When I think about activism I’m taken back to my own days in the 60’s when protest marches were common place. I remember the angry arms, fists raised in the air, and loud voices over megaphones blasting out about injustices.

When I think of the spiritual activism I think of Martin Luther King and his non-violent protests that brought out the masses and lobbied for transformation and civil rights reform. I also think of Mother Teresa, that little body of fierce compassion and conviction who swayed the conscience of the powerful to support her causes.

Spiritual activism is not about religion, or even about being religious. But it is about being willing to take a part in creating change – and to play that part with the spirit of compassion, love, a sense of the interconnectedness of all beings, and the determination to stand on conviction.

Buddhists hold sacred the tenets of compassion, mercy, altruism, and loving kindness, among others. According to some strains of Tibetan Buddhism, practitioners will meditate on Tara, a female deity, to develop these qualities. Believing that everyone can achieve enlightenment, Tibetan Buddhists claim that Tara can remove obstacles that get in the way of personal growth and the cultivation of activism.

Tara was said to be born from the tears of the Hindu Lord of Compassion, Avalokitesvara. He dedicated his existence to rescuing all humans from suffering. But eons ago it was a very bad age with people behaving terribly to one another. Just as he rescued one person, another would fall. He became frustrated and began banging his head against a wall from the futility of his efforts. Because he was blessed by the Buddha, instead of wounds or bruises, two large eyes emerged on the back of his head. From the eyes tears fell. From the tears emerged Green Tara and White Tara.

Green Tara pledged to help by removing obstacles from the path of humans so they could walk the path to enlightenment with greater ease. White Tara vowed to help humans by increasing their fortunes and extending their lives. Together they help Avalokitesvara making it easier for us humans to receive blessings and to achieve enlightenment.

These deities serve as models for us about the meaning of compassion and spiritual activism. They have the altruistic mindset of service, not for personal fame or aggrandizement, but because they care about our human condition. They want humans to live better lives so they in turn will become enlightened spiritual activists who work for the betterment of humanity. The Taras stay focused on the positive, on what they can do, continually helping us to overcome obstacles, especially our negativity, so we can envision a better world for all.

The Taras understand that all beings are interconnected. When one human achieves enlightenment and can live more in a spirit of compassion, then they have a positive influence on those they touch, raising the vibrations of people around them. As one of us becomes more compassionate and caring, then they demonstrate to others the power of compassion and the importance of standing up for your convictions.

Look at both Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa, two humans who strove for enlightenment, embraced compassion for their fellow beings, and pledged their lives to work towards their convictions. One human can inspire others and start a movement for peace, freedom and equality.

It’s also important to note that each Tara had their assigned tasks. They did not take on everything, like so many of us humans try to do. They chose selectively where to put their efforts rather than being all over the board. It’s important for us to also use wisdom and discernment when we select a cause to fight for. When we focus, we can apply 100% of our efforts and thus have a chance to make a difference. When we splinter and apply our efforts among multiple causes, which are all very important, we dilute our effort, and end up making minimal impact. This is an important truism for all of us to keep in mind.

Take time to reflect on the lessons from Green and White Tara. Become a spiritual activist; take a stand and make a difference. But come to your activism with an altruistic and compassionate heart. Remember to focus on the positive. Stand for what you are ‘for,’ not what you are ‘against,’ so your mindset can stay positive.

Always remember that we are all interconnected. What we are and what we do has an impact on those around us. Your bad mood can dampen the mood of others. When you are full of joy, it radiates to those around you lifting their moods. Finally, choose what you commit to with wisdom and discernment. Remember it is always better to under-commit and over-deliver than to over-commit than under-deliver.

If you, and I, can commit to these gems of wisdom, then we will have a chance to change the world – together!

 

This article was inspired by a blog posted in 2015 on http://fiercelove.wordpress.com

 

Do You Care Too Much?

I have an issue with wanting to ‘help’ or ‘fix’ people. It’s probably why I do what I do for a living. I really care about the people in my life and in my practice. I’m good at helping people find their truth and live with more joy. But, I’ve had to learn how to care and offer assistance with detachment.

What I’ve learned is that each person has to go through their own process, on their own terms, and in their own time. Being an Aries who wants things done ‘RIGHT NOW!’, it’s taken some time for me to appreciate and respect another’s right to go at their own pace.

The myth of Aphrodite’s love for Adonis is a good example of how too much smothering can backfire and lead, not to ‘happily ever after,’ but to destruction and separation.

The myth of Adonis and Aphrodite is one of the great romantic legends of classical Greek mythology. This myth begins with Aphrodite recusing Adonis after his birth.  His mother was turned into a Myrtle tree and is unable to care for him. (That’s a myth I’ll save for another blog.) Aphrodite takes Adonis to Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, to look after. Under Persephone’s care he grows into a handsome and virile young man.

When she realizes how handsome he is, Aphrodite now wants Adonis back as her lover!  A heated argument ensues between Aphrodite and Persephone. Zeus has to intercede and solicits Adonis’ input. Adonis, now a young man with a young man’s drive, wants to spend his time with a beautiful lover rather than an adoring foster mother. Adonis and Aphrodite are allowed to spend eight months out of the year together.

She is so infatuated with this young stud that Aphrodite abandons all her responsibilities devoting all her time with Adonis. She even learns to hunt, which she has no real interest in, so she won’t be separated from Adonis for even one moment.

Finally Aphrodite can’t ignore her duties and must leave to attend some crisis. Before she leaves she warns Adonis not to attack any animal that shows no fear. He agrees, but Adonis is so relieved to be on his own and, feeling quite cocky, ignores the advice of the Goddess.

Adonis unwisely takes own the challenge of a wild boar (who some think is Ares, Aphrodite’s jilted lover). Soon Adonis is the hunted one. The boar attacks! Adonis is castrated in the battle and dies from loss of blood.

Aphrodite senses something is wrong and rushes to his side. She is too late to save Adonis, however. Stricken with grief she turns his blood into a field of anemones, small red flowers, in his memory.

Surprisingly, this ancient myth has a lot of relevance today! It is an allegory for how smothering love, excessive caring, and abandonment of our own interests to enmesh with another can result in the exact opposite of our good intentions.  In wanting to spend all her time with Adonis, Aphrodite smothers him.  Rather than achieving the connection and closeness that Aphrodite intended, Adonis rebels in a passive but aggressive way. This is revealed by his relief at being finally on his own and then ignoring Aphrodite’s sound advice. In his rebellion, Adonis creates his own demise.  Aphrodite loses what she tried so hard to cling too.

This was the makings of a tragedy. How many of us have lost the object of our desire because we clung too tightly? How many of us have ended up smothering those we care for, rather than caring and loving with an open heart and open hand?

I hope you take away from this allegory what I have learned and begin to love and care with understanding and respect for another’s time, space and process … To care for and love others with detachment. Sometimes the greatest kindness you can show a loved one is to stand back and create space for them to make their own way, even when you think their choices are fraught with difficulties. Remember, you faced many challenges in your life and survived – so will they.  The greatest gift of love is believing in their ability to make it!

If you find you are smothering your loved ones because you care to much or love too deeply, then give me a call for a 30-minute complimentary consultation and find how you can love and care for the people in your life with healthy detachment. Call me TODAY! 415-819-8769 or email me.

Mother Mary, the Queen of Heaven and the Divine Mother, has been with me this last month as we approach the Winter Solstice this Thursday, December 21, 2017. On this day, in the Pagan tradition, the world celebrates the birth of the Divine Child. Just four days later, on Christmas, the birth of Jesus, the Christed One, is celebrated.

In honor of the Divine Mother, I am leading two circles this December honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, who was the apparition of Mother Mary to an indigenous Aztec Indian in Mexico on December 12, 1531.

I was inspired to gift you with a “Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary” which I created a few years ago in honor of her. You will find the link below.

Debates and discussions about the nature of Mother Mary have raged on for 2000 years until in 1965 when a Catholic Council called the Vatican II demoted Mary to little more than a Nazarene housewife, a country woman, a human vessel that served as the gestating container for a divine seed, and little more.  Yet in the hearts of the people, as she has been depicted in art throughout the ages, there has been a longing to connect Mother Mary with the Great Mother whose compassion and mercy comforts, supports, and nurtures those who seek her out.

Mother Mary has filled the void of the Mother Goddess that I believe is central to our human collective unconscious.  Since Paleolithic times, humans have honored the Great Mother. Within 500 years after the Divine birth of Jesus, as the cults of Isis, Cybele, Artemis and Diana dwindled along with the Roman Empire, the ancient goddess temples were rededicated to Mother Mary.  Even the imagery of the older goddesses was passed on to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Christed One.

In addition, visitations of Mother Mary have been cited 21,000 in the last 1000 years, including the visitation of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531. These visitations of the Blessed Mother strongly support the need of the Sacred Feminine principle that lives on in our collective psyche.

The importance of Mary is more than her stature, her part in history, or religion, or culture. It has to do with our personal relationship with Her as the Divine Mother – the ‘knowing’ experience of Her compassion, mercy and grace. It is a felt experience that can’t be expressed with language or logic.  Her image as Queen of Heaven and as the Great Mother Goddess archetype endures because it continues to persist in our collective human unconscious.

The Great Mother has, and will continue to, prevail.  She has survived 5000 years of patriarchy and 4000 years of the worship of the monotheistic male god.  She will survive because, as a Divine symbol of the Feminine, She is part of the balance of nature. Nature always settles back to its equilibrium.

The fulcrum under patriarchy pitched far to the right.  It is now floating back to center as the Divine Feminine principle is re-claiming Her rightful place beside the Divine Masculine principle.

The Great Mother is present in the image of Mary, the Mother of the Divine Child who brought Christ Consciousness to aid humanity in its evolution.

May this visualization with Mother Mary surround you with love, light, and peace.

Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary

 

 You may also listen by clicking below:

 

  • Do you need some compassionate support during this Holiday Season?
  • Do you long to connect with the loving energies of the Divine Mother?
  • Would you like to join others in sending loving and compassionate energies out into the world?

Then please join us this Wednesday as we will celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe and be embraced with Her love and compassion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Circle with the Divine Feminine
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2017 –  6:30 to 8:30
Blossoming Paths
10227 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, CA

If you need some compassionate support during this holiday season, please contact Joy Reichard for a 30-minute complimentary consultation and see how she can support you on your life’s journey during the holiday season and beyond. Call Joy at 415-819-8769 or email Joy TODAY!

In my last email I talked about the Devil card in the Tarot and how it kept showing up at a time when my whole life was going through a time of break down and transition.

The Devil card is the 15th Major Arcana card of the Tarot. It speaks to the shadow side of ourselves that is held in bondage to our addictions, greed, negativity, insecurities, self-doubts, jealousies, and fears (rejection, abandonment, not being good enough, not being loved, etc.). These shadow self-perceptions and beliefs keep us stuck in an old story that we tend to cycle in, even though we are desperate to escape.

Some are saying that we, as a collective, are going through a time of break down and transition. The Tower card may be apropos to what we are experiencing at this time.

The Tower
The Tower is the 16th Major Arcana card. It is an image of disruption and change. Politically we are seeing this on a collective level. This disruption can also be experienced personally. It is generated by the battle inside you that is fighting the Devil, your own demons, to free yourself from that domination.

Vicki Noble likens this card to the great Hindu Goddess Kali Ma. She is a terribly ferocious looking goddess with a garland of skulls around her neck and a girdle of arms around her waist. She has four arms, is dark skinned, and splotches of blood stain her body. In one hand she carries a sword, another a pair of scissors, and in the third a bloodied head.

In the West, dark and black have been associated with fear, suffering, death and evil. Our fear of the dark Goddess is a projection of that fear.  In the Hindu world view, however, the dark color is associated with the sacredness of the earth and its female nature. Kali’s symbolism, far from being foreboding, is filled with important imagery for those seeking greater awareness.

  • Red – Kali often bears the color red because she is associated with the life force energy of our body, our blood, and to the fire of creativity.
  • Garland of heads – The garland of severed heads or skulls represents the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. They symbolize the repository of knowledge and wisdom that is available to us.
  • Sword – The sword is the sword of wisdom with which she cuts the chains of our shadow beliefs that keep us cycling in the old stories.
  • Severed head – Symbolizes freeing ourselves from the negative degrading stories of our subconscious so we can embrace the universal consciousness of the Divine Mother and Father and our own divinity within.
  • Waistband – The waistband of human arms symbolizes the necessity for performing good deeds, not out of co-dependency or wanting to feel self-important, but because caring for others and doing good deeds civilizes us, improves the condition of humanity, and opens our hearts to the flow of love.

Kali is that transformative energy of The Tower that can liberate us from the negative stories of our shadow selves.

When the Tower card is drawn it signifies that we have an opportunity to confront our beliefs that no longer serve us so we can change our stories. Even though it feels very disruptive, it tells us that we can still confront our shadow, that part of us that keeps us stuck in reactive and often unhelpful behaviors of jealousy, envy, greed, obsessiveness, anger, etc.

When we face these inner demons, learn the stories behind them, and are willing to release them because they no longer fit into the life we want to lead, then we can step into a higher vibration where joy, satisfaction, fulfillment and wellbeing resides.

On a collective level we are seeing this disruption play out with our governing bodies and in the media. This is forcing us to face the shadow aspects of ourselves and our country. It’s breaking down those areas where we might have been complacent or asleep, and is challenging us to re-evaluate our values, our truths, and what we stand for. It’s not an easy time. Nor is it meant to be. Yet it is a time of great opportunity, an initiation, to be a part of the movement to transform the world to one that will be a better place for all of us. Are you willing to be part of that challenge?

If you would like help to free yourself from your shadow beliefs and change your story, please schedule a 30-minute complementary consultation today with Joy Reichard (415-819-8769). Learn how you can live a more joy-filled life.

Most people know of Aphrodite as the goddess of love. She is that, but she’s also much more. She is the mistress of all kinds of love and passion – passion for art, a special interest, friendship, romantic love, and self-love.

The earliest myth of the birth of Aphrodite comes from Hesiod. Ouranos (Heaven) forbid his offspring with Gaia (Earth) to see light, the space between Heaven and Earth. One night when Heaven lay with Earth, their son, Chronos (Time), harvested Heaven’s genitals and threw them into the stormy sea. From this immortal flesh mixed with sea foam, rose the beautiful Aphrodite who inspired love in everyone and everything that came into her presence.

Aphrodite’s innocence – her virginity – was renewed on an annual basis. At her temple on Crete, her priestesses carried her statue into the sea for a ritual bathing. This act was a re-creation and restoration of Aphrodite’s virginity by the Graces. Once she was caught by her husband, Hephaestus, making love with her lover, Ares, God of War, and he humiliated her before the other gods. Aphrodite fled to Crete where the Graces washed and anointed her with ambrosial oil, restoring the goddess to her original state of purity and virginity.

This return to innocence is one of Aphrodite’s many gifts to you. Yes, you can be restored from the wounds of heartbreak, regret, guilt, and shame. Your past does not need to be your present. But for healing, you must first love and honor yourself.

The personal transformation that comes from self-care and self-love is another one of Aphrodite’s gifts. Many images depict her gazing at herself in a mirror, or bathing, or luxuriating with her nymphs. Some of us work-aholics and self-beraters might view her with contempt for being so self-indulgent. But there is a much deeper message in Aphrodite’s love for herself and her body. She appreciates what her body does for her and she loves to be adorned with beauty. For beauty is inspirational. It enables us to get a taste of the sublime.

Too often we are so hard on ourselves. The comments some of us make about ourselves we wouldn’t even say about someone we didn’t like. Too often we deprive ourselves by not getting enough sleep, or enough nourishing food, or time for pleasure and play. Instead we may work way too hard depriving ourselves of some of our basic needs.

Aphrodite’s message is that when we do take care of ourselves we feel so much better. Our souls are more joyous. We sleep better because we aren’t so stressed. Play and pleasure gives us joy, which dispels anxiety and worry. Our relationships are more rewarding because we aren’t grumpy, fatigued, and short tempered.

Self-love is taking care of ourselves so that we can show up as a happier, more joyous person. It actually enables us to be more effective and productive because we are more able to find joy and passion in what we do.

Aphrodite Meditation
This week, spend time for five minutes a day on the meditation below:

Relax. Choose an image of Aphrodite that appeals to you and gaze upon it. Visualize her energy flowing into you. Feel her divine energy of love and healing embrace you. Allow yourself to feel Joy.

If you are in the Sacramento area, then please join me for an evening of circling with Aphrodite. Listen to her myths that have messages for contemporary women and participate in a self-blessing ritual.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
 
Blossoming Paths
10227 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA
 
For more info, click HERE 
The Way it Was 

For much of recorded history women have been second-class citizens in a male-dominant world. In ancient history this was not the case. Women were honored, as was the Mother Goddess. They could own property, run businesses, children were identified through the mother’s line, and they were community and spiritual leaders.

Then things began to change. Around the second millennium BCE the first laws of recorded history, the Hammurabi’s Code, was written onto clay tablets. Some of these laws regulated the rights and freedom of women. It limited their mobility, their rights to own property, their sexual freedom, and their rights to their own children. Their male relatives, husbands, and even their male sons gained power over women. This notion of women as second class citizens was perpetuated in sacred text, religious institutions, and in ancient legends and myths that are still at the heart of our culture.

This had a devastating effect on women that is still reverberating through much of the world today. According to the Hunger Project, fifty-five million women in the world don’t have enough to eat. Every five seconds a child dies from hunger related diseases. One third of American women are more likely to be poor compared to their male counterparts. And single mothers are 67.7% more like to be living in poverty than a single father.

Change Is Afoot 

There have been some fundamental shifts in the global economy and business patterns that are creating change. For better or worse we have moved from an agricultural and manufacturing economy to an information economy which depends on smarts, not brawn. In many countries women equal or exceed the education backgrounds of their male counterparts. More and more women are positioned to benefit economically. Women own half our nation’s wealth and control a majority of household spending decisions – to the tune of five trillion dollars. Women make over 80% of consumer purchases in the US. The results: women are setting trends. For example, the increase in the availability of organic products is because of women’s influence based on their concern for the families’ health and wellbeing.

Women lacked organization and strategic alliances however, until the Women’s March, the worldwide protest on January 21, 2017. I It was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. t’s purpose was to unite women in order to advocate for legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The rallies were aimed at the recently elected President Trump and largely due to statements and positions attributed to him that were regarded as offensive and anti-women.

The Women’s March sent a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights. The Washington March was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Washington March drew 440,000 to 500,000 people, and worldwide participation has been estimated at five million. At least 408 marches were reported to have been planned in the U.S. and 168 in 81 other countries. After the marches, officials who organized them reported that 673 marches took place worldwide, on all seven continents, including 29 in Canada, 20 in Mexico,and one in Antarctica. In Washington D.C. alone, the protests were the largest political demonstrations since the anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s and 1970s, with both protests drawing in similar numbers. The Women’s March crowds were peaceful, and no arrests were made in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle, where an estimated combined total of two million people marched.

This march provided the chance to create community and were an opportunity for social action and protest as well as solidarity for healing, for bridging race and sexuality differences.

It was an opportunity to remind the world and our congressional leaders that women are still here, we are still relevant, and we are willing to engage in social action to protest and seek remediation of our civil and human rights.  It was an opportunity to stand up and demand that this presidential administration and the Republican-led Congress invite women of all identities and backgrounds to the table to listen to experts on issues of housing and health care and education. Women want a say in the types of programs which will allow women and their children to pursue the American Dream and those that will distance us from achieving that dream.

For Our Daughters and Granddaughters 

Nothing that we have taken for granted for the last forty years is safe.  And, though we’ve seen the erosion of welfare benefits and reproductive rights take place for decades, including under the watch of President Bill Clinton, there is nothing like this current administration to remind women that we need to be ever vigilant. Just as civil rights have eroded for Black Americans, so have they for women. Both trends will continue in a downward spiral if we don’t constantly hold those in power responsible for protecting the civil and human rights we’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Unfortunately, the glass ceiling still exists in every part of life when it comes to gender equality. We must continue to fight for equal rights so that we can ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have better opportunities, more access, and more control over their lives and their bodies than we did.

It’s been four months since the march. We were awakened from our complacency. Let’s not go back to sleep. It’s more important than ever to stay vigilant, to stand in our truth, to take appropriate action, and to keep speaking up so our voices will be heard and counted.
The Divine Feminine called me to do her work way back in 2003. Since 2005 I have been leading workshops and classes sharing what I have learned about the Divine Feminine. It thrills me to see the Divine Feminine moving into the collective consciousness on a wider scale. Thank you, Meg Benedict, for sharing in your article below how the rise of the Divine Feminine is depicted in the stars!

My last workshop, Awakening to Spiritual Consciousness, A Sacred Intensive for Emerging Women, focused on the Ascension process and how the Divine Feminine and contemporary women were central to the planetary Ascension process.

For more information about the Divine Feminine and the Ascension Process, check out the events that are posted below.

Hello (from Meg Benedict),

While Venus is moving retrograde from March 4th until April 15th, it will span 13º Aries back to 26º Pisces. Venus represents the sacred feminine and rules beauty, values, self-esteem, romantic love and deep healing. Since February, the 2 eclipses have triggered energetic clearings and healings, including any traces of shadow opposition from the body/heart/mind. Many came down with ‘kundalini flu’ as congested emotional trauma released into the Light.

This Sunday, March 12th there will be a Full Moon in the earth-bound sign of 22º Virgo. Combined with Venus Retro, you can expect to feel your feminine power rising within you and in the planetary collective. This is evident in growing public outrage, marches and demands for women’s rights, pay equality, female empowerment and respect. The Virgo Full Moon enhances your inner warrior to develop more self-worth, self-care and healing transformation.

The Virgo Full Moon also connects directly to the ongoing ‘Jupiter – Uranus opposition’ transit. You may experience sudden outbursts or reactions to perceived limitations and seek more personal freedom in your life. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself demanding liberation from all violations and setting healthy boundaries in all that you do.

The planetary Ascension depends on the return of the divine feminine. The native nations are leading the movement for clean water, air, food supply and human rights. The feminine power inspires more compassion and loving kindness for all life on the planet. The corruption and deception are being revealed to the public for cleansing and dissolution.

You are being prepared for the upcoming Equinox Stargate upgrades arriving on March 20th.  This month is a powerful threshold point into higher dimensional consciousness. As the out-dated energies are dropping away, you are rising into a unified state of Oneness!

Join other Light Warriors from around the world for the Equinox Stargate Global Activations on Monday, March 20th at 12pm PT. Register here.

Lovingly, Meg

Copyright (c) 2017 Meg Benedicte * All Rights Reserved * You may copy and distribute this material as long as you do not alter it in any way, the content remains complete and you include this copyright notice.

It’s time to be speak up and be visible. We are each called to step up in our own way. Light workers are being called upon to work on the inner plains to bring in more light, tolerance, compassion, love and peace as we add our own light to the global Ascension process. Others might be called to take a more social activist role. Both types of actions are needed.

YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT!

Listen to how you are being called and draw on the courage of your inner warrior to answer that call. The time is NOW!

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Additional Opportunities to learn more about the Ascension process and the Divine Feminine and her message for contemporary women.

Circle with the Divine Feminine
Third Wednesdays
6:30 to 8:30 PM

Blossoming Path, 10227 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks Village, CA

March 15, 2017 – Demeter and Persephone: The Myth of Death and Rebirth
Led by Joy Reichard, Founder IHN Circle (San Mateo), Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, author, teacher
$10 Love Donation

For more info and to register go here

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In Her Name Circle

Fourth Wednesdays
7 to 9:00 PM
Unitarian Universalist of San Mateo,
300 E. Santa Inez, San Mateo, CA 94401

March 24, 2017- Fifth Dimensional Consciousness: The World Is Awakening
Featuring Joy Reichard, Founder IHN Circle, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, author, teacher
$15 online at or $20 at the door
For more info and to register go here.

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If current times are creating worry and frustrations that are causing you to spend more time being anxious and depressed, then give Joy a call and ask for a 30-minute complimentary consultation to find out how you can start being more positive and happy. Contact Joy today by phone 415-819-9769 or email.

Women love to gather with their friends and have done so since ancient times. Women are relational beings. That means that our relationships are important to us, especially the relationships we have with our circle sisters!

A women’s circle is a gathering of women who sit in a circle and meet on a regular basis to discuss shared concerns and to offer support and encouragement.

Greet old friends and make new ones
Relationships are important for women, and circles provide a natural way for women to gather and create a safe place to greet old friends and make new ones.  In circle women find the confidence to speak freely from the heart and know that they will be heard, if not always agreed with.

Opportunities for personal and collective growth

Group discussions generate new ideas and facilitate new ways of looking at old concerns. Women like to share their stories and experiences, as well as hear others share their experience and wisdom. Time devoted to silent process provides comfortable quiet moments while circle members reflect and sometimes wrestle with personal concerns.  Many times lost dreams are remembered, goals are affirmed, issues are resolved, or insights are materialized.  Circles create a safe place where women can develop close bonds with other women and feel supported.

Opportunities for transpersonal and spiritual growth 

A sacred circle is a gathering of women who wish to explore, express and deepen their understanding of spirituality. It differs from a support circle in that, while support and personal relationships do develop, the participants don’t concentrate their focus on personalities and their personal concerns, but instead focus on broader transpersonal and archetypal themes that affect people’s lives and the world.  These circles also offer women an opportunity to create sacred space in which to do ritual and ceremony.

Honoring the Divine Feminine and the divine spark within 

During sacred women’s circles we explore, define, and honor the feminine principle, explore broader issues of importance to ourselves and humanity, and celebrate the divine spark within each one of us and the Divine Feminine.  We learn about the wisdom of the different goddesses and holy women and how we can apply it to our lives today.

Learning and insights
Learning about the Divine Feminine provides us with insights, expanded awareness, and appreciation of what it means to be female.  This knowledge facilitates our personal growth as we learn to value our own divine nature within.  It teaches us how to have more functional relationships, to be present with our feelings, to honor our bodies and ourselves, to honor women’s life cycles, to live according to our personal values, and to find the strength and motivation to pursue our dreams and goals.  Sharing ritual and ceremony helps build community and strengthens our sisterhood with those who share a love for the Divine Feminine and all that is sacred.

Please join us

During sacred women’s circles women learn about the different goddess archetypes that can inform our lives, relationships, aspirations and goals.  We also share our life experiences, offer support, and deepen our connection with our circle sisters.  Members have an opportunity to experience the Divine Feminine during guided visualizations and to participate in rituals designed to help members internalize and make sacred their circle experience.  The time we share together is enjoyable, gratifying, and uplifting.

If you want to join a sacred women’s circle and live near San Mateo or in the Sacramento area then you are in luck because there is a sacred women’s circle nearby (see below). If you don’t live nearby, but want to create one in your community, then you can order a short book on how to create a sacred circle of your own.

Click here for more information on a sacred women’s circle in the Sacramento Area called “Circle with the Divine Feminine.”

Click here for more information on a sacred women’s circle in the San Mateo Area called “In Her Name Circle.”
Mother Mary has been with me this last month as we approach both the celebration of Solstice, which celebrates the birth of the Divine Child, and Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Christed One.

I was inspired to gift you with a “Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary” which I created a few years ago in honor of her. You will find the link below.

Debates and discussions about the nature of Mother Mary have raged on for 2000 years until in 1965 when a Catholic Council called the Vatican II demoted Mary to little more than a Nazarene housewife, a country woman, a human vessel that served as the gestating container for a divine seed, and little more. Yet in the hearts of the people, as she has been depicted in art throughout the ages, there has been a longing to connect Mother Mary with the Great Mother whose compassion and mercy comforts, supports, and nurtures those who seek her out.

Mother Mary has filled the void of the Mother Goddess that I believe is central to our human collective unconscious. Since Paleolithic times, humans have honored the Great Mother. Within 500 years after the Divine birth of Jesus, as the cults of Isis, Cybele, Artemis and Diana dwindled along with the Roman Empire, the ancient goddess temples were rededicated to Mother Mary. Even the imagery of the older goddesses was passed on to Mary.

In addition, visitations of Mother Mary have been cited 21,000 in the last 1000 years. These visitations of the Blessed Mother strongly support the need of the Sacred Feminine principle that lives in our collective psyche.

The importance of Mary is more than her stature, her part in history, religion, or culture. It has to do with ones relationship with her – the ‘knowing’ experience of her compassion, mercy and grace. It is a felt experience that can’t be expressed with language or logic. Her image as Queen of Heaven and as the Great Mother Goddess archetype endures because it continues to persist in our collective human unconscious.

The Great Mother will prevail. She has survived 5000 years of patriarchy and 4000 years of the worship of the monotheistic male God. She will survive because she is part of the balance of nature. Nature always settles to its equilibrium.
The fulcrum under patriarchy pitched far to the right. It is now floating back to center so the divine feminine principle can re-take her rightful place beside the divine masculine principle.

The Great Mother is present in the image of Mary, the Mother of the Divine Child who brought Christ Consciousness to aid humanity in its evolution.
May this visualization with Mother Mary surround you with love, light and peace.

Click here to download…
Audio recording: Love and Light Visualization with Mother Mary

Have a fabulous Holiday Season!
Many blessings,
Joy

**********************************

Jennifer Berezan’s
Revised Version of the Hail Mary Rosary

From – She Carries Me

Holy Mother full of grace,
Power is with thee.
Blessed are you,
Queen of the Universe
And blessed is all of creation.
Holy Mother,  
Maker of all things,
Be with us now and always.

When I think about activism I’m taken back to my own days in the 60’s when protest marches were common place. I remember the angry fists raised in the air and loud voices over megaphones blasting out about injustices.

When I think of the spiritual activism I think of Martin Luther King and his non-violent protests that brought out the masses and lobbied for transformation and civil rights reform. I also think of Mother Teresa, that little body of fierce compassion and conviction who swayed the conscience of the powerful to support her causes.

Spiritual activism is not about religion, or even about being religious. But it is about being willing to take a part in creating change – and to play that part with the spirit of compassion, love, a sense of the interconnectedness of all beings, and the determination to stand on conviction.

In Buddhism, they hold sacred the tenets of compassion, mercy, altruism, and loving kindness, among others. According to some strains of Tibetan Buddhism, practitioners will meditate on Tara, a female deity, to develop these qualities. Believing that everyone can achieve enlightenment, Tibetan Buddhists claim that Tara can remove obstacles that get in the way of personal growth and the cultivation of activism.

Tara was said to be born from the tears of the Hindu Lord of Compassion, Avalokitesvara. He dedicated his existence to rescuing all humans from suffering. But eons ago it was a very bad age with people behaving terribly to one another. Just as he rescued one person, another would fall. He became frustrated and began banging his head against a wall from the futility of his efforts. Because he was blessed by the Buddha, instead of wounds or bruises, two large eyes emerged on the back of his head. From the eyes tears fell. From the tears emerged Green Tara and White Tara.

Green Tara pledged to help by removing obstacles from the path of humans so they could walk the path to enlightenment with greater ease. White Tara vowed to help humans by increasing their fortunes and extending their lives. Together they help Avolakitesvara making it easier for us humans to receive blessings and to achieve enlightenment.

These deities serve as models for us about the meaning of compassion and spiritual activism. They have the altruistic mindset of service, not for personal fame or aggrandizement, but because they care about our human condition. They want humans to live better lives so they in turn will become enlightened spiritual activists who work for the betterment of humanity. The Taras stay focused on the positive, on what they can do, continually helping us to overcome obstacles, especially our negativity, so we can envision a better world for all.

The Taras understand that all beings are interconnected. When one human achieves enlightenment and can live more in a spirit of compassion, then they have a positive influence on those they touch, raising the vibrations of people around them. As one of us becomes more compassionate and caring, then they demonstrate to others the power of compassion and the importance of standing up for your convictions.

Look at both Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa, two humans who strove for enlightenment, embraced compassion for their fellow beings, and pledged their lives to work towards their convictions. One human can inspire others and start a movement for peace, freedom and equality.

It’s also important to note that each Tara had their assigned tasks. They did not take on everything, like so many of us humans try to do. They chose selectively where to put their efforts rather than being all over the board. It’s important for us to also use wisdom and discernment when we select a cause to fight for. When we focus, we can apply 100% of our efforts and thus have a chance to make a difference. When we splinter and apply our efforts among multiple causes, which are all very important, we dilute our effort, and end up making minimal impact. This is an important truism for all of us to keep in mind.

Take time to reflect on the lessons from Green and White Tara. Become a spiritual activist; take a stand and make a difference. But come to your activism with an altruistic and compassionate heart. Remember to focus on the positive. Stand for what you are ‘for,’ not what you are ‘against,’ so your mindset can stay positive.

Always remember that we are all interconnected. What we are and what we do has an impact on those around us. Your bad mood can dampen the mood of others. When you are full of joy, it radiates to those around you lifting their moods. Finally, choose what you commit to with wisdom and discernment. Remember it is always better to under-commit and over-deliver than to over-commit than under-deliver.

If you, and I, can commit to these gems of wisdom, then we will have a chance to change the world – together!
This article was inspired by a blog posted in 2015 on http://fiercelove.wordpress.com

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