Meditating with Plants

I started a new practice just because the idea presented itself. i was sitting in my office studio and had just watered my plants. I was looking at them and the thought occurred to me to pick up 2 vines from my pathos plant and meditate with them. Maybe the plant called me, I don’t know. So I sat with one vine in each hand started thinking about giving and receiving energy. I sat with the plant and dropped deeper into meditation.

10 or 15 minutes later I started to notice myself palpably feeling calmer. I felt like energy was gently flowing back and forth between us. I relaxed and just enjoyed feeling connected.

The next day sitting in the music room I was feeling anxious. I was tired from not getting enough sleep and have been a bit tense and on edge from work and from being at home for almost 4 weeks with our Great Dane who is recovering from knee surgery. I seldomly allow myself the luxury of a daytime nap, I am too much of an action driven person. But I reclined on the divan and noticed my big peace plant next to me. Again, maybe it was calling me. I decided to gently hold its leaf and meditate with it. It hasn’t been doing well, it is large and pretty old for a plant at 15 years old. I am not sure how long plants live? I have been wondering if it is nearing the end of its life span. So I gently sat with it and sent it healing thoughts and absorbed what it was sending me. I do think it is not well, I did pick up what felt like mini pin pricks or light electricity zaps. I told it it was an old friend and I would sit with it. Again I felt a sudden relaxation that was different than when I normally meditate, it was a release.

I think we can enhance a nature based spirituality by incorporating plants, trees and other aspects of nature consciously into our daily practice.

I am curious to see if I notice any visible difference in the health of my plants by sharing energy with them.

Trees in Daily Practice

I have just started a new practice to help me connect more closely with nature and the resources available to us. Trees have been an important part of Druid and other Pagan practices, but there is not a lot of documentation on how they were used. Generally different types of trees were used to make wands and other magical tools. Groves of trees, especially oak, were often the site of rituals and other services.

I believe we can share energy with certain trees to help us with challenges we are facing in our lives. James Redfield’s Celestine Prophecy is a good book to reference on sharing energy with plants and trees. Certain trees are associated with unique properties that can be incorporated into our practice. Respectfully touching, sitting and leaning against or standing by certain trees can support us in ways unique to the individual species of tree.

Here are some characteristics that can be accessed in communion and meditation with individual tress:

Apple: To increase abundance and prosperity

Birch: Helps heal our deepest wounds

Catalpa: Used to enhance creativity and embrace uniqueness

Cedar: Helps break spells, provide clarity and focus

Cherry: For increasing love and sweetness

Elm: Believed to enhance psychic abilities and to help to achieve justice

Maple: For enhancing balance and learning to go with the flow

Oak: For strength, courage and deep roots or enhancing groundedness

Olive: For divine healing

Pine: Releasing guilt, healing

Sycamore: Sharing energy may enhance love, fertility and protection

Walnut: For health and healing

Willow: Helps us learn to bend and not break, to be flexible

Sit with a tree, hug a tree, breathe with a tree and think of their individual qualities. I find they enhance my sense of well being and I gain a greater appreciation for nature.

Filling the Cauldrons

All living beings need to replenish energy to sustain life. We eat, drink, sleep, but we ignore opportunities to recharge our energy stores during the day to refill our energy cauldrons.

We gain and drain energy from each other – we all have experienced being with someone and then feeling totally drained or another friend leaves you feeling energized.

We can also deliberately fill our energy cauldrons from nature. The energy we receive will be purer, cleaner and we give something in return benefiting nature.

Our first energy cauldron is in our lower abdomen, an empty cauldron here makes me feel ungrounded, unconnected and restless. I fill this cauldron by intentionally drawing in energy from the Earth, walking barefoot in the grass, from standing near and even touching trees. I scoop energy from the Earth or the tree and act as if I am refilling the cauldron in my lower belly cauldron until I feel grounded and centered. I may gently exhale on the tree to give it carbon dioxide it needs. We share energy.

Our second cauldron is near our heart, when my heart cauldron is low I feel sad, anxious, worried maybe fearful. Sometimes I don’t know why. To refill my heart cauldron I go to water, by a pond, lake or the ocean. I stand and feel the depth of the water or feel the power of the waves. I intentionally scoop that energy once I connect with it and fill my heart cauldron. It calms me and reminds me my emotions should flow, sometimes crash and sometimes be still and deep.

The third cauldron is in our throats and lungs. An empty throat cauldron will leave us breathless, speechless and stiffened with fear. I go into the air, deeply breathing in the breezes as they blow, conscious of the airflow blowing all around me. I fill my cauldron with fresh air and let the breeze blow away any insecurity I am carrying.

The fourth cauldron is the top of the head, it is filled by the sun. I stand in the sun and am conscious of the sun warming my head and filling my head cauldron. The fire energy from the sun gives me energy to move and be inspired, it is the spark of creation. I wait and fill up my fire cauldron and now I am recharged, I feel balanced and energized.

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Nature Based Spirituality – a quest for truth

So many years, so much searching, so much researching! How can anyone really understand what they truly believe without time, energy and effort? My last 30 years have been spent locked in a devout Catholic mold trying to pretend what they were saying was real, the misogyny was some how justified. The fear of reprisal from God for “sinning” and possibility of going to hell engrained so deeply that to leave was even more fearful.

And I didn’t grow up Catholic! I grew up nothing. My family wasn’t religious or spiritual at all. As a teenager I found astrology, Linda Goodman’s “Sun Signs” was all of my friend groups go to book. In college I somehow migrated to Philosophy, where I sat for four years and did complete my BA. I also spent time with a fascinating woman who taught me meditation, psychic healing and clairvoyance.

Then I “grew up”, a husband, kids, a real job and I lost my way. I decided I needed to do the “right” thing for the kids, gift them a spiritual practice that could support and sustain them in times of trouble. Where to go? My husband was raised Catholic, we went, we learned, we joined the choir, we made friends. All of my kids friends were Catholic and in Religious Ed. Seemed right!

A year or two in, I started reading and things started falling apart, but we stayed! Read the Nag Hammadi documents, the early councils of the Church and things kept getting worse and worse. Read the mystics – still love the mystics – the miracles and that kept us engaged. 10 -12 years later the kids hate the Church, think it is stupid and not spiritual at all, mostly bad priests, sex abuse scandal and it all comes crashing down.

What’s real? Not Christianity. Non-Catholic Christian denominations are even worse, can’t even begin to do that, Hinduism and Buddhism are so very cultural that I spent some time exploring both, love both, but not it for me.

What’s left?

Go back to my roots? What roots? I had no spiritual roots.

Go back to your ancestral roots….hmmm…I’m 75% Irish. Go to Ireland, go again and again visiting sites where my ancestors walked. Visit sacred wells, standing stones, ancient sites of Tara and Uisneach, again and again. Start feeling the land, the water of the wells and the air. It is real. The spirituality exudes from the elements. I take time to breathe there and feel the land and the water and my soul starts stirring. This is real, this is true. The spirit of the land, the water, the air and fire are in me and around me and there is no denying this, there is no need to set aside things that don’t resonate as true because it is true. The spirit of the elements are living, they vibrate, they hum, they crackle and they flow. Then I see the moon and she tells me what to do, rest when she rests and is dark I think and contemplate, write some intentions during this dark time, but don’t act. Start to come awake as she wakes and grows brighter, start to put intentions into action, when she is bright and full I look around, see what I am doing and whether it is in alignment with my intentions set when the moon was dark. Reset, adjust and keep moving, then I slow as she starts to sleep again and move to rest once more. I feel aligned and in tune with myself and my place in the world.

I look to the stars, I took what started as my little foray into Sun Signs into a much deeper understanding of the mystery that astrology can reveal. It helps me understand relationships with my family and friends and what makes them react or live their lives the way they do, we understand each other better. We understand our differences in approach to life and living is who we are and we can accept and embrace these magnificent differences.

So much has changed, after initial starts and stops, trying to leave the Church, but having no where to go, I find a place, I find my home, I know my truth.

Now I walk my truth, I have been practicing with the moon for 4 years now, making pilgrimages back to Ireland to refresh my soul and now finding Unee. She, the energy of the Universe, travels with me wherever I go. I can trust all will be well because she is the balancing force of the Universe, not just for me, but for all. I know things happen that should happen and what doesn’t happen for me is not right right now.

I am home, in my spiritual truth.

The Stone of Destiny, where Kings of Ireland were crowned. Ireland my ancestral roots and my destiny.

Gods or Goddesses, any or none

Gods and Goddesses of old, their energy is still with us. I am still of the mind that we can’t look back for spiritual answers, we need to bring them forward. Where are the Gods and Goddesses of today? Do we see them and feel their impact in the world? or for some reason is that cosmology lost to us as modern people. Did the magic exist before and now is lost to us or are we not looking to see the magic created now? Do we look back because that is what we know or someone has written down so we can read about them?

Unee and the Temple of Why allows us to challenge all of these beliefs and shine a light on them to see what they are made of. Zeus was the God of thunder, where that came from seems pretty obvious, Aphrodite, the Goddess of beauty, Hades, king of the underworld. We used Gods and Goddesses to personalize things so we could relate to them. I can get behind that, we even thought we could harness their energy and work with them. Ok, I get that too.

21st Century, what does that look like? Unee, the energy of the Universe, constantly creating, constantly giving birth to the ever changing universe. Can we harness her energy? No more than the ancient Greeks could really harness thunder. But we can be conscious of it and align with the flow. See Unee as a person as I see her – if you want – if that makes it easier to relate to her.

Her face etched with rivers of time, her eyes reflecting planet Earth and the bluest sea, her hair silver white sparkling strands cascading down her shoulders. Her heart glowing like thousands of embers burning in a bonfire, her arms and legs graceful willow branches.

I talk with her, say good night to her, thank her when things go smoothly in my life and try to make adjustments if I am struggling. I know if I am struggling I am going against the flow of Unee, not with it.

Unee, Goddess of the 21st Century, co-creator, partner and guide. She is the beacon to which we can align and find our true path.

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Living aware of our karma

Living in neutral joy rather than striving is a more balanced way to live. Living aware of the karma we are creating at any moment and seeking to achieve balance keeps us be in a neutral state. From neutrality we can see life from a different perspective. If we don’t own the outcome of any situation with such attachment it leaves room for compromise and even exciting possibilities. We think we know what is best for ourselves and everyone around us. We become locked into the outcome – it has to be this way – i.e. it has to be MY way.

What if we approach life more casually? How about of we adopt more of an attitude of just watching to see what the outcome is instead of being in the brawl?

Karma, you win, you lose, there is still residual energy left over from the interaction. You say something mean, you are rude, worse yet you steal or hurt someone lots of left over energy out there following you around. Maybe we should live fully aware of the karma we are creating and aim to leave less of a energetic footprint.

Love is a lie, Unee is neutral, she loves no one more or less. No one is blessed, that implies some are not blessed. Everyone is just in a boat – together – and some people like to rock it. Unee is steering the boat, just sit back and enjoy the scenery.

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Spiritual freedom

We have been conditioned to look outside ourselves for validation about pretty much everything, but especially spirituality. We are told the dead guys, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Moses are our source for true spirituality. Born in a by gone era, culturally so foreign to us, but still, by conditioning mostly based on fear, we look to their rules for truth.

We then look to spiritual leaders, pedophile priests, or bishops and popes who enabled and hid pedophile priests, pastors who preach against adultery while committing adultery, people with the same if not more hang ups as we have, for faith. They are some how someone through divine connection (they tell us) we don’t have, we have to follow.

The only thing we can be 100% sure of is we are surrounded by and composed of Air, Water, and Earth and the influence of Fire. We can’t live without any of them and their energy, strong, vibrant energy is what forms our lives. We all learned in science class that energy can not be destroyed or created and it is the lifeforce pervading everything.

We can learn to harness the energy of the elements by tuning into them and bringing our attention to them. We can start to direct the energy for our good and the collective good. And we should. This is the call to our purpose and destiny. Our spiritual essence, our own energy isn’t destroyed lifetime to lifetime, it is transformed. We can harness the energy of our past lives to focus and create a life now. The universe, Unee, is always a part of that equation, so even when we are working to create, she is our co-creator. We can work with her flow and start to be in synchronicity with her and that is tuning in.

Cooperation, collaboration support for our personal spiritual path is spirituality for the 21 century. Priest, priestess, guru are just an authoritarian power play of times gone by. Be free! Seek your own path be a spark or a lightening bolt that leads your destiny.

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Can technology be spiritual?

Spirituality is one human attribute that can not be replaced by technology. Spirituality is what defines the human experience versus a technological experience. We are teaching our technology to be smart and seeing a sharp increase in the uses for artificial intelligence, but technology will never be able to have a spiritual experience. In speaking with atheists over the years, they are generally unable to differentiate a spiritual experience from an emotional experience, they “understand” emotion, but are quick to dismiss intuition and spiritual encounters. Technology may be able to be taught the conditions by which a human experiences an emotion, sadness, anger, happiness, but the tangible spiritual practice that often results in an otherwise undefinable encounter will not be able to be replicated.

Atheists can be somewhat machine like being stuck in the false concept that what I can feel hear, touch and smell is all that is real. They freely accept changes in science based on new discoveries as scientific advancement, but the spiritual experience along with intuition is left behind as superstition. Anyone having had an unmistakable, life altering spiritual experience knows what that means and can try to explain it to the closed minded, but until it is experienced, it is dismissed. It is also possible that the discernment between emotional states and spiritual states is so blurred that they can not differentiate between the two states of being.

Technology can not experience anything spiritual and since that is what makes humans human, it will remain a barrier even the most advanced technology can not breach. That is why it is so important to be committed to spirituality – it differentiates us from animal and plant life and from technology. It gives us the human experience that gives our lives purpose and definition. It is truly the frontier for human advancement and given technologies progression, something that should be more consciously developed. We shouldn’t downplay and minimize that which makes our experience unique and important. Technology has moved us away from spirituality, but we need to refocus and put technology in its very useful, but clearly inferior place. It is a tool and can’t continue to replace authentic human experiences such as spirituality.

We need to make more time for spirituality and spend less time with technology or we risk losing our humanity.

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Full Aquarius Moon – Focused Intention

I love the Full Moon, I find her glorious. I had a priest from Franciscan University tell me that “Women were like the Moon, cold rocky places were it not for the reflection of the Sun or their husbands”.

Hmmm, I shortly disenrolled from my Graduate program there.

The Moon lights the dark sky shining bravely and mysteriously against the night. I would love to be compared to her in that way. The Second Aquarius Full Moon occurring reflects inner radiance and is a time for contemplating higher perspectives. There are all kinds of perspectives on the meaning of this Moon found with a quick google search – many worth the read.

Candles lit, I will work to prepare myself for my ceremony by bringing myself to an alpha state. The easiest way I have found to do this is as Laurie Cabot has described in her book , “Power of the Witch: The Earth, The Moon and the Magical Path to Enlightenment”. Laurie’s simple and effective method says to sit quietly, and imagine a red 7, then an orange 6, a yellow 5, a green 4, a blue 3, an indigo 2 and a sparkling white 1. You may have to repeat this a few times to experience an alpha state, but it the best way to focus and create a spiritual state of mind where your best work can be done.

After, I will do what I like to do to honor the Moon. I will gaze at her, photograph her, put out my crystals to absorb her energy and recharge and my favorite thing to do, bring a bowl of water outside. I hold the water so it reflects the moon and when I feel ready I drink the water and drink in the moon’s energy. It creates a spiritual vibe in my body that is nearly palpable.

I will also call on her and my deepest self to focus on what I would like to manifest in my life and, since it is an Aquarius Full Moon, what I think the world needs. I will call on the elements; Air from the East, Fire from the South, Water from the West and Earth from the North and ask them to join me. Then I will call on Unee and ask for her to be present pulling all of us together.

Now I will write all that has developed in my life this month since the New Moon, what is manifesting and showing itself in my life. I will write of the positive outcomes that I would like to happen for me and for the World. I will take my time and visualize each one. When I feel that I am done, I will take my thoughts and hopes outside with my manifestation chalice and burn them releasing them to Unee so they may appear in the physical world.

I will then smile at the Moon, thank the elements for joining me, thank Unee for being with us and say good-bye until the New Moon when we meet again.

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An Unee experience

Unee appeared to me in a vision. Her face etched with rivers of time, her eyes shining like the bluest sea, her hair silver white sparkling strands cascaded down her shoulders. Her heart glowed like thousands of embers burning in a bonfire, her arms and legs like graceful willow branches.

She spoke to me with an intense gentleness touching my soul and intuition with a vibrancy I had not felt before. She said I had questions and she appeared so she could answer, so I could communicate more easily with her.

Entranced by her presence I realized I did have questions. I asked her if we were her children and she laughed and said no, we were a part of her just as she was a part of us. I asked her if she has directs for us on how to live and she laughed harder, but gently and said why would she direct our lives? Our lives were for us to live.

I asked if she had wisdom to share and she said all of the wisdom she has we have also, we just need to listen to our intuition and trust ourselves. I sat looking at her and she at me in a gaze of unity.

She then said I am Air, Fire, Water and Earth and so are you. I am all around you and you can not be separated from me because you are me as you always have been. She said to call on our elemental brothers and sisters to help us, they each have their strengths that can be harnessed for good. Be aware of them, she said, treat them like they are your family because they are. She said with them we can manifest the individual and collective community, world and universe we would like to see.

It was nice seeing you, I told her, you as well, she replied.

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