Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lost, and found

Strange thing...

I was crossing the street downtown after leaving work, feeling a little blue and on my own in the crosswalk, when something shiny caught my eye.  Instinctively-or compulsively-I thought to pick it up, but held down the urge due to my pride, and being on stage in front of all the stopped traffic.  As I stepped over it, thinking of a certain cleptomaniac friend of mine, I glanced down to see it was a key chain, silver, the kind with a little slip lock...

A few steps into the next block I noticed another glimmer, where the walk met the wall of the strip club I was passing.  This time I went for it, catching a glimpse of copper and a shine of light...a broken chain, a small heart-shaped lock and key, and near beside it, a woman's ring, kind of an engagement looking thing...

Worthless as jewelry, interesting as trash...

This could be the best thing. Ever.

I made something tonight, something to eat, in anticipation of the arrival of a dear friend tomorrow evening.

It's not done just yet, but I think it's going to be good.  Damn good.

Slow Cooker Beef Mole with Slaw

4 lbs beef (I used a rump roast because that's what I had to get rid of and the whole reason for doing this in the first place, but better meat might be a good idea.  A lot of people use flank steak.)
1 tbsp or more beef flavored Better Than Bouillon
1 1/2 cups water

If your meat is fresh, it might be a good idea to sear it first.  Mine was old and frozen so I just rinsed it off and put it in the slow cooker with the water and bouillon.  Cook on low while you go do something else for a couple hours.  Then make the sauce.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced, about 2 cups
6 fat garlic cloves, minced, about 1/4 cup
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and membranes included, or not)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup raisins
2 14 oz. cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles
3/4 cup beef stock (from the slow cooker) 
1 tbsp agave syrup

In a good-sized saucepan, heat the oil, add the onions and cook for a few minutes before adding the salt and throwing in the garlic and jalapeno.  Get your herbs and spices together.  Add them all to the saucepan, along with the cocoa, tomatoes, almonds, raisins, stock and agave.  Stir and let simmer for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree, before adding to the crockpot and licking every drip and spoon.  Cook on low for a few hours, or go to bed because it's way past bedtime and you're super tired.  But before you do that, do all the dishes and make the slaw.

1/2 green bell pepper, in one-inch slices
1/2 red bell pepper, in one-inch slices

2 1/2 cups sliced green cabbage
2 1/2 cups sliced red cabbage
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeeze orange juice (or similar orange-colored citrus fruit)
shake of sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all together, save the cilantro, and put in the fridge.  Chop and add the cilantro just before serving so it's nice and fresh.

Serve up your mole on a warm corn tortilla, topped with a bit of grated monterey jack cheese and a scoop of slaw, possibly with a dollop of guacamole for good measure.

That's the plan, anyway.  We'll see how it all turns out.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

This found today (revisited)

They Have a Point

When the gods gave us all the holes
leading into our darkness, they planned
on our needing a mystery. It amuses them
that what is inside the body
is more body. The same body, but different.

They first said the bodies should be mostly moss
inside. But they kept coming back to the mystery.
Moss, they said, can be seen outside,
and what is outside can be accountable.

Though they liked that moss would have kept
everyone soft and green, they decided it was best
to fill each thing with itself, which would then be hidden

within the other. Look at stones, they said.
Look at water, which is like the throat of water.


Super duper duper

Holy shit was the traffic a nightmare today.  Detours, reroutes, road work, congestion, nonsense... maybe the drivers around here are suffering from a little Vitamin D deficiency lately, with rain upon rain upon rain these past several days... In fact, on the whole it's not been a very sunny or warm Spring here, at all, what with the icy winds and random snowstorms, except for the occasional blazing heat wave.  Yay for climate change!  More grey skies and rain in the forecast... 

Not that we haven't needed a good soaking.  But the ground is now saturated, and enough is enough.  I actually have almost no idea how I'm going to be able to get my lawn mowed now.  I should have done it on Saturday afternoon when we had that little window of sunshine, but no, I thought I'd wait a day.  And now the dandelions are a foot tall, the grass is going to seed, and my little electric mower is going to choke and die over and over again on all that greenness.  I'm going to have to call in the big guns (i.e. gas power) to cut that shit.  Or maybe I should just say fuck it, let it go this year.  How much taller can it possibly get?


In other, better, news, I am now, as of this evening, the proud owner of a damn nice kayak along with which came with almost all the gear I might need and some good mojo, to boot.  The fellow I bought it from was quite kind and helpful and I feel very fortunate to have made his acquaintance, and to be the new pilot of this fine boat, which was paddled by his wife and daughter, who is now guiding trips in Alaska.  It fits me just about perfectly and even fits in the garage, on my car, with a few inches to spare (but only a few, because someone should have let the clutch out a bit sooner since the emergency break doesn't work for shit rolling backward tomorrow, it's forward or bust).  

It's a somewhat unusual shade of blue, with a purple cast, a little on the girly side but I think it will suit me, and should be easy on the eyes.  She's a sea-going boat, having taken her maiden voyage from Helsinki, Finland, some years ago, and is long enough to traverse the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs, the Great Lakes, the ocean even, but still small enough for me, for the wild and scenic St. Croix, for the Upper Little Pine, for the Moose Horn... It had been my intent to get a shorter boat, but when this one came along, it seemed to say:  Here I am...and I'm yours.  And so it is, now.  And I'm kinda super duper happy about that.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Out of the fog

The city was shrouded in a high fog this morning, thick enough to shorten the tallest buildings by half, altering the landscape of my morning commute. Rare to see... 

A couple days ago I was talking with a good friend of mine, who has known me for over I guess half of my life now, about my wanting to move, to leave my current home. She reminded me, saying so as if it were just a well-known fact, that I am “not a city girl”. 

I forget that sometimes. This city has worked its good and dirty magic on me for a long time, and it has certainly changed who I am, in many respects, not all for the worse. But in my heart of hearts, where I am happiest and most at peace is not here. I don’t remember the feeling—it’s been so long since I spent any stretch of time in a natural state—but I remember the thought, upon returning from weeks on the trail, on one island or another, outside for days on end, breathing freely and seeing clearly… it was so obvious, and without question I knew, that for all my doubts and reservations, all the uncertainty and challenges…my health and well-being, my senses, my life depended on getting out of the city, for good. 

In and out of dreams this morning, as I was waking up, that question crossed my semi-conscious mind… where do I really want—perhaps need—to be? I saw the city skyline, so familiar in its shades of brown and blue, the green rooftops of city hall, buildings stacked upon buildings…and suddenly they began to recede, passing below me as though turning with the Earth, changing form and scale, as on the horizon there appeared a body of water, expanding until it stretched as far as sight... In a moment of recognition just before I woke, there was a large splash, as though something had just dropped out of the sky, or come up from below. A stone, a whale, a dream... 

It was slow morning. I put the kettle on, brewed a French press full of tea, with yerba mate for energy and nettles for nourishment, and went out to gather some bright new shoots of lemon balm, for its calming properties. I love gathering plants. Perhaps that is where I am most at home: foraging in the garden, in fields and woods. Coming back into the kitchen with a bundle of leaves, I was met at the door by the memory of picking thimbleberries last summer, scaring up a mama bear and her two cubs on a gravel road, and that sense of pure possibility…of living where and as I ought, as I want, as I need to, with a free heart, and all my senses engaged. 

For now, I am here, still digging into my little place. But this call, from somewhere deep within or far away, asks for an answer. There are many things to consider, about where and when and how to make this change, but “if” no longer seems to be a question. 

And I have a boat now, with which I intend to travel those waters, wherever it is they might be.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Something unexpected

And if


It's really too bad this chick isn't a better actress, but other than that I can only say wow, I'm looking forward to seeing these guys soon.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pinky Swear

I do believe that I might be willing to give my pinky toe to get myself out of this city.

Yesterday I realized that I have not had a full week off from my job--meaning five weekdays in a row--since April of 2011.  That is too long, far too long, a stretch to go without a proper holiday.  I need that time, to de-stress, de-compress, unwind, relax, recharge, remember what it feels like to be alive... 

Today I realized that I'm about done with the city.  This isn't something new, it's been a couple months since it hit me I guess, but it's been growing in clarity for me during the past few weeks.  I don't want to be downtown today.  I want to be in a boat on a lake with a light rain falling on me.  Okay, maybe no rain, just a soft breeze at my back...

I could.  I could just pack it up and head out for a couple of days, let all the rest of it wait.  But I live here, am living here, must continue to live here for the immediate future.  I'm torn.  I have a long list of chores and backyard projects for the weekend that I was actually starting to look forward to as of yesterday...and I'm still committed to them--I have to be, I want to be, I will be--but... as I said.  Pinky toe.

Oh.  I just remembered I have some actual work work to do tomorrow.  That, and I might be buying a boat, or at least taking a good look at one, which would be a step at least toward being out on that lake.  Another day...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nothing but

I knew--or at least I had a strong feeling--that I'd see them, tonight.  I put the pizza back in the oven for a few minutes, and stepped outside, and there they were...flitting and darting over my peach tree, above the neighbor's roof, past the plum and the lilac and through the maple, out into the alley, and back again... I counted at least six bats, many quite big and at least one that looked almost too heavy to be held up by its delicate wings... Such beautiful creatures, and such a quiet joy (no chirps or squeaks tonight) to see them this evening.  Or any evening, for that matter.

My sweet, slightly sidewinding plum has produced more blossoms than I'd hoped for, and my stout peach is practically covered in them, though not in full bloom just yet.  It's a shame that the bees aren't here.  (The hive died or was ravaged by wasps last year, which may explain their peculiar behavior that night I was stung, but even so I'm skittish to welcome them back, at the risk of another sting...although I'm not ruling it out just yet because they're pretty great to have around.)  I haven't seen many insects out yet, so I guess I'll have to hope that the wind will help my lovely prunus set fruit this year.  Peaches are a given, but dark blue purple frosted plums... I hope against hope.  And squirrels, those fuckers.

It's amazing how much can change in almost no time, the way flowers pop open in an instant, or new shoots emerge overnight...and how quickly we can let go of whatever's been holding us.  This Spring I've been up against changes I did not and could not foresee.  An injured disc between my heart and my throat, and all the pain behind it, possibly the very root of the problems that I've experienced for the past few crisis, now healed, healing, the pain subsiding, nearly gone.  After that came another round of changes, cutting quite a bit closer to the heart of things, all as it must be I suppose.  Old ideas, loves, hopes, dreams, possibilities slip away, and what is left?

Well, Everything.

Including pizza.  This was tonight's: 
~ the dough: whisked up yesterday with a tool of pure genius (Danish dough whisk) using the regular "Artisan in 5" recipe but with a little sugar and olive oil thrown in
~ the meat: one good slice of roasted chicken breast, cut into thick pieces, and 4 slices of uncured English bacon, cooked until almost done, with a swish of water to loosen them from the pan.  bacon sliced into 1/4 inch strips and liquid set aside for
~ the sauce: (this is a weird one, so bear with me) a tbsp or two of mayo, a couple teaspoons of olive oil, the bacon water, a tsp of fresh lemon juice, a bit of chicken drippings if available and 1/4 tsp of horseradish (just trust me on this one! or use any alfredo-ish thing you like, just keep it light)
~ the veg: about a half pound or more of fresh asparagus, in bite-size chunks (I like to break mine by hand so I know where they're most tender), oil-cured black olives
~ the rest: grated (cheap) parmesan, fresh (not cheap. or too salty) feta, the moldiest Provolone you can come by (slice that shit off, rinse that thing and taste it.  it's still good!), and some Stravecchio because why the hell not? in whatever amounts seem right
~ the way: dough went in the oven for about 5 min, then was topped with the 'sauce', fresh black pepper, the grated parm, the chicken, the asparagus, and the feta, then covered in the Provolone, upon which were laid the bacon strips, the olives, and the Stravecchio, and all was baked while taking a shower and then watching bats having dinner over a peach tree in blossom...
~ the verdict:  I wasn't really sure how this might turn out but must say it was damn tasty, although the crust could have used a few more minutes.  could easily be made with less than half as much and still be just as good, if not better.


So much else I wished to say but the words escape me, and my pillow calls to rest my head.

I would like to sleep outside tonight, and feel the breeze on my skin. Nothing but to be where we are now.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

After thought

It's good to be at home, good to work out and be tired, good to clean the place up, good to enjoy a warm summer breeze even though it's not really summer yet, good to be visited by Vishnu on the back step, good to be thinking about a new boat, and a trip to Alaska, and leaving/going to the country, good to be anticipating homemade asparagus pizza tomorrow night, good to make dough with a surprisingly effective new tool called a Danish dough whisk which did the job with *perfection*, good to be looking forward to what will no doubt be an awesome backyard concert in a couple days, good to have a fabulous voice teacher and mentor, good to work with good people, good to be loved, good to know everything is all right, good to see the crescent moon through new maple leaves, good to be here tonight, good to have a warm soft bed to sleep in, good night...

Look how beautiful you are

Oh, sweetness.  This morning I caught a glimpse through the kitchen window, above the blinds, of something I have been so hoping to see... my plum, in blossom!

The peach has opened its flowers too, in today's blazing heat.  It's covered in blossoms now, just about ready to burst.

This evening I walked out, barefoot for the first time this year, to cut more asparagus and munch on a few tender stems, along with a blade or two of garlic chives...both delicious and wonderful, but all these pleasures of Spring are a little lost on me right now, try as I might.  I shouldn't say so but I've been so sad the past few days that I didn't even notice that the tulips popped open yesterday... 

Despite the weather this past weekend, I was glad to enjoy the time outside, away from the city, in the company of my family for a couple days.  My little niece, who's almost two now, was a joy and a wonder...she is a truly brilliant little human being, sweet and ferocious and hilarious and adventurous and smart and all the things that human beings should be, on top of being unbelievably cute.  I think she said my name more times in those two days than any single person has in the entirety of the past year!  There's a great comfort in knowing that you occupy a cherished and important place in someone's life, so much that they learn your name in your absence and sing you happy birthday when you're not even there... 

Saturday was a tough day.  I was in tears much of the day, unable to help myself or hold it down, though my sorrow was happily interrupted by my niece at every turn, with another wonder to behold...Hi! it's a lake, a horse, a river, a duck, a flock of swallows...throwing rocks in the pond, gathering eggs from the neighbors chickens, eating popovers and strawberries for breakfast, learning new words... On Sunday we all went for a bike ride, spent a few moments on the bridge over the Moose Horn, contemplating the current and considering kayaking, before heading down to my folks for the afternoon.  I walked the woods with my mom and sister, not really there, unable to be present without the past rushing in and the future slipping out from under me at every step... I should have tried harder, maybe, but it's hard to be close to people who love you when you are hurting, I suppose.  And it was all right.  They know me as well as anyone does, and know it's best sometimes just to let me walk ahead, or fall behind, watch the water pour over the beaver dam, kick sticks off the trail... There's not much up or blooming just yet, though in the North Woods there was a good bit of Hepatica (named for its liver-shaped leaves, in case you didn't know) coming in, all white and hushed with purple-pink, quite sweet to see.

New words.  Apple, maple, bean.  My name, a hundred times or more, was new to me, from the mouth of such a sweet babe...though you know you've reached a pretty pass when your two-year old niece reaches up with the sleeve of her new favorite fleece, to wipe the tears from your cheeks.  She can't help smiling and neither can I.  We played in the tire swing--up! higher! only joy, no fear of falling even having done so once...we came close to knowing the word "wind", chasing milkweed fluff across the yard and up into the sky...and so many other great moments in two short days but maybe my most favorite of the weekend was when she peeked out the front door, while I was outside, to call my name in excitement... I looked up to see that she was holding a small jar of beans which I'd brought down from my old room earlier that afternoon, along with three others that had been sitting up there for a few years and which I'd decided I may as well plant in my yard this year because, well, what good are they just sitting there in jars looking pretty and getting old.  I came to her call and we played with those beans, selecting and sorting and pouring and pushing and piling and spilling and enjoying all their loveliness--the Scarlet Emperors, deep coral red purple and black; the Rattlesnakes, brown upon brown; the Hidatsu Shield Figures, with their true pinto patterns; and some just plain old white ones--of touch and sound and sight and seed, for a good while.  Had I passed them over, and not brought them downstairs, those small moments of wonder would never have happened, and for that I am quite eternally grateful, both for the time we and others enjoyed, and for the tiny keystone of reinforcement that a single decision can make, when so much else seems to have fallen into doubt.

Yes, I know.  That's all very sentimental and a bit sad.  Well, that's life I guess.  More happiness, more sadness, more everything, more all that there is, to come...

Oh, and I really must give great credit where it is clearly due, to my sister, for being a totally awesome mom.  Be proud of that.  I love you, immensely, and I cannot imagine my life without you in it.  How very lucky we are, to have each other in this life, and thank you for reminding me of that, with all that you do.

Monday, May 13, 2013

If no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound?

The weather here.  I don't even know what to say about it anymore, not that anyone really needs to talk about it I guess, but I mean seriously.  Saturday was cold enough to require three hoodies, and a hat, and gloves if I'd actually had a pair...clouds, then sun, random sun-showers of icy snow, then more clouds and more wind and apparently more GIANT SHEETS OF ICE... Sunday was all sun and wind, but still too cold to peel away any layers, for much of the day.  Things have warmed up quickly, though, and the forecast is for temps in the NINETIES tomorrow.  It just doesn't feel right, being jerked around by Mother Nature in this manner, but I guess she's got her reasons.  If we don't get some rain soon, though, ain't mama or nobody gonna be happy...

The woods back at home are dry, drier than most Falls, much less any recent Spring that comes to mind. The only water is in the lowest spots where it always stands, or runs, and even those are pretty low.  None of the fields are soft, no part of the road back to the lake is muddy.  The frogs are up, singing their amphibian hearts out all day, though not yet in full force, waiting on the rain I imagine... even so, I kept hearing them off and on in the background, today, until I realized that they weren't actually was just the hum of a truck motor, the chirp of a belt slipping, the rhythmic whirring of an overhead vent... just a trick of the mind.  What it is about that particular sound, this time of year, that occupies my consciousness so, whether it is some primal knowing or some present longing, is difficult to say.  I suppose one might liken it to living by the ocean for your whole life, and then moving inland.  I would imagine those folks hear waves for many moons.  

In any case, it was good to be out of the city for a short time and to bring that little peace of home back with me.

Funny... I paused for a moment just now and realized that I am still hearing them, even now, when I let my mind wander freely...  Perhaps I'll go lie down and listen for a while, then, and pick up where I left off tomorrow.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

There is a Will, There is a Way

A few more thoughts on the recent solar eclipse, compliments of Mystic Mamma:

Here is our wise brother Kaypacha elucidating the energy many of us have been feeling since the last Lunar Eclipse and helping to bring clarity to our journey…
Mantra for the week:
“My response to Life will show, What emotions need to go, So on my path the Light will shine, The fear of failure no longer mine!”
He adds:
“The main thing would be not to take the last two weeks too seriously. Our experiences have been designed to bring up the old emotional patterns and responses so we could see them and let them go. It’s not REAL in the real sense of the word haha! But now that you have seen the “enemy” (as in old patterns) – poof! let ‘em go!”
Sage advice, but easier said than done... The significant changes I--and many close to me who are also in my thoughts--have been going through during the past two weeks have weighed very heavily on my mind, my spirit and my heart. I am struggling to keep my faith, tap my deeper courage and recommit myself to my work, both professional and more importantly, personal, as well as to the higher callings of home, family and friends, life on this wonderous planet Earth, and Love.  Two steps forward, one step back, another step in the right direction and down the meandering path we go...muddy up to our asses... 

Looking forward to a fire tonight, the call of owls and a chorus of frogsong... Peace to you all.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Oh, and...

Bats.  The first of them, down by the river two weeks ago, in flocks... and tonight, on the way back home, one huge one all alone, darting and diving... So beautiful to see.

And the worms, rustling the earth back to life... It seems Spring has come, at last.

Inches a day

The thick spears of the first asparagus of the season--well, not the very first...those two were enjoyed last weekend--have arrived as of this week.  So crisp, tendersweet and green, down to the very bottom, and such a world apart from any store-bought attempt at of the rare delicacies of Spring, without a doubt, no matter what anyone says about the...smell.  They've been growing like gangbusters during the past few days...shooting up a half a foot or more during the course of a day.  Pretty amazing.

There was a little experiment conducted here, over the winter, involving the asparagus... A friend and I, after brewing up a batch of extra-extra hoppy beer, thought to throw the wort dregs out in the backyard somewhere, to see how they might evolve...So I went out and poured the whole sloppy mess onto the asparagus patch, only as a matter of convenience really since it was close to the walk and the snows were still quite deep back then, thinking it might provide them a little extra nourishment.  I'd thought the goop would just dissolve and sink into the ground, as the snow melted, but it turned out that instead it formed a sort of mat over the burgeoning points, and apparently didn't do them a lot of good, if any.  Those that were free of cover grew nice and tall and fat quite early on, while those that were under that somewhat ugly blanket of crustified hops seemed sort of stunted until I gave them a bit more air, and light.  They all seem to be doing fine now, although the ones that were under the hop gunk are a little on the spindly side and not coming along very well just yet.  I'm pretty confident they'll recover but I'm not really sure that was one of my better ideas.  

Anyway...that's all I've got for today.  It's been a hell of a week here, almost literally, and I am well past ready for a big mugful of incredibly restful slumber.  Ciao.

Nothing to say

(place your thoughts here.)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Unwrapping the Present

Today is my birthday, and also marks the passage of a New Moon eclipse, which will be seen in the South Pacific as a full ring of fire... In honor of both, I offer these borrowed words of wisdom...

First from the wonderful Cathy Pagano and her Wisdom of Astrology:
“Eclipses mark times of cosmic redirection and energy shifts…Something we’ve imagined and dreamed about begins to manifest at a solar eclipse.”
“This Taurus solar eclipse on May 9-10th marks a new beginning, an especially fertile new beginning as it takes place in the astrological sign of manifestation.  Taurus is the most earthy of earth signs, marking a season of fertility and growth, of beauty and sensuality.   It is the energy of building and making, of new possibilities and passions. “
“Solar eclipses mark the end of a 19-year cycle relating to the activities relevant to each astrological sign.  A Taurus solar eclipse brings up issues of self-worth and values.  Since this eclipse is near the South Node of the Moon, we might have to examine old value systems that no longer serve our lives.  Do you honor the talents you have? Do you know what values stand at the center of your life?  Take time to dig deep in the soils of Taurus and weed out any old negative behavior patterns entrenched there.  Prepare the soil for new growth.”
“When we know our own worth, we can also access to the archetypal realm of Beauty, Desire and Fertility which is ruled by Venus/Aphrodite.   Know what you value in this precious life we have, because why build something you don’t value?  …Plant the seed of that new desire during this potent New Moon.”
“Venus/Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Beauty, Wisdom, Sexuality and Wholeness rules Taurus.  Just hours before the solar eclipse, Venus leaves her home in Taurus and moves into Gemini, the sign of the Mind….”
“What beliefs about your feminine Self need to die so that a new vision of Feminine Spirit can arise and live through you?”
“…It can be a time of healing, when you realize that your loneliness and isolation was an incubation, a time of preparation.  Be willing to ‘lose your familiar self for the promise of a greater, more encompassing reality’ where you can use your feminine gifts to change the world.”
“Transmutation occurs from the inside out.  Let the light of your inner feminine Being shine into the world in conscious and conscientious ways.  ’Transmutation forces us to serve who we are becoming, beyond who we’ve been: ‘trans (beyond) mutate (change)’. Become intimate with yourself, so that you can be intimate with others.”
“This Venus-ruled solar eclipse asks us to look to the future: ‘personal power results from mastering the illusion of our fear through open-heartedness.’  When we open to our original blessings, we discover that the feminine values of Love, Wisdom and Beauty can help us through the darkest times.  Stop doing for a while and let your being shine through.”
© Copyright 2013 ~ Cathy Pagano. All Rights Reserved
From the insightful Sarah Varcas from her Astro-Awakenings:
“If you are nurturing a dream, aspiring to realize a goal or just really needing to make a change in your life, no matter how daunting any of this may appear, now is the time to decide… is this really what you want? And if it is, go for it! Because whatever we invest our energy in now will be shot through with the earthy and unshakeable energy of Taurus, giving it backbone and firm foundations. Of course, we want to make sure those firm foundations are supporting something we are eager to embrace in the coming years, so it’s up to us to ensure we’re living our lives in a way that will promote positive development and insight, rather than merely re-enhancing old patterns of habitual behavior we no longer need and which do little but hold us back and keep us stuck in the past….”
“The asteroid Pallas Athene is closely aligned with this eclipse, adding her down-to-earth but none the less innovative wisdom into the mix. She reminds us that whatever we need to know, be or create is already inside us just bursting to come forth. She urges us to dig deep, bring together everything within: all our paradoxes and apparent opposites, our darkest shadows and brightest potential, our inner feminine and masculine, our inner mother and father, child and elder. Bring it all together into an eclipse moment of creation and innovation.”
“Remember that a solar eclipse always occurs at a New Moon, and as such functions in some ways like a super-charged New Moon. So we need to find every bit of fuel and fertiliser inside us, which basically means energy in all its forms (thoughts, emotions, instincts, intuition, physicality) and invest it now in this moment of intense creativity. The seeds that we plant in our lives at a solar eclipse, and especially at this solar eclipse, will grow strong and vibrant.”
“…We need to remain as conscious as we can and not get sucked into old patterns of identification with suffering, with victim consciousness or with the drama of trauma and chaos. As far as is possible we need to hold our centre, stand firm and allow whatever occurs to penetrate us to our deepest core and speak its wisdom to us. A word of warning: we may not want to hear this particular piece of wisdom right away, but the least we can do is write it down and come back to it later, because we can rest assured it is central to our lives and how we live them from this moment on.”
“The eclipse also speaks about timing and communication, with Mercury conjunct the South Node. When we’re all under-going so much change inside of ourselves it can be difficult to stay in congruent contact with our external world and all the people we share it with. It may feel like we’re shifting so rapidly that what we thought and believed yesterday is no longer of any importance, and likewise how we feel today will have faded far into the distance by tomorrow, so how do we connect with others in any meaningful way?”
“The answer lies not in what we say but in our quality of being. The more we can let go of the need to identify with a certain position, belief or world-view, the more we can detach from forging an identity which needs bolstering by those around us. Thus the freer we become to be truly present with another person and able to ‘shoot the breeze’ no matter what and who they are! And nothing can be more congruent than just being who we are – life in conscious form, connected to all other life – no matter what the situation or circumstance.”
“Throughout this month we will have opportunities to do this, to try out being nothing and no one and therefore everything and everyone. It’s all part of the eclipse fun and the cosmic challenge we’re being set: how do we pursue our hopes and dreams whilst detaching from identity and ego? This solar eclipse poses this question in the knowledge that by the time the lunar eclipse of 24th/25th May occurs we will have had plenty of opportunity to contemplate it and come up with an answer.”
“But whatever answer begins to resonate within you as you read the question, remember this: the answer is only the beginning. By the end of this month we may have journeyed so far that even that may sound like old news! The bottom line is, we must be prepared to be a new person in each moment. The more we can do that, the greater we will benefit from the eclipse energies which will resonate around us for several weeks to come.”
© Copyright 2013 ~ Sarah Varcas. All Rights Reserved
With respect and gratitude to the authors for their insights, and to Mystic Mama for sharing them.  Peace.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

No feeling is final

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
 then walks with us silently out of the night.

 These are words we dimly hear:

 You, sent out beyond your recall,
 go to the limits of your longing.
 Embody me.

 Flare up like flame
 and make big shadows I can move in.

 Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
 Just keep going.  No feeling is final.
 Don't let yourself lose me.

 Nearby is the country they call life.
 You will know it by its seriousness.

 Give me your hand.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

Of all the planets

VENUS the planet of LOVE, has recently re-appeared from her Underworld journey on MAY 6 appearing as the beautiful EVENING STAR. She is at ZERO degrees GEMINI on MAy 9/10 indicating brand new communications, ideas and thinking about love, values, beauty and resources. Venus in Gemini indicates seeing beyond apparent duality, unifying the opposites.

we are meant to come back to life

some more cosmic ideas shared by one Mystic Mamma:
“there are a lot of powerful transits playing out with the asteroid Goddesses right now- which means there’s a lot of activation going on with the Divine Feminine. if you are a woman i am sure this resonates DEEPLY for you. if you are a man then either some woman in your life is moving through profound transformation (read: intensity) and/or your own relationship with the feminine is undergoing radical change (often in the form of some drama with a woman in your life).” 
“ceres square uranus brings in the element of unexpected change. something is shfiting and ceres in cancer may not like it, but the Higher Self knows these changes are necessary in order for growth and transformation to occur. when ceres opposes pluto we have a deeper, perhaps darker energy. this can shine a Light on what aspects of life are dead and need to be fully released before new growth can occur. it can also bring up power/control dynamics in home, family and/or parent/child dynamics. ceres in cancer’s deep need for safety and security is going to be rocked big time- and the only thing to do is embrace the change and the deaths/letting go that are necessary now, as that is a precursor for new life to come in.”
"...eclipses initiate massive change- there is no escaping it. right now with ceres activated as well as juno we have profound and long-lasting changes impacting home and family dynamics as well as committed relationships and contractual arrangements. the energy present right now is not for the faint of heart! hopefully you are finding the liberation and freedom in the midst of the unfolding changes- as that is the whole point of the astrology right now. we are meant to come back to life!”
© Copyright 2013 Divine Harmony. All Rights Reserved

Aloha Insights

A few thoughts from the "Pele Report" on the eclipse, and what it brings... more to come...

April 24:
When I open to the other,
and surrender to my lover,
He/She brings me deep down under,
Where my naked truth lies uncovered.

Welcome to the Lunar eclipse in Taurus/Scorpio where the taboo gets talked about… The Full Moon/eclipse Thursday (the energy continues all weekend) is designed to show you what your made of! Last week we got in touch with how amazing we are (see last week’s mantra), this week it’s time to see if every/anyone else agrees haha! Hang in there and show ‘em what you’re made of, and that just may include standing in your power and drawing the line too! One way or the other, take the bet and raise ‘em 2….. Aloha…….. 

May 1:
This is taking more than I thought,
I never seem to have enough,
But since time is the test of desire,
I will continue to walk through these rings of fire.

This is definitely a time to be cleaning the karmic house before being “allowed” to move on. We’re in the eclipse season with the Sun and Mars joining the Moon’s south node symbolizing the light shining on the past so the sword can cut the ties that bind. If you are feeling bound up these days it is important to persevere, endure, and put everything you’ve got into doing it right. The Saturn opposition is calling for high integrity and no one getting away with anything. The more you do now the more will come back to you ten fold. Take that anger and channel it into productive activity and everyone will benefit. Aloha……

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Walk a Long Way

Last Thursday morning I found myself at a crossroads of sorts, having arrived there after taking what could easily be described as a pretty significant number of wrong turns... That morning I literally lost my way, crossed a bridge I’d never been over before, decided to follow my heart and ended up at an amazingly new vantage point… From a high rooftop in NE Minneapolis, looking out over the city that I’ve called home for almost fifteen years now, under grey skies and facing a cold, harsh wind, I saw my past and future stretched out like the streets and rails below, reaching into the distance…

A day later I was on a plane, headed toward a place I'd never been before.  I shared three wonderful days reveling in the blossoming shores of Lake Ontario, enjoying the myriad gifts of this changeable Spring...and, after a rather sad flight home, was back in Minneapolis again by late Sunday night.  I took a moment upon arriving to recharge and check my messages.  In my inbox was an email from my mom, sent at right about the time that I would have been sitting at a bar in the Detroit airport, sipping a few fingers of bourbon and listening to the bartender, Scotty, on the importance of family and his own dear mother who had passed a way a few years prior... Anyway, my sweet mother had sent me some writing from an astrologer on the coming solar eclipse which is taking place at the edge of my birthday, in two days.  I was only a little surprised that it read like the words of a fortune teller… Spring is a powerful time of year, for all of us, but the early weeks of May have always been especially so for me, and this one is of particular intensity, for a number of reasons.

So today over my lunch break, I read up a bit more on the eclipse, initially just looking for facts but then following various threads leading to uncanny insights in the words of wise strangers, as though I were opening the doors and windows of the advent calendar of my own life… I spent my entire break reading and then finally went out to grab some actual lunch at the Chinese place across the street.  I walked out into the warm sunshine and made it almost the whole way across the plaza before I realized that I didn't have any money with me.  I turned around and strode back.  A colleague of mine, who I'd enjoyed some conversation with about birds and politics and travel over happy hour beers yesterday evening, was out for a smoke across the way; he smiled, I waved.  He's one of those people I talk to a few times a year, and always seems to have something wise and interesting to say, some morsel of wisdom to ponder... I went in to get some cash, and on my way back out, met him coming in.  "That was a long walk," he said.  We exchanged brief pleasantries about how nice the weather was and I turned to go after my lunch.  "Walk a long way," he said.

A mantra for today. Walk a long way...

I was still musing on that when I reached the intersection, and by the time I crossed the street was thinking yeah, it would be a good day to go further, maybe wander downtown and look for some new lunch fare, but... I should really stick to the plan and go where I was already headed, with the time I have and all the work yet to be done...and at the moment I made that decision, and took that first step to the right, a flower fell down from above and landed at my feet on the ground just ahead of me.  There was no one else close, no one coming or going, just me and that flower.  I stepped forward and glanced up before bending down to pick it up...had someone thrown it down?  A romantic idea, but silly... it must have fallen from several stories above...just a small cluster of geraniums, soft and bright pink on a short green stem, one of many many blessings that have fallen on me today, and in recent days.  I don't know that it means anything, but I do know that it's not every day that flowers just fall out of the sky and land at your feet.  I hope similar blessings are falling on you.    

More to come in the next few days, on this rare and powerful eclipse...