Sunday, December 6, 2015

WHY WE DO CEREMONIES

Why Ceremonies?
Torches at the four directions glow in the fading light of day.  The scent of incense fills the air.  A drum beats an ancient rhythm as the notes of a flute entwine with the drumbeat. As the celebrant approaches the eastern directional gate, a hush falls over the assembly.  Candles on the altar in the center of the circle are lit one by one.  An invocation accompanies the lighting of each.  With the sacredness of the ceremony set, the story of the event is choreographed to dance and 
music.  This is ceremony!

Humans have celebrated with like rituals and ceremonies for over one hundred thousand years.  Archaeologists found pottery, tools, and cave paintings indicating they were an essential component in the lives of every ancient culture.  Societies recognized the seasons of planting and harvest, the movement of the moon and stars, and honored birth and death.  At some point,  religion crept into the ceremonies complicating or altering many of the ancient practices.  Yet the dates marking the seasons were kept with attributions to the different Gods of each religion.


For the past twelve years ceremonies have been an integral part of the practices in our community. Individuals with similar beliefs mark the dates by participating in or supporting the vision inherent in each gathering.  The past decade offered up a rare occurrence that happens only once each century.  Between 2001 and 2012 the calendar dates 01-01-01 through 12-12-12 were identified as cosmic trigger events and celebrated as such.  On each of the triple numerical dates, a special ceremony, tied to the numerology of the date, was held. It ended with a large gathering on 12.12.12 known as Sounding the Bowls where hundreds of crystal and Tibetan bowls were sounded in concert across the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

But what about ceremonies?  What are they and what do they do for the human psyche?  And why should we in the modern world do ceremonies or rituals?  There's an easy answer.  Rituals and ceremonies connect us to an ancestry and history that provide a glimpse into a time and heritage long past.  When performed in the modern era, they remind us to halt the noise of everyday life and to remember the meaning of sacred space and the power of seasonal changes. Even more, they acknowledge the spiritual mystery inherent in celebrating special events, stimulating reverent qualities in all attendees.

It's easy to identify with Equinoxes and Solstices which represent Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  But if you've been part of these gatherings, you know each season or ceremony carries its own frequency that changes from year to year, though the event is the same.  


Each celebrant brings practices that makes each ceremony unique.  For example, a Celtic Bard might enact a story of the Return of the Light on the Winter Solstice that includes the use of hundreds of candles.  A shamanic practitioner might instead use the power of imagination to journey into the darkness to find the light and return it to earth.

When children participate a benign sweetness descends on the gathering.  There's recognition by all assembled that the next generation is being introduced to sacred patterns of harmony and reverence.  And in their own way, the children respond.  Shy ones find their voices, enter the circle, and speak to their elders with wisdom and clarity.  The more outgoing children take leadership roles in the ceremony, writing prayers, poems, or wishes for peace on earth. 


The size of a gathering can affect the energy either positively or negatively.  But if the gathering is set in a containment field, like a circle, it's much easier to feel sacred rhythms. An altar at the center of the circle makes a statement to all attending that this is a holy gathering. 

The role of officiant is important and carefully orchestrated. With exceptional power, they hold the containment field intact while voicing the intentions and impressions needed to make the ceremony solemn and reverent.  When the intentions are set, the candles lit, incense is burning, drums are sounding, and dancers weaving around the altar in the center, the audience responds with awe for they have become entwined with the ceremony.


From these many gatherings, people connect, a community is built, grace flows, and blessings are bestowed for family, friends, and all beings on the planet.  That is the sacredness of ceremony which really answers the question, Why Ceremonies
 
Jo Mooy - December 2015     

All Journals are archived on the website: Starsoundings Journals 
    

Monday, November 2, 2015

Coming Home

Coming Home
Without question traveling is a rich experience. It alters our understanding of other cultures and traditions. It broadens our previously held ideas about them. And, through meaningful conversations with people we meet, our ideals hopefully become more universal. But after months of travel, there's nothing quite like Coming Home. It's that glorious moment when you walk into your house and the familiar settings, the books, the crystals, the altar with its lingering smells of burned down incense, reclaim you. There's a silent pause as you look around and hear the house saying, I've been here waiting; where have you been?

Returning home is another part of the travel experience. But, re-animating the home can take a while. Travel laundry has to be done. Suitcases, battered by TSA across two continents, need to be put away for another year. Then food and supplies brought in. This sounds rather ordinary and routine. But, in mindfulness practices, the process is quite deliberate and methodical. For when a house sits alone for months, it develops its own silent but very noticeable patterns. A calm stillness is tangible in every room. It's held its own space without benefit of human intervention. The objects, lovingly placed by careful hands, look somewhat tenuous. It's as though each one could easily dissolve into the ether.

So, re-introducing human contact is a slow and sacred process. It must be done gently while respecting the energetic patterns the house created without us. It continued to provide shelter and cooling from the elements, though no one was around to appreciate it. Silly as it sounds, that must be acknowledged. Just as we ask the house spirit to be watchful and protective when we leave for travel, the same way we thank it for its service and duty when we return.


Once food has filled the refrigerator it's time for the more subtle animations to begin. Flowers are brought in. Their colors permeate everything. Flower-presence enlivens the house, telling it, take note, they're back! The flowers never overwhelm, but are a compliment to the d├ęcor. But the one thing above all others that signals to the house that "they're back" is the smell of incense. Once lit, the light blue tendrils of smoke linger as the smell of Champa wafts through the atmosphere. Anyone coming in the front door remarks about the signature fragrance.

Each sense of sight and smell and touch and taste bring life back into the house. But the powerful sense of sound announces a unique harmony when the various chimes are returned to the garden. The bamboo chimes play a tubular melody against the tinkling pipes of the Woodstock chimes. Then, when the deep vibrant tones of the long Neptune pentatonic tubes sound their baritone notes, the garden and house fall into resonance. This is when the tones and aromas awaken the "house-spirit" and it once again becomes a spirit-home.
 


While these are most notable animations, balance must always be envisioned. When the elements are in harmony, balance is restored. When the sun moves across the heavens, announcing a new season every three months, balance is restored. When a house has its people, balance is restored. When its people animate the house, balance is restored. Coming Home restores a sacred balance. Gardens, left idle during travel, are weeded and fertilized, and balance is restored. Morning walks on the beach, not enjoyed since June, resume, and balance is restored. Sharing the journey with friends and students restores the balance.

In the end, it's these mundane acts of Coming Home that reclaim our space, renew us, and make us settled again. In these simple acts, great happiness and gratitude permeate the return to normalcy. May there be balance and happiness when you come home this Thanksgiving.

Jo Mooy - November 2015 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Silent Healer

A Silent Healer

After several months of travel it's hard to get back into the swing of writing. The act of traveling or experiencing new things always inspires topics. As I looked back on the past five months, I wondered what should I write about. Then quite spontaneously, an idea floated in from a familiar place. While on the road, I was aware that a current was running just under the surface of all our movements. It wasn't loud nor did it demand attention. It was gentle and very subtle, pinging up through the various activities. Though it never overrode any activities. It was always there nonetheless. The current was "Silence" and it became a great friend.

In the summer of 2015 the US Supreme Court ruled on several landmark decisions. They said a Muslim woman could wear her head-scarf at her place of employment and in another ruling, Muslim prisoners could grow beards. They said the State of Texas could ban the Confederate flag on license plates. They upheld subsidy provisions of Obamacare. They approved same-sex marriage in the U.S. Needless to say these decisions polarized the country further.

The Supreme Court rulings had a direct affect on our experiences while traveling. Standing at the barriers on the streets of Charleston after the murders of nine people in a Bible class, it surfaced. I could have expressed sorrow to those standing near. It would have been the normal thing to do. But "Silence" said say nothing. Everyone knows and shares the same emotions as you.

Waiting in the lobby of a restaurant in the south, a large screen TV blared the news of same-sex marriage. A young couple in their thirties listened to the announcer. They began to expound on what they heard. HE: That's it for this country! It's against God. SHE: We should think about moving somewhere else. HE: Yeah, we should leave the country. It's not ours anymore. Both of them looked at me for agreement. Thousands of one-liners floated in for a retort. Then "Silence" said say nothing. Move away. I stared at them for a moment, swallowing the one-liners that begged to be let loose, and left.

On one of the hottest days in the North Georgia Mountains we visited Tallulah Falls planning to hike to the bottom of the canyon. At the first turn of the trail we stopped. Heat and exhaustion were taking a toll. We went back to the visitor's center to rest.  An Indian woman in full length sari and robes was brought in by her friend. Her face was bright splotchy red and she was heavily panting.  Through gasps she complained that her heart was racing. Her friend looked frantic. Silence said help her. Without knowing what we were doing, we told her to run cold water from the water fountains across her wrists to cool the
blood. Within fifteen minutes her color returned and her heart slowed down.

Every experience and every person we meet has a direct purpose on our path. Each can be a tool for growth or one that keeps us bound to where we are. It's often difficult to remember that, much less act in accordance with it. Training in spiritual practices can enhance our awareness of events. But it takes a real commitment and a strong desire to interrupt the "normal" responses and act differently. Treating each of these experiences or people as a potential ladder on the journey changes our response as well as the outcome.

When we listen to the voice within, we develop a direct way of raising our personal level of consciousness. It takes great diligence and constant practice. But when we do, Silence becomes the Healer. It heals us by changing how we react to things. And in turn, changes the situations we encounter.

Jo Mooy - October 2015 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Harvest of Presence

A Harvest of Presence

"It's an oasis!" - "I feel like I'm back in Costa Rica." - "It reminds me of Hawaii." - "Hydrangeas don't bloom in Florida!" - "Your garden always makes me feel good." said friends, strangers, or neighbors walking past our garden. It began simply enough as a six foot plot of earth with a Pygmy Palm in the middle of it. Then a family of Sandhill Cranes looking for grubs expanded it to eight feet. Their search for food compelled us to do something with the mound of now bare soil they'd overturned.

The teachings on Nature by Sufi mystic Inayat Khan came to mind. He said, "There is only one holy book. It is the sacred manuscript of Nature and it is the only scripture that can enlighten the reader." He went on, "All scriptures, before Nature's manuscript, are just little pools of water before the ocean." His teachings on Nature blended easily with our own practices on Mindfulness. In that perfect alignment of being present in the moment "The Garden" came into being.

It didn't come with instructions on what to plant. So we just sat with it intuitively. Using mindfulness techniques we were present to every nuance it revealed. We felt the warm humid atmosphere in and around the area. It was a vibrant place filled with insects and birds. Digging into the soil we saw tan-colored dry sand and black moist clay battle for dominance. Mindful tilling uncovered earthworms everywhere that were helping to aerate the soil with long trenches. Sadly, they also fed the white Ibises that arrived in flocks every morning at dawn. A few earthworms usually escaped the long curved bills which probed deep inside their trenches. It was nature teaching about life.

Days settled into weeks and then months as we prepared the planting bed. We planted by season, consciously watching the direction of the sun's angle to the garden. We saw how its progression across the sky brilliantly lit the garden or where it left shadows from the palm. The sun guided which plants would work best. But it was the flowers that told us what to do. We were present to each one of them in their growing season, selecting glorious shrubs and annuals in a riot of colors.

We spent our days digging, spading, fertilizing, watering, and pruning. We talked to the plants if they were stressed, assuring them all was well. We praised the ones that produced the most brilliant blossoms, telling them how remarkable they were. When experts assured us we couldn't grow roses in the heat of Florida we shrugged pointing to the pink, yellow, or red long stemmed beauties. "Tell them!" we said.

Every morning we made a daily pilgrimage into the garden. We admired each plant, propping up some dirt around the base of one, removing a twig that had fallen on a flower, or cutting off a dead branch. We touched their leaves in silent homage. We hovered over a new seedling like expectant mothers. We showered gratitude and appreciation for each one of their unique expressions. In time we came to realize working the garden had become it's own form of meditation - a most natural and easy form of direct communication with nature.

Inayat Khan said every leaf is a page that contains divine revelation. In the ten seasons as caretakers of the garden it's taught us how to read the manuscript of Nature. The manuscript showed there was a cycle of birth, growth, and death in every entity. While plants do grow tall and burst with flowers, soon those flowers die, their seeds feeding the birds. But always, life continues. Some seeds that fall to the ground become seedlings. In time, those seedlings become mature plants with new flowers, repeating the cycle of birth, growth and death. The plants were no different than the Sandhill Cranes who returned every spring, laid eggs, hatched their babies and taught them how to feed on grubs and earthworms, often in our garden.

Nature is a fully balanced organism. It doesn't really need humans. But humans need it. It transports us to a place outside ourselves. It gives us the space to slow down and to appreciate the magnificent colors and scents that can alter our moods. It teaches us about birth, life and death. It allows us the freedom to become at peace with this knowledge. And it bestows its bounty on those who take the time to let it. The Garden is a Harvest of Presence moments. All one must do is practice presence and patience and listen.
 

Jo Mooy - September 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

In Unsung Service

In Unsung Service

They're mostly anonymous. Unknown even to each other. They range in age from thirty to ninety. They feel their names are unimportant. But the service they perform, when summoned by their coordinator, can change lives for the better. "They" are The Healers Network.

Their beginning seven years ago was unplanned but fortuitous. Many met while attending weekend healing seminars taught by Patricia Cockerill. With new-found knowledge and practical experiences learned about healing energy they said they wanted to use it to help family and friends who were suffering. Then the "ah-hah" moment occurred and The Healers Network was born. 


It started with 25 women who wanted to further pursue energy healing after taking a healing workshop together in 2008. In subsequent healing seminars taught by Patricia over the next four years the total grew to sixty-five women and men healers. At first their work revolved around local family members. Soon the word got out. Requests for healing came to Patricia through various sources - word of mouth, the Women's Meditation Circle, and social media. Before long the reach of the group spanned countries.

Patricia developed a simple but personal email identifying the first name, last initial and location of the person seeking help. The request also included a brief description of the illness or special request that friends or family had submitted on behalf of the person. Each day that Patricia got new names, an email was sent to the healers. Soon people were writing back with updates on their requests and with words of gratitude. Many times petitioners would relay a story of a remarkable healing. 


A baby girl in the Northeast needed a liver transplant. She would endure many operations in her first two years of life, all with severe complications. The prognosis was not good.  But the healers persevered, working on the infant they came to know as "Baby Jaxon." After two transplants and countless near death moments she's now a six year old in school. Another man was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.  Again, the healers set to work, knowing only this caveat with which Patricia ends each email: "May it be for their highest and best good."  His family recently reported he is cancer free. Not all requests have such outcomes. When a healing is not to be, the healers simply hold the space for ease and courage in transition.

The process though is not as important as the healers themselves. Their intentions then and now continue to be selfless. Each one brings a different discipline to the healing work. Some are Reiki Masters. Others are trained in Quantum Healing, EFT, or Healing Touch. A few simply hold space in prayer or meditation on behalf of the sick.


Most of them do their work silently without communicating with Patricia. But when they do it's always something important. The ninety-year old great-grandmother healer reflected that doing this work gives her a sense of purpose in life. It allows her to get up in the morning and sit quietly on behalf of those less fortunate than herself. Others are very intuitive. They write about  "seeing" a karmic incident or long-buried situation with the person they're working on. Sometimes a request is so poignant that one or more of the healers will write that they were compelled to work on the person for an extended period of time.  Without fail, one healer responds to every email request with the simple, "Healing love and Divine Light sent." 

The names that come in for healing fill a prayer box. It was named the "Reiki Box" symbolizing the familiar nature of energy healing. The names are left to accumulate in the box for six months. Then, in a very sacred ceremony where each name passes through the hands of a healer, they are burned on either the summer or winter solstice. The names are blessed, the intention remembered, and the small piece of paper released into the flames.  After the burning, the ashes are always collected.  Those ashes are later buried in another ceremony at a sacred site somewhere around the world.

The Healers Network is an unsung service. It is a service of passion and compassion. The heartfelt desires of those in need are never ignored.  The Healers Network hears the cries for help and responds daily. This work is that of selfless beings.  They are unknown and unsung heroes who wish no accolades. Their only desire is to help those who are suffering and in need.  Is there a greater passion than in service to others?


Jo Mooy - August 2015
 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW

How Does Your Garden Grow?
 
The labyrinth was in a state of disrepair. Tall weeds were growing over mounds of dirt, and several outer rings were submerged by frequent downpours. When she arrived at Unity, Mary Badeau felt deep sadness at the condition it was in. She said it was the same feeling one gets when seeing a hurt or abandoned animal. She had to do something.

She was neither disheartened nor discouraged. Instead, she rallied to the task, intent on bringing the labyrinth back to its full potential. For forty days she did what she called "an intervention." She began the physical work of raising the rings above the water level, carting hundreds of bags of soil to the rings. When needing a rest, she read volumes about Labyrinths.

On the twenty-first day, her friend Susanne arrived to help. These two women, seniors in body but youngsters in heart, worked together for nine months. After the mounds were built up, they placed borders around the rings to keep the soil and mulch in place. Then they added small succulent plants and native species at the edges of the walking area, marking the course. But the real impact of the Labyrinth was the personal tokens. Crystals, small ceramic or stone animals, candles, chimes, fairies, Buddhas and plaques interspersed the plants. They dotted every section of the trail because visitors were encouraged to bring a plant or crystal to commemorate their walk.

I've walked dozens of labyrinths at sacred sites all over the world, but this one at Unity of Venice was in a realm by itself. It was organic. It was sentient. It was personal. It was mindful. Each item one passed told a story or unearthed a related memory as walkers made their way to the center. As I walked the rings, the nursery rhyme, Mary, Mary, quite contrary how does your garden grow, flitted across my mind. I had to learn more about Mary.

Mary's labyrinth is a story of love. It's the love she and Susanne had for nature that was both spiritual and inspirational. Mary told me "It wasn't until I went into the garden that I gave birth to myself. I asked the question, 'Who am I?" and the transcendent spoke silently through the garden." She and Susanne arrived early each morning to begin their work. The birds would be singing in the branches of the great oak grandmother trees that surrounded the labyrinth. Each of the magnificent oaks revealed a name to them.

The design, she said, was intuitive. "We both love color and texture and we would surprise each other with trays of flowers and plants. We followed the chakra colors. Row 1 was red, Row 2 orange, Row 3 yellow. It was a challenge because some plants like sun and some like shade. Some like to be dry and some like wet. Theylet us know fast if they were unhappy."

When I asked her why she and Susanne did it, she replied, "For the sheer joy of it. Even the hard physical work was wonderful. Going to the labyrinth every morning was like running to a lover, delighting that it was still there. But best of all was being in the silence of living, growing things." She continued, "The labyrinth is a silent teacher. Without words or books it allows me to engage in the mystery of being for the sake of being and creating. I know what harmonic balance feels like. I can see how it works. The labyrinth inspires dancing. Sacred encounters. Expressions of joy. Exploring. Picnics. Conversations on the benches. Birthday parties. Children running and playing in it. It brings joy."

The labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey of life. The many rings meander around a path, asking us to simply walk forward in mindfulness. The journey of Susanne's life was that. But sadly, it was soon cut short. On the day the labyrinth was dedicated in a Summer Solstice ceremony, she felt "something was not right." Within three months she learned she had ALS and within a year transitioned. Amemorial stone with Susanne's name is a daily reminder to Mary of her friend

The labyrinth is an ancient archetype symbolically conjuring up the path to the center of inner stillness. Mary's devotion to gardens, to nature, and to all living things is a metaphor for love. For what is love but service to others. In creating and now maintaining this labyrinth her nature is joyfully expressed without fanfare. Mary, now known as the Keeper of the Labyrinth, is quick to remind everyone that Susanne was an integral part of its creation. Even though she's gone, Mary knows she's continually working on it from the other side. In Mary's expression of loving service we experience their peaceful blessings with every mindful step we take on this memorable labyrinth.  


 
Jo Mooy - July 2015 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Enlightenment at Paneras

Enlightenment at Paneras
It was Easter week. The restaurant was more crowded than normal. Patrons werefrenetically vying for free tables. A family of six made its way to a large booth. The mother seated a four-year old child at the end of the booth. The food and drinks were carefully set on the table with a tall glass of milk in front of the child. As the boy reached for the too-large glass, it tipped over. A river of milk flowed across the table. The boy looked up in terror, expecting a tongue lashing from one of the adults. Instead of drama and chaos, the father reached for a stack of napkins, gave the boy a gentle smile and said, "Oh oh, let's clean that up!" The little boy's shoulders relaxed, relief visible on his face. The other adults continued eating as though nothing had happened.
 
I thought of that incident when Spirit of Maatasked me to write an article for the "Path to Enlightenment." It can be a grandiose topic. Google has 37 million entries on the subject. It frightens some people while it motivates others. To many, it feels like a "destination" on the path. So, what is enlightenment? Who has it? How did they get it? How do I become enlightened?
 
Enlightenment paths are varied. Some teach the way to enlightenment is to go to the mountains, find a cave, and meditate twelve hours a day. Others presentpractices guaranteed to cause enlightenment as though the act of enlightenment is the goal. Some travel all over the world in search of it. They think that through other cultures a magical elixir will bring it to them. It's even a business model for many New Age seminars and workshops.
 
The subject isn't far from the hearts or minds of conscious thinkers. But before bottoming out on the countless potholes on the road to enlightenment, stop a moment and reflect. Enlightenment is a character trait. It's how one behaves during an altercation. Enlightenment is inner wisdom. It's how one perceives an event, looking at the whole effect rather than the pieces. Enlightenment is spiritual maturity. It's how one interprets teachings and uses the teachings for the benefit of all. Enlightenment is the daily living of life with consciousness and integrity. Enlightenment is holding a compassionate, peaceful demeanor, no matter the circumstances.
 
The path to getting there? Not so easy! It requires discipline. It requires desire. It requires a commitment. How to get there? It's a very personal journey. Only the individual can determine what path to take amid the hundreds presented over the course of a lifetime. It's not a one-size-fits-all path. And it's not an actual destination. It's simply the path.
 
Thousands of years ago a master teacher, was asked "How do I become enlightened?" He answered, "Chop wood and carry water." A subtle, holy consciousness exists in the chopping of wood and the carrying of water. Whether the path takes you to a mountain cave of silence or to the active life of a house-holder, consciousness is ever present. Recognizing that consciousness and being mindful of it as often as you can, is the path to enlightenment.
 
The father who simply cleaned up the river of milk spilled by his son, was the mirror of enlightenment. In the midst of potential chaos he maintained calm and peacefulness. His behavior displayed sweet compassion towards his son. And his behavior allowed the rest of his dining companions, to eat without incident. His peacefulness affected not just his table but all those tables around him. He may not have been conscious of his own enlightened behavior, but to this observer he personified it. He was chopping wood and carrying water, and on the very path of enlightenment.
 
Jo Mooy - June 2015    

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mom Sent a Buddha

Mom Sent A Buddha
She was a force to be reckoned with. She was educated, strong willed, properly attired at all times and presented impeccable manners. My sisters and I were often
Mom's Tennyson Birthday Book 
amused by her "regal" pronouncements stemming from a proper British upbringing. Her favorite phrase to correct any of our misdemeanors was "Ladies Don't!" I told her I was going to put it on her tombstone. I didn't.

We telephoned every Saturday morning. Though we lived in separate states, the miles disappeared as she chronicled the lives of our far-flung relatives. She knew all their birthdays, who had married, who just had a child or a grand-child. After she died I found all those facts with notations recorded in a little black book called Alfred Lord Tennyson's Birthday Book. He was her favorite poet. As a child she read me Tennyson's magical stories. Through her eyes and words I grew to love knights saving the world, The Lady of Shalott, Sir Richard Grenville, and the glories of the British Empire.

I knew something was wrong when I saw her that January. I hoped she was just getting old. But in February she was diagnosed . By the end of September she was gone. It wasn't supposed to happen like that. The doctors said "It doesn't have to be a death sentence." But in her case it was, though she endured treatmentsgallantly for seven months.

In those seven months I learned more about her than I had in her previous 82 years. As though she knew her time was limited she unburied the long held family secrets. She told me about the guy from Ohio she should have married. She asked about heaven and did they have food there. She felt she'd be bored playing a harp all day long. She used to paint landscapes so we talked about art. She asked about the mandalas that I painted and what they meant. When I explained that painting mandalas was like a meditation, her questions grew deeper. I realized my answers were taking her beyond the strict Catholic shroud she'd worn since her childhood. My diversion away from Catholicism had been an issue, so when she asked questions, I answered carefully. I knew she was opening to whatever was to come after death.

At her death relatives came from distant countries to pay their respects. As she taught us, we held it together with a British "upper lip" while hosting the family. We remembered what ladies do and don't do! When lots of people are around, it's hard to grieve but once the hubbub dies down reality sets in. But all too soon everyone returned to their regular lives. After two weeks it was also my time to return to Sarasota.

For the first time since her death I was alone, driving down a backwater two-lane highway in Florida. Memories of mom mixed with overwhelming grief. Tears fell so hard I couldn't see to drive. At the first chance, I pulled into a seemingly abandoned old motel on the side of the road. Weeds were knee-high in the cracks of the decaying asphalt. Had I been in a normal state of mind there's no way I would have done this. But I drove into the motel and sat in my car in front of an unpainted door falling off its hinges. There was a weather beaten chair propped outside the door.

For about ten minutes I sat there, tears falling. Then quite mysteriously the door opened and a tall ragged man came out and sat on the chair. I should have put the car in reverse and hastily exited the area. Instead, I sat there frozen, watching him. For some reason I was unafraid. The man saw me and nodded his head. Then he pulled out of his dirty pants pocket a long brown mala with a brown tassel. I watched as his gnarled fingers slowly moved over the beads and his mouth mumbled the words of some prayer.

In a flash I remembered my very Catholic mother asking me about the mala I often carried. When I explained it was like her rosary, our conversation traveled from Catholic Rome to Buddhist Tibet and the similarities of religions. This was an enormous leap of faith for her to even discuss another religion. But she was dying at the time so perhaps she'd thrown caution to the winds.

As the memories of that conversation played out, I looked up and found the man I would later call "The Buddha on Highway 301," smiling at me. It was as though he'd been summoned out of time to this abandoned motel, on the side of a barely traveled highway, to pray silently while I cried my eyes out over the death of my mother. I smiled back in gratitude for his presence. I bowed my head to him with respect for the sign he represented. Then I dried my tears. For I remembered what mom had promised me during her illness. "If I can, I'll send you a sign!" She did. Mom sent a Buddha! 

Jo Mooy - May 2015 
  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

$1801 Out of Nowhere

$1,801 Out of Nowhere
They blamed it on Wall Street. They blamed it on housing. They blamed it on cheapmortgages. And they blamed it on the lenders. In 2008, the entire world was caught in the grip of the "Great Recession." As banks failed and corporations closed their doors, middle class jobs evaporated. When the jobs disappeared there was no way to continue paying for the dream of home-ownership. Foreclosures soared 225% in 2008 with one in 54 homeowners receiving a notice.

This is the backdrop to a remarkable true story of courage, belief, and awe in the abundance of the universe. Let's call her Mary! Mary was the model of success. She traveled widely. Had a good job, owned her own home, and kept a decent savings account. Then 2008 happened. She lost her job and then the market crashed. She took the last of her money to return to school, then the real estate market crashed and her home of 20 years was foreclosed on. She had no where to turn.
 
She decided to move out of the area to live with a friend in another state who had offered her a place to stay till she got back on her feet. Anticipating the move, she made a list of all her financial obligations that had to be met before she could leave. The grand total was $1801 - an insurmountable figure. She told me, she practically fell apart in tears as there was no way she could borrow or get that amount of money. So, anticipating homelessness and in despair, she let it go and began cleaning out the last of her possessions.

A few weeks later she was going through a stack of mail that had been sitting on a table. There was an envelope with no return address on it. She thought it was junk mail and was about to throw it out when something said, "open it." Inside was a check in the amount $1,801. The check was electronically signed saying "Signature on file with the bank." She kept looking for some small print explaining this was really "junk mail" and not a check but it looked legitimate.

Finally she found an 800 number on the check and called what turned out to be a "check writing service." They confirmed it was a real check but would not give any info about the sender, telling her to cash the check. So she did. Several days later she remembered the list of obligations she'd made and connected the dots to the check.

She was determined to find out who sent the check so began her search. It was an odd amount for a "good Samaritan" to write, especially when she'd told no one about her needs. She wondered if there was an old account from her husband, or stocks she didn't know about. So she wrote a letter to the name and address printed on the check. The letter came back, "Return to Sender - Wrong Address." She looked up the name and city and tried to call. There was no phone listing for the name.

Mary told me she could not have settled her obligations nor made the move to another state without that check. How the exact amount came into her hands from out of nowhere continues to perplex her. When we talked about it I asked her whatshe'd been feeling. She said utter desperation and hopelessness. Then something came over her and she just released and let it go. She detached from everything that had happened since 2008 and heard the words, "What will be will be" in her head.

It was shortly after releasing her fears, that a check in the amount $1,801 From Out Of Nowhere, resolved $1,801 in financial obligations so she could begin her life anew. The abundance of the Universe, and her need for resolution came together in the realm of Quantum Physics known as The Field of Endless Possibilities.

 
Jo Mooy - April 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

THE 13 CLANMOTHERS - THE CLARITY OF GREY

The Clarity of Grey

When 2015 arrived it seemed world events would ease a bit. But the geopolitical  predictions for the year pointed to more turmoil with extremists and terrorists of various persuasions running roughshod over others. How can this be? All over the world there are groups praying for peace, for a change in human hearts, or for a better way of life. Yet, their sparks of light get lost in all the dark and dreary events in the news. What can we do?

Reflecting on it one morning in meditation I heard a voice say, Summon the Clanmothers.  It seemed like the answer! Especially because this month is the Equinox - the seasonal point when the earth is covered with equal hours of sunlight and darkness. It's a cosmic point of balance for the earth, where extremes are harmonized. At the midpoint everything that is black or white becomes a neutral gray. In that moment The Clarity of Gray appears. It simply blends and neutralizes both extremes of black and white.

So, if the ancients considered the Equinoxes holy and sacred why not us? The word went out and the Clanmothers were summoned. One was a peacemaker. Three led  spiritual centers. One worked with the oceans and her inhabitants. A few taught "earth ways" in their practices while others led meditations. All of them responded to the call, knowing that on this day, in this season of balance, the sound of their prayers would fill the ether, and the discerning would hear it. They knew in this brief moment of balance, the extremes of black and white would neutralize for a few days, and they would influence the outcome.

The 13 Clanmothers represent aspects of the Divine Feminine - aspects ignored for 3000 years. The Divine Feminine kept the wisdom ways, told the stories, acted as a healer, counseled the afflicted, weaved and spun, prevented war and honored the visions. Each of the 13 Clanmothers was a matriarchal elder in ancient tribes. Each matriarch held the truths of the aspects. They performed the rituals and ceremonies, presiding over births and funerals. They were keepers of the names, dispensing them at birth and returning the name at death.

The Clanmother was not just the wisdom keeper but also the dispenser of justice. She would remove a Chief who did not follow the guidance of matriarch. She negotiated and harmonized all tribal disputes. Wars could not begin unless the Clanmother approved. She rose above the petty arguments and extreme positions, using her skills as peacemaker and mother to keep everything in balance. She was the epitome of The Clarity of Grey.

Each Clanmother is aligned with one of the 13 moons of the lunar. It's more natural because it acknowledges the feminine and lunar cycles. It logically assigns thirteen months of 28 days to the lunar calendar. This totals 364 days of the solar year. The extra day was one of celebration, honoring the year past and welcoming in a new year.

On the Equinox, the Clanmother acts as harmonizer for the earth and peacemaker for the people of extreme positions. She will take all extremes of black and white and blend them into the clarity of grey. She will insist that weapons of war and the voices of hate be sheathed as she summons peace upon the land. She sees far and weaves a web that raises humankind. For her duty is to hold a vision of hope, ease, and grace. But most of all she sees to the children who will live the vision of the 13th moon.

Jo Mooy - March 2015  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's Love - Feb. 2015

I love you so much, Moo Moo” he said, putting his arms around me and resting his head on top of mine. He was 15 years old when he said that - an age when most teenagers hardly utter a civil word to members of their family, much less express such a heart-felt emotion to a visiting grandmother. It was so unexpected I couldn't respond. So I just hugged him back, content in this moment of enjoying a grandson's surprise expression of love.

No longer interested in the video games they'd been playing for hours downstairs, he and his younger brother sat with me as others cleared the table from Thanksgiving dinner. They asked me questions about my childhood and where I'd grown up, laughing at some of the stories. I remembered for them each of their births, recalling how I'd raced two and a half hours across several states to see them when they were but hours old. It was no struggle to remember the dark haired infant that was now six feet tall standing next to me.

When just the three of us were alone, he asked me a question that revealed not just how much he'd grown but also portrayed the depth and maturity of who he was becoming. He asked me, “Moo Moo, is there anything that I did that you would not forgive me for?” I just looked at him, stunned by the question. I was not yet ready to answer him. My mind raced in countless directions, wondering why he asked that question of all questions. He returned my gaze quite easily so I asked him let me think about that a moment. He continued to stand there patiently waiting for my answer. His younger brother slid over to a chair closer to us, also intent on my answer. Because both brothers were very close I knew whatever I said would be later dissected and discussed in private.

After a moment of silent centering and an invocation for guidance, I told him that love and forgiveness were interchangeable pieces of the same emotion. I told him that I would always love him and his brother. That they might do things in life that could hurt many people, some of which might be judged unforgivable, but love would always be constant. “Like what?” he asked. Realizing I was letting a “teaching moment” get away, I took the plunge.

Here's a short list of some things that could badly hurt you along with the most important people in your life. These things damage your character or your body and would be hard to forgive because you have control over them. They moved closer. I held up my closed hand, listing each of four things with an outstretched finger. “Doing drugs. Misusing alcohol. Intentionally hurting others. Not sticking up for the underdog.” In unison they both said “We don't do drugs.” With one item cleared off the list I knew they'd be thinking about the other three for a while.

Both of them were quiet for a few minutes. Then the oldest one again put his arms around me and said, “So you would always love me?” Yes said I, but remember, the older you get, the longer the list gets. They hugged me and headed off to the next round of video games while I sat by the fire thinking about “What's Love?”


I went through a litany of things that I know Love is. Love is a chemical reaction. Love is compassion. Love is emotional commitment. Love is a magnetic binding. Love is service. Love is kindness. Love is a spiritual experience. Love is God. But on that Thanksgiving afternoon, Love was my 15 year old grandson wrapping me in his arms and telling me he loved me and asking about forgiveness.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Archangel Visits True Stories


Archangel Visits - True Stories


Several years ago I published an article on how to Host the Archangels in your homefor a visit.  The article gave "hosting instructions" on how to prepare yourself and your home.  It explained how to receive the angels for five days before sending them on to someone else.  While the article was fairly simple, I never expected it to have such an impact on so many people's lives and in so many countries.  Or for that matter, to learn that it continues to reach individuals who see the article on the internet.


When it first appeared in Spirit of Maat, I was deluged with requests from all over the world.  The idea of Hosting the Archangels seemed to personalize them, striking a chord with families and individuals from Nepal, Africa, India, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Australia and North and South America.  After sending out the Hosting instructions, I asked each person to send me a report of their experiences with the Archangels.  My intention was to do a follow up article at some future date. 

As 2015 dawns, the world is facing regional wars, religious turmoil, food and water shortages, corporate greed, political gridlock, dramatic climate changes, and a global crisis of confidence.  The "future date" appears to be now!  So, here are some uplifting reports from those who hosted the archangels over the last several years.

Almost all the people were flabbergasted that they could actually invite theArchangels into their home.  A few questions or comments were quite humorous.  For example, Janet in the US said she only had a 2 bedroom home and no air mattress so didn't feel she could accommodate four of them at the same time.  Edna from the UK said her home was very small so wondered if she put them up in a local hotel.  A few asked, "What do they eat?"  Apparently this isn't such an odd question.  My mother, going through lymphoma treatment, grew thoughtful one day.  I saw her staring out the window.  Then she asked, "What do you think they eat in heaven?"

Yeghish, a young man in Lebanon thought a visit by the Archangels might help bring peace to his homeland. There was one remarkable story from Regine in Germany.  She reported feeling dizzy as though struck down when the archangels arrived. She took them to several churches in her city, lighting candles and praying for peace and forgiveness for what was done to the Jews in Germany.  She felt great power and presence with the angels.  Six months later Regine learned that a book she wrote called Angel Power Pictures - Healing of the Soul was published and a month after that, she had her first exhibition.  All of which she attributes to the visit of the  Archangels

Sasha from Florida reported a near death experience when the angels visited.  Her husband asked the archangels if they would go to work with him one day.  While he was on a ladder next to a power line the transformer blew up, sending him flying backwards in the air.  He was strapped to the safety line so managed to get to the ground.  Shaken up but alive, he fell to his knees and thanked the angels for their help knowing they had saved his life.

Mara in Ireland was living in a stone cottage desperately in need of many repairs.  She'd approached the landlord for three years to no avail.  So when the archangels came to her house, she asked them to help with the repairs.  After the angels left, her landlord arrived without her asking and repaired the cottage. 

But not all hostings were monumental events.  Adam wrote to tell me his familyneeded help with "everyday stuff."  He said when the archangels visited, his wife had a much easier time with their children.  Dinners were easier and the kids played while she cleaned.  Adam thought he needed to win the lottery to have all his problems solved.  Instead he had a great revelation.  He was driving by himself and heard a voice say that if someone else took care of his problems it would be like taking his own energy and capabilities away.  Adam felt he needed to simply buck up and take charge.  And he did.

The testimonials indicate that Hosting the Archangels has been an astounding journey.  Some enjoyed the experience so much they've hosted them more than once.  If in 2015 you find yourself in need of some angelic support, you might consider hosting them.  If you do, contact me at jomooy@gmail.com and I'll send you the particulars.  



Jo Mooy - January 2015