When the Acheron Runs Deep – Journey’s End and the New Voyage onto the Ocean and Beyond.

It is no glib cliché to say life is like a journey. Likewise, feelings, emotions and experiences are also a journey; they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They can also be likened to a River. It begins at the source – a high mountain or hill, perhaps, new, fresh and full of hope and optimism. Along the way, they collect rocks and stones, silt and debris. They also spawn life and sometimes destroy life too. Emotions ebb and flow like Rivers. They can be intense, overflowing and destructive, or slow, gentle and meandering. They carry forth ideas and notions of how things should be, ever travelling towards that goal of what one wants life to become. The River can flow smoothly or become congested and clogged up. And so can our emotions.

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 The River is a living thing; it must be allowed to flow freely and breathe otherwise it will stagnate and die. And so it is with our emotions. We must let them move freely and express them lest we become like the River – blocked and stagnant. Inside we begin to decay and all life therein perishes. The silver fishes of our hopes, dreams and aspirations perish if they are not allowed to breathe. And so, should our River cease to flow, then so do we and we must ask ourselves why.

It may be because we have built a dam across it; a dam that may be the inability or an unwillingness, to express how we feel. It may be that our feelings have no place, no outlet and so they are turned inward only for them to turn to pain, resentment and anger. It may be we simply do not know what to do without ourselves anymore having tried everything we thought humanly possible and that it is time to just turn the valve and let the water through. Either way, the water must flow otherwise it can and will drown us.

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The River gives life but also takes it away and it teaches us that it is okay to keep moving, even if it is only slowly, for your final destination is at hand. All Rivers must end their journeys at the Ocean and it is here all their debris, flotsam and jetsam are let go and they become one with the Source.

Rivers change on their journeys. In the beginning they are clean and fresh and new. By the end, they are burdened and weary. As they reach the Ocean, they let go. And that is okay. It is okay to wake one morning and realise you do not feel the same as you did yesterday. It is okay to release yourself of the old logs and rocks and stones you have accumulated on your journey, for you have finally reached the Ocean and a new horizon awaits.

Let not guilt and obligation bind you to people and situations if your journey is at an end. If you have experienced hardship and pain, it is okay to move on and melt into the Ocean and start again for some people come into our lives simply to teach us that it is okay to let go no matter how painful that lesson is. But it is a valuable lesson nonetheless.

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To love deeply and let go is one of the most difficult things one can do, whether it is by choice or by circumstance. But there are times when our journey has been long and hard and we have let our Rivers become poisoned with grief and sadness, leaving no room for life to grow. But during the River’s time, many small things have came and went unnoticed. And sometimes it is okay to let love die if it has no purpose, nor a home to go to anymore. To wake up and no longer feel love in your heart as you once did is not a reflection of your character; it is simply a reflection of that love being confined to a pool that is slowly drying up. There is no need to save it if there is no reason for it to be saved. Let it go. Holding on to it only hurts the soul in the long run.

The Acheron runs deep for some, and it runs long and very slowly. But like all Rivers, it will reach the Ocean, the wide, unending, sun-kissed Ocean under a cloudless cerulean sky, where your sorrow and burdens will melt away like they never were. All River journeys must end here, at the Ocean, where hope and optimism spring anew.

Always remember you are part of something bigger than yourself, a part of the Whole, the All. As one journey ends, another begins.

Always keep moving.

Your Friend On the Sands of Time

Imeldra Moonpaw

Grief – The Great Destroyer

Grief is the love with nowhere to go. It is the Wandering Child without a home, shambling in rags door to door with the empty begging bowl of a harrowed heart.

Grief is the snake eating its own tail; hours turn to days turn to months turn to years until, at last, you are right back at the beginning. The circle begins again. Another year. Another day to remember. Another landmark in the nowhere-place grief leaves you, a dread monolith testament to your loss forever standing.

Grief is the place where time stands still. Here, in the space between living and non-living, there is only ambiguity, helplessness and doubt. It is the half-life grief gifts you. The endless gift that keeps on giving. Happy Birthday. Merry Christmas. With Regards.

Grief is the lightning that tears the oak asunder down to its very roots, and wears down the mountain slowly from within until it crumbles without. Grief is the sigh in the hurricane, and the words left unspoken that melt into the wind until there are none left to say. Only the impassioned breath of the mournful soul lost without that which meant so much to it carried up to the light in a bright cascade, like a waterfall of butterflies on a warm summer breeze. Words have no meaning here; only the heartfelt cry of the soul reaching out in vain for the other. An unending breath that carries both love and pain on its broken wings.

Grief is the bitter tide – flowing outward with gushing sorrow one moment and ebbing with weariness and regret the next. In and out, day in, day out, pulled by the moon that tugs restlessly on the heart like an errant child when small reminders come and go. Names. Dates. Places. Things. A mindless set of numbers and words that mean nothing to the world, but mean a world of small, stinging recollections to you. For it is always the small things that mattered.

Grief is the fathomless ocean and the fear of not knowing how far down it goes. What monsters lurk there; what terrible leviathans have spawned in the darkness while one was weeping?

Grief is the serpent that embraces you, strangles you, suffocates. Grief is the gentle lover that caresses your heavy heart and beckons you fall, to lie down, to give in. To surrender  so you feel no more, to give up the ache that is the amputated limb of one lost, the piece of the heart fallen away from view at the moment of separation. For that piece shall never grow back no matter how one wishes it. It is true they do take a piece with you when they go.

Grief is the story half-told. It is like a candle without the light, like the day without a night. Winter without snow. Summer without flowers. It is empty pages, what is incomplete and a tale untold. Grief is the loss of the story that could have been.

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Grief is the destroyer and taker of things for one loses all sense of self when one is within its grasp – hope, joy, humour, imagination, passion, the sense of beauty in all things. Grief is grey and lifeless. Grief is black and white.

Grief is a mindless, rampaging bull with all the raw fury of Hell. Grief is a silent, fading flower in an unlit garden corner, unseen and unacknowledged. It is the closing of the day and the drawing in of the night only there are no stars in the sky to guide you tonight. Not today. Not tomorrow.

Grief is ice and fire. Up and down. Inertia and the damnable cacophony of thoughts, emotions and feelings like a mad, out-of-control calliope. It is the carousel of cares that one cannot alight from. It is the clown that makes you laugh and cry. Nothing makes sense here in this upside-down world.

Grief is being what you vowed you would never be and despising what you have become. Grief is a Picture of Dorian Gray. Your smiling face masks the mournful and embittered heart beneath. You fade out, imbued with the sickness of anguish, loss and love combined. It is an unholy thing. A dark thing. And yet it is hidden so well from those who we wish to protect from its devilish influence. A shameful thing. One does not wish others to see the wounds it has inflicted upon us lest they recoil in horror or fright from their ugliness. We are the hunchbacks of our own Notre Dame.

Grief consumes life as a black hole consumes stars, planets and all possible life therein. It eats away at everything good and joyful in life. The hunger is ceaseless and cannot be sated. It eats and eats until there is nought left but bones. Grief is ravenous yet leaves us starving.

Grief is the sickness of the heart and soul. For there is no cure for grief as it is borne of permanent separation. Grief is the longing for what is no longer there and to be satisfied with that which resides in our memory. To reach in is not enough and so we turn outwards only to remember once more what has been lost. And so we turn in again to find a phantom of what was, or what could have been. The dance goes on and finding no comfort or solace in either.

Grief is grasping at air and dreams only for those dreams to turn to dust in your hands long after they have died. And when dreams are dust, our hopes, and our will to wander in this earthbound, nowhere-place of the cruel dichotomy of love and pain, soon follow.

Grief is the Great Destroyer and yet grief is the greatest expression of love for if we do not feel the pain of one lost, we never truly loved them to begin with. It is an emotion of truth for we cannot hide our grief when it descends so readily upon us. We cannot escape it. We can only learn to live with it like an unwelcome guest. It cannot be cured or eliminated for, if we eliminate the pain of loss, even to some small degree, we eliminate our ability to love truly and genuinely.

We may learn to accept things as they are and the pain may lessen in time, but it is still there, forever taken root in our souls. We may never love again for such genuine, deep-seated feelings for those closest to us creates such a behemoth of grief inside us when they are no longer here, there is simply no room for another. For some, it feels like a betrayal when others suggest the void left by one lost can be filled with another. Love transcends separation and loss. Others may find space in their hearts to love once again. For others, the one lost is simply irreplaceable. 

Yours Under the Boughs of Yew and Elder

Imeldra Moonpaw.

The Return of the Skylark after the Hurricane -The Mountain Stands Strong

Life has many ups and downs. Some more down than up, but one thing is clear – every dilemma, every crisis, every mistake, every downfall is an opportunity for learning. It all depends on your perspective.

When one is in the midst of the hurricane, one cannot see the sky. One cannot see the blue of the canopy, or the pink or yellow of the setting sun. One can only see and feel the screaming gale and the thrashing rain. The Fall of the Old Life is beginning. And it is a dreadful place to be.

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However, during the midst of the storm we forget it is passing. It can take several storms, and several hurricanes, to get to this point in time, the time when we change beyond recognition. It takes the Mother of All Storms to reach a point in life where we crawl out of the sea, or the wreckage of our own lives, wondering who and what we are. But this is the First Day. The New Day. For after we have endured the death of the Old Self, we have been given the gift of the Second Life. This Second Life, we are changed and nothing can ever be the same. But, my Dear Human, this is not a change to be feared or resisted. The Second Life offers us that which we denied ourselves in the First. We get to begin again, and set a course of our own choosing.

One of the main things that we experience is what we are willing to accept. We have faced and endured the death of the Old Self. This needed to happen. It was painful, dark and often lonely. But the dark can only give us more appreciation of the light. Our perspectives change, our preferences change. What matters to us and what doesn’t changes. What we hold to be of value changes. What we bring through into the Second Life is of great importance because it is of great value – we treasured it enough to hold onto despite the storm trying to tear it from our grasp. Our hold, and our faith and our desire to keep those things close regardless of the tempest’s fury, was worth holding on to.

We also learn that what we thought makes us does not. The outside world, society, people, have their own opinions and thoughts about what makes us – a man, a woman, a good individual, a bad individual. There are roles placed upon us by others and, for the most part, we feel the need to fulfil those roles, or live up to them in some way, and sometimes that need is deep and powerful and calls upon our instincts. But it does not make us. It does not make us who we are, and does not define us, nor does not fulfilling that role define us either. We choose our roles in life and, to some degree, we can be influenced by others because of shame, or guilt or obligation. But to feel we need to take on roles that we do not desire nor had planned for ourselves is not being authentic to our true self and we can often pay a terrible price for living a lie.

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You see, my Dear Human, your soul, your being, your character, your integrity, values, interests and how you treat others is what defines you, not your gender or your station in life. You are not defined by others. You can only define yourself. We can say we are successful, high-flying and wealthy, but how often do we say we are good, generous, funny or kind? Too often the good things we feel about ourselves or what others say about us are dismissed because one simply cannot accept one can possess those qualities for reasons only the heart knows.

But the world is still kind and good and just. It is still beautiful and the mountain still stands strong after the hurricane has passed overhead. But parts of it have gone – the old, weather-worn sides and the dead wood. New growth springs anew. New life, new ideas, new concepts. The mountain still stands but is forever changed by the storm, but not in the way you expect. No, nothing will ever be the same again, but the world is viewed with fresh eyes, with a deeper understanding of how things are, of why things are. Sometimes the storms come and we must endure them. Sometimes things happens but we are not meant to know why. But the inside of the mountain remains unmoved. Some may disapprove of its new appearance, but they cannot know the heart and mind of it, or why it is; why it chooses to grow bristle-cone pine instead of Scots or cedar. But the opinions and criticisms of those who do not know what storms it has weathered are of no concern. It matters not, only that it stands and will continue to do so regardless of what the fox or the deer might say.

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The mountain weathers the storms, is changed by them but does not crumble. It is not defined by them nor by what attaches itself to it or what others use it for. It is a thing of nature. It is what it is. It defines itself. It is strong in its core. Veins of silver and gold run through it. It is made of crystal and granite. No storm can bring it down.

And the skylark sings overhead after the storm has passed.

The Mountain and the Fire Inside it.

Unbroken. Undefeated. Unconquered.

Yours Under the Sacred Oaks

Imeldra Moonpaw

Do Grimalkins Dream? (Part 2) – Back to the Future – Creating Your Own Reality

In this blog I want to discuss the subject of lucidity (lucid dreaming) and the power to create our own realities within and without.

As I have already mentioned in Part 1 of this blog, dreams can be powerful tools to create our own realities, solve problems, heal, and gain inspiration, get ideas and a whole host of other things that aid personal and spiritual growth. Let’s not forget, we are not just physical beings; we are mental, emotional and spiritual entities that require space to grow and expand our awareness and our dreams are an essential part of this process, even the bad ones. Sometimes we can even see beyond our own realities into those of others and beyond that still.

Lucid dreaming is not some magical skill only a few can do. We may hear a lot about lucid dreaming and how powerful and mind-altering it can be. But it is a perfectly natural occurrence and one that can be learned by anyone. While there are many books and tutorials on how to learn this skill, there is a simpler way and one I found out completely by accident. I had not even heard of the term ‘lucid dreaming’ until after I had experienced several of them and, even then, I happened across the term by pure accident. Accident or intelligent design? We shall see.

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One morning, I had a very vivid dream. It was so vivid I decided to write it down. I went back to the dream in my journal and read it over again, trying to remember every detail. A little while later, I had another. I wrote that down too, making sure I recorded as much as I could about it. I consciously remembered each dream if I could, even if they were just small snatches or fragments and not full dreams, for it is the process of actively remembering and recalling them that builds the connection between the waking mind and the place where dreams are made. The more I wrote down dreams and details, the more lucid dreams I had until they became a regular occurrence, and became more detailed, deep and life-changing. In some dreams I even found myself dreaming of the future and of events I had no knowledge of until later. This happens often.

I will start by describing a dream I had only last week, which I think describes the nature of the lucid dream, to my understanding;

I am standing at a busy junction/crossroads, somewhere like New York, a busy American city. It is a hot summer day, July or August. The heat shimmers up from the road, blurring all that is going on around me. Everything is moving super-fast – the traffic, the people – and I turn on the spot, not able to focus on anything all. Suddenly, an image of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future comes into my mind. I turn back to the junction/crossroads and there it is, its right gull-wing door open and engine purring in the still summer heat. I hear a voice not of this world say in my left ear:

“You thought of it, now you’ve got it.”

The DeLorean is still as stone while the carousel of people and cars go by. It is waiting. It is waiting for me to get in. I knew if I did it would take me to where I wanted, or needed, to go without me asking it to. There is no need to engage the Flux Capacitor or turn the Time Circuits on, for it KNOWS what I require of it. It cannot go back to the past, that has gone. It can only go forward. Back to the Future.  Do I stand here, or do I get in and be the mistress of my own destiny?”

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The DeLorean is a symbol created by the dream for dreams speak in metaphors. Back to the Future is one is my favourite films. I have a diecast model DeLorean on my desk. But it is the concept of time here that is important, and the ability to look at one’s own life and make a conscious decision to change things, change one’s future as Marty McFly and Doc Brown did by the end of the trilogy. The lucid dream is the unconscious way of changing the inner world so that the outer world can make sense of the message and take action accordingly. But why these symbols? Why the DeLorean and why a busy New York junction?

The dream is an extension of you and so, when you dream, you talk to yourself. You are giving yourself visual clues as to what needs to happen in order to progress. Things in my environment are jumbled and a bit tangled right now and so I need to make decisions about where I need to go. The car gave me the escape I need to take myself out of the picture to make those decisions, and to think about where I go next in life for it is entirely in my power to do so. While I would not be the driver (the DeLorean is left-hand drive) it doesn’t matter for I would always be in control of what happens in my own world. While we cannot control the thoughts, feelings and actions of others, we do have control over our responses to them. It is divinely ordained versus having your fate in your own paws. Do you leave your life to fate or do you take decisive action and go after the things you really want and desire in life? Do you stand at the junction and be swept along by the rest of the world, or get into the DeLorean and take yourself off into a future of your own making?

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I woke up before I got into it but I had already decided; I was going into the future with my destiny in my own paws. No-one can take that from you. Everyone has their own DeLorean, it is just a matter of when you choose to get in it for it will always be waiting for you at the junction, door open, ready to take you Back to the Future.

Yours Friend In Time

Imeldra Moonpaw.

Shamash Sun-Cat and the Rise of the Masculine – a Time For Building and Beginning Again

As spring wanes, the mane of Shamash Sun-Cat has grown back to its full splendour after his battle with the Black Horse of Winter and, with it, its rays of light and heat bring life and vigour back to the world in the way of summer. While spring may have brought us new growth, the things we have planted have not yet bloomed or come into fruition. But now is the time for the work to begin. Summer is almost upon us and the hard labour of reaping and harvesting is on the horizon. It is the time of the Sun-Cat, and the celebration of all things male and solar.

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In Grimalkin society Shamash Sun-Cat rules the Day while his mate Inghira Moon-Cat rules the Night. Shamash is the embodiment of health, strength, vitality, virility and the essence of life itself and, even as his mate rules the darkness, his presence can still be felt as his warm rays still heat the world below and reflect upon the surface of the moons. Shamash is the life-giver and the regenerator and he, and all things male, are celebrated on Midsummer’s Day, or Adrach, in the Grimalkin Calendar. At Midwinter, the roles are reversed and all things female are celebrated.

Grimalkins celebrate the male deity that is Shamash, not only as a life-giving force, but as a representation of the male energy. The male Grimalkin is a creature that knows his role in the fabric of the clowder, and in the Cosmic Order. He fulfils many roles, not only as protector and builder of the place we call home, but as the maintainer and grower and creator of things. Just as the female creates things of use for different purposes, so the male creates things of purpose that keep the clowder and all its functions going. If the female Grimalkin is the soul of the clowder, the male Grimalkin is most definitely the heart. For there is no real separation between the sexes; while one gravitates towards one particular field, so does the other. But both male and female work together as a team to keep the clowder functioning as a well-oiled machine and a safe and comfortable home for all.

But to day is the day of the male. We need our male-folk. They are the very foundation stones upon which we build our society. Their unfailing dedication to their work and tasks make them invaluable, irreplaceable and much valued individuals in our world. Their brightness, vitality and creativity beams out of them with everything they do, whether they tend to the sick or elderly in the clowder hospital, or are thatching the roof of a new tavern. Their energy is infectious and inspires others to take up tasks they would not have necessarily considered before, galvanising others with their leadership and get-up-and-go. These Grimalkins are like solar flares or hot days in the Moon of Hazel, blazing, cheerful, garrulous and free with their laughter and mirth. For the more reserved of the male-folk, there are those who are passive and kind, warm and glowing like late summer afternoons by the sea. They are thoughtful and generous with their time and knowledge. Such male Grimalkins have their whiskers in a book or journal and will always seek to assist others in need. The studious and bookish Grimalkin is a good friend in times of crisis.

All of the male-folk embody the spirit of Shamash in one way or another. Midsummer not only celebrates the day of the male-folk – fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews, male friends or spouses – but also is a time to begin new projects. It is an assertive and productive time when all things and all tools are available to one, and the long summer ahead provides one with the light and the resources to begin in new endeavours, or journeys. Spring is a time of new beginnings, yes, but summer is the time when folk are at their busiest, and when most opportunities arise to partake in things one has never done before. Shamash Sun-Cat gives us the energy and the courage to take a leap of faith into the unknown and see where it takes us, all the while his sun-ray mane lighting the way.

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It is important we start new things, or pick up the threads of what we did before if we do not want to stagnate. Our personal growth and our happiness, to a degree, depend on our ability to adapt and learn new things, or to hone our skills, or perfect old ones. The male Grimalkin is always learning, always striving to add another string to his bow. This makes his a great asset to those around him, and because of his light, his skills and his creativity, he is in need, and in demand. The fact that his skills are in demand are a testament to his talents and ingenuity for he has worked on those skills alone. He has no-one to thank but himself. That is a noble calling and any Grimalkin who has honed his skills, made them his own and set himself on his way in the world should be a proud creature indeed. The world requires more of the industrious and enterprising Grimalkin.

But those skills and those talents are rare and to be valued. Such time and effort has gone into the making of the enterprising Grimalkin. The creativity in his paws must be given room to act freely and without hindrance. Good, solid, things can be made with those paws. And good, solid foundations can be found if the Grimalkin values himself and his talents as much as those around him do. If he gives his heart and soul as much attention as he does his skills, then a fortress he will build out of himself. And it will be good, and right and just.

The poem by the celebrated Bard Eriffin Aengus illustrates the rise of the masculine thus:

Wake up, wake up, O my brother,

for you have slept too long in the darkness.

Throw off the shackles of your past

and break the prison bars of your despair.

Wake up, my brother,

and feel the touch of sunlight on your skin.

Throw open the window of your soul and let fly

your spirit into the great beyond.

Wake up, my brother,

and shed not another tear for what has gone before,

or for maidens loved and lost,

for your life is just beginning.

Wake up, my brother,

for the battle cries of long fought wars

are slowly receding from your memory.

Step into the light; that will be your victory.

Wake up, my brother,

and feel the solid and bountiful earth beneath your feet.

Take up your bow and hunt the sacred boar

and pursue the faerie hind that holds the secrets of your heart.

Wake up, my brother,

and know the mysteries of life and death.

For all that you are and all you will become,

and you shall become a god.

Eriffinn Aengus of the Golden Branch

 

The male Grimalkin is an essential part of the Whole, the All. We cannot function without them. We must recognise and honour the Divine in them as they recognise and honour the Divine in us. The world is too much out of balance right now. One is set against the other and that cannot be. We must work as a team. They are as much a part of us as we are a part of them. Let us see them as Sun-Cats, and our Brothers in Light.

Yours By Star and Stone

Imeldra Moonpaw.

 

Night Thoughts – Don’t Hide Your Light: You Are Enough. Be Who You Once Were.

There are times in life we become wrapped up in things. Life takes us over and we forget what is important. We stop doing the things we enjoy and other things take presidence. It may be a conscious decision, or we may have found ourselves swept along by the current of life and circumstances. Either way, we may find ourselves in someone else’s story and have left our own far behind. We are not ourselves anymore. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten our own story.

This can happen to any of us. Our hopes and dreams, our ambitions and the plans we had have all fallen away and been taken over by things outside ourselves. We find ourselves dancing to someone else’s tune, forfeiting our pleasures and our desires for the wants and needs of others. We may feel time is slipping away from us and all the things we had planned we can no longer partake in because of other things, other plans, other schedules, other agendas…and so it goes on. No longer do we wake up in the morning and think “I’m really looking forward to starting that project today…” as our lives cease to be our own. There is no place for our creativity anymore. no place for our individuality to expand and explore the far reaches of our imaginations, to start new things, to experiment, to try new things out, or to just allow the mind to wander like a errant moon across a star-studded sky. No room to be ourselves anymore. We cease to be. We wink out of existence like we never were. The light inside of us goes out. It is like the sun going out.

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When that happens it is missed. The light and the creativity and the spark that made us is missed by others. Terribly so. When one begins to disappear like Marty McFly in his photograph in Back to the Future, it is noticed by others and our friends and loved ones can do nothing but watch helplessly and with great sadness as we fade from view with all the happy and fun memories fading with us. As we forget who we are, we fade. When we no longer do the things that drive us on, the things that get us out of bed in the morning, the things that make our hearts and souls sing, we fade. And we are missed. We are missed terribly. And such a sight of us fading from the ones we love is a travesty. Good things should never fade. They should shine and be seen. For it is that light and that energy that draws others to us, that forges connections that are deep and profound and life-changing. When that fades, the earth breaks asunder and that cannot be.

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Be that crab that climbs out of the bucket. Be the crab that reaches for the moon and touches it and brings it down to earth so bright things can be forged in silver. Hide not the light inside for, when it fades, it is missed. The world needs the light and the creativity and the imagination. Be the creator of worlds as you once were, and never again let that be taken from you. It is far too valuable and precious to be allowed to fade, to disappear into darkness. Let it not fade into obscurity and mediocrity for you are unique and made of stardust. Your skills are needed and so you must pick up the items of your trade and begin again. Everything exists in cycles. Night and day. Life and Death. Winter is over. Turn your face to the sun and let your creativity flow once again. You are enough and the world needs it. The world needs YOU.

Your Friend Always,

Imeldra Moonpaw.

The Welcoming Light – Being The Light In The Darkness For Those Lost At Sea

It is all to easy to become lost; lost in one’s own thoughts, lost in one’s problems, in one’s own world, lost in a myriad of things. Being lost has become, as many see it, an insurmountable problem, like a derelict ship listing at sea with no hope of discovery or recovery. We can be left in a proverbial ‘Bermuda Triangle’, a temporal anomaly of lostness, not knowing how we got here or how we can get out of it. Or we may know exactly how we got lost but the end result is the same – no way out. Walking and talking in circles until we exhaust ourselves and give up.

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There are many ways in which we become lost. We may take a wrong turn in life, or simply drift from situation to situation, environment to environment,  paying little attention to what we are doing. It may be a conscious choice, or it may not. But we end up lost because we have missed something and we can’t find our way back. What then?

Being mindful of our thoughts and actions helps us to become more aware of where we are going and examining our intentions leaves us less likely to become lost in future, but if one is lost and floundering in rough seas with nothing to grab on to for support, it is best to stop flailing and just float. Wait. Think. Let the tide take you on a current that may lead to a solution, or a lull in whatever chaos or drama that may be going on. Like consciously choosing to be alone for a period, it is prudent to allow things to take a natural course as this may be the ONLY solution. Inaction may be the only action, but if the lostness is simply too much to bear, one is in need of a lighthouse. To the lost, the world seems like a vast, empty ocean. But if one looks up, there are stars to guide one if the night is clear, or the moon if it is on the wax.

But one can never stay lost is one truly wants to be found.

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To the lost I say look for the light. What I mean by this is look to those who brighten your day, lighten your heart, make you laugh, make you smile. Move towards the sunlight. You do not always have to engage with others if you do not want to, but strive to do the things that make the centre of your being glow like the sun, and feel warm like a summer’s day. There are those who want to help you, to offer genuine help, from a place of goodness and compassion, not from a place of narcissism or possession. Should the hand (or paw) be offered, do not feel guilt or shame in taking it. It comes from a place of Universal Love and empathy for other beings. The door will never be closed upon you nor safe harbour denied. There will always be ports in a storm; you just have to reach out and take the rope that will bring you in from the tempest.

lighthouse

To those who have compassion for the lost – be the Welcoming Light. Be the light in the darkness for those who have fallen by the wayside. Many need and want help but are to afraid, to proud or too weary to ask for it. Many simply do not know how to ask. Have patience and compassion. Be the lighthouse that weathers the storms of their indecision and their inaccessibility for we cannot always know their stories and cannot know their hearts. To reach out and ask for help, for some, is a deeply difficult task. It is not for us to judge their reasons for not doing so. The lighthouse simply stands guard and watches, and casts light on the treacherous rocks below. We can give the warnings and shine the light. It is up to the vessel to heed it, and come towards it. The lighthouse, or the Welcoming Light, does not ask, or pry or question and so we must not. It must come from a place of neutrality no matter what has transpired in the past. It is the essence of true empathy, compassion and mercy.

Yours Under the Boughs,

Imeldra Moonpaw.

 

Grief and Loss – Holding Space In Your Heart For Those Who Have Left Us And Why It Is Okay To Move On

It is never easy when anniversaries come around. Or birthdays. Or Mother’s/Father’s Day. These days, we feel, can only serve as painful reminders of the things and the people we have lost; the good times or the futures stolen from us. Birthdays especially, for once they were happy times, now reduced to remembering that there will be no more celebrations, only  memories of what once was, and, for the one who is lost, to never grow a day older from the moment they passed beyond the Veil. For they, once gone, shall never grow old and never more suffer the maladies and ravages of time and old age any longer. For them, time has stopped. For us, the ones left behind, the steady march of time beats on like a melancholic heartbeat in the darkness.

spirit world2

Grief is a paradox. It both leaves you with a feeling of emptiness and filled with so many things – anger, despair, denial, resentment. It can veer from one extreme to the other. It can be confusing and numbing at the same time. Not knowing how to deal with it, who to turn to, where to go, what to say. There are many suggestions about how to deal with grief and loss, not necessarily with death, but also other kinds of loss which can leave one with a feeling of “….maybe I should be feeling like this at this stage, or that stage. Maybe I should be over it by now. Do I have to go through the stages of grief in a particular order…?”

The answer to this is no. We think of grief as something that has to be controlled, managed and harnessed. Yes, to some degree we must manage our pain, but what many do not understand is that grief and all the feelings of loss are all part of the human experience and so MUST be treated as such, and not crafted into some form that fits neatly into a category or list. Grief simply does not work that way. We go through life never knowing grief and then suddenly we do. There is a life before and a life after grief. It becomes part of our make-up, our being. It becomes integrated into ourselves so that reality itself turns inside out so that there are now two worlds – the reality before the experience, and the one after. Things can never be the same again. At this time, and for some time after, we must learn to integrate this new feeling into out psyche and make it part of us. It will never leave us and it is for that reason we must learn to nurture it and find a place for it within ourselves.

Close-Up Of Plant Growing In Forest

It will always resurface and that is why we need to befriend it. Understand it. Learn that we feel grief because it is the highest expression of love. We grieve deeply because we have loved deeply. Even if we have had fractious or broken relationships with those we loved, it does not matter. Love is as complicated as grief and to try and pick it apart and make sense of it is a fruitless and demoralising task. Grief, like love, is what it is. There are things we are not meant to understand and the feelings and expressions of the heart, like love, grief, compassion and mercy are some of those things. We cannot explain them even though we try our best to. But they are sometimes way beyond our understanding.

Grief, like love, can be expressed by the heart in a thousand silent ways.

Grief can also be subject to social norms. A female may be frowned upon for seeking out love after the loss of her mate soon after his passing. Why is this? Is there a time limit on grief? I think not. We must get past this notion of time when it is relation to others’ feelings and emotions, and pre-conceived ideas of what it means to grieve. Some may grieve for a short time and process the loss quickly. Some may grieve the loss of their loved one for the rest of their earthly days. We cannot know the hearts of others. It is impossible, and wrong, to judge others on how and when they process their grief and loss. We must set our own houses in order first before turning our attentions to the dwellings of others.

And so, what happens if you feel you can move on? What then? How do you feel? More to the point, how do OTHERS make you feel? Guilty? Pressured? Ashamed? Are they projecting their own morals, ideals and virtues onto you out of some feeling of lack or want within themselves? Ask yourself – how do YOU feel about it? Your loved one is in another reality. They are not here to advise you, or admonish your for your choices. They cannot direct your life now in any way, so be wary of those who say “Your mother/father would want this/that, be so disappointed if you….” That is emotional manipulation, control and entrapment. They are not here. You are. Be mindful of that. We only have a short time here. Use this time wisely.

Okay

In the end, it is perfectly acceptable to move on with life. There is no shame in that. You do not forget those who have gone before you as they will always be a part of you – they may have shaped your life in some way, made you the person you are for good or ill. In some small way, they will always be a part of you, a part of your being. Holding a space in your heart for them does not mean you forget them. You may not think of them every day and, the first day you forget to think of them you might feel guilty. This is natural. It is a natural process of letting go. But letting go does not mean forgetting. Holding a place in your heart means you NEVER forget, you just store that memory and love away like a treasured album full of pictures and stories to be picked up and examined at a time of your choosing. It is a conscious choice to remember, not a forced one out of guilt, duty, obligation or external pressure. And with that, the memories become sweeter, if they were good, or have less of an impact if they were not. Holding that space is neutral. And it is good for you in the long-term because it allows room for that process to run its course and settle where it is supposed to without the pressure of social norms or other people telling you what should and shouldn’t be. Let it rest in peace in your heart and soul.

My Most Healing Blessings At This Time

Your Friend Always

Imeldra Geraldine Moonpaw.

Clowder Historian.