Monday, September 24, 2007

A way of freedom

The ancient practice of meditation comes to a maximum-security prison in Alabama. Read Staring at Death, and Finding Their Bliss by Whitney Joiner, The New York Times, September 13, 2007.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Do it now!

To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.

--William James

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dive right in

Visit Beyond the Ninth Wave, the blog of Neasa, digital artist, poet and diva!

The eclipses and you

Astrology podcaster Dena DeCastro has posted a fascinating examination of the personal and societal effects of the recent lunar and solar eclipses.

Download Dena's excellent Evolutions of Astrology podcast via iTunes or click here to access the September 18 podcast about the eclipses. On that page, you'll also find links to her supporting material on Pisces, Virgo and the astrological houses.

Friday, September 21, 2007

While the solar self sleeps

Sleep learning, sleep healing, sleep divination, sleep creativity, sleep spells for manifestation. They are all possible. Try asking your guide(s) to speak to you, instruct you and work with you while you sleep. And I mean it: that's all you have to do. Sleep, and your guide(s) and your lunar self will team up and go into action.

I often wake up overnight or in the morning with wonderful bits of new information, creative ideas and solutions to current concerns. That's fairly normal, I think, but you can fine-tune and boost this process by taking a few moments as you're about to drift to sleep to specifically ask for what you need and declare your receptivity to whatever Spirit intends for you.

Always ask in the name of the highest good for all and harm to none, in gratitude for Spirit's past and present graces in your life, and with a recognition that Spirit ultimately expresses wisdom and intention in ways that you--or at least your little local self--might not anticipate, even ways that you might find highly amusing!

Keep a notebook and pen nearby so that you can quickly jot down the information you receive before it fades into the aether or before your usual morning busy-ness distracts you.

The information you receive can take many different forms, some of them very subtle; so, pay close attention. You might get very clear, direct words; some relevant song lyrics or lines from poetry; a passage of music; a visual image; a vague but persistent undertone of feeling; a burst of energy. You might be reminded of something that you had forgotten. You might get a warning or be saved from making an error, or you might suddenly know where to find something you had lost. You might feel a calling to go somewhere without knowing that you'll encounter someone who has the answer to your question.

Try this tonight. Sincerely ask for the spirits who work with you to help you take care of something that's been on your mind. Commit yourself to at least carefully considering the wisdom of what you learn and, accordingly, following through with action on your end.

Have a restful night and sweet dreams!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesha - The Lord of Success, click picture for more information
blog it

My longtime friend and colleague Patricia Kelly sent me the following description of the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi along with a poem she recently wrote to the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesh. Ganesh/Ganesha--commonly known as the "Remover of Obstacles"--is the Hindu version of the "Opener of the Ways" archetype.

Patricia's blogs include:

Eva :-)


Ganesh Chaturthi
(in case you don't know) is a festival celebrated this time of year to honor Ganesh (some say it's his birthday). Depending on what web site you read from the festival runs either a week or 11 days. I started observing last year and did it for a week, so that's now my "tradition." :-) I sit at a special carefully decorated altar dedicated only to Him twice a day, giving him various gifts and meditating. At the end in the festival in India, the temple Ganesh statue is taken to a body of water and submerged, with much wailing and mourning. I believe this is symbolic of Ganesh's return to our unconcious, where He's always been. I submerge a small bronze figurine of Ganesh in a special bowl of water, acknowledge my sorrow that this special time is over, and welcome Him back to my unconscious. The below was written this morning, the first day of this year's festival (see note at end for more info):


Oh, Deity of Blinding Light,
my unknown father,
free me from this head
of mine, cut this obstacle
from my knotted neck
in one clean swipe

Relieve me of its weight
of eyes that see as through the darkest glass
of ears that hear only ancient echos and newest fears
of a busy mouth deeply stained by bitterness
of a nose that breathes but is not inspired of spirit

Then do not rush to comfort my Great Mother
but let Her grief echo in the emptiness
that bleeds where my understandings roiled
before your blade’s release

Let Her tears flood over me until
You are moved to gift me with a new
way to comprehend

And until this gift, I will wait unknowing
in the flooding darkness, knowing only
that You will keep Your promise
of transformation

Patricia Kelly © September 2007

One of Ganesh’s titles is "Remover of Obstacles." This was written on first day of Ganesh Chaturthi 2007 (September 15), inspired by the story of Ganesh’s origin: Before Ganesh had an elephant’s head, he was guarding His Mother’s (Parvati) bath. He and His father (Shiva) did not recognize each other, and when Ganesh refused Shiva entrance to Parvati’s bath, Shiva cut off Ganesh’s head. Parvati’s grief was so overwhelming that Shiva went out into the jungle and cut off the head of the first animal He saw, an elephant, and made it Ganesh’s new head.

bright blessings to you all,
Patricia (a/k/a Roswila)

Eternal sunshine of the dreaming mind

Think you've never had a lucid dream? Think again! Remember all those nightmares you had when you finally said, "Enough of this crap! I'm outta here!" and yanked yourself awake? Lucidity! Of course, you could have hung in there--the shamanic way--and actively worked with the nightmarish elements of your dreams to find what secret treasure they hold for you.

And then there's the forgetfulness factor; you've probably forgotten lucid moments or entirely lucid dreams. My sense is that this sort of thing is natural, normal and common, although seldom remembered by the conscious mind when awake. The lunar self has all the fun!

Here's a rather well-done piece by Stephanie Rosenbloom of The New York Times about lucid dreaming: Living Your Dreams In a Manner of Speaking (Sunday, September 16, 2007).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Speaking of being kind to your hands...

Here's another one our dearly departed Madge would surely enjoy: a hand massage that is a great way to relieve the stress on your hands from...ahem...endless blog typing. It's also an excellent way to prepare yourself for creative and channeled writing, visual artwork or healing work.

With gentle pressure, lightly massage the palms and fingers of your hands. Use your thumb to press into the center of your palm. Free the energy of each finger by stroking it upward from base to tip. Circle the tip pads of each finger clockwise. Lightly brush the back of each hand from your wrist to fingertips.

Further activate the energy of your hands by rotating your wrists a few times and then giving your hands a good, loose shake for a few seconds. At some point, you should feel your hands go ON!

You can infuse your hand massage with specific energies: colors, symbols, names of deities or guides, essences of all kinds. Let this be as big as your imagination.

Bjork and friend

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Bj√∂rk’s Picture

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And you’re breathing it, too

Draw in a series of deep breaths, and imagine these currents of air being expelled through the top of your head until this area feels clean and permeable.

Draw in another series of breaths; expel them through the middle of your forehead until this area rings with clarity.

Draw in a third series of breaths, expelling them through your eyes, making your vision crystalline and penetrating.

Do the same for your ears and for the hollow of your throat, deepening your ability to hear beyond the surface of words and things, and to clearly, fully and creatively express the energies you perceive and the truths you learn.

I used to teach chakra work of all kinds, but I am less of a Chakra Queen today than I used to be. I’ve learned that spirit beings are heavily into simplicity and, for the most part, nonlocality. Any concept that emphasizes a specific physical or time/space location for things (such as “the Heart chakra is located in front of the chest”) makes them roll what would be eyes if they had eyes. We have energy centers all over the physical body, and we have energy centers that are not local to the physical body, just as we are not confined to the physical body.

This breathwork practice is very simple and relatively quick. You can do it anywhere--sitting, standing, walking, lying down--and without anyone knowing that you're doing. You need no equipment, magickal tools or special supplies. Spirits, I've learned, are not Thing Freaks. They leave that sort of thing to us. And as I've worked with them, I'm feeling less of a need to use things or to engage in complex, formalized practices, more of a need to work with a simple magick of the mind. Call it quantum hoodoo, if you will. I continue to keep sacred images and things around, and work with visual symbols, because they are beautiful and provide focus and energy for my own consciousness.

If we like to use all kinds of beautiful, powerfully evocative items to move our own consciousness, the spirits are happy for us, and we can use those symbols and things to our hearts' content, but the spirits do not require them. This frees us to do what feels good and right for ourselves.

The breathwork practice is a good daily routine, spur-of-the-moment tension- and stress-reliever, an initiator for creative work and for any kind of self-expression. Moreover, it's a good beginning for any formal or informal prayer, meditation and communion with Spirit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 (Samuel Barber)

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You're soaking in it!

Remember that old commercial with Madge the Manicurist, touting the gentleness of Palmolive dishwashing liquid while her client dips her hands in a bowl that turns out to contain the very same Palmolive? A laugh riot, right? Okay, those were simpler times, but that's the way I think about the spirit world: we're soaking in it. In fact, we're an integral part of it. Some people turn themselves inside out trying to figure out how to contact and work with it. But engagement with the spirit realm is kind of a duh thing.

Many spiritual and metaphysical teachers emphasize the teaching that we really are spirits, first and foremost, as well as incarnate humans. This philosophy makes matters way easier. Connection with the spirit world involves affirming and realizing your spirit self. Why should it be a hassle (or even scary or dangerous) to commune and communicate with the spirit world, when you yourself are part and parcel of it?

View your day-to-day existence from the perspective of your knowledge and wisdom as a spiritual being who, for a precious stretch of time, has chosen to be localized in a body, and you will more readily discover amazing resources of energy, healing, information, creativity and wisdom applicable to the challenges of your daily life.

This post is dedicated to the memory of actress Jan Miner--Palmolive's Madge--who passed away in 2004 at 86.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh, the serendipity of it all!

The beauty part about blogs is that you're allowed to figure out what it is you're doing as you go along, and readers don't seem to mind. That lends itself well to what I hope to do in hummingwitch--a nonlinear, merrily winding pathway and multi-directional, multi-dimensional portal in which the matter of Spirit will often become clothed in everyday things. At least, that's what I'm sensing now.

Part of the blame for hummingwitch must go to a fellow named Hyperion who hosts a much-admired podcast called The Unnamed Path, that features his systematic teachings on shamanic spirituality for men-who-love-men (his term). I wrote to Hyperion and asked him if he knew of any similar--meaning specific content and high quality--podcasts for lesbians. He did not, but--as I anticipated!--he took the opportunity to encourage me to set up something of the kind.

I have worked in feminist and lesbian spirituality, but while Hyperion's suggestion is wonderful, I still feel--as I felt some time ago--that I am not drawn to restricting my work to any particular group of people. I'd like it to be available to anyone who discovers it and finds it interesting, just as I have found Hyperion's work interesting. As I listen to Hyperion's podcasts, I sense a call to get my own work out more widely in the form of this blog. I have a podcast devoted to dance, and perhaps someday, I'll find the time and focus to add one for hummingwitch.

In the meantime, please feel free to visit my main Web site and my dance blog InfiniteBody (where you'll also find my dance podcast, Body and Soul). I do feel that my interests in dance and in metaphysical spirituality overlap quite beautifully. Perhaps I'll have more to say about that another time.

Every blessing,
Eva (hummingwitch)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Hello! Hmmmm....

Just humming a bit while I figure out how I want to configure this blog... More later!