Happy Solstice and Welcome to the Golden Age of Truth and Beauty

It’s December 21, 3:28am, the winter solstice 2010.  I woke up to get a glimpse of the total lunar eclipse this morning.  Earlier I had been looking for historical or ancient symbolism of this unique event, a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice.   The winter solstice is the time when the sun reaches its lowest point in the northern sky.  The day of the winter solstice is essentially the shortest of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.  The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.

While I gazed out of my bedroom window (did you think I was really going outside in the 20 degree temps?) at the progression of the eclipse, it came to me.  The solstice is the darkest and longest night of the year.  From here it only gets brighter.  This coupled with the dark crimson moon  reminded me that we are currently experiencing a time of  Kali Yuga, or dark age (not the Goddess Kali).  According to the Hindu faith, Kali Yuga is literally  the age of the male demon, or the age of vice.  Kali Yuga is the last of the four natural stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures.

The bright and luminous moon, closely associated with the divine feminine, grew duller and duller.  It made me think of recent times of women forgetting about their divine essence,  and the feminine attributes of nurturing, collective cooperation, creativity and deep respect for the environment.  It made me lament that women have been affected by corporate conditioning, hiding their true beauty behind plastic masks and starving their bodies in pursuit of the perpetually unattainable standardization.  I thought of the unnecessary pain and abuse of not only women, but of humankind worldwide, due to excessive greed, jealousy, selfishness, and aggression characteristic of this dark age.

I couldn’t help but imagine that in this time of darkness (well not really for me, I’m a city dweller and there’s light pollution) is a very important event.  Within the next hour, we will begin to see Luna’s re-emergence as a bright and powerful cosmic entity.  Slowly I’ll watch as the darkness again becomes light.  Is this our release from 432,000 years of  Kali Yuga, or dark age?

I am not Hindu (so please forgive me) but I would like to believe that this is the end of Kali Yuga and the beginning of the Golden Age of Truth.  Women and girls will once again recognize their power and beauty.  The world as a whole (feminine and masculine) will begin to experience a divine feminine spiritual revolution and enjoy the benefits of a more evolved and civilized egalitarian society?

Today’s event can serve as an inspiration.  I will start with myself right now.  I can spare a little (actually a lot) more general kindness to people around me.  I will pay more attention to the needs of others, instead of ignoring them because I’m crankified.  Although I love my body and am generally comfortable in it, I have my moments.  I am going to appreciate and adore it more, even the parts that tend to annoy me (the hereditary belly pooch).  Adoring my body includes getting it into the best shape in can be in, without extreme measures or harmful abuse.  (I need to lose a few pounds of fat).

What will YOU do to bring on the Golden Age of Truth and Beauty?

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Noor Jihan: Art and Spirit in Motion

Some people meditate by sitting cross legged, frozen for hours.  Some people meditate with walking or dance, some people meditate on canvas or handmade parchment with paints, pastels, or charcoal.  My dear friend and spirit sister Francie Trainor, known as Noor Jihan does all of the above.  Noor Jihan means “light of the world”, and that she truly is.  That name was given to her by somebody somewhere, you’ll have to ask her about that. I met Noor something like sixteen years ago.  A good friend and coworker introduced me to her after much begging and pleading from me because she was a professional bellydancer who taught and I was an eager bellydance obsessed person.  We hit it off immediately, as most people do with Noor because of her powerfully gentle, kind personality.  She is an awesome dancer with a very elegant, fluid classical style.  She performs regularly at Marrakesh Palace in DC and Laziza in Fredricksburg VA and teaches monthly intermediate level workshops here in our Arts and Wellness Sanctuary.

Noor Jihan is also a formally trained professional visual artist.  Her paintings are deep and moody and depict a certain optimism in darkness.  Several of her paintings are on display at our Arts and Wellness Sanctuary. All of her works are very spiritual and reflect her rich ancient Celtic pantheistic roots.  Her pieces include all of herself, with no fragmentation.

Noor’s spirit art workshops center around nurturing creativity for spiritual transformation and gaining access to individual artistic expression.  Spirit art helps to relieve stress, heal emotional pain, and bring a quiet joy to life.  She begins her workshops with a deep, visual meditation to set the sacred security of the space and to help students to interpret their inner artist voices and awaken the creative passion within.  She encourages her students to let loose and play with color, shape, and texture.  The resulting piece is always worthy of being framed and displayed as soulful symbols of a personal journey or given away as precious gifts.  At the end, it looks and feels as though the work is literally a visual representation of pure love.

Noor sees beauty in everything, even things I swear are butt ugly.  She is excrutiatingly patient and truly believes that everybody is an artist, no matter their skill or confidence levels.  When she sees beauty, she causes everyone around her to recognize the beauty she sees, which makes creating art with her particularly comfortable for new artists of all ages.  She has spirit art workshops scheduled in November and December.

To Tweet or not Tweet, that is the Question…

A while back I wrote a post displaying my true (nasty) feelings about Twitter.  Since then, I am giving it another whole-hearted try.  Actually giving it a whole-hearted try. I’ve discovered some interesting folks on Twitter and am still learning how to join in on meaningful (or goofy) conversations.  I still haven’t figured out how to “hang out” with some folks, like at happy hour but then I only have about 30 followers.

I did have fun fussing and ranting about my dislike for Michelle Rhee, which was a pretty good learning experience.  Being fired up inspires me to learn how to use something to spit my flames.

I’m thinking I may have been a little harsh with my criticism of Twitter back then, and although I am far but enamored with this particular social networking tool there is a possibility it might not suck.  Will update in a month or two.  I promise.  Remind me if I don’t.  And please, feel free to comment.

Feminine Spiritual Revolution

In ancient times, the initial concept of a higher being was feminine.  Most societies worshiped the Goddess, the Great Mother, creator, provider, and sustainer.  Civilization was matriarchal, however, there is little archaeological evidence that the female members of these societies held themselves superior over their male counterparts. Humankind was in harmony with nature.   Generally goddess worship had been balanced with the honoring of both the male and the female spiritual attributes.

Eventually, as societies became less agrarian and more technological, the Goddess was replaced with a mighty but wrathful male god figure, and the ensuing cultural programming of patriarchy separated human beings from the biological reality of the natural world. Thus, the masculine attributes of aggression, greed, and hyper-competitiveness became exaggerated and dominant while the feminine characteristics of giving, nurturing and creativity of the species were repressed.

Mother Earth by Lisa Iris

As a result of the repression of the feminine archetype, there arose a violent and pathological imbalance in the our world. This was reflected in the devaluation and gross abuse of women in the culture at large, and the replacement of the feminine values of peace and cooperation, manifesting itself in excessive competition, domination and needless violence.  People began dying from heart disease and respiratory illnesses, brought on by psychological stress and environmental degradation. Sadly, in this dark age of declining cultural values concepts such as justice, equality, human rights, and common sense rapidly deteriorated.

Fast forward to today, it’s time for a revolution.  We are not talking of a new religion here.  Much blood has been spilled in the name of religion.  We are upon a resurgence of feminine spirituality.  Spirituality, unlike religion, emanates from within and is a deeply personal voyage, and each person must find their own path and answers in their own unique way.

Goddess, by her many faces across continents and cultures is a role model for tolerance, inclusivity and diversity. She represents restoration of the sacred, oneness and life-affirming values.  Whether deity, archetype or ideal, the “feminine face of god” can become common ground – a broad and diverse umbrella under which many can gather and find safety from the storm of chaos.  She makes no demands people worship no other god but her, entitling select groups to feel they are the chosen people with the only keys to the kingdom – or with the right to convert the other heathens of the world. No fatwas, inquisitions or crusades in the name of Goddess. No decimation of foreign cultures deemed “other.” Nor does Goddess give humanity the right to dominate and exploit the natural resources of Earth, its people and creatures. Within Goddess Spirituality, we are stewards and caretakers of Earth and its many peoples, not the masters. ~Karen Tate, http://www.karentate.com

So when we embrace the concept of the divine feminine both individuals and communities benefit.  Men and women alike are able to break free of old harmful patterns and tip the scales away from dominance and aggression and towards creative power, sensuality and intuition for a more benign human existence on this planet.  The masculine energies will not become namby-pambyfied, and the feminine energies will not become rough and mannish. There will be a balancing act of the two energies resulting in actions that stem from thoughtful, cooperative, and intentional actions.

As women, we will put an end to the abuse and martyrdom that has plagued us and resulted in full scale death and destruction.  We can rise to the occasion and be effective sisters, partners, and givers of life.  We can shape our individual and collective destinies and grow and prosper.  I don’t believe that we will literally create a Utopian society where war and conflict no longer exist.  However, balance is the key.  Now is the time to raise the Divine Feminine aspect in all of us to her rightful stature, creating a balance and respect between the masculine and feminine energies within and without.  Are you ready?

THIN ≠ BEAUTIFUL, FAT ≠ UGLY!!!

It’s so simple:  Thin = thin.  Beautiful = beautiful.  Thin and beautiful are not opposites like (thin and fat) or (beautiful and ugly).

You can be thin and beautiful or thin and ugly.

You can be beautiful and thin or beautiful and fat.

Classifying fat people as ugly and thin people as beautiful is as ridiculous as the idea that tall people are dumb and short people are smart or that dogs are mean and cats are nice.

If someone who is ugly and fat loses weight but does nothing to become pretty they will still be ugly, just no longer fat.  Similarly, if someone who is pretty and thin gains weight, they will remain pretty even though they have become fat.

So, please don’t lie to someone and tell them that if they lose weight they’ll suddenly become beautiful.  And stop making beautiful fat women feel ugly.

I have already covered this topic before but a few weeks ago an old acquaintance was explaining that she felt out of place in a belly dance class, not because of her skill level, but because of the age and size of the other participants.  She repeatedly told me that those girls were so gorgeous because they were much thinner than she was.  The conversation bothered me and still does whenever I think about it.

This woman healthy and active, and has a voluptuous hourglass-shaped figure.  She is also gorgeous, and she would still be gorgeous even if she were fat.  She has pretty shiny hair, smooth olive skin, sparkling hazel eyes, and a smile that could foster world peace.

When are we going to stop this nonsense?  Do not blame this on men or the media.  Goddesses, we have the power to make this change ourselves right now.

Do Goddesses Tweet?

I’ve been doing some routine research on online business marketing tools for LifeBliss Solutions as business people periodically do.  Twitter keeps popping up.  I have come so close to signing up for an account just to see how this thing works.  Each time I stop just short of putting my name in the box by the notion that there is something inherently amiss with the whole idea that I would give a rat’s ass about what anybody does every moment of the day.  I just don’t.  I am sure I would not “follow” anyone.  Equally amiss would be that I am so narcissistic as to believe anybody in the world wants to latch on to my ass and follow me around for 24 hours of my day, every day.  To me this tool seems like something for a bunch of weak losers with low self esteem who need constant reassurance that they are [fill in the blank with worthy, interesting, cool, fabulous, etc.], celebrity groupies, and teenagers.

Who has time to tweet or have their ass twiggled by some random strangers all day long if they are busy living life?  You can miss so much of the moment if you are fumbling around with some electronic gadget instead of absorbing all the stimulus in the present moment.  And please, nobody write to me claiming that they are “multi-taskers”.  Multi-tasking always diminishes the full experience of the moment, PERIOD.  When your eyes are focused on a little bitty screen then the beautiful scenery around you is nothing but a sideshow in peripheral vision.  While your fingers are busy tippy-tapping on a keyboard, they can not be running through your lover’s hair.

I don’t want to tweet.

8:00 am – I am late, scurrying to the showeranti-twitter

8:01 am – Damn, there’s a pimple on my cheek

8:06 am – Wait, I’ve got to take a crap

8:18 am – Where’s my sock?

8:50 am – Should I have a smoothie or a latte?

WTF!!!!?????????  This seems excrutiatingly trite, irritating, and tedious!

I came so close to being converted when I read stories of people increasing web page traffic exponentially with Twitter.  So I took another look and read some techie articles to educate myself because boy, would I love to have a million viewers a day to my site.  But the idea as I interpret it has been that as a business you can spy on your competitors, which does not appeal to me because my services are so unique and because when you are working from a philosophy of plentitude rather than scarcity it just seems like a waste of my time.  I also learned that I can spam my followers to death.  Well, Goddesses and potential Goddesses abhor spam, and they are so intelligent that they can spot it a mile away and surely would not encourage spam abuse by spending money on spammer’s products and services.   Let’s face it:  My name is not Willie Loman and I don’t sell widgets.  I don’t have suppliers and secret proprietary potions.  LifeBliss Solutions is what it is and that’s that.

The last thing I learned is that Twitter is a great tool for networking with both potential clients and peers and generates word of mouth promotion.  Hmm, sounds good, ethical, and not unhealthy to me and holds some promise.  Which brings me to the key question:  Do Goddesses tweet?  Goddesses don’t need to tweet, the same way that we don’t need to wear t-shirts that say “Goddess” on the front. Goddesses are busy, self-assured, taking disposable time to enjoy the present moment i.e. smelling flowers, dancing, riding a bike, reading a book, laughing, admiring art, savoring chocolates, connecting with real interesting humans in real life…etc.  Why would a Goddess tweet, when she does not need others to validate her existence?  Pray, tell me this so I can confirm once and for all that besides the fact that I won’t like it, that there’s no logical economic reason for me to tweet.  I probably will not tweet but I just want to have all the information before I make the final decision.

HISTORY NOW!!!!

We are on our way down to the National Mall to be a part of history today on this dawn of the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States of America. We are going to find out what all the visitors are thinking. Stay tuned, we’ll be back with photos and words.120917

Excitement is REALLY building here in Washington DC! People are wandering all around the streets wearing Barack Obama gear now, just after midnight! My aunts are spending the night on the National Mall, and we’ll join them at 4 or 5 am ready to PAR-TAY!!!!!!! Stay tuned for more updates.lisacapitol2

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