The Way of Innocence and the Greening of Soul


“The traveler knows nothing but the road, the guide knows nothing but the stars: The world tree stands between them, marking the center of the world.”1

Like a seed shattering to become itself, some part of us knows that in order to evolve the structures we know must give way to allow the emergence of a deeper authenticity. Our roots grow down into the dark, dreaming earth for nourishment and strength, yet we cannot stay there forever. There are risks to be taken.

The evolution of soul happens along a vertical axis between heaven and earth each informing the other. Within each of us is an axis mundi—a Tree of Life uniting and centering all realms of existence.

In Chinese Medicine trees represent the wood element, the color green, the liver and gall bladder, direction east, the season spring, the weather pattern of wind, the emotions anger and frustration which become compassion when touched by the heart. Continue reading “The Way of Innocence and the Greening of Soul”



And The Darkness Shall Be The Light


I Ching Hexagram 11. T’ai/Peace

The receptive earth over the creative heaven.
This hexagram belongs to the months of February and March.

“Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony.
Then peace and blessing descend upon all living things.”1

I open the I Ching to these simple, yet complex words in the midst of the devastating horrors of war and genocide that continue across the body of Gaia. I wonder about the inner workings of peace as the sky continues to darken throughout the late afternoon. The wind howls and hisses through the trees, and the power goes out.

Later, I wake to the sound of branches cracking through the forest surrounding me. The neighbor’s dog barks relentlessly just before thunder shakes the house. Lightening flashes like daylight through the opacity of the blackened wee hours. Heaven opens and a torrent of rain fills the atmosphere, replaced suddenly by silence as rain turns into snowflake softly floating in its return to earth. My dreams are wild and many. I feel the year of the Wood Dragon arriving.

Trees represent the element wood and the season spring. Dragons, in Chinese culture, embody the “electrically charged, dynamic, arousing force”2 which allows change to happen. Dragons are helping spirits and messengers who move between heaven and earth. I wonder what Wood Dragon can show me about peace.

The forces of heaven and earth are not opposed to one another, but complement one another.

The world of time is formed from the creative interplay of this timeless duality. Time and timelessness live seamlessly as one reality. Humanity has forgotten that we, too, can find ways to engage with duality and paradox that are creative and complementary rather than divisive and destructive. We have forgotten that heaven and earth are also within, and how to harmonize amidst the constant changes they each bring. Continue reading “Peace: And The Darkness Shall Be The Light”



Awake Inside the Dreaming Earth:

Meetings With the Ancestors


I sit at my altar this cold, dark morning illumined by a single candle burning. My heart is overflowing with questions too large for me to hold alone. I place a stick of palo santo (holy wood), over the candle flame and watch as smoke moves like a dragon through the air, forming a bridge between worlds.

With closed eyes, images begin to emerge through my inner world from the dreaming earth.

There is a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the soul door. I hear a knock, and although I am not sleeping, I wake inside a dream. Standing at the edge of a wasteland, my gaze follows the hum of a new, barely visible world emerging inside this moment. I want to act, to move toward it, but my vision is still unclear. As I stand in the discomfort between what I want and what is needed, I remember that such thresholds are crossed through enduring the  Great Aloneness of waiting.

Bald eagle emerges so close I can see her eyes. I am alone, yet not alone. Awe and gratitude melts the icy waters of uncertainty, and something begins to flow.

Within this lucid dream, I recognize a reality pulling me toward itself like the answer to a prayer. Not just my prayer, but the Prayer of All Prayers. Something tells me that in my very standing here at the threshold between life and death, my presence is the offering, and that that is enough. As I offer myself to the altar of the full, mad, mess of the human condition, the ancient ones sing to life a wild, holy beauty wrapped in knotted flames so that the heart stays warm and the soul alive.

Although I want to do something, anything, to get out of this discomfort, my bones tell me that if I move too quickly some essential part of me will be left behind. Although this offers little comfort, something true at the center of my wholeness settles into itself and it is clear that no one part of me wants to exist without the rest. And so it is.

And then I hear the future ancestors calling, whispering, singing me forward. They surround me just on the other side of this moment, holding me in ritual space. Immense love and encouragement seeps through the membrane between self and other, filling me with a wild grace and loving me into being just a little more, and a little more. I feel their deep concern but also their enduring wisdom and strength. They help me to stay here in the long dark for as long as it’s necessary until I know just what to do next. Continue reading “Awake Inside the Dreaming Earth: Meetings With the Ancestors”