Blessed Be

 

illustration2The most difficult lesson for me on the Path revolves around the idea that being smart is not a saving grace. Talking the talk has had little effect on my ragged affairs. My saving grace is spiritual practice that helps me course correct when I catch myself engaging in adverse thinking and foul beliefs.

Following is a New Year’s ritual and practice that you might try anytime.
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I bid farewell to the old year by giving it my blessings. Going farther back to my childhood and the past before my birth, I bless it all.

Bless it. Let bygones from your personal or ancestral history go. Avoid making judgements about good or bad. Everything has brought you to who you are today. Take deep breaths and speak blessings on a slow exhale.

Freedom illustrationTo invite the flowering of your full potential, slowly turn around and open your arms wide enough to feel a good stretch. Feel how your chest opens and your heart is exposed. Enjoy the power of being vulnerable.

Welcome the New Year with open arms. Announce to the Most High that you are open to receive blessings in myriad forms. For me, it would be inspiration, information, understanding, love, abundance, and fun.

Imagine your blessings are in the air above you. Gather the blessings and bring them to your to your chest. Embrace yourself and give thanks.

Embellish to suit yourself!

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Saturn and Pluto*

On January 7, 2020 Saturn and Pluto will be in an exact conjunction. I do not entertain the dire predictions floating around. No matter what situations or conditions present themselves, I reach for calm and as soon as I can and choose peace. Choosing peace is a spiritual discipline that I practice with the little things so that I may build spiritual muscle for whatever presents, large or small. Whenever something comes upon me with such momentum I am overwhelmed and notice roiling emotions that I cannot settle , I place my right hand over my heart and my left hand on my belly and tell myself that I accept where I am right now and love myself anyway.

A friend told me his grandfather purchased a brownstone during the height of what is called The Great Depression (1929 – 1939). For that wise man, even that moment in time was Holy Ground. No matter what presents, I take a deep breath and exhale with the words Holy Ground. This too is Holy Ground.

Always only love,
Deborah

If this spiritual practice seems too difficult for you, I invite you to get in touch with me. You and I will be the two or more gathered in the spirit of the Most High.
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*Saturn (basic qualities) Contraction, persistence, caution, disciple, boundaries, organization

Pluto (basic qualities) Renewing, enlivening, breaking open, germinating, erupting, reorganization, provoking, transition

2020. You got this!

Art as Medicine

woman creating a word wand

When we make art, we engage the primal energetic force that created the cosmos and gave birth to the world. And when we come to the creative process with an intention, up comes a dialogue that provides information, inspiration, consolation, ideas, insights and answers. The dialogue might be expressed in words, but also in feelings, intuitions, coincidences, and dreams. Serendipity dances through our lives.

Vision Carriers’ Make Art Workshops are designed to facilitate self-exploration for the purpose of creating lives that zing with authenticity and vitality. Benefits include increased self-awareness, soulful fun, and a genuine work of art—your unique expression..

The artwork we create is more than a symbol of the answer to what needs addressing, healing, or clarifying in our lives. As Frithjof  Schuon writes in The Feathered Sun: Plains Indians in Art and Philosophy:

… at the origin the of the Divine Age [symbols] were in themselves fully adequate to transmit metaphysical truths.

My mission is to encourage adults to use art as a tool for enlightenment, empowerment, relaxation, and fun.

Making art not only transforms the materials at hand, it affects the body’s chemistry which then affects the physical body, and the whole life. Art is holy and powerful medicine.

Copyright © 2006 by Deborah Singletary

Why Astrology

astrology mandala4The astrological chart is a circle representing our wholeness and connection with everything in the universe. The process of acculturation fragments this wholeness. Acculturation is necessary to help us accommodate the needs of others, however if introduced too soon or unskillfully in childhood, we are broken by it.

In order to fit into our family and social milieu and to make a living, we might begin to disassociate vital aspects of ourselves. We lose some aspects by labeling them bad and denying them. However these energies don’t disappear—they crop up as complexes, uncontrolled acting out, unskillful behavior and problems that keep happening to us.

In some cases we lose ourselves because it’s dangerous to be different, smart, sexual, playful, insightful, or authoritative. We also lose ourselves through excessive admiration of people who are “greater” than we are, thereby avoiding the risk of being true to natural genius. We might live hunkered down in a barrel, try to rumba on a two by four, consume everything in a smorgasbord or try to write while white-water rafting.

An astrological consult reminds us of who we are, and when we hear it we get goose bumps, tear up, or smile in recognition and relief. Astrology encourages and supports us in owning our power and taking responsibility for tending the flame that is our life. Understanding our charts helps us to regard and utilize all life circumstances as treasure.

When Soul deems it’s time for us to deepen, grow, graduate or go through another life passage, astrology serves similarly to the signs held up to encourage the swift, differently-abled (or differently labeled) marathon runners—favored and underdog alike. The signs say this is what time it is! This way! Hang in there! It’s okay to stop! On to your destiny! Live the life you love!

Astrology offers inspiration, motivation, and hope for each child born and for every adult struggling to remember. Learning to read the chart is doable and accessible. Actually, we already know some important basics in our common familiarity with the elements of fire, earth, air, and water.

Following is a testimony by a friend about how astrology informed his life:

“I identified very much with the descriptions of the core Aquarian personality: independent, a free thinker, keenly sensitive to issues of justice and injustice, both on a personal level. A fixed air sign, I was most comfortable in the mode of abstract thought, often detached from the realm of feeling or practicality. As a Scorpio rising, my outward personality was intense, sometimes caustic and confrontational. My moon in Taurus helped explain why I had been so attracted to the earthiness of R. and several other Taurus women, and my entire study of astrology gave me some more explanations of my inner, emotional and spiritual structure.”

Spiritual Exploration

The Seer croppedSpirit is a power most noticeable when it is high or low. However, Spirit is always present and available as a source of information, inspiration, and solace. Spiritual exploration begins with the premise that no matter who we are or what issues are pressing upon us—we are whole. We both contain and have access to the primal energetic and pervasive force that creates and sustains the universe. That power is our rich legacy, an ever-ready resource —Spirit.

When life hurts, it may seem as if Spirit is dead. When things are wonderful, we might not know how to catalyze our high spirit into a sustaining inner strength. Spiritual exploration helps individuals and/or groups to access Spirit and utilize Spirit in the midst of the perceived highs and lows of life. Spiritual exploration helps us ask some of the difficult questions about God and the nature of reality and explore those answers within. Spiritual exploration also offers a safe place to explore and develop spiritual practices that become anchors even in agitated waters and swift winds.

Spiritual exploration is not psychotherapy. The companion’s calling does not directly involve the seeker’s psychological complexes. The companion supports the seeker’s reliance on the seeker’s spiritual beliefs to help navigate significant life passages. While therapists typically meet with individuals weekly, spiritual companions schedule their sessions every three or four weeks. However, the space between sessions is like a vessel where the seeker’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences are contained and catalyzed as valuable material for the upcoming session. A spiritual companion who is compatible with you, serves as ally, witness, and conspirator on your path.

Who Benefits from Spiritual Exploration?

  • Anyone going through a crisis or major life passage
  • Artists dealing with creative blocks, burnout, or career frustrations
  • Anyone who wants to develop a personal relationship with God or Spirit
  • Anyone who is questioning the meaning of life
  • Service providers in the areas of education, social work, family care, and the symbolic arts i.e. astrology and tarot

Possible Benefits from Spiritual Exploration

  • Developing or strengthening your spiritual practices
  • Creating and establishing personal rituals that zing with authenticity
  • Discernment: Recognizing the Voice of Spirit from the voice of ego
  • Creating a fulfilling prayer life
  • The affirmation that comes from sharing your story and spiritual journey
  • The transformation that comes about when we are heard.
  • Tools that promote self growth
  • Clarity about religious or spiritual ideals
  • Awakening to one’s life mission and purpose

Deborah Singletary is an ordained interfaith minister, astrologer, and spiritual consultant.

The Symbolic Arts: Connecting the Metaphysical with Our Everyday Lives

I am on the phone, my lips poised to wrap around a salacious complaint. Anticipating

Ocean Word Wand
OceanWord Wand

this tasty indulgence, my eyes roll. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my word wand hanging on the wall. The wand is wrapped in satin ribbon with delightful helpings of red and purple beaded fringe. The cowries and feathers evoke ancient artifacts. The bells hanging at the end call to me. The word wand reminds me that negative speech is like a meditation and a prayer for more of what I do not want. I switch the channel.

The symbolic arts do what the intellect alone cannot. Making a symbol of a metaphysical truth or spiritual law helps me immediately apply, embody, and test ideas that ring true, but quickly fade without practice. For umpteen years, I had understood intellectually the importance of speaking words that affirm health, wealth, and well-being. Nevertheless, frequently, I would lapse and speak words that undermine my well-being. My word wand, a symbolic art form, reminds me to stay on point.

Human beings tap into the mind via our hands and fingers. Just as these letters, words, and sentences are symbols of ideas, art materials (i.e. colors, drawn or painted images, and decorations such as shells, feathers, string, and glitter) make up a symbolic language. Handling the materials help us to grasp higher principles with our being as well as our mind.

Vision Carriers’ symbolic art workshops revolve around ideas such as “God cannot fill lack, but She can fill a vessel open and ready to receive abundance.” This idea is the basis of Open to Receive: The Sacred Vessel. In The Red Shoes: Standing in Your Own Power, participants create a pair of red shoes to remind them to stand up for their birthright—creative self-expression.1 “The Red Shoes” is a story Clarissa Pinkola Estes retells in her book, Women Who Run with the Wolves. The story shows how detrimental it is to trade our vital creative selves for mere security. For other examples of Vision Carriers’ symbolic arts workshops [click here.]

The goal in symbolic or process art is not necessarily to create beautiful artwork. A demand and command for beauty exposes a petty petulant ego. The pleasure in making art stems from the interplay between our intention, the materials, and our hands. This interplay generates artwork that is energetic, authentic, and striking. Defining or interpreting the artwork is not as relevant as the energy and intention that goes into making art.

I admire the red shoes I have created with layers of red lace, trim, gold glitter, black buttons, cameos of Harriet Tubman and Ida B. Wells and metallic paint. After a brief invocation, I slip my feet into my red shoes and stand up placing  my right foot forward to steady myself. I place my hands on the hips that propel me forward when I walk. I vow to be true to myself and to stand up for myself. Then I stomp my right foot three times to signify my resolve. I stomp my right foot to the east, north, west, and south, turning left on my left foot. In my closing prayer, I thank my ancestors and the trailblazers who have made a way for me. I take off my shoes and place the right foot facing the door, the left shoe pointing in the room signifying that in my comings and goings the Divine guides me.

The symbolic arts are a physical representation. The closing ritual is a physical act representing the inner attitude or change invited by the art. The closing ritual provides “a way of taking principles from the unconscious and impressing them vividly on the conscious mind. Ritual sends a powerful message back to the unconscious causing changes to take place at the deep levels.” 2 The symbolic arts inspire a realization that all is well with my soul.

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1
Inez Singletary midwifed this workshop inspired by “The Red Shoes,” a story Clarissa Pinkola Estes retells in her book, Women Who Run with the Wolves. This story shows how detrimental it is to trade our vital creative selves for mere security.

2 Robert A. Johnson, Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth