Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Unleashing the Lioness

Unleashing the Lioness

In a dream on the new moon I saw her. In the blackness of the night sky, the moon suspended like a pale sliver, she ambled slowly across the heavens. The stars dimmed to make way for her immense shadow. I watched in awe as she took each deliberate step. Then she turned her golden head towards me. A moment passed between us. But in that moment, I knew she'd been awakened and her power was palpable. The Lioness had been unleashed! 

Out of the dream state I could still feel the presence of the Lioness. But what was the dream about? I began a day of research to investigate the outer interpretations of the dream symbolism. The image of the new moon holding the old moon in its arms was prophetic. The darkness upon the earth was actually illumined by a phenomenon called "Earthshine" where the earth's light is reflected back onto the dark side of the moon. The new moon was opening an energetic doorway for new ideas to emerge in consciousness. 

The Numerology of the dream was also an indication of its significance.  It occurred on January 23, 2017.  January is a "1" month.  It signifies a strong assertive leader, a pioneer. The fact that the number 1 occurred twice, in the month and the year was doubly significant. The date was a "5" number - the number associated with the Goddess through the pentagram, and relates to freedom for all people.  When all the numbers are added together they equal 7 or Spiritual Wisdom.  These were huge messages.

I thought about the Inauguration Meditation where we opened the door for the values of the Divine Feminine to flood the earth. Women and men spoke eloquently of unity, of wisdom, of justice, of fairness, of right action, and of hope, love, peace and laughter. The altar was set with a tall white statue of Lady Liberty holding her torch aloft, reminding us in Emma Lazarus' words, that she is "A mighty woman with a torch whose flame is the imprisoned lightning ... and from her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome.

With these symbols in mind, I needed to better understand the world of the Lioness. She is the feminine aspect of solar power. She is the mother who provides for and protects the pride. She is fierce, righteous, benevolent and courageous. She is Sekmet the great hunter goddess of Egypt whose very breath created the deserts. She is the Goddess of war and retribution, one who could ignite epidemics as well as cure them. Her myths say "she would slay the
 disagreeable men on earth." This was potent imagery! But it was not the whole story.

Behind every external presentation is the esoteric or inner meaning. The Lioness also had one. Stalking across the cosmos she kindled a movement of women across the globe. It began small enough then swelled to the millions in what has been called "the largest movement in history." Women emerged from their comfort zones to make themselves visible. They marched with their mothers, daughters and grand-daughters. Women in their 90's marched alongside toddlers on their father's shoulders. They came from all across the country traveling by buses, trains, planes and cars. Those who could not go to Washington, went to marches in their home-towns. Husbands joined in as one said, to "stop talking and listen to what the women had to say."  The march was peaceful and filled with hope, calling out the same values we did locally on Inauguration night.

The Lioness unleashed a new pattern of behavior. Her power is now awakened in every woman whether they acknowledge it or not. It is a subtle power though it burns intensely when needed. The Lioness is the symbol of the Divine Feminine rising up and summoning others of like mind to right action. For when each woman rises, all women rise. When each woman lights a torch all women see and embrace the flame. Hope is ignited with Wisdom.  When equality and justice is called out, all women benefit. That is the immense power of the Unleashed Lioness in all of us.
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                                                                                           Jo Mooy - February 2017  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Children of Light

The Children of Light
At an equinox ceremony many years ago I watched a little girl sitting on the edge of the stage
playing a drum bigger than her. She poured herself into the rhythms set by the adults behind her. Suddenly, everything around her dissolved. She was the only one on the stage. Transfixed in wonder I heard a voice say these words: She is your great-great-grandmother.

In the years gone by I've met other children just like her. They're regular kids, but there's a serene quality about them. Most children are afraid to stand up in front of an audience of adults, but not these kids. They exude a confidence about the world. I've tried to include these children in our sacred ceremonies and events. They step up without a moment's hesitation. This is the story of two of them and how their journeys began.

Raffaele is a normal ten year old who plays tennis and soccer, and teases his sister. The normalcy stops there. He doesn't like video games, abhors violence and stays away from kids who swear or are disrespectful. His typical day begins with meditation at the family altar. Then he studies Latin, Greek, English Literature, Rhetoric and math. He's a gifted musician and on his way to becoming a classical Flamenco dancer. His instructors call him an angel.
Raffaele & Sister Chong

Raffaele was ten when he first stepped into our circle on the Winter Solstice of 2014. Though a bit shy he fearlessly told a story. He wrote his own personal prayer for peace in the world, spending hours before the ceremony to make it right. As he read it to the large audience the only sound was his clear voice against the waves and the wind. His sincerity and devotion were evident in his wishes for war and hatred to be dissolved. He truly wanted people to live in harmony with each other. From his voice, that future was possible.

Two years later Raffaele and his family moved to Spain. His mother told me he continued to be dedicated to his peace work. While in Valencia, Raffaele met Sister Chan Khong, the first disciple of Thich Nhat Hanh and currently in charge of the Plum Village community. Raffael asked her how he could live his life for peace. Realizing the influence this young boy would have on the world, she told him, "Raffaele, call upon the Buddha. Disassociate with anger. Go back to your in-breath and on the out-breath be calm. The bucket of water that is your mind was agitated. Now it will be calm." Then she named him "The Master of Peace." 

The second boy's name is Lincoln. At age 7 he too is not a normal kid in the usual sense. He is already a healer of some worth. When his mother learned techniques in Sound Toning and Healing, Lincoln wanted to be taught. Every day, he practiced toning with his mom, wearing her prayer shawl and sitting at her altar. He was a natural.
Lincoln at Work


Most kids ask their parents for toys. Not Lincoln. He was given $20 to spend at a festival the family attended. The money was for rides, candy, or whatever he wanted to buy. Lincoln asked his mom to return to the Crystal Booth where he'd seen a bamboo wand with amber and quartz.
He held it in awe, tracing the chakras. The owner of the booth remarked how "unique" this young boy was. But there was a problem. The wand was $45. Promising his father he'd forgo any treats for a month, he got the wand. He placed it on the altar where he uses it daily.

When Lincoln learned that two dogs belonging to friends were desperately ill he wanted to make them well. One of the dogs was not expected to live out the night. Using the Sound Healing techniques he was taught, Lincoln began to systematically tone for each of the dogs, using the wand over their imaginary bodies. Over the course of several weeks, both dogs fully recovered and are back to their old lives. The vet of the dog who was not expected to live calls her "the miracle dog."

These are but two stories of the Children of Light. Today, I can still see the image of the little girl and easily hear the message on that equinox full moon. She was a drummer in the vanguard of The Children of Light. These children are everywhere. They are beyond special. They've chosen wise parents who encourage them by including them in spiritual ceremonies. These children to whom we've had the privilege of teaching spiritual practices will take humanity forward in consciousness. They are the ones we summoned in our prayers so very long ago. They are indeed the light-bearers for the future generations coming to earth. When we return to earth, we'll remember. For they were our great-great-grandmothers and grandfathers.



                                                                                           Jo Mooy - January 2017  

Esoteric Heart of the Year

The Esoteric Heart of the Year
The Winter Solstice! Christmas! New Years! The Epiphany! They're all well known holidays. But few know the mysteries that surround the twelve days between the Winter Solstice, (or December 25th) and January 6th. Esoteric teachings say this period of time is significant. It's known as the "spiritual heart" of the year or the time when the Sun is reborn bringing its light to
the world. And the twelve days are ruled by the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Before Christianity arrived, ancient cultures celebrated the New Year on the Winter Solstice, the darkest and longest night of the year. On that morning people gathered to watch the sun rise and light the long chambers of their places of worship. That gathering was a festival to call back the sun, knowing it was the giver of harvest and without it, life would cease. In 5,000 BC Persian historical records describe the gatherings. Tribal fires burned all night, feasts were laid out, and prayers offered for the sun to be reborn. Its return symbolized the victory of light over darkness and is still celebrated today.

But what about the "twelve holy days" mentioned in the ancient texts? Some calendars were unable to account for twelve days every year, so they left them unmarked. The twelve days coinciding with their ancient "New Year" were set aside as days out of time, and therefore must be sacred and holy. The Magi, astrologists, and shamans knew the sun was at its lowest point relative to the earth. For three days it appeared to "stand still" increasing the effect of darkness. They watched, waited and measured, realizing the sun didn't begin to move until the morning of the fourth day. Day by day, unobserved by the populace, the few minutes of additional sunlight
were recorded. Not until the 12th day did the people begin to notice the change. By January 6th the ordinary person could detect there was more light in the sky. On that day, light had truly overcome darkness, the growing season could begin, there would be a harvest and so they celebrated it as the Festival of Light or the Epiphany

There's an esoteric practice associated with the 12 Days which can be a period of reflection or purification. But it requires a commitment to its purpose. It begins after the "Stand-Still period" of the Winter Solstice.  So, starting either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning, light a candle. Ask this question: "What does this day (first, second, third, day etc) have to teach me to further my soul's purpose? I await this guidance through dreams, insights or messengers during the day." Because this is a journey of 12 days, engage it in any way you wish - by journaling, meditation, prayer, or walks in nature and be aware of where messages may be sent.

Observe and be mindful throughout the day, then journal each evening. Each day represents the
12 months of the calendar year and 12 astrological signs. For example, Day 1 is January named for the God Janus, master of beginnings and endings. Reflect on Janus or new beginnings or endings. Or consider the astrological sign Capricorn's self-discipline and responsibility.

When I did this practice in December 2015, I had a dream the first night about "reconstruction." In it I was told I had the tools, skills and talent to make or remake anything.  Later in the day, while discarding some old flowers in a vase and changing out towels, I made a connection with the dream. The insight was, discard the old and replace with new. Insights, dreams or messages continued every day of this practice.

Done with intent and dedication, this is a deep practice to take you from the longest night to the festival of lights. The symbols received and the interpretations that come day by day are remarkable. Especially when you go back and look at them a year later. Some messages predicted an outcome. Some offered insightful guidance on a specific issue. All the messages, whether dreams, insights, even a phone call, or something read on the internet, related to the day and month. It is a worthwhile endeavor in your spiritual life. If you put your personal heart into the Esoteric Heart of the Year these twelve days will serve as a brilliant guide for the upcoming year. 



                                                                                           Jo Mooy - December 2016   

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sarah, Susan & Alice

Sarah, Susan & Alice
No, you can't go to school! It's not a place for girls. I'm sorry, your husband is the only one who can own that property. Yes, Mr. Smith makes more money than you because he has a family to provide for. You don't. Lady, if you want that credit card you'll need your husband's signature. Don't worry your pretty head about politics, I'll take care of it. You can't be a manager, you're a woman! The military is for men only. Women have lived with statements like these for centuries.

Then there was a revolution in the 1700's that created a nation. But along the way, the founders forgot about women. Volumes have been written about the new nation. It's essential truth was "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." It went on that, "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted by men who get their powers from those governed." What did that really mean? Only men were created equal? If men were the Government did their powers only come from other men? Did freedom and liberty and justice for all apply only to them? My questions weren't so unusual. Others long before me had asked them. Especially Sarah, Susan and Alice!

In South Carolina, Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina(1792-1879) were the first American female advocates for abolition and women's rights. Sarah's father, Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, refused to send her to law school deeming it only fit for his son Tom. Nonetheless she studied every book in her father's library excelling in the law. Judge Grimke, later said she would have been the greatest lawyer in South Carolina if she were not a woman. In violation of that law, Sarah taught her personal slave to read. And later freed her. Then the sisters went on another improper activity for women - a national speaking tour against slavery and for the rights of women. Angelina wrote "Women were not created for the possession of men. But rather as unique, intelligent, capable creatures deserving equal regard, rights and responsibilities with men." It was inflammatory and incited riots.  (Read their remarkable story in Sue Monk Kidd's book, The Invention of Wings.)

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) is the most famous reformer of the suffragette movement in America. She too was an abolitionist but later was more focused on women's rights. As headmistress of a female academy she was enraged to learn she was paid much less than a male headmaster. It caused her to ease into the role of voting rights for women, saying "I didn't want to vote but I did want equal pay for equal work." That changed when she met the women of Senaca Falls who were lobbying for a woman's right to vote. For over fifty years she and her closest collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, worked tirelessly. They marched, petitioned congress and endured public humiliations. She and many of her friends were imprisoned in horrible conditions for illegally voting in an election. Not until August, 1920 did women get the right to vote in the 19th amendment to the US Constitution. It changed things.

Then there was Alice. No, not Roosevelt.  This was Alice Paul from Mt. Laurel NJ. She was the architect, activist, strategist and leader of the campaign for the 19th Amendment. She dedicated her life to securing a woman's right to vote. She mobilized women as "Silent Sentinels" to stand outside the White House during WWI incurring the wrath of angry mobs and the disdain of the President. They were imprisoned in filthy rat-infested cells. They were beaten
and left out in the cold with no coats. They went on hunger strikes and were force fed. Government officials removed Alice to a sanitarium in hopes she'd be declared insane. The doctor said no she wasn't. When the press found out about their treatment the public responded in favor of the women. It went to Congress with the deciding vote in the hands of a 24 year old from Tennessee who intended to vote "no." Until his mother sent him a telegram saying "support the women." Ninety-seven years later, a statue honoring his mother and the Tennessee Suffragettes was just installed in Nashville's Centennial Park.

Thank you Sarah, Susan and Alice. You were vilified and humiliated. You were imprisoned and tortured. You were spat upon and urinated on. You were chained and beaten. Yet you persevered and endured. You struggled for hundreds of years, finally getting women the right to vote. In November, at Thanksgiving, in an election year where the first woman in history is running for office, we thank you for your valiant courage in the face of unimaginable discrimination and horror. Because of you we can vote without facing those horrors. Thank you Sarah, Susan and Alice!
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                                                                                           Jo Mooy - November 2016  

Sunday, October 2, 2016

THE CALLING

The Calling
She was a Rosicrucian and my first spiritual mentor. Her name was Gloria. She introduced
Rosicrucian Cross
me to meditation, numerology, color and frequency, psychic experiences, rituals and sacred ceremonies. She taught me the importance of remembering and interpreting dreams and how to consciously walk shamanic pathways into alternate realities. And she guided me well in the early days of my spiritual journey.

I remember many of her pronouncements regarding the direction my life would take. She'd lean back in her chair, her eyes would glaze, her voice deepened with a husky edge, and she'd tell me what she saw. Gloria said I would never be rich, but would always be comfortable. She said my job would take me far and support me well. She predicted three extraordinary experiences that would propel me into alternate-realities. One of those experiences where I consciously observed myself entering an immense fluid energy field while driving my car is as vivid today as when it occurred in the 1970's.

However, the most compelling prediction she made and one that stuck in my mind was the major directional change my life would take when I entered my 60's. She saw me teaching the spiritual path to others accompanied by an "equally dedicated spiritual partner." At the time of the prediction I felt she'd made her first mistake. I had no "dedicated spiritual partner" in my life,
and I couldn't conceive of a scenario where I'd be teaching others about the spiritual path, being new to it myself. What I failed to realize was that "The Calling" to do just that had been planted in my being long before she told me when it would flower.

What I've come to know is that The Calling is a journey of spiritual awakening that can come like a bolt out of the heavens or it creeps into your consciousness like a feather falling softly from a pillow. It can arrive at any time in your life as it did when I met Gloria. When you become conscious of it, you know on a deep inner level that your life is going to change in dramatic ways. It's a subtle spiritual force that permeates your being and all you can do is respond to its direction. It influences the books you read, the music you listen to, the TV you watch, and the places you visit. It causes you to seek out teachers who can identify and explain it in ways that soothe your spirit.

It's not an easy path to follow.  It doesn't have to, but many times it shatters your old life patterns, leaving it in tatters. Because you're changing, old friends and even family members will often fall away from your sphere of contacts. They tell you they don't know who you are, or worse, they don't like the person you've become. When you try to explain your new interests or behavior, they want no part of it. Or you. It can be a painful and lonely time. Yet you persevere.


That's when you realize that the "new you" no longer has the same interests that were prevalent in your old life. Everything about you has changed and you want to follow that singular path though you have no idea where it will lead. It's then that the spiritual teacher becomes your best guide. And if the teacher is good, they will direct you to your own inner guide.

Gloria's prediction of "teaching the spiritual path in your sixties" has happened. You said that the material we teach at the women's meditations or retreats had a profound effect on your lives. You said, the practices and exercises caused seismic changes to happen. While old relationships came unglued new ones emerged and ignited. These changes are The Callingsounding from the depths of your being. When you hear it then cross that threshold, only you can pick up the light offered and carry it on. You will do this with a lightness in your heart, and a smile on your face. The awakening of spiritual knowing is the soul's essential quest in living a human incarnation. What a symphony it creates!
                                                                                               Jo Mooy - October 2016   

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Mermaid Altar at the Wall

The Mermaid Altar at The Wall
The Wall juts out into the Gulf at the north end of the beach. It's the end point of a mile or more
The Wall
beach walk. There's no way around it other than to swim at high tide, or wade through the criss-crossing currents at low tide. It's six feet high and about two feet thick. It's a concrete bulkhead to hold the tides back from swallowing the expensive home that sits hidden on the ridge away from the water. It's also a barrier to the beach walkers who might infringe on the property rights of the owners.

The Wall is plain. The concrete is dun-colored. It's been there for many years with nothing to distinguish it other than two sets of large black stenciled "Private Property No Trespassing" letters prominent on the beach side. But no matter the intentions of the owners, time has taken its measure. With the rising of the sea level, the higher tides have brought in sand raising the beach and reducing the height of the wall to just under five feet.

Reducing it from six feet made it more approachable to the walkers who considered The Wall, the end of their beach walk before they had to turn around and walk back. But one day something happened. The walkers began to see The Wall, not as an obstacle to overcome, but
The Blue Mermaid
one to embrace. The changes started spontaneously. Now that the top was reachable, one or two walkers brought a shell, (or several) leaving them on the top of the wall. Other walkers, seeing the shells, began to add their own.

Then the biggest change came. No one knew who did it, or when it was done, but one day an artist decided to paint The Wall. She began by painting two wild-hair mermaids. The blue one with big eyes waved to the walkers. The lime green one was positioned swimming towards the sea. The mermaids were accompanied by eight blue fish swimming in different directions. A thin green palm tree, and a couple of pink jelly fish floating off behind the swimming mermaid completed the mural.

As soon as The Mermaids arrived the intention of The Wall as a barrier dissolved. While the Mermaids didn't obscure the "Private Property No Trespassing" signs, their appearance made it less in your face. The Mermaids were whimsical and invited interaction with the walkers. Soon the walkers responded in kind and The Wall became known as The Mermaid Altar. Beautiful shell offerings were left on top of the wall. Then came the symbols, reflecting the different religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism, of the walkers. It was not unusual to see the OM symbol made out of seaweed on top of the wall next to a shell shaped peace
Sunday Morning Offering
symbol, or a Christian cross made out of sea beans.

Many religions have houses of worship where the faithful can go on a Sunday morning. The original teachers of those religions taught about the majesty of nature and suggested there was much to learn about life by being in nature. The beach calls to many and in this area, it can be its own place of worship. That's evidenced by the many walkers who head out early on a Sunday morning to commune with nature. They walk north on the beach towards The Wall. They stop en-route, picking up shells, or beach-glass that will become an offering at The Mermaid Altar. When they reach The Wall, they place the offering on top. Sometimes they stop, bow their heads, and offer a prayer. Occasionally they bring a child, telling them about the altar and lifting the child to place a shell on the top.

It's suggested when given a lemon, make lemonade. So it was, when an owner put up a wall hoping to detract others from their expensive beach property.  The beach walkers and the artist took that lemon and made lemonade! The "Private Property - No Trespassing" concrete bulkhead was transformed with a lovely mural.  It's now a destination for Sunday morning walkers that they call The Wall or The Mermaid Altar!
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                                                                                           Jo Mooy - September 2016   

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

HEAT!

Heat!

Heat! It conjures up images of fire, rising temperatures, passion, even a movie. But it's much
Solar Eruptions
more influential in our lives and is something we often take for granted. Earth is in the "sweet spot" in its distance from the inferno of the sun. Without the sun's heat, the temperatures on earth would reach hundreds of degrees below zero and pretty soon life on earth would end. And should the sun itself vanish, the gravity that held things together would instead allow all comets, asteroids and planets to fly off into space or each other.

While science defines heat as "the energy stored inside something" (like the core of the earth) temperature is a measurement of how hot or cold something is.  Heat travels and moves around and through objects. Things that are hot cool down (like a cup of coffee) and things that are cold get warmer (like a cup of ice-cream.) Then there's weather which is an atmospheric condition defined as temperatures of hot or cold, and atmospheres that are sunny or rainy. Weather is driven by air pressure, temperatures interacting with moisture, and the sun's angle relative to the axis of the earth.

That's heat in a nutshell. But why is it so important? Because weather shapes the earth. Andalso because weather, with its temperature extremes of hot and cold, has an extraordinary impact on human health and well-being. In the northern hemisphere August is a month
Frying egg on sidewalk
synonymous with heat. The temperature is so hot wildfires abound and often sidewalks buckle in the heat. Some daring souls have fried eggs on their car bumpers during the month. August is also the "high season" for catastrophic hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina caused one million people to leave the Gulf Coast and move to other parts of the country, becoming the largest diaspora in the history of the United States.

The heat of August, coupled with high humidity, also contributes to exploding tempers and emotional outbursts. Like the weather, pressures in humans builds up. Police reports show violent crimes soar in the hot months but less so in the cold months.Archaeologists and psychologists say there's a link between the environment and human behavior. Evidence exists that extreme weather caused crop failures that led to unrest, uprising and the downfall of civilizations from Babylon to the Mayan Cultures to the dynasties of China.

But consider this.  Research scientists at UCLA Berkeley have been seeking a "grand unified theory of the environment and human behavior" that crosses location and time with the only constant being us. The research concludes that a degree of fluctuation from average temperatures or rainfall results in a predictable change in human conflict. They said this conflict is played out on NY subways, as well as influencing the regional and national levels. When heat is added it escalates. For instance when policemen were placed in a "heated simulator room" they were more likely to fire their guns when assaulted. The environmentappears to be affecting how small scale conflicts can escalate into larger ones.
Searing passions
You're probably wondering what this has to do with you personally. Sufi mystic Pir Vilayat suggests one should always "look for that which transpires behind that which appears" to get a better understanding of events. What if there's a correlation not just with the weather affecting humans but rather with humans affecting the weather? I don't mean humans causing climate change, though that's an aspect of it. Rather, what if the emotional state of humans is the actual cause of the weather we experience? What if the angry and fearful behavior of humans creates the volcanic disturbances in the weather?

We're living in a violent period of earth history. Civil discourse and respect for one another has taken a back seat. It's evident in how we treat each other, the litter we leave on beaches and parks, and the value we place on the self and personal gain. If an argument in a heated moment can poison the atmosphere between friends so powerfully that it's felt when others come into contact with them, then it seems logical that contaminated atmosphere will also radiate out as
Us and the weather
part of the weather? Enough heated arguments (wars, election campaigns) will create disastrous storms because our personal "atmosphere" is affected and so too is the overall global weather atmosphere.

When Pir Vilayat said "look for that which transpires behind that which appears" that phrase becomes a directive for each of us to carefully observe our actions and make a determination on how we're influencing others. We are not alone in this! We are inter-connected as one being. What happens to one of us happens to the whole.  That includes our affect on the environment and weather.
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                                                                                                 Jo Mooy - August 2016