08-25-16

Shadow Season

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Welcome to the Shadow Law. We’ll be living under this law during Leo season, which ends on August 23. The Journey Law will begin next, and we’ll start celebrating Virgo birthdays.

Working on your Shadow is hard work. We must look at what really motivates us and clean up our acts.

If our self-esteem is determined by how others treat us, that vulnerability can be manipulated by others. Social pressure and the need for approval can weaken our own confidence. Some people exploit this by shaming and judging. These are toxic methods for dominating others. The sad part of this is how many of us allow it.

People who have done their Shadow work see through this abusive behavior. They leave and the perpetrator is rendered harmless.

Shadow work brings the less pleasant truths about our fears and shortcomings to the surface. Once we recognize these beliefs and behaviors for what they are, we can accept them and the need to change.

07-28-16b

The Middle Ground

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It’s the Shadow time of year on the Wisdom Wheel calendar as our Leo friends celebrate their birthdays. One of the most famous living Leos is President Barack Obama who will turn 55 on August 4. Currently, he is living at the center of the Wheel of Life, under the Law of Balance as we all do, from ages 0-2, 27-29, 54-56, and 81-83.

Couldn’t we all benefit from more Balance right now? Do whatever you need to to get yours back, especially if you feel manipulated by those who exploit divide and conquer tactics during these Democratic and Republican conventions. It’s a relief to know the Balance Law is nudging the Commander in Chief at the moment but each of must work to help hold the center.

On social media, I’ve actively resisted being pushed into opposing camps. For the sake of Balance, I am seeking out and welcoming differing viewpoints. Otherwise, we end up in an echo chamber, only hearing what we like, and ignoring the reality of the rest.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats have spoken enough about how to heal the riffs between their parties. Their conventions have further polarized voters. And no one can talk about improving things for the middle class in the US or other countries, without talking about enlarging the middle ground at the center.

Have you heard about how either party is going to level the playing field so 85% of the additional wealth being created in the US is going to be shared across the board in the future instead of going into the pockets of the 1%, like it has lately? Tax reform alone will not restore us to Balance, which is another word for fairness, justice and equality.

Hatred, acrimony and violence come from those who feel marginalized and excluded. How can we bring them back into the Process? If we abandon the center, and fail to build consensus and restore Balance, others will continue to employ the Shadow side of prejudice, ignorance and fear to take advantage of those who already feel vulnerable and in need of a savior.

Recognize the tactics and resist being pushed into warring camps. Polarization keeps us off Balance and unable to unify. This weakens everyone. Don’t fail to see how crucial the middle ground is.

07-07-16

On Great Mystery

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I recently found the yellowed pages of a reading from 1985.

When I consulted Gustave, the clairvoyant astrologer, I was 31 and living in Paris. At that time, I was seeking a sense of direction. I was hoping Gustave would provide what I called back then “objective feedback from the universe”. I wanted someone to check my assumptions and tell me whether I was on the right course. 

Nowadays, I suppose people would go to a psychologist for the kind of guidance I craved but I was raised in a family that wouldn’t consider therapy. My father was an airplane pilot, always up in the sky, near the stars. You could say he came by astrology honestly. More than a mere hobby, my father never hired an employee before determining their natal chart. He never had to fire anyone either.
 
Why do we consult readers and fortune-tellers? We live in the most “modern” times in a society that has benefited from many scientific and technological revolutions, yet we continue to look to systems that are not science or logic-based.

Why did I choose a clairvoyant astrologer over a psychologist? I wanted a reading related to what is eternal: the universe, the seasons, the sun and lunar cycles. Gustave’s point-of-view and grand context helped me from falling prey to the idea that life is nothing but random chaos and then you die. Gustave’s context was what I now call Great Mystery.

He foretold that I would become a teacher of “perennial wisdom”. A mere 10 years later, I found myself being called by the medicine wheels and its natural traditions. The calling was so strong, too strong to ignore.

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Process and the Price of Wisdom

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Can wisdom be bought? I could charge $1,000 for a Wisdom Wheel book or experience, but the guarantee of change afterwards depends entirely upon you.

On the one hand we say we want change. We see violence and we want something different — peace, civility, stability and security. But we’re constantly delaying the Process. There’s emails to send, dishes to wash, kids to pick up, etc, etc. Our modern, busy culture has conditioned us to follow political candidates or religious leaders who’ll do the heavy lifting for us while we’re trying to get through the work week.

The most unpopular among us tell the truth: that it is up to you to do the work. This will never make us financially rich, but it is immensely satisfying to be in the company of souls as they grow and evolve.

This week, we celebrated the vision quest fast of a Wisdom Wheel graduate. Her dedication is paying off in ways that money can’t buy. Deeply embedded pains, old traumas and the despair around changes she faces have left her.

When I put her out on her fast, I had to Trust that her Surrender of comforts, water, food, technologies would ‘work’. That Process is part of the Great Mystery. She was ready. The groundwork had been laid over 3 years. Every day, she said her prayers, did her work, ran her household, and journaled about the monthly Law in our study group. Receiving our daily emails on her 1,000 Day Journey and hosting our monthly study circles helped the Process, too.

Devotion. Dedication. Reverence. What are these things worth? Community. Ceremony. Ritual. We need to make space for these things in our lives in order to anchor the changes in our day-to-day. This is how to bless yourself with the wisdom beyond your ken.

writing

Work, work, work…

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What constitutes our work?

We all struggle with this to varying degrees. Is work strictly what earns money? What about the unpaid hours of mothers, wives, caretakers and friends? Is it any less important because there’s no dollar amount attached to it? Is the real work what thrills us? Scares us?

Oddly, I think the highest compliment my husband gives people is “They’ve done their work”. But what does that mean? That they’ve spent time in therapy? That they know themselves well enough to stop projecting on others?

Initiations teach us about ourselves. You learn your limits: for tolerance, fear, hunger and thirst. Next week I’ll be supervising a faster on her first vision quest alone. While she’s out in the woods by our house, I expect I’ll relive my own Initiation in that tradition, too.

But last week, when an Initiation of my own came, it was something quite different. It was an Initiation I almost gave up on ever happening… A publisher accepted my memoir manuscript.

When I got the email, my body went through a combination of shock, elation, disbelief and resolve. And I’m still not entirely over it. After steeling myself for the many rejections writers receive, I hardly knew what to do with myself when the acceptance came.

Of course, there’s a lot of hard work ahead. There’s editing to complete, packing, distributing, marketing and all the rest, but the Choice has been made, and the Commitment was kept. My Trust in my Higher Purpose and Right Action follow-through on it has given me proof about the Process. Being published is a big deal! It’s a new Initiation for me.

sunset

Return of the Fireflies

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Last night, I spotted my first firefly of the season.

At first, I thought my eyes were fooling me. You know: you see something, you look again and it’s not there. So I trained my sights on the window, to the spot where I glimpsed it, and, just when I was about to give up, its glow came into view. It was no mirage. The firefly was back, like other things that wax and wane in our lives. This was a reminder I needed.

After the second sighting, it was easier to find, because I ‘knew’ it was there. All of us have had this experience, in some form or another.

I mentioned the firefly to my friend. When she tried to look, no luck. Soon she gave up and turned back to me to continue our conversation. We were catching up on the past 6 months since we last saw each other.

“There it is again!” I interrupted, hoping she’d catch a glimpse while the insect glowed. This time she did.

My friend told me that fireflies usually emerge around this time of year. She remembers this because it coincides with a surgery she underwent some time ago. “I saw them after surviving my surgery, so fireflies are a sign to me,” she shared.

When my friend was born, she was starved for oxygen and her heart was malformed. She’s survived multiple open-heart surgeries and beat the life expectancies numerous doctors assigned her. Born under the Law of the Journey, her life has certainly been full of challenges. Even she’s sometimes surprised to still be here! I’m grateful to have her in my life and call her a friend.

Now the fireflies have new meaning for me. They’ve helped me learn more about the Law of Eternal Present and Cycles. Phases and seasons wax and wane but the mere fact that Cycles persist is an example of Eternal Present. This season belongs to the fireflies and the Wisdom Wheel is a flickering calendar of stones, glowing with meaning, for those of us who’ve seen it, and believe.

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Right Action, Higher Purpose and Facebook

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How do we know what the “right thing” to do is?

On days when I feel I spent too much time on Facebook, I ask myself if that was Right Action. Then I remember how much I learn from your posts and others!

Higher Purpose balances Right Action. When I’m faced with decisions, I’ll ask myself, “Is there a Higher Purpose to this?”

This is not limited to big life choices. It’s a question I pose to myself daily, even when I make comments on Facebook. I like to consider what it’s contributing to. “Will my comment elevate this virtual conversation?” “Will it make my friend feel better?” or “Am I taking out my anger on someone else?” Although some people disparage Facebook and other social media platforms, I’ve found that being an active, mindful participant has opened my eyes to different subjects, viewpoints and options. That being said, I’m no angel and I do sometimes find myself just wasting time.

It helps me to remember that Facebook and other social media sites are curated by us. I follow people and organizations that empower and enlighten me and I avoid those that are purely commercial, negative or hateful. However, I do believe it’s valuable to be friends and follow people who disagree with me. I want to hear the other side of the argument, to be aware of what my fellow world citizens believe and care for. By having dialogues and discussions with others, we can make Facebook a place of understanding and connection, rather than isolation and anger. Right Action requires feedback loops! And social media offers us gigantic opportunities to share on-going, multi-level, multi-viewpoints learning exchanges with our fellow global citizens all over the world in a civilized, educational way.

This is new for us. We are the first generations living with the Internet and it’s up to us to determine the tenor and tone. I’m very grateful for the Internet and Facebook, in particular. It’s helped me reconnect with people I knew 50 years ago in Saudi Arabia. It’s also been invaluable with sharing the Wisdom Wheel. The Wisdom Wheel has introduced me to remarkable people and the Internet helps me get wisdom from you!

So if we aren’t friends yet, I’d love to connect with you, too. Find me here and make sure to follow The Wisdom Wheel, too.

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Bernie Sanders on the Wisdom Wheel

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Today I’m rounding out a series of posts in which we put the 2016 presidential candidates on the Wisdom Wheel. Full disclosure: I’m registered as an independent. These portraits do not endorse any particular candidate. Instead, I want to see and share what the Wheel has to say.

Who are these politicians? What are their strengths? Weaknesses? What universal, human challenges can they expect in the upcoming years? A person’s Birth Law and their current position on the Wheel can shed light on these questions.

Nine months ago, when I wrote my first blog post about presidential candidates, I never imagined Donald Trump would trounce 15 other Republicans to become the presumptive GOP candidate. I’m still shaking my head over that outcome and I’m not the only one. This Cycle has taught me to expect the unexpected. Will we see a third party or independent candidate emerge? Who knows.

What if Bernie Sanders ran as an independent? He’s the longest serving independent in US congressional history. Born on September 8, Bernie’s Birth Law is Journey, like all other Virgos. This Law is situated in the southwest quadrant, between the domain of Teachers and Healers. So if Bernie lives to his highest potential, his Journey should both teach us and heal us. This Law is also positioned between Higher Purpose and Trust. Arguably, he is the most Trust-worthy candidate, staying true to his “socialist” stump speech throughout his political tenure. Old videos prove his consistency to his beliefs. Bernie getting arrested when protesting on behalf of civil rights. Clips of Bernie explaining why he refused to vote for the war in Iraq. This has been his lifelong Journey.

Bernie’s Journey and his politics are recognizable and resonate with more people now than ever. He’s for universal health care, ending corporate welfare, addressing income inequality by raising minimum wage, reforming campaign finance rules, offering parental leave, and protecting LGBTQ rights.

Surrender balances Journey. This means Surrender is his challenge. In Bernie’s case, we’re seeing this play out in his supporters who chant “Bernie or Bust”. Some believe the time is nigh for Bernie to surrender his presidential bid. Is it too early to Surrender? Too late? Who or what is the most noble cause or person to Surrender to? These are all important Surrender questions and it will be interesting to see how Bernie addresses them.

When he turns 75 this September, Bernie will live under the Law of Cycles on the spirit side of the Wheel. Fitting that he is now part of a moment where the flaws in our (political) Cycles are being exposed. Maybe it’s time for a radical re-write of the American political establishment. This is the message many voters are clamoring for on both sides of the party spectrum.

As citizens, it’s important to remember that we have a stake. With our ballots, we make our Choice.

mirrormirror

Who is the Self?

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Do you have a good sense of yourself? Are you surprised by the impressions others have of you?

The Self is on the rise in our current culture and society, from selfies to selfishness to selflessness. Although many of us enjoy talking about ourselves, few of us do the hard work to know ourselves. I’m personally guilty of this. For a long time, I preferred to gallivant around the globe than to travel inward. Global Awareness is a piece of cake compared to Inner Awakening.

Here's a younger version of my Self

Here’s a younger version of my Self

Who is the person staring back at you in the mirror? Have you ever meditated on your own reflection in the mirror for an extended amount of time? Try it. Did your own face begin to seem foreign? After awhile, does the thought strike: who the hell is that?!

Earlier this month, I had to whip out a short bio sketch. Two sentences. That’s all. If that seems easy, try it. Take a moment to do it right now: write two Self descriptive sentences that sum up who you are and please add it to the Comments below.

Here’s mine: A born mystic, Cynthia was raised in Saudi Arabia and there, at an early age, she began taking Divine Dictation (in the form of poems). Her decades of expatriate experiences on multiple continents and cultures led to careers in journalism, global management development and helped her develop the Wisdom Wheel, which focuses on the inner journey of spiritual development.

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Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty month on the Wisdom Wheel! It coincides with Taurus season, from April 21 to May 21. My husband and co-blogger Malcolm is a Taurus and Beauty Birth Law carrier. He’s ever conscious of what’s beautiful.

Beauty. Can you feel it? In the springtime, we’re blessed with new flowers, trees blossoming and longer days. If your Faith in this Law has waned over the Winter, let the greenery and blooming riot of Spring renew your belief in Beauty.

Beauty is balanced by Clarity.  When sadness, fear or exhaustion cloud our vision, it’s harder to see the Beauty clearly. I like to imagine each Law as a gateway to differing energies, experiences and opportunities. The next several weeks offer us a gateway to Beauty.