Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Summer Solstice!!!!

Life on the run as usual, so here's another oldie but goodie: CLICK ME

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy Beltane!!!!

Click here for an oldie but goodie Beltane post :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Ostara!!!!

I'm on spring break!

Click here for a repost of my Ostara entry for last year.
For a menu idea & some traditional celebrating, click here.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Imbolc: Awaken the Inner Flame

Deep inside the earth-womb, beneath the frozen ground in the mysterious, moist darkness, there are seeds that will soon germinate…awaken. Although nearly imperceptible perhaps we can feel something in the air, a hint of what is to come. This is a seasonal shift, it is a time of anticipation. Winter is slowly loosening its grip and if we listen, if we look closely we can get a faint glimpse now and then of the imminent arrival of spring.

The word Imbolc is of Celtic origins and thought to mean “within the belly”. Today we can take this to refer symbolically to Mother Earth being pregnant with the new life of impending springtime. Now is the phase of quickening when nature’s creative energy begins to stir. This seasonal change is inevitable -- change is inevitable. Nothing is fixed; all is in flux. There is an ebb and flow to everything. What is frozen will melt, what is dormant will awaken; what is dark will be illuminated. The certainty of this transition from winter’s cold to spring’s warmth is akin to a trusted promise. Imbolc is a celebration of that promise. We knew on the eve of Winter Solstice that from the next day onward the hours of light would slowly lengthen. But now little by little we’ve begun to actually see it – what joy, a reaffirmation that the warmth will indeed return! Winter Solstice, Yule, was hope symbolized by light in the depths of darkness. Imbolc is yearning for warmth and the promise it will come, it is tending the fragile embers and knowing the blaze will flare up…it is intention becoming manifest.

One of the alternative names for this day is of old Gaelic derivation from herding and farming origins, Oimelc, meaning ewe’s milk. This refers to the lambing time when mother sheep begin to lactate. Mother’s milk is perfect nourishment, pure and simple. The image of a gentle lamb nursing from her mother could offer broader meaning and be a metaphor to remind us that we are each deserving of nourishment on a different level, sacred sustenance if you will – it is a fundamental and basic necessity. Yet all too often we emotionally starve ourselves, putting other people and other things before our own vital needs. Suddenly we find ourselves thirsting and spiritually bereft. We are in dire need of the simple milk of human kindness. We need to tend and nurture our selves before we can care for anyone or anything else. So, let the iconic image of a mother nursing her young inspire you to make this vow: promise to feed your spirit, to love and take care of yourself with an adoring parent’s unconditional heart. Dedicate yourself to feeding your own internal need-fire with sufficient fuel ….for we each are miraculous creations and are worthy of nothing less.

Yet another name for this holiday is Candlemas, sometimes celebrated today as the Christian feast of St Brigit. The word “mas” in fact refers to feast, so this could be thought of as a feast of firelight. Even in the smallest flicker of a simple candle, fire is our little piece of the sun here on earth. During these seemingly endless cold days we crave warmth and radiance like the proverbial moth is drawn to a flame. Fire purifies, it cleanses, and can clear the way for new growth. Fire can warm our food, our toes and our spirits. Flames of passion can ignite and blaze like an inferno or smolder unrequited. A roaring blaze in the wood stove on a cold night is like a dear old friend. Fire is solemn, reminiscent of the torchlight processionals of ancient sacred rites. Fire is playful, like fireworks crackling and popping for Chinese New Year celebrations also occurring around this time of year. A colossal bonfire is impressive and fierce. And yes, fire can destroy. But this destruction in its purest form can be benevolent and a force of transformation. In turn, fire is a source of creative energy that’s power is unparallel.

Everyone has the capacity to tap into this source of creativity; we enter the world with that gift. The very act of our birth is a creative moment – we by virtue of our membership in the human race are like divine works of art. Akin to the promise of spring that awakens slumbering seeds enfolded in dark earth, we can reconnect with our primal creative nature. We simply need to rouse the imagination, to kindle that spark of inspiration that forever lies waiting to ignite.

And art isn’t just about painting a still life or reciting archaic…it’s not only the ballet or the symphony or statues in a museum. Art is rock and roll, cooking a Cajun feast, creating a simple ritual, or dancing under the full moon when you have two left feet. Art is making love, and making music…it’s raising flowers, raising children and raising energy. Art is basket weaving and weaving a story. It can be anything from paint by numbers to the Mona Lisa and all that is in between. Art is simply any expression of our imagination that results in some sort of transformation. Any creative project is a magical act in and of itself. All creative ventures are sacred deeds in their own right. One of the goals of ritual is transformation of consciousness, to open & deepen our awareness. This serves to strengthen our connection to what we hold sacred. Creativity can strengthen that same connection. In some ways artistic expression is simply communication with the universe on a higher level.

Still, the creative process is mysterious when you think of it. From the moment an idea is planted like a seed and nourished by the fertile imagination, to where it takes root in the plane of existence and is made manifest, artistic endeavors are truly wondrous miracles. Creativity is a progression…it is not a single act but a series of actions. The very journey itself can be the desired objective. Some creations are never finished and that is their intrinsic value. The point is to find meaning in the process, in the discoveries revealed along the way.

You cannot speak of Imbolc, cannot touch on the theme of creativity without acknowledging the prevalence of one particular Goddess from Celtic mythology…known by many names and shown in many images, such as the aforementioned St. Brigit, as well as Breed, Bride, Brigeed, Brigantia, Brighid and more. She is shown as the triple Goddess of poets, metal crafts, and healing…a Goddess of fire and ice, of both the healing spring-fed well and the white-hot flame of a smith’s forge. Her very name means “fiery arrow”, or “bright one”. Perhaps no other deity better encompasses an archetype representing the power of transformation as well as Brighid. She symbolizes transformation thru the conversion of inspiration into art, of raw materials into tools, of compassion into healing. For centuries Brighid’s fires burned at Her sacred temple in Kildare, Ireland. Then, sadly, those torches were extinguished -- but not in the hearts of her devotees. Now, here’s the true miracle…a decade or so ago they were relit, are yet again attended to, and now burn strong once more! The much-loved memory Brighid sparked in her people burned longer than any flame ever could.

Let this fire festival of Imbolc be a reminder to us that the inner flames of our essential being, call it spirit, can always be rekindled...awakened like a dormant seed beneath the snow. No matter how long the grate has been cold all we need to do is sweep out the old ash and start anew. From a single spark to a burning cinder to a bed of hot coals…the fire will grow strong and blaze, the flames will dance and crackle and burn bright. We need only to stoke and feed those flames, to supply the hearth of our souls with ample kindling through acts that provide personal resonance. Acts of love, of playfulness, of creativity, of making sacred and joyful the seemingly mundane; of living our lives in a genuine, authentic way...these provide pure, clean fuel for the spirit-fire within our very core.

So, leave a candle in the window to shine the way for your sense of wonder and awe, tend the hearthside of your spirit lovingly, don’t forget to bank up the coals during those long winter nights so you can rekindle that flame when need be. Oh, and on a somewhat lighter note, in lieu of the icy weather here in NJ and to paraphrase the words of that immortal song…although the weather outside is frightful, the fire inside is delightful!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice: The Gift of Light

The wheel has turned once more and we find ourselves at Winter Solstice. The Yuletide is upon us. Actually, it is appropriate to acknowledge this concept of the wheel of the year since the word Yule means wheel. The wheel is a symbol of the continuity of life. Time is a circle, but more so it is in motion, an endless spinning wheel supported by the spokes of special moments ripe for honoring.

Solstice means “sun stands still”…the sun rises and sets further and further south after June’s Summer Solstice. Nights grow longer and the daylight hours lessen. But on the Winter Solstice the sun stops this decline, as if it stands still just for an astronomical instant. Imagine -- a moment of stillness, a pregnant pause that holds the ultimate power, the power of possibility. What is born tonight is possibility…hope as symbolized by the light of sunrise that returns after a long winter’s night. And from the day after Winter Solstice onward the days grow longer and the hours of darkness diminish little by little, day by day.

What must tonight have been like in ancient times? Picture what a ray of hope sunrise must have meant after the darkest night. To celebrate that hope in the face of so much hardship, to believe in the possibility of a bright future, how much courage that must have taken. But then again, what would the alternative be, to live in dread, fear and gloom? No, the human spirit is not built that way, despite occasional evidence to the contrary. We are built for hope; we are designed to search out that faint glimmer, that light in the distance no matter how dim. So, our ancestors looked forward to tonight, greeting the lengthened darkness with merriment and joy as they clung to the hope that tomorrow always brings.

And so here, during the darkest moment, we too can gather to celebrate the return of light. But before we welcome this new light let us bid farewell to darkness in gratitude. For during this modern time we have many luxuries and the dark is not to be feared, better it is to be embraced. Within the fertile darkness resides the womb of transformation from which the light is born. Winter has its lessons to teach, it’s gifts to bestow. Like the silhouette of leafless trees, winter’s bare stark world can reveal the shape of things, exposing the delicate structure that might otherwise be overlooked.

Dreams are born of long nights such as these and the extra hours of darkness beckon us to explore that mystical interior landscape and dream deep. We need extended rest sometimes to feel nourished and revitalized, to thrive and be radiant as the sunrise. So, let us be grateful to the darkness for the gifts of stillness and tranquility. We shall be thankful for this time of contemplation and appreciate the gestational space for creativity. Creativity is the spark of life; it feeds and nourishes the “divine inner child” that resides within each of us. We need the time and retrospection that darkness affords. This long night is the sacred core of silence that exists within all the noise and revelry of the busy holiday season, it is from where peace, harmony and serenity comes forth.

Ah, but after the long night of waiting, after that heavy silent stillness comes the rebirth of glorious, radiant, life-giving light! Hail and good morning Sun, and a Happy Birthday to you! Let us prepare to greet the growing light with joy, with the elation and anticipation used to greet our birthday with as children do. Let’s feed that inner child; let us be lighthearted in every sense of the word.

Light has many symbols, many qualities. Light can almost seem to inhabit a person and shine thru the translucent human form. Light rejuvenates us, heals us, envelopes us with warmth, delights us as it reflects and sparkles, inspires and dawns on us with clarity. Light penetrates the shadows, punctuates the velvet night sky of our spirit like a poetic star. It is light that gives us color and paints our universe with rich, varied hues. Energy is light, waves and particles in an intricate quantum dance, like fiber optic strands woven thru the web of life. Light is promise, it is that powerful possibility now fulfilled. Light is a gift. Light is an icon of eternal optimism; it is a symbol of faith and love. Light is hope.

The Solstice is a classic time for celebrating birth. Around the world, in varied cultures and throughout time, there are innumerable tales of a mythological sun child born during winter’s darkest moments. The common theme is that this precious new life is an emblem of hope in the world. We can, each one of us, give birth to such hope in a myriad of ways…. thru generosity, creativity, healing, teaching, and most important of all: we can be truly powerful forces of hope thru basic acts of compassion. When we give the gift of simple, genuine kindness we give the greatest most potent gift of all and we generate a light so bright it is astonishing. And here’s the most wonderful thing – light begets more light! The more you shine, the brighter you shine! The more kindness you emanate the more you create.

Tonight let us celebrate our individual gifts of light, what makes us each glow in our own special way. Everyone has a certain sparkle, a particular bright spot, EVERY ONE. Be a light generator, a beacon in the darkness, be luminescent, sparkle, shimmer and shine as only you can!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Samhain: Lift The Veil

(I wrote the bulk of this many years ago for a Samhain ritual, my first public one in fact. Since Samhain is about honoring the past, I am reprising it here)

Samhain is the third and final harvest celebration within the traditional calendar year. Now is the time for reaping the last of what was sown in the fields before winter frosts set in. In days of old this was a crucial time to make the last preparations before the long dark winter ahead. A time for taking stock of what was harvested to see if there would be enough food to carry through the whole winter. Life or death hung in the balance and it was critical to be prepared. Today we can let this stand as a reminder to us to remember all the blessings we have harvested during the course of this last year…to take stock of the abundance we have gathered and be grateful, be filled to overflowing with appreciation for the bounty of our lives.

As a holiday acknowledging winter’s impending darkness, Samhain is traditionally a time for endings…but as such it is also a time for new beginnings. For without one you cannot have the other. Tonight let us ask ourselves: What proverbial seeds do we wish to sow for next years harvest? What will we cultivate and tend in the gardens of our hearts, what will we weed and discard? What will we find ourselves being grateful for as the wheel of the year turns again next time around? May the answers guide us throughout the year to come.

With the plethora of symbols related to Samhain, none speaks to me more than the witch’s cauldron. It brings to my mind the magickal kettle of the Celtic goddess Cerridwen, dark mother-crone of prophesy and creativity. Her cauldron was a mythical font of poetic inspiration and a holy vessel of regeneration thru the cycles of life. Throughout the world the cauldron has been seen as emblematic of the cosmic womb from where we all began, and to which we all return, eventually, again.

Fire is the force that simmers that enchanted kettle…all manner of things bubble and brew in the depths of that black pot that is the universe…that is our collective “soul-soup”. Like any good stew the original ingredients are combined and therefore changed by the cooking process, transformed into a delicious blend of flavors and textures. When we truly open our lives to the spirit of wonder & gratitude, when we walk our individual authentic paths sincerely, we are changed, transformed – more than just the sum of our original parts…and we become whole.

Fundamentally I believe that all deities are iconic representations for that universal unknown, they are symbols of the inexplicable creative force that emanates from the center of All That Is. I happen to employ the metaphor of goddess, of the sacred feminine, to speak to my spiritual truths. But there are those that honor divinity tonight also as the symbolic dying god, he who will be reborn of the goddess at Yule. Perhaps some image him as the horned one of the wild woods, or the Green Man of the grain & vine. Maybe to you he is purely the archetype of elder sage, benevolent father, and divine sun-child to come. And what of the goddess archetypes for this season, what sacred feminine motifs encapsulate Samhain’s traditional symbolism? She can be seen as quintessential wise crone, dark mother of the gleaned harvest and veiled maiden of mystery.

By what name do you call upon the energy of Samhain? Sing out and call for it in your soul. Embrace that power and take it deep within, melding it with the core of your being.

At Samhain we have nearly completed the slow spiral inward begun at Litha, the Summer Solstice. The days have gotten shorter and the dark nights longer. The time between now and the Winter Solstice brings the Yuletide….that precious gestational moment that hangs in the air right before the explosion of birth when the shortening days finally turn around again and begin to lengthen once more. A time between times…as the saying goes: “This is a time that is not a time, in a place that is not a place, on a day that is not a day…between the worlds and beyond.” It was believed once that tonight the veil between the worlds is thin…that perhaps one could reach out in some way to those that have passed into the otherworld before us or maybe they to us. And in a very real sense we can, thru our memory and thru honoring our human history. Think of what blood runs thru your veins, or who showed you a significant life-path…who came before you to lead the way. We owe our ancestors, both those of blood and those of spirit, a debt of enormous gratitude. In these modern times let tonight be about that, too, about honoring what has come before.

As the light is dims the warmth still lingers…a last hurrah before the quiet sleep of winter sets in. To those that once perceived nature as entities such as spirits or fae, this seasonal pause before the coming of winter seemed to open the realm of Faery, making it more accessible at Samhain. Our imaginations cavort with glee, as if any gate or door left carelessly ajar could perhaps offer a glimpse into an otherworld in the blink of an eye…if one but chose to look. Otherworlds and their mystical inhabitants speak to us of deeper awareness, of connection to the greater forces of existence. We mostly like to think we are in control but we are not, essentially, and on a fundamental level this realization opens the proverbial door to levels of understanding we find otherworldly in our acute experience of it. In exploring these realms we sense magic & mystery, it seems to permeate the very air we breathe on a night such as this. You can practically touch the enchantment, feel the subtle energy, like some elemental vibration of this, the fading time of year.

I cannot help but think that maybe tonight belongs most of all to the epitome of a witch-goddess, the Greek Hecate, veiled queen of magic and mystery. By the dark moon that archetypal energy whispers secrets and unfolds earthly mysteries to those that dare to listen to a wild voice glide upon the wind. Her image is carved upon our collective unconscious thru the ages immemorial…holding out that gnarled, wizened hand beckoning us, reminding us that there is rest at the end of this human journey. By the pin-point glare of Hecate’s guiding lantern light we seek our way along the path of life and choose directions at the many, misty crossroads. She was thought to be the keeper of fortune & weaver of fates….but if we lift her veil whose face do we see but our own, for we control the destiny she presents us with.

So lift the shroud, part the mists, open the door, go thru the gate tonight. Call to what you hold sacred by whatever names you may. But as it has been said many times over let us remember the true mystery: what we search for in otherworlds or in the external realms, what we sometimes perceive as being divided from us is NOT and always will be truly a part of us, already right there within us. The veil that is thin tonight is the tattered shroud that often cloaks our level of awareness. At the very core of our being imprinted like a sacred DNA code lay the wisdom of all the gods of all time. We need to deeply listen to our own inner voice, that is the true voice of divinity, and in the answering the possibilities are infinite and wondrous.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumnal Equinox: Harvest Home

Today is the Autumnal Equinox, known to many as the holiday of Mabon. Twice during a calendar year the hours of light and dark briefly stand poised in almost perfect balance. Each Equinox is a sort of gateway to the next phase – in spring we are anxiously awaiting the lengthening hours of light as they grow each day after Ostara, and now at Mabon we are greeting the darkness; the cool refreshing nights of autumn are a welcome respite after the summer’s long hot days. These astronomical moments are opportunities for greater awareness, giving us a chance to take note and experience the subtle seasonal transitions, helping us to live in closer harmony with the earth . A change is coming – you can feel a palpable difference in the air. The quality of light has transformed, somehow the general energy around us seems altered. Animals and wild creatures of all kinds feel it too and are moving in earnest now, scurrying about getting ready for the not so distant cold months to come, or perhaps leaving these northern lands for warmer climes. And yet even with this burst of activity nature will soon grow more quiet and subdued day by day.

The name Mabon is Welsh and thought to generally translate as “youth” or “child of Modron”, the Mother. It is also a character’s name from the collection of stories known as the Mabinogion. These renowned sagas may have received the title Mabinogion from the fairy Goddess, Queen Mab -- making them literally fairy tales. In literature and myth fairies are often a catalyst for the transition from the physical realm to the spiritual one. Not quite human, not quite deity, fairies invite or entice us to undertake a journey to the “otherworld”, providing a symbolic means for sacred exploration and gaining insights or power. This idea of crossing a magical portal or threshold speaks to us of making the transition from light to darkness…from the security of the known to the mystery of the unknown, and this is a poignant reminder that traditionally it is believed the veil between the worlds is starting to thin now as we slowly approach Samhain.

Mabon is the second of the three traditional harvest holidays, Lammas was the first and Samhain will be the last. At Lammas we saw the beginning of the harvest, filled with potential and anticipation…we had a taste of what was hopefully to come. Now at Mabon the harvest is completely upon us; abundance is manifest and manifold. In fact another name for this holiday is Harvest Home. This is a very busy season for farmers and gardeners alike and it can be hard to keep up with Mother Earth’s generous yield. Take a drive on nearby country roads and you’ll see farm stands and markets teeming with a veritable cornucopia of mouthwatering produce and timeless, old fashioned, homemade treats of the season, like ciders, jams, breads, pies and canned preserves. In fact, Cornucopia is another name used for this holiday, representing the horn of plenty.

If the crops were plentiful this was a time of jubilation and great relief for our more subsistent-farming ancestors, and despite the hard work and frantic pace they took time for celebrations and merriment, to express their profound gratitude and share the bounty. With the end of the harvest season in sight, and while deeply thankful for the overflowing tables of autumn, an eye was cast ever so slightly towards winter’s inevitable return and the fallow time of rest and scarcity to come. Though not most of us are not occupied with necessary food production ourselves, we too can celebrate the atmosphere of gratitude and express thanks for all that we have reaped in our lives this past year. We can take time to appreciate the simple things, to enjoy ourselves with friends & family. We too may feel the need to begin drawing nearer to the comfort of our hearths and homes just as our ancestors did before us.

And speaking of blessings, perhaps because they are fleeting these are surely the glory days for our part of the world here in the northeast & midatlantic…gorgeous weather, warm, sun-drenched afternoons with cool, crisp nights. Goldenrod and wild asters dance with Queen Ann’s Lace in the fields and meadows, while pumpkins and chrysanthemums will soon adorn our doorsteps and walkways. Dried cornstalks stand like sentinels guarding suburban lampposts and hearken us back to a more bucolic and rural way of life. The deep greens of summer are just now beginning to fade to warmer golden shades and some of the leaves are starting to change, subtly tinged with amber and russet hues, merely a tease for the breath-taking annual show that will soon wrap a rich tapestry of blazing fall color snuggly around us like a warm blanket on frost bitten mornings.

Trees have such amazing lessons to share. Fall foliage, for instance. Leaves are the food factories for trees, they are transformers taking sunlight and turning it into energy, providing nourishment for the tree’s growth. But due to changes in weather now, in temperature and sunlight, the leaves begin a process of transition. During these autumn days they stop making food and the chlorophyll slowly breaks down. This causes the other colors of pigmentation to be revealed; actually most of these colors were there all along but were concealed by the overwhelming green of chlorophyll. By dropping their summer masks what magnificent splendor is to be unveiled! Every Autumn it seems the forests, hillsides and tree-lined streets become aglow, awash in undulating waves painted with a raucous riot of color, as if each tree was trying to out do the next in awe inspiring beauty. Yet this is in actuality the cyclical dance of dormancy, hibernation, and yes, even of death. Eventually all the pretty leaves fall. When it comes to deciduous trees, as a “crop” of leaves is no longer needed the trees let them go and they fall to the ground where they decay and nourish the soil, becoming part of the never-ending cycle.

But trees also remember. Where the leaf stem is attached there is a special layer of cells that begin to develop now and will eventually sever the connective tissues that fastens each leaf to a branch. That’s why the leaves fall. The tree seals this cut so when the leaf finally does drop a mark or scar is left behind. Imagine that – ostensibly, for every leaf a tree ever held there is a tiny mark. Over the years I’m sure they fade…I’m also sure some marks are more noticeable than others. The journey of life mirrors the spiral dance of falling leaves. Events sculpt us and change us irrevocably. We too are marked in a sense by what happens to us. Whether joyful or tragic, and even after we’ve let go, something of our experience remains imbedded upon our psyche and forms the very essence of whom we are, the sum total of our identity. To loosely quote a Pink Floyd song, which effectively dates me, “All you touch and all you see is all that your life will ever be” The events that color our lives may be perceived by us as either negative or positive but both leave a trace, both equally create a permanent, living archive. Like leaf scars on a tree after the splendor of autumn passes, our lives are wrought from the pattern left behind by each and every experience we have.

Many myths inspired by this season seem to share the common theme of transformation. This is a reflection of the agricultural process of sowing and reaping, of seed to plant to harvested food, and also as a metaphor for the journey of the human soul. Examples are found in the ancient Greek mystery rites commemorating Persephone’s descent into the underworld and the mourning of her grieving mother, Demeter, as well as the many myths of dying vegetation deities such as Bacchus/Dionysus, or the Sumerian Innana slowly being stripped of her worldly possessions as she crosses each gate…Isis of Egypt searching for Her beloved dismembered Osiris, and finally to the Celtic Mabon stolen from his mother Modron. These stories share in common a death and resurrection scenario, whether literal or symbolic, that results in an obliteration of the former self and a type of rebirth of the newly transformed self. It is no accident that in many instances this is initiated by a descent into the earth. That is symbolically a return to the womb. But unlike the uterus of mortal birth, this is the sacred womb of the Goddess and indicates that this shall be no ordinary physical birth, but a means of spiritual delivery. Like seeds buried in the earth to be born again as another year’s harvest, when we delve deep within and connect with our personal truths we can bring forth a new beginning, a new perspective, we touch that divine inner core and renew our sense of self.

Throughout the course of our lives there are defining moments. These are events that shape us in important ways. They are different for all of us. From our first day of school to the first time we make love; from nurturing children or careers, to the creation of friendships or works of art – all these can be watershed moments and define who we are. Sometimes we recognize a defining moment as it’s happening, other times it’s only in retrospect that we see the significance and realize the major effect it had on us. Sometimes these things happen spontaneously, sometimes we create defining moments, we willingly direct ourselves to the crossroads. Random events can be turned into defining moments by seeing them as opportunities for growth and evolution. We can take a mistake, an insurmountable challenge, an apparent failure even, and turn it into a pivotal moment that rather than defeats us, enriches & teaches us. Transformation is in many ways neutral. Change may be neither good nor bad. Our personal interpretation is what determines the final perception.

Whether or not you believe we have control over what befalls us in the greater scheme of things – we do unequivocally control how we experience, how we participate in our own lives. While we may or may not get to actively influence what specifically takes place, we do ultimately, definitively choose in the end how these events transform us. We decide the way that each and every transformation is expressed upon the canvass of our life, we posses the palate and create our own design. This realization, this understanding of our powerful sense of perception may be the very epitome of achieving a state of grace. It all boils down to awareness & choice. Like the ancient saying basically says, “the wine of divine grace is limitless, all boundaries exist within the cup”…we put our own restrictions on transcendence…in other words, the cup is of our own design.

May your cup never be empty, and may you always taste the sweetness of it’s contents.