Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer Solstice

Re-entering The Void at Summer Solstice
by Amari Magdalena

Polarities of their nature bespeak irony.  And so it is with our seasonal celebrations.  At the “High Noon” of summer light as we extol the virtues of the maximum hours of daylight, we turn the corner into the void and begin the process of contraction.    From Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice we are in a phase of expansion, seeding and growing our hopes and dreams.  From June 21st until December 21st we begin to draw our energies within, ever so slowly to celebrate harvests and then release.

Both our sun and moon express four distinct phases, which parallel one another nicely.  While the moon completes each phase in 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, the sun’s phases are more protracted taking our calendar year to complete.  In earth-based traditions throughout the world sun and moon celebrations served as calendars or markers for the passage of time.

June 21st decrees the celebration of the North (the polar opposite of the South that we are experiencing).  Along with the summer solstice, it is also near Father’s day marking the maximum influence of the principal we know as masculine.  While our Spring and Fall Equinox represent balance, the solstices symbolize extreme.  Solstices are more “Tonal” (tonal being ordinary reality); equinox’ are “Nagual” (extraordinary with the availability of magic).  The summer solstice then is a time of excessive immersion into the material world (Tonal).

Given the extremes and the irony of our celebration of the North in summer and the South in winter, both celebrations are about light; more of it and less of it.  As we acknowledge the longest day of the year with the highest point of the sun, let us remember to take advantage of all that is revealed in the blazing light. 

Summer Solstice in ancient times was a daylong celebration and observation in northern most climes was 24-hours and 12-hours in the lower latitudes.  In total light a circle was set with many burning candles lit.  A large bonfire was constructed nearby.  Singing, dancing, chanting and/or drumming began.  Vigilance was kept throughout the night until dawn, when the candles and fires were extinguished. 

The summer solstice may then be a time to give oneself permission to totally immerse into the masculine principal yet acknowledging the winter solstice conception that led to this luxurious fertility.  Set your ceremonial circle with objects of light and representation of the golden, orange, red colors of the sun’s brilliance.  Acknowledge fire for its power of transformation.  Strew the altar with seasonal flowers and ripening berries.  Feast and surrender to the fire within.  Engage in fire ceremonies.  Trance dance.  Tone.  Make joyful noises with percussion and flute.  Invoke Archangel Michael or the Celtic god Lugh (pronounced Looch), god of light, warmth and inspiration.  Sing the praises of the sun in all its representations including the sunship of the Christ energies.  And slowly but surely, put out each candle in tribute to the returning darkness and the great mystery of the void.  Honor this phase of growth, trust and love and “Coming Into Being.”

[53 Past Blogs are in my book "Shaman Talk" available in softcover and ebook on]

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Being On Hold

By Rev. Amari Magdalena

We’ve all experienced being on hold.  Terminal “push this push that” to get a real person phone calls can be unnerving. Waiting for an appointment with a doctor.  Standing in long lines anywhere. Awaiting a visitor or event that is not on schedule.  We are presented with myriad ways of what we might deem wastes of our previous time that sorely test our patience.

Usually, I will get busy doing something else until the person or event resolves itself.  Often though I’m hung up ostensibly ‘on call’ for business.  It feels like “Waiting for Godot” the famous play on the theme of unresolved waiting for an imaginary person who is not coming; as life flashes by.

I might compare this to the waxing and waning natural rhythms of our celestial bodies the sun and moon.  In waxing periods, we may experience bursts of energy. In waning cycles, we may reach a place I call “the betweens.”  In those times of little overt happenings, we may feel that not as much is working in our lives.

Perhaps our frustration levels rise.  We might feel these times are a waste. For me, this is when I move into “Mental Traveler” mode or daydream.  If I can remove myself from the frustration of waiting, I can enjoy a whole canopy of imaginings in my mind.  It’s perhaps a little active dreaming that I do to keep my mind active and reduce the overt negative judgment of being on hold.  In shamanism we might call it journeying though most likely it is a middle world journey with more conscious awareness than the usual other world journeys.

However, we navigate being on hold, our mental state will remain a lot more positive if we develop strategies for doing something else while we wait–mentally or physically.  Time here on the earth plane is indeed precious.  It is important for our wellbeing that we appreciate the gift.  Thus alternative ways of relating to the betweens can create a win/win situation for us so that we are able to feel good about such times.

Queuing up a beautiful landscape travel or meditation video may be one successful strategy if the hold time is related to a computer.  Playing some music on our headphones may be a good hold strategy for phone calls rather than listening to jarring and/or repetitive hold music.  Changing our visual focus to the outdoors may be useful as the horizon tends to, for me, hold the promise of what is around the next bend or curve of life.  Whatever helps with even breathing and less stress breath-holding and rising anger, can make our lives feel so much clearer in the moments.

And, last resort, whatever is keeping us on hold for more than a reasonable time, we can hang up or just go out and enjoy our lives.  For those people who tend to hang us up, going out and enjoying our lives may give them an important lesson in respect for the time of others.
Release the holds that you can and improve your passages of time with the ones that require your time to get something important accomplished. Say goodbye to those persons or situations that unnecessarily detain, confine and restrain your energy.  If you can’t end the relationship, create appropriate boundaries. However, you find your way to coping with being on hold, choose to set yourself free.  We’ve one wondrous life, for sure.  Enjoy it and find a bright spot to focus on when you find yourself next on hold!

[53 Past Blogs are in my book "Shaman Talk" available in softcover and ebook on]

Thursday, June 2, 2016

This is the Day!

By Rev. Amari Magdalena

“This is the Day,” Graham Dashwood declares, in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as he realizes that he’s through leading a life whose end game is not one he wishes to play.  Do you ever feel like you have a starring role in someone else’s life?  Are you aware that you are living roles of expectations that family, friends, lovers, employers and societal edicts have dictated? Have you wondered where you, your authentic self, has disappeared to?

We are living in fast moving and often precarious times.  Change is upon us with increasing demands on our mental, physical and emotional natures.  Many of us have had to wear a lot of hats to meet the demands of our different roles.  Perhaps we’ve felt like quick change artists in a play with many cumbersome costumes.  More likely a bit of us may have been lost along the way. We have mastered doing at the expense of being.

Yet some internal message we are receiving in the deep recesses of our minds, speaks to us. Its message may be soft or very loud. Basically it may be asking “where is my spirit.”  Where is that essential me?  Am I anywhere near fulfilling my dreams and living in concert with the real me? Will I just go on in over-drive until this little vinette I call my life is over?

When we get caught up in the doings of life, we often loose the magic that it truly represents. We are born because we chose to incarnate, to acquire this flesh and blood body.  Our life script is influenced by our early caregivers and takers and a plan for spiritual growth that is perhaps beyond our human imagining.  Each of us has a specific purpose in being here. Our soul wishes that we will realize our purpose and accomplish our mission. In between our birth and death, we are gifted time and experiences towards that end.

Though it may not always be apparent I believe we are actually here to enjoy this ride. Oh, maybe not every day, though we might choose that attitude.  Certainly we are not incarnate to be punished or ‘do time’ for our supposed past life regressions.  I feel we are here to have the full body experience in every possible way.  Along the way, hopefully we are also staying in tune with our eternal spirit and fostering its growth.

What I do know to be true, this nearly three quarters of a century down life’s highway, is that each day is a gift.  When we choose to be more present in the moment, we can experience gratitude for this wondrous gift; we can choose to life actively, magnificently, and dynamically. No matter the external circumstances, tugs and pulls, we can each declare, “today is the day!” We can embrace the day and surrender living the lives others dictate for us.  In our declaration, we can find our authentic self who knows how we can fulfill our dreams with whatever time is afforded us.

Perhaps you are saying to yourself, sure it’s that easy, not!  She doesn’t know the stresses I’m under or understand my circumstances.  Who is she to say this?

What I will share with you is that I’ve been through the hell of life.  I’ve been at the edge of giving up.  At 47 I was so close to early exit that each day was precarious.  One day in rainy, cloudy, dark Seattle the sun shown.  I was out laying in the sun.  The warmth on my body caused me to totally relax.  I heard birds joyfully singing.  In that very moment, I came to a realization that I could capture more moments like that and turn my life around. I could choose heaven on earth.  That realization moved my life towards embracing each day and following my dreams.

What I wish for each of you reading this, is a moment in which you make an active choice to embrace life and declare, “This is the Day”!  That you quit living your life for and through others and recognize that at the end of your life hopefully you lived your life for you.  Trust me, others will appreciate that much more than you losing your special Divine Spark to please them. And, you will lead a life that you enjoy and are grateful for.

“You think this is just another day in your life. It's not just another day. It’s the one day that's given to you today. It's given to you. It's a gift. It's the only gift that you have right now and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”  Louie Schwartzberger

[53 Past Blogs are in my book "Shaman Talk" available in softcover and ebook on]