of your birth indicates which life lessons will be most important for you to learn during your lifetime. Creator gives you help to succeed in mastering these lessons. One such aid is your Personal Animal Totem (or totems, in some cases). In one Cherokee tradition, Creator gives each person seven totems in each of seven categories, for a total of forty-nine. You become familiar with your totems and begin working with them. You then start paring them down until you discover which totem is your strongest ally. This totem is the most influential helper on your path to becoming a “true human being,” someone who who leads your life “in a good way” by developing your gifts and talents to benefit the people for several generations.

Deer Totem

So how does your Animal Totem help you do this? Well, at the most base level, your Totem helps you muddle through your life with a little more grace and peace of mind. But it can do more than that if you work closely with it. It strengthens and deepens your sense of connection – to family, friends, yourself, your purpose, and to the Great Mystery of life. Your Personal Totem shows you where you belong in the great scheme of things. Creator gives you this gift and asks you to cultivate the bond between yourself and your Totem because, as you begin to integrate it into your daily life, you discover how to use its wisdom to remove barriers to your personal and spiritual development. Unfolding your relationship with your Totems brings self-knowledge, healing and purpose. It deepens your intuition and awareness. It improves the stamina in your mind and body, and promotes peace and power in your heart and soul. You arrive at a place where you are contributing to the balance and harmony of all things on earth just by being you. Your Personal Totem takes you there.

So, how do you know what your personal animal totem is? And how do you make its acquaintance? Sometimes an animal enters your awareness because it startles you by flying across your windshield or darting in front of your car as you are driving down the road. Or maybe you just begin seeing a particular kind of animal everywhere you look. People can mistakenly assume that this is their personal animal totem. Usually it is not. Often this is an animal that has come to give you a message for a particular time or circumstance in your life. But your true personal animal totem is there with you throughout your life, all the time, even if you don’t notice it. The way to discover it is through a traditional method called “journeying.”

A journey is a very deep meditative state arrived at by traditional grounding methods and calling on the assistance of the Four Directions, Mother Earth and Father Sky or Great Spirit. Usually you have a guide to lead you, accompany you through the Journey, and bring you safely back. The guide does this through guided visualization, which may or may not be accompanied by drumming. Once you are in the receptive state that Journeying induces, your guide gives you the traditional suggestions that lead to recognizing your Totem, both within you and as a separate being who will assist you. You will be able to ask questions of your Totem, and it will give you insights and answers to what’s been on your mind. You can see your circumstances from a previously unimagined perspective, and new information is offered for considering whatever is at hand.

Horse Totem.

Meeting your Personal Totems is a profound experience. It connects you deeply to yourself and to the Great Mystery – Creator, Spirit, God, Goddess, or however you conceive and call the awe-inspiring wonder of creation. Developing your relationship with your Totems brings self-knowledge, healing and purpose.It deepens your intuition and awareness. It improves stamina in your mind and body, and promotes peace and power in your heart and soul. Its value is timeless – as uplifting and meaningful today as it has ever been.

It has been my great good fortune to have met and studied with some amazing teachers and healers over the years. Medicine people of four cultural traditions have graciously put enough trust in me to give their endorsements so that I might guide others on traditional Journeys to meet their Totems and Spirit Guides, open their Energy Centers (Chakras), find their missing soul pieces (Soul Retrieval), and other such Old Ways of healing. It is a blessing to have received this knowledge ~ and even more so to be able to share this beautiful Medicine with others.

MORE ABOUT CHAKRAS

Chakras are vibrational orbs of energy located at specific areas of the body. They regulate your energy and activate the life force within you.  When you increase the power of your chakras’ vibrations, you amp up the energy that improves health and happiness, and you build mental strength and spiritual fitness.

The 1st, or Root Chakra is located at the floor of the pelvis at the base of the tailbone, and is associated with the adrenals.  It represents stability, life, and existence itself.  It helps ground your spiritual nature into your material existence.  The more you ground yourself, the greater your chance of developing into the person you would like to become, and of making your dreams real.  This first level enables you ‘to be’ and ‘to have.’ It entrusts you to love and take care of yourself, your body and your physical needs.

The 2nd, or Navel Chakra is located all around the navel, and is associated with the ovaries/testicles.  It develops your sense of boundary and enables you to understand what will enhance and enrich your life.  It represents love, perception, sensitivity and protection.  At this level, extra-sensory awareness begins to develop, and you learn to how to feel the world from the viewpoint of another.  This second level of development enables you ‘to feel’ and to pursue gratification.  It entrusts you to care about others, as well as yourself.

The 3rd, or Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the solar plexus and is associated with the pancreas.  It represents hope, justice and fairness.  It gives you your self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, decision-making ability and personal power.  Developing this chakra allows you to make satisfying and healthy relationships.  This chakra enables you to act.  It equips you to accept yourself, and entrusts you to have best wishes, not only for another, but truly for the whole world.

The 4th, or Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest at the heart area, and is associated with the thymus gland.  It represents peace, faith and compassion.  It brings you into unity and kinship with the entire universe.  It expands your love and understanding to the point of accepting the entire world.  This level of development enables you ‘to love and be loved.’  It entrusts you with loving all of creation as though it were you (see the Root Chakra).

The 5th, or Throat Chakra is located at the level of the Adam’s Apple, and is associated with the thyroid gland.  It channels mental energy to your mind and heart, giving a voice to your feelings, thoughts and experiences.  It represents truth, communication, integrity, self-expression and creativity. When you reach the potential of control and authority possible at the Fifth Chakra, you master the Law of Attraction.  This level of development enables you to speak and be heard, as well as the ability to listen deeply and to hear truly.  It entrusts you to control yourself and your surroundings.

The 6th, or Third Eye Chakra is located at the forehead, just above and between the eyes, and is associated with the pituitary gland (some say the pineal gland).  It allows you to be simultaneously aware of your inner state and the state of the world around you.  It represents wisdom, knowledge, intuition, discernment, imagination, goal and time.  When developed, it gives you the ability to clearly see what is important for your happiness and well-being, and connects you to your goal and purpose.  This level of development enables you ‘to see’ and to self-reflect.

The 7th, or Crown Chakra is located just above the top of the head, and is associated with the pineal gland (some say the pituitary gland).  It provides a point of connection to an abiding sense of peace and joy, based in the knowledge that you are one with Source.  It represents beauty, spirituality, connection with the Divine Source and existence in God.  This level enables you ‘to know.’  It entrusts with self-knowledge and aligning your will with your divine guidance and inspiration.

A BIT OF HISTORY

The first written references to chakras are found in India’s most ancient sacred texts, the Vedas (circa 1,500 BCE) and the Upanishads (circa 600 BCE).  However, it was not until the translations of 10th and 16th Century texts by an Englishman, Arthur Avalon, that the information came to the West in 1919.  Chakras are most commonly linked with the science and practice of yoga.  As yoga flourishes in the West, chakra development becomes increasingly sought out.

WHAT CHAKRA DEVELOPMENT OFFERS

By increasing the vibratory rate of your chakras, you upgrade the power and quality of all your functions.  You amplify the energy that improves health and happiness.  You build mental and spiritual strength and fitness.  Chakra Development results in a renewed zest for life and a sense of inner sturdiness.  You synchronize your body and mind and make them compatible.  Your energy is more easily revitalized and your spiritual nature can begin to blossom.  This gentle, gradual opening of consciousness brings a new optimism and appreciation for your life and the possibilities that await.

WHEN TO SEEK CHAKRA DEVELOPMENT

Usually, all the chakras are operating together, though some may function more or less optimally than others.  When they are weak or out of alignment, you will commonly experience physical and emotional symptoms:

  •  1st – Obesity, anorexia, sciatica, constipation, fear, survival
  •  2nd – Sexual problems, urinary trouble, guilt, desire
  •  3rd – Digestion, chronic fatigue, hypertension, shame, will
  •  4th –  Asthma, coronary or lung disease, grief, love
  •  5th – Sore throats, neck & shoulder pain, thyroid, lies, communication
  •  6th – Vision, headaches, nightmares, illusion, intuition
  •  7th – Depression, alienation, confusion, attachment, understanding

Chakra Development diminishes these irregularities.  It promotes health and balance throughout the Chakra System.  Some of the benfits are:

  •  Diminished symptoms
  •  Increased mental clarity
  •  Power and stamina in your mind and body, heart and soul
  •  Energy reserves for the activities and challenges of everyday life
  •  Less reaction to stress
  •  Less fatigue
  •  Overall sense of well-being

BLUEPRINT FOR CHAKRA DEVELOPMENT

Chakra Development is how you acquire the skills to activate and upgrade your Chakras.  It is available in two formats:

  1.  Seven Classes, 3 hours each, that meet once a week
  •  The benefit of the weekly course is that you have time during the week to practice and integrate the experience and information.
  • This format allows for a deeper understanding and more clearing of blockages.
  1.  2-Day Workshop that meets from 10:00-5:30, usually on a weekend
  •  The 2-day format benefits those who are not available for the 7-wk course. All the information is covered, but there is less time for self-discovery and clearing out.
  •  Both formats provide you with the opportunity to ask questions, and to learn from your classmates’ questions as well, which is a benefit that cannot be overestimated.

Topics include:

  •  Building the Crystal Mountain
  •  Spinning the Seven Chakras
  •  Activating the Eight Directions of Yin & Yang

You learn methods for increasing the vibrational strength and spin of your Chakras.  These practices remove blockages and promote the flow of healthy energy throughout your mind and body, heart and soul.

By the completion, you have a practice that is so flexible you can do it all at once in less than a half hour, or you can break it up throughout the day, doing a few minutes here and a few minutes there.  This practice is simple, yet it deepens very quickly.  Over time, you will find that it is very effective and quite profound.

I give thanks and acknowledgement to Gregory Anthuin,

the “shaman without a drum”

who taught this to me and gave me permission to teach it to others.

WHAT I PROVIDE AS A TEACHER

As a teacher, I like the mood in the classroom to be relaxed and light-hearted, yet focused.  I encourage participants to bring forward their eagerness to learn and to respect all who are present.  I prepare and organize the material so that each segment builds on the previous one.  My knowledge base in the subject matter is always greater than the class material.  I make time for questions and give answers in several ways for clearer understanding.  I provide hand-outs so that  you can continue practicing at home what  you have learned.

In a class such as Chakra Development, I create an atmosphere for you to get an actual physical sensation of the subtle energies of the Chakras using specific exercises that I specially designed.  I generate an alpha state induction technique taken from my shamanic studies to lead you through the exercises.  This allows you to raise the level of your brainwave activity so that you have a first-hand experience.  You have time during class to express and record your experience to make sure it is easy for you to recall your sensations.  Time for sharing with the group also gives you the opportunity to inspire, and be inspired by, your classmates.  You may find yourself deeply touched.  I always am.