My ritual practices for closing out this year began on the Winter Solstice. I find it no coincidence that on that very morning, nature as she often does, gifted me with a most magnificent and symbolic spectacle. I was lying in bed and contemplating the nature of birds, my healing, my feelings of oppression. I was imaging what it would be like to leap from the tallest branches and coast along sheer sky or, the sense of freedom a bird has after being released from a cage. I imagined and longed for the sense of freedom I would feel when this cancer medicine has run its course, its intensity has held me captive, a prisoner in my own body waiting for my falsely acused sentence to be over. I kept coming back to the birds, they have often been a source of inspiration. Over the course of my treatment, I have visualized a most loyal flock of Ravens respectfully roosted upon my aching body pecking out any bits of lingering cancer. These healers of mine have been busy at work, and I believe that their deeds have helped release me from pinned wings. I imagined how I will learn to open my wings to life again, but this time with a new flight plan, a wiser internal compass, and a very different birds-eye perspective.
In the midst of this contemplation, I heard an almost haunting shriek from the North East. My boys ran in, “Mamma, there are thousands of birds coming.” I stumbled outside, and sure enough, there were literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of birds dressing the bare branches of my China Berry, swinging on the Eucalyptus bows, perching on the roof top, scattered around the garden trellis, an incessant fluttering of wings engulfed my tiny yard into a soiree of winged magic. It was absolutely breathtaking! The flock kindly responded to our silent and jaw-opening applause, presented their most wondrous encore and then made their clustered departure like thick streams of black current carving lines in the sky.
I am sure it was some sort of scientifically proven migration pattern, but I gave it my own significance. The birds arrived for divine meaning, they arrived to help me. Again, I contemplated freedom and I grew closer to its origins within myself, a space of my being that can never be captured because it is wild and free, always. The birds helped me remember.
As much as I wanted the feathered songs to stay for the day, a week, my life, they were set in motion, a course charted for new beginnings.
I find it quite auspicious that the first day of the New Year is in sync with a new moon. I am also relieved that my final cancer treatment will be held in the tail end of 2013 and 2014 will be a clean start. I am not a big fan of resolutions, but rather creating a life of intention and the space to open to a vast horizon of possibility. As I get ready to step into a new era of my life, I will create it from my deepest heart and the fulfillment of my soul.
New moons, particularly in the shadow months, are a time to get calm, quiet, and reflective and consider our life’s purpose, what we want to bring to the world, and to our selves on a deeper spiritual level. It is a time to contemplate what nourishes us from the inside out. It is about creating and living life from the ultimate source. It is a time to wonder about the flight of birds and the energy of stars and the path of love. It is a time of wisdom and intuition. It is a time to honor and invite possibility, without attachment to results, things, people, or even the branches we build our nests on.
As I begin to prepare for my journey into the New Year, I have said thank you and good-bye to the blessings, challenges and transformations of 2013. It has, without a doubt, been one of the most grueling years of my life, and as this year comes to an end, so too does any stagnant attachment to those circumstances that bind my own wings. Despite the pain and discomfort I have experienced, I have witnessed even more beauty and grace. I trust that learning to endure suffering and to face life’s challenges has strengthened my wings and prepared me for perhaps my greatest flight yet.
I invite you in the next few days prior to the new moon and the first of the year to get intimate with the truths of your own heart, to listen to the song birds within your own soul, to cultivate and tend to your own unique spirituality and from this self-attunement may you create the space to offer yourself into the new year. There are countless ways to create ceremony in your life, there is no wrong way, you simply listen and feel for meaning and I assure you that source will guide you. Pay attention to the subtle beauties, observe the natural world and reflect on the richness of life around you.
On the solstice I had a very special experience with the birds, they enhanced my contemplations, they brought me insight, magic, meaning and most importantly hope. When things invoke such sentiment, I always bring honor to them. This is sacred living. I have decided that on the day of the new moon/new year, my ceremony will be to gather a handful of seeds, each to hold an intention that will enhance my connection to spirit, and my quality of life. I will then feed the birds these seeds, and as they take to the sky of freedom and possibility, they will carry with them a part of me.
Aho, Namaste, Blessings