Bright blessings!

Today is Winter Solstice and a New Moon. What an amazing amount of energy there is out there!

This morning I woke to a quiet and peaceful house and was able to go outside and watch the sky lighten as the sun made its way above the horizon. It was chilly and beautiful and wonderful. When I came back indoors, the cats greeted me with head-butts and tails twining around my legs. It was almost as if they, too, wanted to share in that energy.

After breakfast and coffee, I sat down to get the new shop items in order and get them listed. How fun it was to imagine each item going to a new home and bringing some bit of blessing to those who needed it. I still have many ideas and am hoping to get them into the shop soon. The increasing daylight, the increasing moonlight… it all fills me with an amazing sense of positivism and joy.

May you all have a blessed day and season!

Chakra – Third Eye

The Third Eye Chakra, or Ajna (a-jna) is located in the center of your brain and the associated color is deep blue or indigo. The usual emotional associations are psychic awareness, creating reality from thought, and the spiritual mind. In the Eastern teachings, there actually isn’t an animal associated with it since it’s not seen as part of the body.

Even though there isn’t typically an animal associated with this, I see the Owl very clearly for this Chakra. When I think of an Owl, I think of intuition and the ability to see beyond the “norm”. After all, Owls seem to see things that are hidden in the dark. I also think of intelligence and how that relates to spirituality. I know that many people don’t see a connection between the two, but I feel that it’s there.

In some teachings, the Owl represents death, which can be seen as a transition from one state to another. This transition can be from physical to spiritual, from stress to peace, and from struggle to enlightenment. In many teachings, the Owl also symbolizes intuition, the ability to see beyond deceit, and finding wisdom in daily events.

The Owl typically hunts at night and is rarely seen during the day. I find this appropriate since it is in the stillness of night (or meditation) that we are more able to bring our awareness to our intuitive thoughts and our own spirituality.

(Yes, I have been using the same format for the next part, mainly because I want to keep these simple and easy to follow and incorporate into a daily meditation.)

Read this next part over and use some of these suggestions during your daily meditation for a week and see what happens. I would love to hear what your results are. (I won’t tell you the best way to meditate because I know that it’s different for everyone. I am still learning what my best method is.)

Set up your meditative space the way that is best for you. I prefer a light shawl over my shoulders, sitting cross-legged on my bed, with a pillow between me and the wall. I sometimes light incense, but more often I do not. I usually have my headphones in and am playing a variety of tracks (I’ll get into that later). Most of the time I meditate while my daughter is busy doing her own thing.

Once you set up your space and are ready to begin, take a deep, cleansing breath, holding for a moment then slowly let it out. To help myself stay focused on breathing, I will count to four on the inhale and eight on the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner, letting your body relax with each breath. Place your hands over your forehead and feel the warmth from your hands, envisioning a deep, blue-purple glow flowing from your hands to your center of your brain (you don’t have to leave your hands here for the entire meditation, just for the length of time that it feels right for you). When you reach a state of relaxation, ask whatever guide you have (Spirit, Universe, God, or just your own Self) that you be introduced to Owl. Visualize the quiet observation that is usually associated with the Owl as they peer through the dark, looking for what most of us cannot see. Think about the clarity that an Owl sees its prey and how that can be used to see the hidden truths of our own lives. Allow whatever thoughts that might come your way to float up to the surface so that you can see them more clearly. This will give you the chance to increase the energy in your meditation.

When you begin to lose focus on the meditation, whether it’s five minutes or fifty, thank the energy of the Owl for coming to you that day. Take another deep breathe and stretch your arms as if you were about to take flight. If you did not feel a connection to Owl during this meditation, do not be discouraged. Try again tomorrow at a different time of the day.

Thank you for sharing this with me. May your day be blessed.

 

Chakra – Throat

Today I would like to focus on the Throat Chakra, which is out of balance when we can’t find a way to express ourselves.

The Throat Chakra, or Vishuddha (vi-shu-ddha) is located at your throat, the larynx to be more specific, and the associated color is blue. The usual emotional associations are self-knowledge, truth, attitudes, hearing, taste, and smell. In the Eastern teachings, the animal is the Elephant.

The Wolf is the animal that I see most clearly for this Chakra. When I think of a wolf, I think of their howling and how expressive they are with each other. Through a vast array of yips, growls, barks, and howls, they communicate clearly what they want from each other or simply about whatever is going on around them.

HowlsnowIn many teachings, the Wolf represents the need to follow your instincts. It also represents a powerful intellect and a desire for freedom. This freedom, when associated with the Throat Chakra, is the freedom of expression, the freedom to speak what is true in your heart and mind. The Wolf also represents loyalty, social needs, and stamina.

Read this next part over and use some of these suggestions during your daily meditation for a week and see what happens. I would love to hear what your results are. (I won’t tell you the best way to meditate because I know that it’s different for everyone. I am still learning what my best method is.)

Set up your meditative space the way that is best for you. I prefer a light shawl over my shoulders, sitting cross-legged on my bed, with a pillow between me and the wall. I sometimes light incense, but more often I do not. I usually have my headphones in and am playing a variety of tracks (I’ll get into that later). Most of the time I meditate while my daughter is busy doing her own thing.

Once you set up your space and are ready to begin, take a deep, cleansing breath, holding for a moment then slowly let it out. To help myself stay focused on breathing, I will count to four on the inhale and eight on the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner, letting your body relax with each breath. Place your hands over your throat and feel the warmth from your hands seeping into that area.  Imagine a bright, blue glow flowing from your hands to your core. When you reach a state of relaxation, ask whatever guide you have (Spirit, Universe, God, or just your own Self) that you be introduced to Wolf. Visualize the Wolf pack running together or the songs that they sing out when they are announcing a successful hunt. Imagine the social structure of the pack and how they adhere to that. Also envision the freedom they have as they roam the mountains. Allow whatever thoughts that might come your way to float up to the surface so that you can see them more clearly. This will give you the chance to increase the energy in your meditation.

When you begin to lose focus on the meditation, whether it’s five minutes or fifty, thank the energy of the Wolf for coming to you that day. Take another deep breathe and stretch body as if you were a wolf stretching in the winter sun. If you did not feel a connection to Wolf during this meditation, do not be discouraged. Try again tomorrow at a different time of the day.

Thank you for sharing this with me. May your day be blessed.

 

Chakra – Heart

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to get two posts out to you this week (possibly next week, too). Today I would like to focus on the Heart Chakra, which seems apropos since I’m finding it hard to let my own heartlight shine.

The Heart Chakra, or Anahata (a-nA-ha-ta) is located in the center of your chest and the associated color is green. The usual emotional associations are trust, wellness, hope, peace, and of course, love. In the Eastern teachings, the animal is the antelope. Deer are able to adapt to just about every sort of habitat, finding ways to thrive even under extreme circumstances.

The Deer is the animal that I see most clearly for this Chakra. When I think of a Deer, I think of peace and patience. I also think of protection. This might seem a little strange since the Deer is prey to so many creatures, but with its speed and agility, many times the Deer is unharmed. The fawns are hidden in plain sight and are unnoticed by most predators. It is protected by its own stillness. At the same time, the Deer is fierce in it’s battles with each other or with a predator.

In Native American teachings, the Deer represents gentleness and innocence, a gentle luring to a new adventure. The antlers are symbols of a connection to the higher forms of attunement which can be a signal to really pay attention to your intuition and your thoughts since they are most likely accurate. Deer also reminds us to be gentle with ourselves and to others.

(Yes, I have been using the same format for the next part, mainly because I want to keep these simple and easy to follow and incorporate into a daily meditation.)

Read this next part over and use some of these suggestions during your daily meditation for a week and see what happens. I would love to hear what your results are. (I won’t tell you the best way to meditate because I know that it’s different for everyone. I am still learning what my best method is.)

Set up your meditative space the way that is best for you. I prefer a light shawl over my shoulders, sitting cross-legged on my bed, with a pillow between me and the wall. I sometimes light incense, but more often I do not. I usually have my headphones in and am playing a variety of tracks (I’ll get into that later). Most of the time I meditate while my daughter is busy doing her own thing.

Once you set up your space and are ready to begin, take a deep, cleansing breath, holding for a moment then slowly let it out. To help myself stay focused on breathing, I will count to four on the inhale and eight on the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner, letting your body relax with each breath. Place your hands over your midsection and feel the warmth from your hands seeping into your belly. Imagine a bright, yellow glow flowing from your hands to your core. When you reach a state of relaxation, ask whatever guide you have (Spirit, Universe, God, or just your own Self) that you be introduced to Deer. Visualize the quiet gentleness that is usually associated with the Deer as they graze in a meadow. Think about the safety the fawn feels as it sleeps in the dappled sunlight. Allow whatever thoughts that might come your way to float up to the surface so that you can see them more clearly. This will give you the chance to increase the energy in your meditation.

When you begin to lose focus on the meditation, whether it’s five minutes or fifty, thank the energy of the Deer for coming to you that day. Take another deep breathe and stretch your limbs as if you were a Deer reaching up to the lower branches of a tree for the tenderest of leaves. If you did not feel a connection to Deer during this meditation, do not be discouraged. Try again tomorrow at a different time of the day.

Thank you for sharing this with me. May your day be blessed.

 

Chakra – Solar Plexus

I apologize for not getting this out last week. With the holiday weekend, my focus was on family and loved ones and resting for the upcoming opening of the shop. This week I will be posting the Solar Plexus and the Heart Chakra associations.

The Solar Plexus Chakra or Manipura (ma-ni-pu-ra) is located above the navel, just under the ribs and the associated color is yellow. The usual emotional associations are confidence, self-worth, clarity, and wisdom. In the Eastern teachings, the animal is the ram.

The Mountain Lion is the animal that I see most clearly for this Chakra. For many years, when I’d think of the Mountain Lion (also called Cougar, Puma, or Catamount), I envisioned the large cat standing on a cliff looking down into the meadow below. Perhaps this is because I saw one in that setting when I was very young and camping with my parents. I wasn’t afraid since the cat was pretty far away, but I was filled with a sense of respect for a creature who was obviously a good hunter and provider. It seemed to me that the Cougar wasn’t afraid of anything in its sight.

In Native American teachings, the Cougar is a natural leader, strong, confident, and respected. It is guiding you to set your boundaries and free your self-confidence. The Cougar is a Warrior and  symbolizes one’s ability to accept and direct the course of power through one’s life with grace and speed. It also represents coming into your own power and taking responsibility.

Cougar

For more images, please visit Blue Ridge Kitties on flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/blueridgekitties/

Read this next part over and use some of these suggestions during your daily meditation for a week and see what happens. I would love to hear what your results are. (I won’t tell you the best way to meditate because I know that it’s different for everyone. I am still learning what my best method is.)

Set up your meditative space the way that is best for you. I prefer a light shawl over my shoulders, sitting cross-legged on my bed, with a pillow between me and the wall. I sometimes light incense, but more often I do not. I usually have my headphones in and am playing a variety of tracks (I’ll get into that later). Most of the time I meditate while my daughter is busy doing her own thing.

Once you set up your space and are ready to begin, take a deep, cleansing breath, holding for a moment then slowly let it out. To help myself stay focused on breathing, I will count to four on the inhale and eight on the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner, letting your body relax with each breath. Place your hands over your midsection and feel the warmth from your hands seeping into your belly. Imagine a bright, yellow glow flowing from your hands to your core. When you reach a state of relaxation, ask whatever guide you have (Spirit, Universe, God, or just your own Self) that you be introduced to Cougar. Visualize the strength of the large cat, the confidence it has as it walks through the cliffs. Focus on how powerful it is even as it rests in the shade. Keep in mind how well she provides for her kittens and how she trains them to become providers, too, and see how that translates to your own life. Allow whatever thoughts that might come your way to float up to the surface so that you can see them more clearly. This will give you the chance to increase the energy in your meditation.

When you begin to lose focus on the meditation, whether it’s five minutes or fifty, thank the energy of the Cougar for coming to you that day. Take another deep breathe and stretch your limbs as if you were a Mountain Lion stretching in the desert sun. If you did not feel a connection to Cougar during this meditation, do not be discouraged. Try again tomorrow at a different time of the day.

Thank you for sharing this with me. May your day be blessed.

 

Chakra – Sacral

As we continue rising upward through the Chakras, I’d like to point out that I really do appreciate the associations in the Eastern culture and note that they make a very clear logical sense. After all, elephants and alligators are prevalent in the Indian region. I believe the correlations of energy points and the various correspondences are valid no matter where you live.

The Sacral Chakra or Svadhisthana (swa-dhi-shtA-na) is located about 2 finger-widths above the Root Chakra and the associated color is orange. The usual emotional associations are creativity, emotion, sexual energy, and self-acceptance. In the Eastern teachings, the animal is the alligator.

What I feel a connection to is the Horse. In many Native American teachings, the Horse is also associated with creativity, sexual desire, emotions, journeys, and freedom of Self. Through many of the guides that describe animal totems, the Horse symbolizes the appetite for life and living tot he fullest, freedom of expression, and the life’s journey. When we take this individually, we can see how the similarities align.

Horses, throughout history, have been used to aid humans in travel, work, and as food. In ancient times, the Horse was drawn on the walls of caves where humans lived (Lascaux Caves, Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, and many others), drawn on hides and skins, and even made out of clay. Once they became a part of the tribe through taming, they increased the status of one who owned them. Horses gave us the ability to travel farther, increase our crops, and even gain a more suitable spouse.

Read this next part over and use some of these suggestions during your daily meditation for a week and see what happens. I would love to hear what your results are. (I won’t tell you the best way to meditate because I know that it’s different for everyone. I am still learning what my best method is.)

Set up your meditative space the way that is best for you. I prefer a light shawl over my shoulders, sitting cross-legged on my bed, with a pillow between me and the wall. I sometimes light incense, but more often I do not. I usually have my headphones in and am playing a variety of tracks (I’ll get into that later). Most of the time I meditate while my daughter is busy doing her own thing.

Once you set up your space and are ready to begin, take a deep, cleansing breath, holding for a moment then slowly let it out. To help myself stay focused on breathing, I will count to four on the inhale and eight on the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner, letting your body relax with each breath. Place your hands over your lower belly and feel the warmth from your hands seeping into your abdomen. Imagine a warm, orange glow flowing from your hands to your core. When you reach a state of relaxation, ask whatever guide you have (Spirit, Universe, God, or just your own Self) that you be introduced to Horse. Focus on the freedom of a wild Horse and the way that it will stand upon a bluff with its face to the wind. Imagine the way that they gallop across the plains as their hooves thunder upon the earth. Your mind may drift to the rhythm of the Horse’s movements as it runs with the rest of the herd or, it may wander to how the dams fiercely protect their young. Allow whatever thoughts that might come your way to float up to the surface so that you can see them more clearly. This will give you the chance to increase the energy in your meditation.

When you begin to lose focus on the meditation, whether it’s five minutes or fifty, thank the energy of the Horse for coming to you that day. Take another deep breathe and stretch, imagining the sun and wind on your skin. If you did not feel a connection to Horse during this meditation, do not be discouraged. Try again tomorrow at a different time of the day.

Thank you for sharing this with me. May your day be blessed.

 

Chakras – Root

 

Edit: The Raven’s Cauldron is open.

Since The Raven’s Cauldron shop won’t be open until Winter Solstice, I wanted to share a little bit with you on various thoughts swirling around my mind. Let’s start with energy, shall we? More specifically, the Chakra centers and how we see them. I know that many, many articles and books have been written about Chakras and what they are and I certainly do not claim to be an expert in any way. But I have various ideas about how to look at the Chakras in our everyday life that might resonate with you, too.

I was meditating one morning (hey, I’m actually remembering to do it each day!) and a list of creatures came to mind along with their Chakra associations. I wasn’t able to sit down and focus on this list since I had to do all that mundane daily stuff, but I sent a message to a friend before I went to sleep that night and was able to think more on it the next morning. After doing some research through some of my books and a few sites online, I realized that the associations were pretty spot on. While I do appreciate the significance of the Eastern information, I felt a need for something a little closer to home. Home for me is in the United States. The ancient People here were the Sioux and the Arapaho and all the other tribes that were scattered across the land. This is where I have spent my whole life and it’s no wonder that I feel drawn to the energies of these People.

Let’s start with the Root Chakra, the Muladhara (mU-­‐lA-­‐dhA-­‐ra). As many of you know, this energy center is found at the base of your spine and the associated color is red. Now, the usual associations could be seen as spot on for the energy balancing. Earth, stability, survival, and more. And I am, in no way, disputing them, but I’d like to add a little bit to it. You see, I don’t feel any affinity to the Elephant, which is the animal associated with the Root Chakra, but I do feel a connection to Bear.

According to Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, Bear energy is all about survival. When winter comes, bears go into a state of hibernation. It was argued that they do not actually hibernate, but based on the metabolic rate, it seems that they do. Their breathing rate drops by half, their core temperature is lowered by approximately thirteen degrees, and their kidneys actually shut down completely.

In other research I found that the symbolism for Bear includes strength, confidence, grounding forces, healing, and abundance. When we compare these traits to those on the Eastern Root Chakra elements (grounding, strength, courage, stability, survival, and abundance), we can see the similarities.

Read this next part over and use some of these suggestions during your daily meditation for a week and see what happens. I would love to hear what your results are. (I’m not going to tell you the best way to meditate because I know that it’s different for everyone. I, for one, am still learning what my best method is.)

Set up your meditative space the way that is best for you. I prefer a light shawl over my shoulders, sitting cross-legged on my bed, with a pillow between me and the wall. I sometimes light incense, but more often I do not. I usually have my headphones in and am playing a variety of tracks (I’ll get into that later). Most of the time I meditate while my daughter is in the shower or watching Cupcake Wars (she’s nearly 18.)

Once you set up your space and are ready to begin, take a deep, cleansing breath, holding for a moment then slowly let it out. To help myself stay focused on breathing, I will count to four on the inhale and eight on the exhale. Continue breathing in this manner, letting your body relax with each breath. When you reach a state of relaxation, ask whatever guide you have (Spirit, Universe, God, or just your own Self) that you be introduced to Bear. Focus on the strength of a Bear and the way it walks across a meadow. Think about how the creature takes care of her young and how they survive through the winter. Let your mind drift to the caves that they hibernate in and how safe and secure they are, knowing that no one will disturb them. Allow whatever thoughts that might come your way to float up to the surface so that you can see them more clearly.

When you begin to lose focus on the meditation, whether it’s five minutes or fifty, thank the energy of the Bear for coming to you that day. Take another deep breathe and stretch your limbs as if you were a Bear stretching after winter’s slumber. If you did not feel a connection to Bear during this meditation, do not be discouraged. Try again tomorrow at a different time of the day.

Thank you for sharing this with me. May your day be blessed.