Skip to content

Spiritual Tools for Troubled Times

December 23, 2016

img_4531Four Ways to Help Yourself Stay Sane

In order to remain responsive to the change all around us, and to support our friends and families, here are a few suggestions to rally our strength for the coming months.

1. Get lots of sleep. So here’s the truth, our worry changes nothing. It only harms us. It might sound overly simple, but at this time we need to keep sharp and even tempered. Better done with good sleep.

2. Create an place where you can deposit your worry. Whether its a God Box, or a spot out in Nature, a tree or river, create a place to leave your worries daily. You do not have to go there every day. Just ask that spot if it will take your worries and help you be more relaxed during this time.

3. Meditation. There is nothing better for times of stress than meditation. Any form of brain time-out will do. Sitting down at the mat, or a run or walk outside, even an exercise routine will calm the body and mind. And I mean time with out stimulus, no radio, no internet, maybe some relaxing music and just you. The time off from thinking does us a lot of good. If you are sitting for meditation, start off slow, 5 minutes. Then increase to 10 after a few weeks. Once you get over the initial hump, you will find that you like it and it produces more evenness in your life. As I like to say, meditation is what happens when you sit in those 10 minutes. If you are thinking, or feeling, well that is your meditation. If you feel good, then that is your meditation. Whatever happens, just do it and don’t judge it and get discouraged. It’s time with your self and that is sacred, no matter what happens!

4. Practice detachment. You are a sovereign being. You get to decide what you take in and what you get drawn to. If you feel like you are getting triggered or pulled into negative energies, lovingly withdraw. Thanks, but no thanks. Be very careful of your energy and conserve it. We are not going to save anyone, or change minds. Instead we are trying to listen and heal our relationships by choosing how we want to be.

Blessings of the Solstice

December 22, 2016

img_6961

Here comes the darkness! And with it, an opportunity to start anew. Making friends with the darkness allows its power to infuse us with its grace. We are directed inside. Fear melts. Calm ensues. We rest, as the sun seems to sit still in the darkness. This is a sacred process, the spiritual death of merging with the soil of rebirth. We are blessed by its decay, its absorption of the skin we slough, the pain we leave behind. What’s left is the light of sacred prescience, a newer tougher skin, a revelation of inner power and joy that has been waiting to be noticed. It beckons us forward, into the coming warmth of the Sun.

As we are directed to the inner light to refresh and renew our souls, I want to take a moment of gratitude to you my sweet friends, clients and co-travelers on this journey. Thank you for making me and my work a part of your life. The spirits and ancestors thank you for your courage and strength. I am inspired by each, and every one of you.

As we head into 2017, a wild and unknown territory, I invite you to ready yourselves with a little self-care during this time. If you start to worry about the world, let the darkness take it and hold it in the earth. Turn to the things you love and put energy there. If you need to unplug from the latest tweet, then unplug. The world will be fine without you for a bit. You know, there are things quite bigger than us, than we can handle. This is well and good. We are not meant to take on some things. They are not to tackle alone. Those things are to be held by a movement that will rise up, and we will know when it swells to walk within it. That time is on its way.

What we are meant to do alone, on this eve of the light becoming stronger, is transform the energy of worry, anger and resentment into dreams, art, vision, passion, compassion and care of those who need us. We dearly need each other to accomplish what is before us. Attending to our spiritual foundation, which is the ground we will walk on, takes every day nurturance. Prayers of forgiveness and compassion for those that we fear is our armor. Bridges must be built; alliances are waiting to form. We will know when they beckon us.

a16

If one considers translating these energies into the Tarot, I feel that we have just experienced the Tower card. Big time, right? Things have been shaken up, shocking and clearly disturbing in many ways. Revelations are swirling around us almost too much to take in. So much information and yet as it settles, we are being given the language to understand what is being revealed. It is not always easy to take in, yet it is becoming the story that moves us forward. A story that we all are writing together.

a14

I feel at this time of darkness; we are presently in the Temperance card. The alchemy of change, healing ourselves by connecting to the earth in moments of rest and receptivity. Spending time with nature, meditating and receiving love is what we can do till the energies of the Sun renew the earth, pulling us into the next and more powerful card – Judgement. This is what lies before us. To rise up and to really see. Seeing what is good, what is painful, what needs to be voiced. We are creating the work that needs to be done. What we learned with the Tower card and integrated with the Temperance card is ready not to be called out of us in a new direction. What an amazing time to be alive! To be in touch with our power as alchemists.

a21

So, this is my Solstice wish for all of us, as we step out of the Tower into the place of integration and wholeness, let us not skip this step. Let us all rest in the darkness and be renewed to be called into the next chapter. And may we stand together in united energies as the light shines upon us again, ready to face what is next.

Love and Abundance to you all!

Cathy

Healing our fractured hearts, a shamanic look at violent acts

July 15, 2016

IMG_6148

My heart is breaking once again as we mourn the violent deaths of regular people in Nice, France, enjoying their lives, killed by a thug wanting to make his mark. I am faced with the same question that comes up every time this happens: Who can commit such an act of cruelty and hatred of human beings? Who does this kind of thing? And why do we feel so powerless in the face of it? When I examine my own life in view of this, I know that I am connected to all of it. A little piece of everything is inside me. I am one part of that vital whole. The acts of an other affect me because they are in me too. I might not want to see it, so it is pushed down into my shadow self for safekeeping. In order to understand and contribute to real change, I need to face that part of myself and take it out of hiding.

This kind of self-examination is spiritual. It’s reflective, and it’s about honesty. Do I have hatred in my heart? Yes I do. I make excuses for it, or have a nice veneer, but it is there. It mostly escapes when I am driving in Brooklyn. Right? Other Brooklynites know what I mean. But silliness aside, I can admit that. I can admit that I have hatred, mistrust, fear and ignorance inside me. It does not rule me, it does not make me a bad person. It’s not a very big part of me at all. But it does affect me. It limits my relationships with other human beings in subtle and very prescient ways. It melds with the unconscious psyche that we all share. And if left unacknowledged, it pops out of the collective psyche into someone with the propensity for violence, and it wrecks havoc.

Now I am not saying we caused this, or any self-blamey stuff here. But I am saying that we are related to the problem. And being related to it opens up possibilities. Our darkest parts are holding hands with our creativity and brilliance. We have to go there to retrieve our way out. As a collective, if we are willing to delve into our darkness, we can change this. It’s in us to do so. It’s in us to love, it’s in us to integrate and heal those wayward parts that need connecting and growth. Human beings are intrinsically flawed, and that’s our beauty. We all are in this together.

From a shamanic standpoint, anyone who is so disaffected by harming human life and disregards the value of their own life, has significant soul loss. They are out of alignment with their ancestors and the threads of connection that create community to hold them. Who was there to hold this man? What healing did he need? If we are not attending to our own healing, other people who are in big trouble hide among us unrecognized. It clouds the connections that keep us whole and flourishing and nourished. A person who understands and recognizes their own pain can see it in others and stand with them without fear. It doesn’t mean that we can rescue them or even heal them. It does however open up a part of us to take responsibility for the well being of other humans. We can lessen the shame of mental illness and PTSD so that people can get the help they need.

We look to big solutions when facing terrorism: policy, policing, walls, regulations, fierce statements, war. Although it’s important to take a strong stand, being tough back is not always the answer. Terrorism is based in resentments that, if honestly faced, are a larger societal problem. As a global society, we need to start caring about and understanding the cultures we deal with every day, especially religious and political differences and their histories. And contribute to the healing of these things, treating others the way we wish to be treated. Understanding the societal and mental illness that takes hold when people have mistrust, resentment and hatred will change policy, responses to terrorist acts, and how we hold others.

One thing I have learned from working with the spirits of those  on the other side, is that they don’t carry their resentments into the next world. While they might be prickly or grumpy or showing us their personality that they had on earth so who know who they are when we contact them, resentment and anger is just not there. They are free to heal, free to examine the overview of their lives. Regret sometimes comes through, and forgiveness. Mostly though it’s love. Love that heals everything in it’s wake. Love that awakens us to possibility. That love inspires me every day. It lets me know that I am held in my work. It lets me know that I matter. It lets me know that I am an intimate part of my community. It infuses me with gratitude and hope.

I know the spirit world welcomes those who died yesterday in the wake of senseless violence, with love and compassion. Those souls are there to comfort us and hold us and guide us to a new sense of sanity and wholeness if we let them. We have their support to enter the unconscious realms and heal our negativity and hatred. We need not be afraid. We can hold love and fear at the same time without letting fear rule us. The work lies ahead, but I have faith in humanity. I hope you find that too.

Kids and Ghosts, What to Do.

June 16, 2016

IMG_2305

The subject came up recently on a parents list serve about kids seeing ghosts. It’s hard in a public forum like that, where people might not be wanting to hear about esoteric information, to comment fully. So I am going to undertake the subject here a little bit.

I began seeing spirits at the tender age of 3-4. That along with astral traveling every night was a little much for me to deal with. We lived right next to a cemetery, so you might say there was a lot going on. I would see things and in my mind, I turned them into Dr. Seuss characters to take the edge off. My parents, staunch Catholics, chalked it up to my ever expansive imagination. They were pretty exasperated at my continually waking them up in the middle of the night to soothe me. They had no understanding of what I was going through. I learned to suffer in silence, have  good night light, and resorted to imploring whatever it was to stop. And, after awhile it slowed down, but it never stopped. I did not react well to that, but I also never stopped wondering about it and investigating my ability to know things, receive love from animals and plants easily, and tune into strong weather. And of course, communicate with the dead. I also read and re-read “Lives of the Saints,” inhaling it like it was my favorite penny candy. They had it going on those saints, they knew about this stuff. Too bad they were all dead!

Now a grown woman, who has totally stepped into her gift with passion, and mom of 2 very in tune kids; I want to provide a safe atmosphere for my children to interact with spirit, and also be able to take a break from it as well. We all need to have personal space.

My daughter began seeing spirit at the age of 4. I instantly recognized she was GOOD! Better than me…kids have hardly any filters. Because I so accepted it, she just assumed it was normal and it wasn’t till she was older that I had to teach her how to deal with it in a more concrete way. Normalcy, acceptance, and lots of love for the whole process are really important at the younger ages. Now a teenager, I have been teaching her how to deal with it when the need arises. My son is sensitive to the natural world, often receiving messages about living things and rocks. He loves rocks. He’s 20, works for the Student Conservation Association, and very knowledgeable about plants and nature spirits! Neither of them are scared, both of them use their talents to thrive in the world.

Here are some tips for those who have sensitive children. I am supposing that your child might actually be seeing something.

    1. Don’t be scared, be curious. Ask questions and support your child. If they need to snuggle in with you at night sometimes to get a break, let them know it’s okay. (I’m sure that’s a no-brainer, but I know many nights with a child, who you might not sure if they are having separation anxiety, or what; can be taxing).
    2. Research your house. Find out who lived there and whatever you can about who died there. You can find remarkable things at the NY Historical Society, where I research land issues.
    3. Ask your child to describe what they see and what is being said to them. This helps to know if it is an Ancestor, or another presence. If its Grandma, that might be a comforting thing for the whole family. If it is the guy who died there, is there something he needs? A simple offering left for a day, like a tiny bit of food from the family dinner, and some good old whiskey (in a glass), goes a long way to settling down the pesky spirits. (Make sure you throw away offerings after). They need our love too!
    4. The idea is to look at this as a gift, a good thing. Because if your child has it, it’s something they have to learn to live with. If it is just a passing thing or imagination, that’s a good thing too. A creative genius blooming. Either way, support your child as best as you can.
    5. You might do some reading about spirits and mediumship. Some good books are – The Light Between Us by my friend, Laura Lynne Jackson. Another friend, Kim Russo’s book just came out – The Happy Medium – Life Lessons from the Other Side. I work alongside both of these women and their stories are heart warming.
    6. Do not watch The Conjuring!! Or any other horror flicks for that matter. Don’t get yourself freaked out. Negative things are very rare. Don’t get it in your head that you will be messed with or physically harmed. For a spirit to embody that kind of energy is very rare. There ARE negative spirits out there. And ones who just don’t know how to behave around us. That’s when you call in a professional. Our ancestors knew how to live in harmony with the spirit world. It is an interactive thing. It helps us on so many levels to honor that wisdom.
    7. What is normal for spirits, when they want to get our attention…appearing out of the corner of your eye, dreams, full out sightings, things fall off shelves, lights going on and off when they shouldn’t, things breaking, light bulbs that constantly blow out, things moving around the house, lost keys, lost things, lights and orbs, sounds, smells, and footsteps. These things are scary yes, but really, they are not. I mean, footsteps cannot hurt us, and lights can’t either. Lost keys and stuff disappearing is annoying, but not awful. We just need to take a breath and ask, “Okay, you got my attention, what do you want? Please make it clear to me. I come in peace and I have good intentions here. Sorry I can’t really speak to you, but I offer you some things to honor your presence here.” And then offer them candy or something nice like sandalwood incense. If things quiet down then it’s just a new roommate that you have to live with. It if keeps up at the annoying level you might want a medium to talk with that spirit, to see what it wants beyond that. And that might just be enough.
    8. Now if it’s in any way more menacing, that’s when you need to at least consult with a professional. Because everyone deserves to live in their space with out being terrified out of their wits. That’s just not cool.
    9. If it’s really that your kid is sensitive, it’s always good to take a class in spiritual protection, so that you know what to do when your kid becomes too bombarded. Later blogs on that coming.

So, if your kid is seeing spirit, it’s going to be okay. Really. And so are you. Maybe this is happening so that you can be more in tune yourself. Or recover a long lost creative talent. We all need to be more awake to the world, it’s our kids who are teaching us! I salute you, we are caretakers to some tender younglings! The world needs them!

Water Love

February 19, 2016

I have been thinking a lot about water lately. The way I use it, the times I waste it, the way it soothes me when I am out of sorts, the luxury of soaking in it, the refreshing taste of it, how it cleans my world constantly. Water is life. It is a big part of who we are, literally. And how we function in the world. I feel that water is going to be the focus of the coming years, both due to the oceans rising and flooding, and the lack of it in other places. We need to take a look at water in our country and how we are part of that eco-system spiritually. Don’t we have a responsibility to support water and its spirit? Especially if it is this important to us?

Hudson River Love

Right now just north of NYC, Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is leaking radiation into the water. This has been going on for some time. But recently it has been on the news and facebook, and as Tinya Seeger from Clearwater told me in a meeting last week, when one leak is found and fixed, another can start up because the bedrock it is build on is porous and, well, it just leaks. This is troubling. That plant should be closed. Leaking is unacceptable. Fukushima was very troubling and felt so overwhelmingly huge, at least to me. But it is half a world away. This is right here. It’s the Hudson River for goodness sake. An incredible healing force.

I can’t help but listen to what the water is saying. You know, the mediumship thing! It’s been calling me, but I have been too busy to stop and connect. So today I took a moment to listen and connect with the water spirits. I made an offering to them and asked for their guidance. This is what they told me:

Remind people that we are often disconnected and that our involvement in setting things right is the way. It is the re-establishment of the indigenous ways, which our ancestors and the native people  have kept alive. We need to connect to this wisdom through subtle shamanic practices which are easy to learn. It is what will keep us alive, and heal our world. It is not to late. Do not get overwhelmed. Instead understand that it all starts in our hearts and radiates outwards and back in time to our ancestors who hold the knowledge. When we participate in this process, we re-awaken this knowledge in ourselves. There is a fabric to life, and we are part of that weaving of a new solution. There is beauty in our souls, as there is beauty in all of life. Our purpose as living beings that channel energy, is to do that. It is our purpose. It’s why we were built this way and why there are so many of us on this planet right now. It is going to take a lot of us to work this magic. It can be done. It is not living in the wilderness, it is living right where you are, in your jobs, in your families, in your communities where this can happen. Everyone is a bit of a shaman. We are all healers to one extent or another. We all know how to pray and imagine. We must do that now.

As a longtime meditator, and energy healer, I am used to both settling and running energies. I am aware that water allows the body part of me to do this. It contributes to the subtle energies guided by thought, energy centers and my state of consciousness. I am also aware that the water in me is related to the water out there. Same chemical composition, same resonance.

We all know the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto who researched the effect of Gratitude and Love on water crystals affected by pollution and other conditions. It actually changed crystaline structure and cleared the water. Pretty cool in my book. It indicates that yes, we can do something. We can use our energy, pray, envision that water and send it love through intention.

It all comes down to love. That’s right, love. So lets try it. Take a moment…
Close your eyes. Breathe in love as reddish pink energy. Feel that love circulate through your body, reveling in the water that carries it throughout, into every cell. Love is permeable. It is a reddish pink light. Now imagine that you are connecting to the bodies of water around you. The rivers of love flow out of you into those waters. Hold that feeling for as long as you can. Imagine the waters receiving your love, changing their vibration, changing the crystaline structure. Eliminating the toxins. Lighting up with the same reddish pink hue. Feel appreciation for the water, all it does for us. Imagine it receiving our love and gratitude. When you are finished bless the waters, bless yourself and open your eyes.

Try this out and let me know on my facebook page what you experienced. Or comment below.  I’d love to hear your experience. And if you want more, enroll in my monthly Planetary Wisdom Course. Register HERE.

 

 

New Moon in Aquarius Feb. 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

IMG_4634

Overview
February is a month of letting your inner drive ignite around how you can be a part of the larger picture. What gifts are you going to contribute to your community and those you want to influence? Although Mercury is moving ahead, beware that it is still somewhat sluggish till the 13th.  Creating a greater strategy in light of the goals that you might have discovered during Mercury’s Rx would be a good use of this time. The New Moon is a bit intense in regard to bringing up stuff that would rather remain hidden. Working with what you want to excise from your life and that which you want to replace it with, is helpful to be conscious of and work on. The rest of the month is about building up a resilience around change that will ground you for the year to come. And cultivating more love in your life. More on that below!

Astrological Happenings
These are the days and events to look out for this month.

    Day                      Event                 Time            Degree & Sign
    February 8     New Moon    9:40 am    19 Aquarius
    February 22   Full Moon     8:46 pm    3   Virgo

Astrology of the New Moon
New Moon in Aquarius February 8th 2016 9:40 am EDT

As most of you know, New Moons draw us inside to consider what we want to manifest. Luna’s energy is easy to work with, and more consciously felt by all of us. The natural progression from dark to light and light to dark brings our inner most selves out to engage the world and then back in to assess how it went. When we use this energy to create and manifest our desires, in harmony with the unique gifts each moon provides according to which sign it’s in and house, we align our goals with those energies for an extra boost. A turbo effect. This is a really great way to use planetary energy to infuse ritual, strategic goals, subtle activism and self care for ourselves and the planet.

Aquarius moon in the  in the 11th house gives us the opportunity to seek innovative solutions to our own problems and also the larger issues facing the world. We are able to see our part in the larger picture a little more clearly that we normally do. The push to innovate in a grounded and practical way is what helps us flourish. And we have the ability to commit on a much deeper level than ever before to ourselves and those we love.

“Anytime you try to be a loving person, you’re doing your part to save the world.”
– Marianne Williamson

With this particular New Moon, we have several great conditions available to help us reach outside ourselves and develop strategies for better living and understanding the mystical significance of our problems. So if we are struggling, consistent meditation practice will help us be calm enough to take risks, make step by step plans and help us expand realistically. Working with any kind of spiritual structure: 12 step work, positive thinking, ritual, yoga or simply a daily gratitude list, doing something consistently to further your goals will set the stage for the energies unleashed next month by the eclipse cycle we will enter for a good 6 weeks starting with the Full moon on February 22nd. And our heart will thank us for preparing us to open ourselves wider to love.

During this month we are still feeling the last cycle of the 7 Pluto Square Uranus exact squares that began with the Arab spring. The world has gone through a lot in that time. Wars, revolutions, repression, revelations, unexpected twists and turns, global warming incidents that we can’t turn away from. A lot of external change that was needed and with that final square on December 25th 2015, we are bringing it inside, internalizing it so that we too can take action. Integrating this final step is important, we need to collectively own change for it to really happen on the planet. As above so below, what is inner reflects outward. Change has changed us and now we are on to accepting a different world and shifting our own vibration to get real about it. I see us at a kind of pause, where the pendulum is still before swinging upward. Catching our breath into a new age of taking care of each other and our planet. With love.

Revolution has been very hard on us. Some of us are still holding on to the past.  It makes sense, it’s how we humans are. We like to KNOW. What we are learning is to be facile with change. To trust and let go. Deeply. To take off the cloak of shame and denial that prevents us from being happy. And to love ourselves as we struggle to find the new normal that fluidity holds for us. I highly recommend bringing our bodies along into this. Yoga, Qi Gong, running, rumba, whatever you can do to loosen up the body will loosen up the mind. A spiritual basis for strength within each of us is where the solid ground now lies. It’s the strength that will help us refashion our lives and re-enchant our earth bringing it into sacred harmony. We must learn to love change and embrace it. For through us change will happen. Each and every one of us is here for this purpose, to transform ourselves and vibrate change. That is what the long course of Pluto Square Uranus fractal cracks in the cosmic egg teaches us, as we revisit it with Mars squaring Pluto. More importantly, with Venus conjuncting Pluto, how to love ourselves as we travel downward into the muck to release that which we must, and beckon that which will nourish and inspire us to health.

In closing I want to stress that there is a lot of love energy available to transform our relationships. And, we are also confronted by any pain we might be feeling in areas that need to expand. Uranus softened by Vesta’s touch are pushing change in our home front and primary relationships. We need to be careful about how we react to the things that surface around our relationships, seemingly out of left field. Cultivating a capacity to hold and watch as change happens, will enrich any relationship you are in. Intimacy and commitment are pushing us to tolerate what we are having trouble with and invite in new solutions. Don’t be afraid to get help, therapy, coaching, whatever it takes to allow yourself to shift to hold more…it will be worth the soul searching you do. Pay attention to love in your life wherever it appears, increasing the flow of giving and receiving love. Leading with love. Feel it’s power wash over you, and use that to replace any negative fears about connection. Let love help you stop trying to control relationships and instead be grounded and observant of where you end and another begins.  Loving despite the uncomfortable feelings that come up. Re-pattern yourself one step at a time and see love grow. And yet, still be conscious of what you need and what you can’t tolerate in another person. You will be able to find new ways to express that and let the other person find their way with your requests. Give them a chance to adjust and then you will know what to do.

February’s New Moon report exerpt from Planetary Wisdom Course. ©Cathy Towle

Soothe the Inner Beast – Meditation

January 25, 2016

Here is a meditation I wanted to share from my January Planetary Wisdom Course. This is a great meditation to integrate for the next 2 weeks, during the waning moon till the next lunation, the New Moon on February 8th in Aquarius. Especially helpful when we might be feeling held back by the wiles of Mercury retrograde (which is ending tomorrow Jan. 26th). We are on a vibration of opposites here as we take in the wisdom of Leo with the waning moon, to clear the way for creating a plan of action when the Aquarius New Moon arrives, when we can ride on the waxing or building energies. We will be meditating on calm Earth energy and visualizing breaking through anything that holds us back.

Daily Leo/Aquarius Meditation

sunflowerengravingeditedSit straight with your hands on your knees face down. We are going to circulate energy inside of us. Close your eyes and relax. Let go of any troubles or stress from the day. Breathe it out. Breathe in the freshness of earth energy. Allow any aches and pains to drain out, or if they persist, send them love and healing energy. Feel yourself whole and renewed.

As you breathe, draw in energy from the top of your head, from the cosmos. Feel the lightness and beautiful white light filter down into your spine and light up your body. Hold it and feel it circulate. Feel it’s quality of lightness. Now breathe red earth energy up from your 1st Chakra, the perineum, on the pelvic floor just before the anus. Allow this red earth energy to come up your spine, wrapping around the white light like a spiral, then spreading out into your body adding a reddish glow. Feel it direct you to a calm and centered feeling. Feel yourself solidly on the earth, stable and strong.

As you enter this place, balanced between solid earth energy and the light of the cosmos, imagine something that is holding you back. It might be fear. Imagine white light illuminate this fear. Then imagine red energy wrapping around the fear and drawing it into the earth, dissolving it and rendering it neutral. Now see a new emotion rise up from the earth like a small plant sprouting up. See this new emotion of competence, determination and steadiness of action rise up and flow into you, circulating and settling into your energy field. See it being held by the white and red glow. Know that each time you meditate this will grow stronger. You will know when it is time to move onto the next obstacle in the next meditation. Repeat this, identifying an obstacle and letting the earth energies suggest a supportive and loving counter measure to replace the obstacle.

This is a powerful, yet subtle way of re-imagining yourself. And letting the energies of the earth and the cosmos reshape you.

Enjoy.