Friday, June 15, 2018

Reciprocity


by Rev. Amari Magdalena

Some may call it give and take, reciprocity. Others may look at it as a balance in exchange.  Our dictionary definitions include: when two or more people or nations have equal exchanges of good or services, they are enjoying reciprocity, a situation where each enjoys an equal benefit from the relationship.  However the word is defined, in my opinion, it is about the infinity flow of good energy between others.  When properly applied, reciprocity enhances all parties involved.

It is not news that many exchanges are viewed through the filter of givers and takers in our monetized society.  Yet history has demonstrated that such exchanges always have inherent imbalances and leave feelings of dominance or want.  In a time on our planet where the need for love is touted as the highest form of good, imbalances on all levels spell disaster.

In intimate, familial, and friend relationships, severe imbalances lead to breakdown.  When that is not the ultimate outcome, unhealthy dependencies can develop, along with, anger, angst, and feelings of deep resentment.  Effective relationships cannot tolerate such feelings long.

Many practitioners of spiritual practices and purveyors of alternative healing modalities are asked to do no-cost presentations or donate time and knowledge.  Most of us do this gladly as community service.  It is part of the "giveaway:" a time honored shamanic tradition.  There is no expectation of reciprocity with this charitable work.  There may be, however, a hope that the value of the gift is received, as occasion arises in the lives of the recipients, is shared with others who might benefit (either through testimony or recommendation).  By doing this, it helps the practitioner support their work.

Another way that the receiver of the gift might reciprocate is to be of help when the practitioner has a need for assistance.  I recently heard from someone who has gifted a lot to their community.  They found themselves in need of assistance.  Calling on a few people who they'd particularly supported, doors were closed with weak excuses as to why they could not come forward.  In one case, one of the folks who said they were too busy, was later pictured on social media partying.  This exemplifies a broken infinity of reciprocal good.

In tribal times, the healer, diviner, and teacher were all provided for by the tribe as acknowledgement of their contribution to the common good.  Their basic life needs were happily provided for.  All tribal members received from the greater good and shared from their unique talents.  Sadly, most of us have lost that tribal tether and are often islands unto ourselves surviving.

Thus my call out to everyone to begin to look at the infinity flow of good everywhere in your lives. If you are on the receiving end of good, are you conscious of your responsibility to keep the flow going?  Are you prepared to sometimes sacrifice your pleasure for helping someone who has helped you, not out of obligation, rather an awareness of balance?  Are you wanting to actualize a world that breaks cycles of give and take, so that the need for wars, violence, and separation can subside? Isn't it time we all wake up from the illusion of separation and truly become our brothers and sisters keepers?*

If we are to realize the promised 1,000 years of peace, harmony, love and light on this small planet, I believe it is time.  Time to be more conscious about the symbol of infinite flow between ourselves and others.

"Enlightenment is the AWARENESS that ALL is ONE and ONE is ALL.  Ignorance is the illusion of separateness."  Manprit Kaur

*Cain answered, "I know not, am I my brother's keeper?"  Note:  Cain's words have come to symbolize people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows, "brothers" in the extended sense of the term."




I didn't realize that a rainbow infinity sign is now thought of as a symbol of neurodiversity.  As there are members of my own family experiencing that, perhaps it was an unconscious choice. In any event, diversity can enter into our balancing, accepting, and reciprocal energy exchanges.



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Judgments

by Rev. Amari Magdalena
Recently, I was struck by judgmental commentary on Facebook about parenting.  It reminded me of the old singsong, playground torment, “my ____ is better than your _____.”  It presents in my mind, a clear and present danger to building those bridges of understanding that the world so desperately needs.  This mine is best raises its ugly head almost daily on FB with the war of foodies. Then comes the barrage of politics.  Everywhere there seems to be conflict.


We’ve come to a great chasm in our country precipitated by polarizing viewpoints of what is best for our country.  There is a harsh and bitter divide brewing in rhetoric, snarky humor, and resurfacing of buried hurts and prejudices.  Families, friends, cohorts, fraternal organizations, and other associations are experiencing tearing apart over oppositional viewpoints. We are rapidly moving toward the nation divided of which Abraham Lincoln posited we would not stand.

The word judgment suggests that we’ve come to a decision after careful thought.  Yet the judgments being lambasted upon respondents to Facebook posts seem much more impulsive and emotional.  Careful thought has gone begging.  The word, judgmental, on the other hand, displays an excessively critical point of view.

I grew up with extremely critical parents.  As a troubled adult, I found that legacy creeping into my vernacular whenever my own personal self-judgments got projected onto nearby others. Easier to deflect the self-criticisms perhaps than to own up to the underlying self-esteem issues at the real heart of the matter.  If I wasn’t projecting onto others; I was self-flagellating in damaging words.

It took some time of attempting to walk in another person’s shoes and the vagaries of my own life’s unfolding, to realize how harmful criticism is (both self and other).  As an artist and author, I’ve been the recipient of criticism that demonstrated our collective wounds in glaring clarity.  I found a quote in a book I just read that captured this for me poignantly.  “…first rule of being an artist or doing anything creative is to do it for yourself and consider the source when someone criticizes your work.”

The bible reminds us to cast not the first stone yet stoning with words seems to be the game du jour of our present environment. From a shamanic perspective, words can be spell casting.  One of the first Toltec premises for a more joyous life, is to become impeccable with our words; reframe from causing harm.

Beyond our words doing harm, are our negative thoughts.  Each, and every, time we see someone perhaps dressed in a way we do not approve of; our judgment is telepathically sent to the person. A sensitive person perceives this. Imagine the fog of judgment floating through the air every day just from our less than stellar thoughts. Now add pixels of projected negativity through our tablets, cell phones, computers, etc.  It’s amazing we are not all going around like the old cartoon character Joe Btfsplk in Li’l Abner who always had a dark cloud over his head.

So, what is the solution? How do we arrest this judgmental tendency in ourselves, our circle of friends, and our nation?  My answer is paying attention; noticing.  It begins with us.  From our first thoughts when we get out of bed until the last thoughts before we go to sleep, we are thinking.  Much of the thoughts are not positive.  If we tune into any media daily, we have had our consciousness filled with thoughts of human failings.  Add to that our own self-judgments and then our stated unhappiness with those around us, and we have a compost pile of very putrid debris.

First solution is NOT to berate yourself; very important.  Notice the thought; thank it; advise it that you are complete with its message; and send it back to the nothingness from which it came.  No harm; no foul. Follow this with a positive thought about whatever was coming up.

I KNOW this is a huge challenge.  Facebook is filled with negative media and just a few truly inspiring stories.  If you’re posting 10 a day; make 9 of them positive.  If you must post a negative to arouse people towards change, couch the posting by substituting “Ain’t it awful” with “this is such a great message for us to really awaken and affirm, though actions and words, for a more humane perspective.”

Most definitely, I am not advocating for burying our heads in the sand when crucial issues for human existence are at stake.  Simply suggesting, I am, that we spin it to the positive.  “Look how clear this example is for bringing us to collective change for good.  See how it is demonstrating in vivid colors, the ways we need to change and experience our society.  What a gift!”

Look, I’m not setting myself up as a saint here or saying that I do this all the time.  Good Lord, no!  What this tome is about is taking baby steps towards a consciousness of love and compassion so that we do create a world where everyone thrives.  We do everything we are capable of to create positive change for the common good.  And, we take time to look inside the flowers of life to see their magnificence!

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies...Something your hand touched some way, so your soul has somewhere to go when you die...It doesn't matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it, into something that's like you after you take your hands away."  Ray Bradbury

"You can't make footprints in the sands of time by sitting on your butt.  And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?"  Bob Moawad

 😊  A little humor to end on!




Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Feast of Blossoms



By Rev. Amari Magdalena



While it is true that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Imbolc and blustery Winter is still upon parts of the nation, Spring is starting to unfold.  As the trees display their blossoms in an array of colors, we are reminded of just what Spring invites us to do: jump, leap, bound, hop, vault!  Time to prepare for the male time of year and gathering energies of the sun.

In seven (7) days we arrive at the Vernal Equinox which is the time of the balance of light and dark. It is also the entry into a more energetic time.  Now we are inspired to clean out the cobwebs of our physical location and connect the more active synapses of the brain towards being outward bound. Time to beautify our surroundings under the Taurus moon.

Another definition of spring, is a resilient device—something that can be pressed or pulled yet springs back into shape.  Time to come out of the cave centers of our minds, lose the winter padding, plant new seeds, and shout, Yes!  Indeed, it is time to shed the heavy clothing of winter physically and metaphorically while re-invigorating ourselves and returning to active life.

As a ceremonialist, I love to embrace this new corridor with ritual.  Twilight is a lovely time to begin your Spring Equinox Ceremony.  Here are some suggestions for your celebration.  Form a circle in or outside.  Have something to represent each of the four cardinal directions.  You may choose from the elements present in your surrounding.  If you are on the West Coast, then Water is the element to have in your West area.  For many in the Northern Hemisphere, heat comes from the South. Place a red candle in the South area.  Next decide on the East and North.  If you’ve mountains to the East, place a solid stone in the East area.  In the North, representing air, place a feather.  In the center of your circle, place objects like a cherry blossom branch to represent the unfolding spring (or daffodils or tulips).

Purchase twelve votive candles to represent the 12 months of the year; or one for each attendee.  Place all candles along the curve of the West area of your circle. Gather any other items, totems, talisman, gemstones, fetishes etc. for your circle. Smudge your circle with a sacred herb or mist it with an essential oil in pure water that is energizing.

Begin a calling in ceremony.  If you’ve no idea how to do that, my book, Blue Moons and Golden Suns give examples.  When you are complete with the 4 cardinal directions (and perhaps above, below and within), have all people move to the West.  Light candles in the West.  In concert, have all people move the candles around to the East area and say: “Until the Fall, I move the Light to the East.”  If able, leave the candles burning all night until the dawn the next day.

From here, choose others way to memorialize this Equinox: readings, meditations, dance, music, a collective creative project etc.  Set intentions for what you’d like to experience under the gathering light. This is the time of beginnings, dream big.  Call on Goddess Ostara for guidance and ask for a personal vision. 

Spring Equinox is a festival of revelation, a message of the Sun, the Song of Songs of the immortal and eternal spirit, which proclaims the divine, the creative universal spirit. In concert with Mother Earth we discover our own resurrection through our passion and surrender to the bursting forth of life.  We ourselves are the blazing bonfires of victorious spirit!

Final Moan of Winter
By Amari Magdalena

Winter vacates slowly
Sighing its last raspy breath
Rallying momentarily
Rage surrendered.

Long her cold blanket
Lay around and about
Freezing out enterprise
Forcing introspection.

Silent nights of cold stars
Glitter above and below
Invitation to cherish
Stillness and frozen moments.

Fireplace flickering
Bundled in layers of cloth
Keeping warm an occupation
Soups and hot cider concocted.

Deep surrender in center
Cave seeded as fertile womb
Pregnant thoughts emerging
Accessing inner muse.

Clinging to light fragments
Gathering luminosity expanding
Silent chants forthcoming
Heralding seasons change.

Storms gathering speed
Blowing through shorter stays
Appreciated for impermanence
Affirming power of change.

Final throws of ravage
Enclose dead branches strewn about
Nature’s pruning evidenced
Siren’s eerie moaning abates. 

Young buds defying
Illusion of final completion
Presenting promise of renewal
Cycles begin, yet again.



Monday, January 29, 2018

Lectio Divina

By Rev. Amari Magdalena



Lectio Divina, Latin for Divine Reading, can be an important adjunct to staying centered and in touch with one’s spirit in a disruptive world. Benedictines used spiritual readings to promote knowledge of God.  While we may not prefer biblical readings to stay in touch with our spirit, any inspirational reading can be a source of nourishment.

One of the wonders of the internet, is the ability to access such inspiration at the touch of a keyboard. We can type in “Quotations about …...” and a world of wise words are available. Perhaps we have a favorite wisdom keeper of recent or ancient times.  For some it may be Hafez or Rumi; for others, Thoreau, Emerson, or Florence Scovel Shinn.  Many metaphysical centers have magazines with daily inspiration.

What would your day begin or end like, if you chose to each day access an inspirational thought to awaken or sleep with?  Instead of the morning or evening news, you might choose to fill your consciousness with positive, life-affirming, and hopeful content over fear and evidence of man’s inhumanity to humankind.  I believe that what first enters our awareness each morning, set’s a tone for that day.  Similarly, the last thought you have before sleeping can aid or disrupt your time of rest.

Following is a week’s worth of inspirations for dawn and dusk.  Try them out and see how they affect your outlook and, perhaps, renewed faith in the basic goodness of our human race.

Sunday Morning: “Love is the soul’s light, the taste of morning, no me, no we, no claim of being.” Rumi

Sunday Evening: “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.” Rumi

Monday Morning: “Today you are you that is truer than true.”  Dr. Suess

Monday Evening: “From here on Earth, from my small place, I ask of you way out in Space, please tell all men in every land, what you and I both understand.  Please tell all men, peace is good, that’s all that need be understood, in every world in your great sky. (We understood, you and I.)”  Dr. Suess

Tuesday Morning: "In the sweetness of friendship let here be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it's morning and is refreshed. Khalil Gibran 

Tuesday Evening: “Love is trembling happiness.”  Khalil Gibran

Wednesday Morning: "For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything They goodness sends." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Wednesday Evening: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Thursday Morning: "You must form the habit of living in the fourth dimension, The World of the Wondrous. It is the world where you do no judge by appearances." Florence Scovel Shinn 

Thursday Evening: “There is not there, there is only here.” Florence Scovel Shinn

Friday Morning: "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them."  Henry David Thoreau 

Friday Evening: “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

Saturday Morning: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

Saturday Evening: “You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire Universe, deserve your love and affection.”  Buddha

May your lives be blessed in myriad ways and may your days have abundant sun and rain, dark and light, and other contrasts sufficient for you appreciate all that this amazing human experience offers.

"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive.  I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.  I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.  I am going to have kind thoughts towards others.  I am not going to get angry or think badly about others.  I am going to benefit others as much as I can."  Dalai Lama


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Festivals of Light

By Rev. Amari Magdalena




 This is a resurrection of an old piece that I wrote when I lived in Albuquerque New Mexico in the early 90’s.  It is chocked full of great information about celebrations at this time of year.  I’d highly recommend that you make a copy of this and keep it near your calendar as each celebration commences in the last month of 2017. Perhaps you will be drawn to one particular ceremony or possibly you will want to embrace them all in a glow of candles.  Years ago I had candle holders for each celebration and honored all.

It began in total darkness. The abandoned old automobile showroom came alive with twinkling lights.  Rainbow streamers pirouetted down from once obtrusive columns.  Music, art, dance, food, and children’s merriment lit up the Winter Solstice night as reminders of the covenant of light so woven into each of our individual cultures.  Dancing snowflakes stuck to the windows completing the picture of magic.  And, we knew that after this long night the light would again return--slowly, ever so slowly. Gentiles and Jews, Buddhists and Blacks, Latino and Pueblo observed this Celebration of the South marking the deepest darkness of cosmic obscurity.  It was an event of culturally diverse people sharing their own unique light celebration in concert with one another.  We brought presents for the tree of life to gift back into the community.  Our celebration unfolded as a fitting tribute for a Mass celebrating the birth of our solar Sun.

Each person lit a candle as the ceremony progressed to bring back the light and end the cycle of entropy.  In the four cardinal directions we acclaimed the seasons and their lessons.  We began in the East where at Spring Equinox we launched the masculine cycle of the year and gave thanks for genesis. In the South we recalled the blessings of full sun, the warmth and passion of the season of expansion.  The West was lauded for the feminine cycle and harvest of Mother Earth’s munificence.  And finally, the North was extolled for the emergence from the inner cave of introspection and the ensuing inner awakening.

The month of December holds many traditions of Light.  Through Winter Solstice or Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas --Traditional and Eastern Orthodox, Twelve Holy Days Candle Ceremony and Kwanzaa we shed light on the challenges of the old year and free ourselves for the wealth of opportunities that the new year proffers.  In each culture and tradition, light is the key to illumination and the freedom it brings.  December brings ceremonial warmth and light to all corners of the world. As each person in his or her own way marks the return of light, life is renewed.  Through ceremonies of light we complete the old and embrace the new--making the home and hearth more festive, lighting the lights, gifting from the heart, and gathering with our circle of friends and family.  In the twinkling of the candles or fires are afforded an opportunity to see our own unique spark of divinity and to commit to moving forward into the New Year 2018 with passion, compassion, and love!

Amari is co-sponsoring a Solstice Celebration on Wednesday, December 20th at the Majestic in Bellingham.  For information visit the Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/events/169502160304518/

What follows are descriptions of many of the Light Celebrations:

Hanukkah-December 12 to 20, 2017

This Festival of Lights is celebrated for eight days beginning on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (November/December) to memorialize the victory of Jews over Hellenistic Syrians.  A nine-candelabra called a Menorah meaning “fire” is lit to acknowledge the light of religious, national, and cultural freedom won by the Maccabees for their people.  The triumph of the Maccabees fueled a resurrection of Judaism, which had waned under Hellinism.  A server candle the Shamash is lit first and used to ignite the flame of each of the eight nights with chanting and blessings.  The miracle of lamp oil used to light the rededication of the Temple is at the root of the eight-night commemoration.  Judah Maccabee found uncovered a small container of oil sufficient to light the lamps for one night only.  Through Divine intervention the oil lasted steadfastly through eight nights until new oil was obtained. 

Winter Solstice-December 21, 2017

Celebrated in many cultures worldwide for thousands of years, the Winter Solstice marks the start of the solar year as a celebration of Light and rebirth of the Sun.  Norse tradition called it Yule (Wheel).  In Japan Goddess Amaterasu emerged from her dark cave (hibernation), saw her reflection in a mirror and then lit the world with refracted love from her image.  Celts rejoiced with Sun Goddess Lucina.  Yemaya an African Goddess created the world anew from her womb at Solstice.  Ancient Roman’s festival of Saturnalia lasted as much as a week with rituals, feasts, merry-making, prayers for the crops and ceremonial/social activities.  Druids adorned their homes with sacred herbs and holiday colors of red, green and white.  Mistletoe above the threshold acted as a charm for good luck throughout the coming year. Sacred candles were lit, and new fires kindled to symbolize the returning light.  Turning the Wheel of The Year back toward the sun helped cultures through time before mind connect with cycles of Earth and understand our reciprocal needs.

Christmas or The Mass of the Christos-December 25, 2017

Literally Christmas means the mass of Christ—a ritual ceremony.  Unable to compete with the boisterous Pagan celebrations, early Christians in the second and third centuries moved the celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth to its December 25th date.  The Christian celebration of the Sun of God was more easily assimilated by cultures who for eons ceremonied the annual return of the Sun.  Thus, son as Light of the World became synonymous with the solar sun.  Questions over the validity of lunar calendars resulted in solar calendars dating back to ancient Egypt.  In 45 BC Julius Caesar established the Julian Calendar with 365 days and a leap year every fourth year.  In 1582 the Gregorian Calendar was developed which parallels our modern constructs of time.  Political dissention within the Catholic church created a liturgical difference that left Roman Catholics adhering to the December 25th Christmas day and Eastern Orthodox believers celebrating it a full 12 days later.  Christmas was thus celebrated as a time to pay homage for the gift of Light, literal and figurative.

 Kwanzaa-December 26, 2017-January 1, 2017

A modern Black American celebration developed following the 1965-Watts riots in Los Angeles, Kwanzaa was conceived by Dr. Maulana Karenga to help African-Americans reconnect with their heritage.  The holiday is celebrated for seven days from December 26th to January 1st.  Each day focuses on one of seven goals or Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa).  The Nguzo Saba are:

Unity (Umoja) – Black Candle
Self-Determination (Kujichagulia) – Green Candle
Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima) – Green Candle
Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa) – Green Candle
Purpose (Nia) – Red Candle
Creativity (Huumba) – Red Candle
Faith (Imani) – Red Candle

The words are Swahili, the most commonly shared language in Africa.  A Kinara (kee-nah-rah) much like the Jewish menorah holds one candle for each day of Kwanzaa.  The black candle is lit first with the remaining six on each of the following days.  A ritual feast called the Karamu is the highlight of the holiday on the sixth day.  The altar features a straw mat called a Mkeka (m-kay-cah) where traditional items are placed for a sense of foundation.  Muhindi (Moo-heen-dee), ears of corn, symbolize the children and the ability of offspring to produce thus immortalizing a nation and culture.  The Kikombe Cha Umoja (kee-coam-bay chah-oo-moe-jah) is the cup of unity in honor of ancestors.  The Zawadi (sah-wah-dee) or gifts represent the fruits of the parents and the rewards of their seeds sown in their children.  The focus of Kwanzaa is to relate to the past in order to understand the present and deal with the future.  The purpose is to maintain history.  The sense of direction is to practice principles the assisted ancestors with life’s challenges.  And the goal of Kwanzaa is to develop positive Black self-esteem as a culturally desirable pattern of principles.

12 Holy Days Candle Ceremony-December 26, 2017-January 6, 2018 (All Kings Day in Mexico-Eastern Orthodox Christmas)

Following is a synthesized celebration of the 12 Holy Days Candle Ceremony.  This can be undertaken following traditional Christmas or twelve days before the New Year. You will need candles of the following colors: 12 White (Purity); 6 Pink (Love); 6 Yellow (Creation); 5 Blue (Communication; 3 Purple (Divinity); 2 Green (Wealth); and 2 Red (Passion for Life)—36 candles in all. This traditionally had a Saint associated with each day.  To make it more universally usable, I made some changes.

Day One -Begin with the zodiacal sign of Aries and light one each white, pink and yellow candle signifying new beginnings and creation.  Spiritual Center: Crown
Day Two - Celebrate home and hearth as Taurus.  Light one each white, yellow and purple candle to create love, harmony and humility within your dwelling.  Spiritual Center: Throat.
Day Three – Visual Gemini with hands of healing, peace and understanding by lighting one each white, pink, and green candle.  Spiritual Center: Hands
Day Four – Focus on transformation and soul as truth by acknowledging Cancer and light one each white, blue, and pink candle.  Spiritual Center: Solar Plexus.
Day Five – Behold the power of love and the benefit of releasing old sorrows to embrace new joys as Leo.  Light one each white, pink, and purple candle.  Spiritual Center: Heart
Day Six – See the Virgin Virgo as symbol of purification (Jesus’ purported birth sign). Light one each white, purple, and green candle.  Focus on service.  Spiritual Center: Intestinal Tract
Day Seven – See beauty in all things expressing Divine attributes as Libra—balancer.  Light white, yellow, and blue candles.  Spiritual Center: Adrenals
Day Eight – Transmute matter, honor the life and death cycles and express compassion as Scorpio.  Light white, yellow, and pink candles and purify your heart.  Spiritual Center: Reproductive Generative System.
Day Nine – Become the light of the world as Sagittarius and focus on the mastery of Intent—your life work.  Light white, yellow, and red candles.  Spiritual Center: Solar Plexus
Day Ten – Humble yourself, surrender to access the Christos consciousness within.  Light white, yellow, and blue candles to signify Capricorn.  Spiritual Center: Knees.
Day Eleven – Embrace the Universe in the perfection with a broad love of humanity expressed in Aquarius.  Spiritual Center: Lower limbs
Day Twelve – See yourself as a piece of God spirit or the oneness as human form Divine manifest through Pisces and declare the “I Am” within and without.  Walk you talk (i.e. peace walk of The Peace Pilgrim) Spiritual Center: Feet



Friday, December 1, 2017

Mastery of the Game of Life


By Rev. Amari Magdalena


What if this [sic: life] is really a board game like Monopoly and some own Boardwalk and Park Place and others do not pass Go and are sent directly to jail without collecting their monthly stipend?  Wouldn’t it all seem almost laughable?  Yes, I know, for some it is their very reality and not funny at all.  I’m making a point here and that is that so much of the drama, judgments, emotional roller coasters etc. in life are part of the game.  True some rides are better than others.

Had I not had the following experience after my harsh, autocratic step-father’s passing, I might have missed an important lesson in life.  After he passed, I had a vision.  In this dream-like state, I saw that my life was a movie or play with characters and a casting coach.  The lesson to be learned was about taking my own power.  Souls in my group of actors gathered.  Each was to play a role.  When the casting coach asked for those characters who were willing to play the ‘bad guys,’ my incarnate step-father stepped forward.  Ours was a very close bond in the ethers, it seemed, thus he was willing to risk being intensely disliked or hated, at times, in the material dream world. He knew at a soul level we were always OK.

This was a very illuminating experience because it helped me see his mastery.  Had I been raised by my own father, I believe I’ve have been an adored princess, the apple of my father’s eye.  Would that have lead me to rebel and move towards independence?  I doubt it.  I’d have been too complacent and contented to want to sever ties.  With my difficult step-father, it was easy to want to get the hell away and as far as I could, as soon as I could.

I share this with you to make an important point.  Many of us are unhappy and beyond frustrated with our current White House occupant, Donald J. Trump.  He makes it so easy for us to loathe, hate, denigrate, and eschew his actions and rhetoric each and every day.  Most of us are sick of seeing him and hearing from him. We’d like him gone and the sooner the better.  My hands up for the vote; many of yours are too.

Wait, have we missed something here?  What if DJT is a Master who made a soul agreement to play a vile role in awakening people in this country to what is truly important?  What if his exaggerated gesticulations, relentless tweets, proposed laws of prejudice and class separation, sociopathic and narcissistic antics are simply messages from spirit to wake us the hell up?  What if we needed such a jolt to slay our collective complacency into actions for fostering and preserving our freedoms?

This is not the first, nor probably the last, time in history when a repugnant influencer changed the course of history ultimately for the good.  By the very depth of their deviance from what most consider humanitarian precepts, didn’t all of the lot ultimately succeed in helping people wake up. 

In my lifetime, I am reminded of 13 history changing ‘bad guys:’ Adolph Hitler; Joseph Stalin; Pol Pot; Kim II Jung; Vladimir Lenin; Saddam Hussein; Mao Zedong; Enver Pasha, Ho Chi Minh, Yahya Kahn, Tojo Hideki; Chiang Kai-Shek; Hirohito who killed a conservative estimate of 172 million people.  And there are noteworthy others.  All did an inestimable amount of damage to the human condition.

What lessons were learned from their evil intentions and tenure?  The answer, hue and cry for humanitarianism along with reforms to prevent massive deaths and prejudicial treatment of various targeted populations.  As we watch an unfolding drama of rising hatred and prejudice and severally divisive politics, we are witnessing a picture so bleak that most of us are alarmed.  In our alarm, we are mobilizing, taking actions, hosting salons of discussion, planning for an end to the ugly portraiture that is before us every day in the media keeping us hyper alert. In others word, we are beginning to feel really awake.

Perhaps the ebb and flow of our own lives and history are simply waves or graphs of evolution and devolution which present choices to each of us daily to be truly conscious.  I posit that when we are consciously living, each and every day, we move into our soul’s work of ascension. We look in the reflection of the mirror each day and decide what kind of character we want to play in the Game of Life.  That truth look, helps us master the game.

So, perhaps, we might send ‘thank you’ notes to DJT as we remind him that we are on to his role in the game now and admonish him to not let the door hit him on the way out!

"Once the game is over, the King and the Pawn go back in the same box."  Italian proverb

  "I've come to realize that life is neither a battle nor a game to be won, it is a game nonetheless, but to be played..enjoyed.  There are neither winners nor losers...just players--and what's great is that you can choose who to play with."  Val Uchendu

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Lightworker Label



By Rev. Amari Magdalena



“I’m a Lightworker.”  How many times do we see that phrase bandied around on sites promoting metaphysical spirituality?  How often, over the years, have you or I described ourselves as such? I suggest too often.  Why do I say that?  Semantics often get in the way of communication and communion with our other humans on the planet.  This is one of those words/expressions that separates.

If you and I say we are “light workers” we are in fact saying that we are somehow special or above the fray of those who do not espouse our metaphysical beliefs.  Isn’t that what religions have done for eons resulting in alienation and wars over the chasms created by separateness?

I understand the pride that goes along with this type of label and how intoxicating it may be.  It says, “I’m special.” However, for those not on that boat, it suggests superiority, condescension, and haughtiness.  Oh, not that you/we intended that, yet it certainly is the hidden result of such verbiage.

Let’s consider a metaphysical principal that we are all an aspect of the Divine or Creative Source.  If we truly embrace that value, then how on earth can we use a term that suggests that only a select few embody that?  Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when viewed through that lens, does it?

A greater result of embracing the lightworker label, is feeling unique; another game of life to assuage our inner demons of self-doubt.  I’d suggest in a world that has failed to recognize the very specialness and talents of each person on the planet, many need to somehow stand out. 

If I had the gift of creating a more equitable and affirming world, I would make sure that every single being on the planet were acknowledged for their particular talent and how it enhances the greater good.  I am reminded of stories about aboriginal people in Australia.  Interdependence was highly valued along with appreciation for each person’s contribution to the greater good.

Another aspect of this that comes to mind is, in my opinion, failing to understand duality, polarity, and separation.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record yet again, I repeat, “We are here to experience separation.”  Our mastery, should it come, lies in recognizing that separation and arresting judgment. Perhaps learning the old Native American adage of walking in another person’s moccasins. Also embracing the Tao without weighting opposites with too much emphasis.

There have indeed been persons on the earth who on grand and smaller scale have done some horrific things.  They’ve annihilated groups, fostered hatred, murdered, blundered etc. Yet, I’d ask you, how is it that you do not see their mastery in the sense that the ill they did, may have awakened great good? Is it not day and night?  Light and dark?  Opposites on a compendium that offers us the possibility of creating balance?

Truly, I understand, that choosing a spiritual path dedicated to enlightment and doing acts of good is commendable. Using language that separates is the antidote to that good, don’t you see? I advise, go on elevating your consciousness and performing acts of great goodness and kindness.  That will surely make for a better world.  Just please, surrender the judgment through the label lightworker that places others in the abyss.  If you want to help others, find the light in them, and affirm it. 

"A good person can make another person good; it means that goodness will elicit goodness in the society; other persons will also be good." Bhumibol Adulyadej  

"Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma, or ideology, but as a domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love, and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention."  Deepak Chopra